The day was Wednesday, the 12th of December, the place a Christmassy break room in Ohio when Boom! The brand-spanking-new iPhone XS Max in J. Hillard’s back pocket caught fire amid plumes of green and yellow smoke, and nothing was happily ever after again.
Roasted Apple, Anyone?
Ever thought that your $1,200 (Rs. 104,405) smartphone could just catch fire one merry day with no warning other than a burning sensation on your posterior? Well, neither did J. Hillard when exactly this happened to him during his lunch break. The 3-week old phone, in Dillard’s back pocket, started burning and soon his pocket resembled the snout of a teapot bubbling with smoke.
At this point, “I had to exit the room since there was a female in the break room with me,” Hillard told iDrop News. “I ran to the boardroom where I got my shoes and pants off as fast as possible. A VP of our company put the fire out with a fire extinguisher”. But even though the fire was soon put out, Hillard was left with souvenirs in the shape of a hole in his pants, residue of fire extinguisher in his clothes and shoes, plus bonus “pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located.”
Apple the Unhelpful
The same day as the incident, Hillard visited an Apple Store with his damaged XS Max, melted case and screen protector. There he met with a manager who referred him to one of the senior technicians in spite of his insistence that there was nothing that could be done to salvage the phone. “I told her that I expected a call from customer relations and there was nothing that a tech could tell me about the melted phone,” Hillard says.
“After spending about 20 minutes with an employee and answering questions, she removed the SIM card in an effort to pull up my profile, but it was melted.” Following this, the apple safety team vanished for around 40 minutes to examine the phone and only appeared when Hillard asked after them repeatedly. “The employee resurfaced with the phone already packaged and told me that they were going to send it back to the engineering team,” he said. “The manager then came up to me and said that this is the only way that I could receive a replacement phone.” Hillard, however, felt unsatisfied with the idea of turning in his phone and left with it in the same condition he brought it in.
Hillard Plots Revenge
Later that day, Hillard visited a doctor for a checkup and an official report of the pain he was experiencing due to the phone burning in his pocket. He also called AppleCare and spoke to a senior specialist about what his options were. A couple of pictures of his phone and burnt clothing later, he was offered a new phone by a safety department supervisor, but this too wasn’t enough to satisfy him. He reportedly feels that Apple should also reimburse his clothing and shoes, as well as the cost of the wireless services that he was unable to use in the course of his negotiations with the giant.
All signs are pointing to Hillard intending to take Apple to court. And the fact that these allegations have come a little over a month after an iPhone X exploded during a software update