If you’re thinking about buying a Zagg HD for your new iPhone 5, I’d think twice; if you’re going to Best Buy to buy a Zagg HD for your phone, I’d think even another time because my experience with them both was beyond acceptable and really did ruin my wife’s brand new white iPhone 5 16GB nearly 4 hours after owning it – forcing us to get a new one (an additional $250).

I write this post to warn those (like me) who want to protect their new phone, see the ads and buy something that could very easily do the exact opposite of what you thought it would do.

Here’s MY experience, take it for what it’s worth.

The short version

After receiving our new iPhone 5 in the mail, my wife and I headed to Best Buy to purchase a case. We both went with a standard case + the Zagg HD film bundle and the Best Buy employee installed them both on our new iPhone 5’s.

After a few minutes, we noticed a “smug like” spot appearing on my wifes white iPhone 5 and headed back in to ask why. The employee said her phone was now ruined since the Zagg solution somehow got into the phone and behind the screen during install (& after following their instructions). After horrible customer service from both Best Buy and Zagg (since Zagg STILL hasn’t responded to my email).

Best Buy finally reimbursed us for a phone and did make it right but only after I took the initiative to solve the issue (otherwise we could had waited weeks to get a replacement).

Yes, installing the Zagg HD film (after following their instructions, etc.) ruined my wife’s iPhone 5 and voided her warranty after owning it for a little more than 4 hours.

That’s the SHORT version but read below if you’d like more details and pictures…

The long version

On Friday September 21, 2012, I received two iPhones from AT&T in the mail, a black one for myself and a white one for my wife (pictured). My wife and I both were pretty excited about the new phones and wanted to go out and see if anyone had any cases already out to protect our new purchase from getting all scratched up since we both tend to drop our phones…a lot.

Best Buy Zagg Install

BB employee installing the Zagg HD film on her new white iPhone 5

After leaving Fry’s Electronics we went to Best Buy in Phoenix, Arizona and saw that they had a decent assortment of cases to choose from. I picked out a case pretty quickly and the guy sold me on the Zagg HD film + my case for a bundled discounted price.

The salesman instructed me that he’d install the Zagg film for me which I thought was pretty nice, however, noticed that he actually got a lot of the solution Zagg provides for the film in my ear-piece while squeegeeing the bubbles out; I asked him about it but there didn’t seem to be any issues so we carried on.

My wife found a case she liked as well and figured she might as well do the bundle deal – again the salesman proceeded to apply the Zagg HD film on by cleaning the phone, spraying the solution it comes with on the phone and applying the film. He did everything JUST like the instructions state and after he had the film positioned, squeegeed the solution and bubbles off the phone.

Best Buy & Zagg Install Panorama

Panorama shot of BB employee installing Zagg, 9/21/2012, was just enjoying my phone at this point

We paid, and left.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

iPhone 5 Damage by Zagg & Best Buy

The Zagg solution growing in the screen & the Zagg film edges around the ear speaker

My wife and I got in our car to leave when she noticed her screen starting to mess up – almost like a smug look. Being concerned, we headed back into Best Buy to ask the salesman what was going on. At first, we thought it was behind the film and would be an easy fix.

He looked it over and told my wife that the Zagg solution had actually gotten inside the phone somehow and into the screen during the install – he then proceeded to tell her that she would need a NEW phone and asked “Did you get the warranty?”. My wife came to the car where I was waiting and told me what the salesman had said – I got upset about what the guy told her and went inside to handle it myself.

“Did you get the warranty?”….really guy?

In short, I told the salesman that this was a problem that Best Buy and Zagg needed to work out and that THEY needed to replace my wife’s phone right away and asked him to call his store manager. I felt sorry for the guy as again, he followed the exact instructions from Zagg.

The manager on duty came by and said “We are sorry for what’s happened, we will either fix it or replace it for you” – I told him, “No, I just got this in the mail 4 hours ago, I don’t want it fixed I want new one” – he agreed and asked me to come back tomorrow as they simply couldn’t do anything about it then since they were already closed and had no iPhones in stock.

Saturday September 22, 2012

I woke up early and headed to Best Buy just like the manger on duty the night before asked me to do. Walked in, asked for the “Mobile Manger” and waited.

The Mobile Manger came out and asked me what I wanted. He said he knew the problem already and wanted to know what I wanted them to do in a very rude manner and like I was being an inconvenience to him after one of his salesman and products they sale ruined my iPhone 5 – how pathetic.

Anyways, after trying to explain our side, he proceeded to tell me that he would replace the iPhone but that they didn’t have any in stock and wouldn’t get one for 4-6 weeks. I proceeded to tell him that there was NO WAY no Best Buys in this State (AZ) does not have ANY white iPhone 5’s in stock before 4-6 weeks but he assured me that even all the Apple Stores were out of stock (I knew this was a lie)…so, I asked for the store manager.

The store manager came out and pretty much told me the EXACT same thing but in a somewhat polite manner – being polite can go a long way. She apologized for the incident (the Mobile Manger NEVER did) and told me she’d give me the first phone that comes into stock – what else could I do at this point?

I called the Apple Store. They told me they had PLENTY of White iPhone 5 16GBs in stock (as I suspected) and that I could come get mine replaced for $250 since my current phone’s warranty is now void due to this water damage. I called Best Buy back and told them what I had discovered (because they obviously were not concerned about this and had better things to do than to call around until they found me a new phone).

They agreed to reimburse me for the $250 if I’d make an appointment with Apple, get the phone replaced and bring the receipt back to them. A complete hassle. We’d probably STILL have a brand new messed up iPhone 5 if i wouldn’t have called Apple myself.

After blowing through a tank of gas, receiving horrible customer service from Best Buy and pretty much fixing this issue myself, we finally got a new iPhone for my wife on Sunday September 23, 2012.

A little more info I learned from Apple: After telling me that my warranty was now void due to water damage, they said this is EXACTLY why they recommend against Zagg and sell their own protective film that does not require liquid for application. They understood why I was so upset and the representative said “I’d be upset as well if I were you”.

Now…more on Zagg

To be honest with you – I’ve always been in favor of Zagg as I’ve never (up to this point) had any reason to be against the brand and/or any of their products. I’ve always “heard” they had great customer service but so far, my experience has been completely different.

On September 23rd, 2012, I emailed Zagg directly via their website + tweeted them that I had sent them an email.

Being as polite as I could, I explained my experience and simply asked for feedback from them. Although Best Buy technically took care of the problem by reimbursing me for a new iPhone 5, I still feel this is THEIR problem since it was their product that caused so much hassle for my wife and I.

Zagg / Best Buy Customers, beware

I have no clue how this happened – I’m sure hundreds of Zagg films are applied to phones everyday with NO ISSUE but trust me, we experienced a massive issue. Whether it be the new design of the phone or not, your iPhone 5 is NOT (and never as been) water or solution proof and I highly recommend against anything that requires a wet application.

October 5th – Email from Zagg

I just heard back from Zagg – yes it took FOREVER for someone to respond. They told me to speak with the Best Buy manager, leave my device under a table lamp overnight and put my device in a sealed container overnight with uncooked rice or silica gel packets which is supposed to help dry out the electric.

How is this supposed to help me? Again, installed the Zagg case instructs you to use their liquid which got behind the screen which VOIDED THE WARRANTY – putting it in some rice or under a lamb will not fix this. Thankfully Best Buy DID eventually make the situation right but I’m shocked how Zagg handled the situation.