iPhone 4: Power button stuck and wifi greyed out

This is the story of my girlfriends struggle to get her iPhone to work. Now that I am starting to tell it I suddenly realize why Apple products are so much more expensive in Europe than in the US. It is because Europeans have better consumer laws than Americans and Apple have to calculate their cost of fixing their faulty products into their prices.


It all started with the power button, the crucial on/off switch on top of the phone. Suddenly and without any apparent reason it stopped working. It was stuck. The only way to turn the phone off was to let the battery drain. And the only way to turn it back on was to connect it to a computer. The local Apple reseller told us this was a well known problem with the iPhone, and that it had to be sent inn. Since we had bought it through Apple´s website, we had to contact them. Now getting Apple to help you, is not a straight forward process as my previous post shows. And this is one of the reasons that you probably should look to other brands for your electronic needs.

It starts with the their support page. After filling in the serial number, it claimed that we did not have support since we did not have the AppleCare protection plan. Now using good money on a plan that gives you 3 years support, two years less than the consumer laws 5 years, is just a hoax. And Apple trying to cloud it up by hinting that you do not get support without it, is even worse.

But by calling Apples support number you get to their second defense line. Here you get to talk to someone that does not have a clue and their job is to establish why you, the consumer, is to blame. Armed with the info that this is a known problem and that they are obliged to fix it since the device is under 5 years old, you get to their third line of defense, second line support. These guys know a lot. They are tiring you out by taking down the same info that first line support. But eventually they will admit their responsibility. But do not think your are done. You have to go through a fourth line of defense, the senior supervisor, who will ultimately decide your fate.

I don´t hate them for wasting our time on what should be a well known issue for them (again). Not even the tedious process of them insisting to send an empty box with UPS for us to put the iPhone in (the delivery will most likely happen at time not suitable to you). But why do they replace the faulty iPhone with a used one that does not work either?

It turned out that after a month or two the replacement phone stopper working. This time it was not the  power button that got stuck. But the wifi-button. In the settings screen the button suddenly was greyed out. Guess what. The local Apple reseller tell us that this is a well known issue!

I guess we have to go through the whole process again. Got to love Apple!


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