Apple Now Allowing Band-Only Returns For Ill-Fitting Solo Loop

Apple has reversed course and created an online band-only return method for customers who purchased an Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE with the wrong size Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band.

Apple's new Series 6 and SE models can be purchased with new Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band options that have no clasp or fastener, instead using stretch to fit over the hand. As there is no on-band sizing mechanism, the Solo and Braided Solo Loops come in nine sizes, leading to fit issues.

braidedsololoop
As we reported on Monday, customers who ordered and received a new Apple Watch with a Solo Loop or a Braided Solo Loop and then found that the band did not fit properly were told by Apple's staff that the only online return option involved returning the entire watch.

Following customer complaints and the attention the issue received, MacRumors can confirm that Apple has changed its policy and is now allowing bands to be swapped out online without the need to return the entire watch.

We were able to initiate an online band swap without needing to return the Apple Watch this morning, something that we were not able to do yesterday, suggesting the policy change happened today. Customers are able to send back the poorly-fitting band and will receive a new one when the old one is received.

GameClub exec Eli Hodapp, who first raised the return issue, was also able to initiate a return of his Braided Solo Loop without having to return his entire watch, and he was also provided with a free Sport Band for his trouble.


We have seen other anecdotal reports of similar situations on Twitter, where Apple has allowed customers to return their bands online without having to return the entire watch and wait for a replacement, which is a much improved solution as the wait for a new Apple Watch online is weeks at this point.

From the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple has been able to do in-store band swaps for those who got an ill-fitting band after getting the wrong result with Apple's measurement tool, but not everyone lives near a store and not all stores are open at this time.

In-store returns can be somewhat confusing for employees and the process can take some time as the swap is worked out, but MacRumors has initiated two separate in-store band exchanges with success.

For those who need to do an online band swap and want to be able to send the band back without returning the entire watch, a phone call is needed. The online support staff is not able to initiate this return process and it must be done over the phone.

Online support should know about the new process and will direct users to call, but if you're having trouble with the online chat, try an over the phone support solution.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 8
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Rogifan Avatar
31 months ago
Sigh. Had all of Apple done this from the beginning this wouldn’t even be a story.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maconplasma Avatar
31 months ago
Nice! Apple is listening to customer feedback and fixing stuff fast!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hodapp Avatar
31 months ago
Love eating all this claim chowder from people in the original thread who were trying to blame me for getting the wrong band when the Apple support agent repeatedly reiterated that the nylon loops ran big and I did order the right size based on my measurements using the paper tool. Nom nom nom.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
31 months ago

Sigh. Had all of Apple done this from the beginning this wouldn’t even be a story.
Agreed. But they’re fixing it fairly quickly. That’s a good thing.

Now wait for the wave of people complaining that they only get the replacement band they’re entitled to and not the extra freebies the original poster mentioned.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BillyBobBongo Avatar
31 months ago
Common sense prevails!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
31 months ago
This is becoming very controversial LOL
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
watchOS 9 Feature

Apple Releases watchOS 9.3 With New Watch Face, Bug Fixes

Monday January 23, 2023 10:06 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 9.3, the third major update to the watchOS 9 operating system that first launched in September. watchOS 9.3 comes over a month after watchOS 9.2, an update that added new Workout functionality and Crash Detection optimizations. watchOS 9.3 can be downloaded for free through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by opening it up and going to General > Software Update. ...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
Ventura Macs Feature Blue

Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.2

Monday January 23, 2023 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Ventura 13.2, the second major update to the macOS Ventura operating system initially released in October. macOS Ventura 13.2 comes more than a month after macOS Ventura 13.1, an update that added the Freeform app and other changes. The ‌macOS Ventura‌ 13.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...