So, apparently I have to send back my new iPhone XS Max, and buy a replacement.
I purchased it via the iPhone Upgrade Program on pre-order day, and got it on day one. Yay! But while my wife Jenn got a return kit (to return her old iPhone X), I did not.
Today I spent 72 minutes in a web chat with a very friendly Apple guy (hi Joshua), and ended up with the choice of either returning my current phone and buying a new one (hopefully with the return kit this time), or paying off the remaining balance on the X, and using the GiveBack program to get a credit. The latter option would have cost me $261, so I opted for the former.
So now I have a return label for my two week old iPhone XS Max, and a new order for an identical model. Fortunately, I should get my new Max around October 11-15, and have to return my current Max by October 19, so I shouldn’t have to move back to the X then again to the replacement Max. Still, a huge hassle for Apple’s error.
Oh well, at least I get the pleasure of unboxing again!
Edit to add:
But wait, it gets even more fun! I clicked the emailed link to print the return label for my current iPhone XS Max, and got a “something went wrong” error. Oh joy. I tried a different browser, or going via the orders page, with the same result. So had another chat with Apple (32 minutes, hi Lex), resulting in them sending a replacement label for the new phone that is being replaced! We’ll see if that works. If not, I may have to have yet another chat, or make the hour trek to an Apple store to sort this out.
I love Apple, but this is a bit of a FUBAR.
They sent a RMA label in an attachment, so that worked out. About a week later, I got my replacement iPhone. Now I just need to send back the previous one, and the old X. All’s right in the end, but it’s crazy that the best they could do is return the two-week-old phone and start again.