Apple chops the 30 day return policy on iPhones to just two weeks

Noticed by Apple enthusiast blog 9to5Mac, Apple is transitioning to a two-week return policy on all new iPhone purchases starting on March 13, 2014. While the new two-week period matches all other products sold within the Apple Store, Apple previously allowed customers 30 days to return their new smartphone. Of course, Apple requires the customer to return all accessories that originally came with the smartphone. In addition, the iPhone must be in excellent condition to process the return.

This policy change aligns Apple with carriers like Verizon and AT&T, both which offer a 14-day return policy on all newly purchased smartphones. As pointed out by 9to5Mac, the 30-day policy was problematic when it came to the early termination fees that kicked in after an initial two-week period and expected by wireless carriers. Thus, returning the smartphone between day 15 and 30 meant that the customer was required to pay the fees or transition to a different phone to stick with the ongoing contract. 

Prior to this point, Apple called out the 30-day return period as a benefit to users. For instance, iPhone purchasers could pop back into an Apple Store a few weeks after the purchase in order to swap out their model for another option. However, this policy shift will benefit Apple in regards to impulse purchasing. By reducing the amount of time provided to customers to consider the validity of their buying decision, Apple can lock more people into an iPhone for the next 12 to 24 months. 

In regards to anyone that recently purchased an iPhone in the past few weeks, Apple will honor the 30-day return policy that’s listed on the customer’s paper or digital receipt. In addition, Apple’s policy on not charging restocking fees will continue to remain active for all hardware returns.

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