This year’s Apple Watch generation didn’t bring just two new models, the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. This year also saw two unique and admittedly pretty Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop, both of which have no clasps or buckles and are designed to stretch and fit snugly over your wrist. Not all wrists are equal, of course, so there’s an amount of personalization involved. Unfortunately, it seems that, at least for now, the bands may not be worth the hassle because of Apple’s puzzling return policy.
These sized-to-fit bands are more like clothes that you’ll have to try on first to know which size really fits. Given that many Apple stores in the US are still closed, that’s practically impossible to do these days. Apple has provided a printable measuring tool that will let you try out the sizes before you order one but it’s turning out to be quite the nightmare for some early buyers.
It’s probably not surprising to hear that some online buyers got the ill-fitting bands but what’s more surprising is what Apple is making them do. Instead of simply shipping back the band and get a replacement, Apple’s policy requires owners to return the entire device, Apple Watch and band together. That probably wouldn’t be a problem if not for the low supply of Apple Watch Series 6 and the loop bands which means owners might have to wait until next month or November at the latest for a replacement.
Apple’s alleged reason for this bewildering return policy is that these are sold as a custom set and have to be returned as such. That despite the fact that Apple is also selling the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop bands separately anyway. It is a rather unreasonable and uneconomical requirement, especially given the current global situation.
Some owners that have had the luck to be within distance of retail stores reported that they have been able to exchange just the bands without returning the Apple Watch itself. That isn’t guaranteed to always work given the bands are in low supply as well. Hopefully, the supply situation will also improve in the coming weeks though Apple might want to change that return policy anyway.