Otterbox Win

I bought the iPhone 4S in February. Because the only reason I required a new phone was because my iPhone 3G was unprotected when it hit the cold, hard tile of the bathrooms at work (I was on my way from a meeting – no, I don’t usually take my phone to the bathroom), I decided to get a decent case.  To be sure, I’d had cases for my old phone, but as the phone aged and started showing signs of degeneration, I became increasing lax about using them. I took the AT&T  rep’s recommendation and bought the Otterbox Defender Series (mine is pink and black). This is the one with a hard plastic case that snaps together over the phone, and a silicone jacket that fits snugly over the hard plastic case. It is a very sturdy-looking case as you can see.

Otterbox Defender Series example

Well, it’s only April now, and the pink silicone jacket on mine has already ripped. I started to just accept it as part of a product that didn’t live up to it’s hype – but this is an expensive case.  I don’t spend $50 on any product that I expect to start coming apart after a couple of months and you shouldn’t have to accept that level of quality in general.

Minor scuff mark appeared just a couple of weeks after I bought it - this was not why I contacted customer service.

So, I contacted Otterbox customer service through their  online option, and the same day I received a shipping notice that they’re sending me a replacement.  It doesn’t look like the color that I originally purchased is available any longer, so they’re sending what I listed as my product (you had to choose something to keep going, so I just spelled out my colors in the comments).

Hopefully the fact that the color option I originally had is not available means that the case has since been improved (at least the silicone jacket component). Glancing through the reviews on their site, you can see that plenty of others have had the same issue.

Tear in the left side of the silicone jacket

 Regardless, this is the kind of customer service that helps you forgive the original flaw. It’s about being careful with your customers. They addressed my concern promptly and beyond my satisfaction. At the very least, I expected to be asked to send a photograph of the case, or to even perhaps send in the silicone jacket. I submitted my complaint in the morning, and received the confirmation of “order” completion that afternoon. Beautifully done, Otterbox.  I’ll be back for more – hopefully not until I’m ready for another phone. That is – unless you come up with a fitness band that will hold the phone while it’s in the Otterbox case. Right now, my armband requires that I remove the case to insert the phone into the band for my runs. I don’t like the inconvenience of this, or that I’m taking the phone out of it’s well-protected cocoon. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that the easier solution to this dilemma is probably just acquiring yet another electronic device (the Shuffle) that can simply clip onto my clothes. I would probably like it better than the armband anyhow. That way, I’m keeping the phone out of potential rain/heat/etc.

Additional view of tear.

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