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If You Purchase From Amazon You Cannot Buy / Get Total Water Protection Program
on April 30, 2013
Our family's experience with Lifeproof has been confusing to say the least, annoying, frustrating and crazy-making.
First, my husband learned of the product a couple of months ago while at the Verizon store, and he went home and researched it online, including reading about it on Lifeproof.com. He told a friend who purchased one from a different website (not the manufacturer). The friend wanted it because he is on a boat everyday and his phone is at risk of being splashed or rained upon. Next, my husband purchased one from that same other website, mostly since he liked the idea that the phone would not get ruined in the heavy rain we get here or God forbid it falls into a toilet by accident (it's happened before).
Next, I was offered a Lifeproof case from the Amazon.com Vine program, and I accepted delivery of that. Then, in telling this tale chronologically, the friend's case leaked and when he phoned Lifeproof to ask for a replacement, they said his case was counterfeit and that the only authorized dealers to sell it are Lifeproof.com and Verizon, that all others are counterfeit. We then called Lifeproof and discovered that indeed the one WE bought from the other website was ALSO counterfeit, the rep insisted that the only two legitimate dealers selling authentic cases was Verizon and Lifeproof (what about Amazon - since I received one from Amazon.com's Vine program?). I then contacted Amazon.com Vine program staff and was told ours is genuine. I do not understand why Lifeproof customer service staff do not know that Amazon.com is an authorized Lifeproof case dealer!
After the use in our family, my husband and son still liked the case, so decided that the authentic (not fake) Lifeproof case is worthwhile and we purchased one from Amazon.com about a week ago. Beforehand, we had researched their Total Water Protection Program which is an insurance policy that appeared to be sold via Lifeproof.com. We assumed that we could purchase said program after buying one from Amazon.com (because nothing on the site explains otherwise). When we attempted to register the case so we could get the protection, the rep (on 6/26/13) again said that there are no dealers other than Verizon and Lifeproof.com that sell authentic Lifeproof cases. I told her that I had an email from Vine staff saying it was legitimate. She asked me to forward her the email from Amazon.com Vine staff that says that Amazon.com sells authentic cases (but I had already deleted it thinking I'd never need that proof). She said that she suspected this case from Amazon.com is a fake case, she asked the price, and said she thought that I bought it from a third party seller. I pulled up the receipt from Amazon while speaking to her. She did not believe that the case was bought "from Amazon and shipped by Amazon" - a term she used that is the truth of what our order stated. I also discussed the Vine program that Lifeproof provided the product to Amazon.com who gave one to me to product test but she did not believe me, saying only Verizon and Lifeproof.com sell the official cases!
After me freaking out a bit and after being on hold, she then said that the cases sold by Amazon.com *may be* authentic but that any case bought there cannot ever have the TWP Program added onto the case. This is not clear as of 6/26/13 on either the Lifeproof website who sells it, nor on the Amazon.com page. She also asked that I contact Amazon.com customer service to get them to get proof that they really sell non-counterfeit Lifeproof cases and to forward her that reply in writing! Are you serious? I, the customer, have to get proof that YOUR COMPANY is selling through Amazon.com?
I further learned, just to be clear, that the TWP Program covers replacement of the case if the case leaks, but any damage to your iPhone is your problem. Although the Lifeproof website says today that the buyer can have "complete confidence, complete freedom" and encourages us to submerge it underwater while we "swim, surf, or soak" as well as get it dirty with dirt, be in the snow, ice or sleet, that we can ice skate, ski, or walk in snow or slush. It also says it is shockproof and can be dropped without fear of damage.
There is a murky line between what the case protects against without the TWP Program and if you wanted to buy the TWP Program just to be on the safe side, know that as of 6/26/13 the only companies you can purchase from to qualify for that purchase are Verizon and Lifeproof.com - and it must be purchased on the day you buy the case. And that they will only replace the case not the damaged or broken iPhone.
Also be forewarned that counterfeits are out there and be careful who you buy from. We chose to buy from Amazon.com because it was discounted, it was covered on Amazon Prime for fast shipping and delivery and because shipping with Prime is free. I had not dreamed that Lifeproof would later deny that Amazon.com is not an authorized dealer or that we would not be eligible for their full protection guarantee program if we chose to buy from Amazon.com. According to the Lifeproof customer service rep, this decision was made "by the Big Man Upstairs". I asked that my complaint be forwarded to management and she said something to the effect that there were no plans to change the program for customers who choose to purchase from anyone but Lifeproof.com or Verizon.
Regarding the use of the case:
The screen protector thing takes away some sensitivity and it can take two or three tries to get the action you swipe or touch to occur. I do not like that. My husband and son live with it and accept it as a tradeoff for the benefits of the case.
In order to use the aux jack to listen to music with a headset or over your car stereo system you have to use an adapter thing that screws in. This can get lost. The first one we had broke. We phoned Lifeproof and they sent a replacement quickly at no charge. Your other alternative if you do not have the jack with you is to remove the case from the phone and use the port directly.
This review was updated by being re-written and downscaling the rating to 1 star = I Hate It on 6/26/13.