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Facepalm: Thanks to Apple policies, customers never have to worry about paying to fix an Apple product if it was misconfigured. Simply send it back, and the company will reconfigure it. Unfortunately, this policy dictates that all common sense be tossed out the window for detachable components, as Apple Watch users are finding out with their mismeasured Solo Loop bands.
Along with the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced a new watch band called the Solo Loop. It has no clasp and is instead made from an elastic polymer, so users can just slip their watch on and off. They are not one-size-fits-all, however. There are nine different sizes, from 4 to 12.
The problem is, if the customer orders the wrong size, they have to ship the whole package back to Apple. Instead of just sending back a size nine Solo Loop to exchange for a size 10 and wearing a different band while you wait, you have to send the watch and band back so Apple techs can correctly install the Solo Loop for you.
At least the Apple support person agrees with me. pic.twitter.com/WRn8NtDmue— Eli Hodapp (@hodapp) September 21, 2020
Don't be mistaken. These bands come on and off just like normal ones, but in this case, Apple policy requires the entire package contents be returned since the Solo Loop is "configured to order," meaning you pick the size.
Trying to reason with Apple customer service is a fruitless effort, as GameClub Vice President Eil Hodapp discovered. On finding that he had to return the entire package, Hodapp told a rep that it is "insane" that he needs to return the whole thing for a band one size smaller.
"Yes, totally agree with you," the CS rep said. "But Apple do [sic] have a policy since it is considered a configure to order purchase."
It might not be so bad if the mistakes in sizing were the fault of the user. However, Apple has a printable sizing guide that wraps around the wrist. If your size falls inbetween, do you go for the larger or smaller size. Hodapp says go small, but even then, you might still find the band too loose. Multiple users, using the guide ended up with bands two sizes too big.
"Wondering how the braided solo loop sizing fiasco came into place. This is very not Apple-like," said one users. " I measured a size 7 but actually need a 5 for a nice fit. It’s ridiculous."
What's worse is, according to customer complaints on Twitter, wait times are measured in weeks or months. To avoid the wait, Apple said users could take their watch into a retail store to have it exchanged in-person. Still, a simple exercise of common sense here that allows customers to keep their watch while waiting for a return would solve the problem overnight.