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It just worked
My daughter's iPhone 7 started to suffer battery problems and after a quick check in Settings (which showed that a battery service was needed) I booked an appointment through the Apple Support app.
We visited the local Apple store today and here are some brief thoughts on what happened-
There were three reps in suits outside the store and I was directed to an Apple rep in a T-shirt outside the store who took the appointment details. We were then asked to wait in a queue for our 10:55am appointment.
At 10:56am we were approached by a Genius Bar rep who took us to the front of the store where our temperatures were taken, and we were then guided via a specific route to ensure social distancing. There were signs everywhere and obvious instructions on how to stay Covid safe.
The rep looked at the phone and advised that we should return in an hour to pick up the repaired phone. I took note of the disposable masks they were all wearing, very angled, very unusual and very Apple.
When we returned the lady in the queue in front of us was not wearing a mask. The rep came out and asked her to put a mask on (very politely). She said she had asthma (would bet my house she just didn't want to wear one due to her general attitude throughout) and so the rep advised that they would look at her repaired device outside of the store. This was a positive to see in a time when every other shop just lets people in unmasked.
She finished with this lady and asked us into the store where our temperatures were taken again. It was explained that while changing the 3 year old battery in my daughter's iPhone that the haptic engine was also discovered to be broken. She advised that it was likely already broken and when my daughter innocently said that it had stopped vibrating some time ago I put my head in my hands.
The assistant laughed and gave us a brand new iPhone 7 for the battery replacement cost of £49 with a three month warranty. This was the cherry on the top of an experience which not only exemplified good customer service and superb organisation, but an obvious and friendly approach to safety which so few other brands manage well.
Once again, it made me feel that the package we get when we pay a relatively high price for Apple products is about so much more than just the products themselves.