Thursday, December 19, 2013 vs.

My latest “adventure” revolves around customer support departments of two online companies that market cases for the iPhone 5s and iPad Air.

Example 1:

The bad example is and their Atlas ID waterproof case for the iPhone 5s shown above.  The company touts its “legendary warranty protection” on both its site and its telephone answering message.  I bought the case, watched their video on YouTube, and read the installation directions, removed my phone’s screen protector, and then inserted my phone. It is a good looking case, well constructed, and obviously rugged, but from the start, the fingerprint ID unlocking system didn’t work.  The case has its own glass screen that sits atop the phone’s touch sensitive glass to make it waterproof, and the video shows everything working perfectly despite the extra glass layer.  But not on mine.  I then tried to have my phone learn a new fingerprint, but a dozen such efforts were all failures with the phone error message saying that my fingerprint couldn’t be read.  Yet when I removed the phone from the case, everything functioned perfectly again.  Also, I had to poke the Atlas screen quite hard and often more than once to get it to even open apps and use functions of apps, and the bottom home row of apps wouldn’t respond to touching at all, and the same with the bottom row of functions like “trash” on the Mail app.  Typing an email or a comment on Facebook, etc. was very difficult and a lengthy process.  I also couldn’t raise the bottom Control Center panel and when I lowered the Notification Center from the top of the screen, I couldn’t raise it up again.

Obviously the case wasn’t working right since the video and the reviews I read said that touch functions worked fine.  Perhaps there was a problem with the glass layer, or at least the bottom section of the glass?  Or a defect in the case’s home button covering? Or all of the above?  I called customer service to report the problem and was told to use their website to request a return number  (or refund), then pack the case up perfectly like I had found it (per the instructions on the website), go to the post office, and mail it back to them.  They would process it and send a replacement if they found a problem.  I pointed out that they already had my money and why should I have to wait for a product that actually worked properly, and that I would have no working case for my phone, and I asked what I should do to protect the phone for the 2 weeks this cumbersome process was going to take.  No reply.  So fearing I'd just have the same experience again, I simply returned it for a refund (which I hope they'll follow through on.)

Example 2:

Example 2 is a company called  My last two iPads have had SwitchEasy cases and I loved them, so I and ordered a third case for my new iPad Air (photo above).  After receiving it, I discovered it didn’t automatically put the iPad to sleep when the cover was closed, and thus the iPad was running the battery down when supposedly asleep.  I emailed their customer service with the problem, and within 3 hours I got an email back from Viktoria saying that they were sorry for the problem, and that a replacement cover was in the mail.  I received it two days later and it is working fine.  I looked in the packaging for how to send the defective one back to them, but nothing indicated they even wanted it back.  This is what Customer Service is supposed to be like!

Which company do you think I’ll continue doing business with and will recommend to others?

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