As many of you know, Apple remove their Activation Lock (AKA Find My iPhone) status site over a year ago.
This site was critical for my Helpdesk tier 1 support team. They were able to confirm that a device was unlocked in preparation of an Apple Store repair or replacement.
These days, nearly 50% (yes - 50%!) of all Apple of our Store Genius Bar appointments end up being cancelled & rescheduled because we discover that the end-user didn't disable Activation Lock as instructed by IT. Of course, we don't realize this mistake until our IT staff is already at the Apple Store and we are denied service because the device is presumed to be stolen. "Sorry - come back again when Find My iPhone is disabled. Have a nice day..."
Asking end-users for their personal Apple ID and password is against best practices. Forcing devices to NOT use Activation Lock is a bad idea too.
Does anyone know why the Activation Lock status site was removed and if another solution will be available for Apple Business/Enterprise customers (in GSX perhaps)?
We have ~300 managed iOS devices (all with AppleCare+). This problem is getting worse.
How do you guys n gals verify that Activation Lock is disabled before you commit to an Apple Store repair/replacement appointment?
What do you mean "Call them into AppleCare"? You mean literally call Apple Support on phone prior to booking a Genius Bar appointment?
I checked my iPhone in GSX (cross-referenced it's serial number), and I don't see Find my iPhone or Activation Lock status.
To be honest, Im not sure of the logistics on how/why our Helpdesk staff performs iOS repairs (other than Activation Lock makes them curse loudly and curl up in the fetal position under their desks.) Our current mobile support workflows were probably created back in the RIM BlackBerry days! Time to reevaluate them. We are using Meraki MDM now, but I hope to migrate to Jamf so we can manage all Apple devices in one solution/interface.
Not sure how it works for Enterprise, but in Edu we can call directly to AppleCare and do mail-in repairs. It's a lot more convenient than running to the Apple Store, especially if you have a lot of volume. You can also set up mail in repairs directly through GSX if you have access.
Are they doing in-house screen replacements?
No - we are not doing any physical repairs in-house at this time.
Can you post a screenshot of the Activation Lock-related settings you see in GSX?
How fast do you get your iPhone repairs back? Is the turnaround fast? 7-10 days is too long (and we don't typically issue loaners often) I think that my end-users usually get repaired devices back the same day.
If you "Search GSX" with the serial number of the unit, you'll see the following prompt:
You can also have the user's log in to iCloud.com, look at Find My iPhone and drop it out from there. It might be a good process to have the help desk do that each time they take in a phone.
As far as the speed of repairs goes, usually it's 3-5 days. We just assign a permanent replacement from a stock of loaners then repair the original unit and put it back in circulation as a loaner.
Thanks @VT-Vincent - That worked for me. I must have been trying another search field elsewhere. GSX has literally got to be the worst web interface I have ever used!
My Helpdesk staff does work with the end-user to disable Activation Lock from iCloud.com, however, once disabled from iCloud.com, the device will reenable Activation Lock automatically once a wi-fi or cellular network connection is established. I have confirmed this will Apple Support. The only way to ensure it doesn't get enabled is to power-off the device and pull the SIM for good measure. Of course, its possible to not notice that a device is powered-on if the screen is failed, etc (this has tricked us before and now we have a run to power-off all devices before repairs) Apple told me that the Apple Stores in US have a firewall rule (or something) that stops the automatic re-enabling of Activation Lock from their retail store Wi-Fi networks.
I guess we need to stock up on loaners.