During these uneasy and uncertain times, the last thing that consumers need is a process that is inexplicably inconvenient for seemingly arbitrary reasons. One such process is getting the fancy new Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop bands replaced if they happened not to fit your wrist. Before today, buyers had to either go to an Apple Store to get the band replaced or mail both band and Apple Watch back and wait for weeks or even months for a replacement. Fortunately, Apple seems to have had a change of heart but not after it was called out for it.
Under normal circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if those who bought the new Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE with the Solo Loops online had to return the whole thing to get a replacement. Apple’s return policy was apparently based on how the two come as a custom set since the clasp-less band had to be measured to fit the wearer’s wrist.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in normal times and Apple’s return policy seemed rather nonsensical or impractical at best. Low supplies of the Apple Watches meant users had to wait for weeks before they get a replacement just for an ill-fitting band. One could try getting an in-store replacement but the majority of Apple Stores in the country are still closed at this point. Additionally, people who risked ordering the watch and band online did so precisely to avoid the greater risk of going out and walking into a store in the first place.
Fortunately, it seems that Apple finally conceded and is allowing the return of the Solo or Braided Solo Loop only, without the Apple Watch, for a replacement. There might still be some waiting time, of course, as the replacement will only be sent after the old one has been received, but at least users will be able to use the Apple Watch in the meantime, presuming they have an extra band at hand.
MacRumors does note one rather strange requirement of making a phone call to initiate the process. Apparently, Apple’s online support staff are unable to do so and may not even know yet that they need to direct customers to phone support to get their bands replaced.