AppleCare+ and iPhone Battery Replacement?



Feb 28, 2005
Has anyone here been able to use AppleCare+ to replace a battery on an iPhone XS? If so, I'm quite desperately seeking some advice. First, here are the most important details:
  • The phone is an unlocked XS Max that is 19-20 months old.
  • Phone is paid in full and not tied to any 1 particular carrier (purchased directly from Apple, currently on Verizon Prepaid)
  • AppleCare+ is setup as a monthly charge but paid off $200 as it has been going for the 19-20 month period
The phone has the following battery issues:
Over the passed 1-2 months, the phone needs to be charged much more frequently than usual as it has naturally started to degrade. It tends to go from 100% to approx. 30% within 4- 4 1/2 hours of talk and text only. While those stats may be seen as normal degradation, this brings me to another issue related to the battery.

The phone, mainly it's corners and back, gets much more heated than usual both when charging and during usage. Once it has been plugged in for 45 minutes to an hour, you can feel a string to your fingers when picking it up, even after removing the plug. It is not being used with a wireless charger or car charger -- just a Belkin lightening cable + Apple lightening cable.

This heat issue also occurs when the phone is not charging but instead during a long voice conversation, many texts, or minimal web browsing. It's not put under heavy processor use such as gaming, YouTube, Netflix, etc.

Battery health is currently 92%.

We have contacted Apple and they have run tests both over the phone and at an authorized repair (Best Buy) appointment set up by Apple. At the moment, the local Apple stores are overbooked and sending the phone in would be a challenge we're not comfortable with.

This brings me to the AppleCare+ issue:
When asked directly, "Will there be an issue using AppleCare+ to replace the battery given that the battery health is not as low as 80 percent? Apple support told me over the phone without hesitation, "No, we want to keep you safe and happy." However, when going to the appointment, the response is quite the opposite. The phone passes all diagnostic testing so Apple & Best Buy have now stated they will only replace at full cost as if the phone doesn't have AppleCare+ at all. This situation has been escalated to Apple senior who kindly apologized but outright refused to honor AppleCare+ unless the phone fails a diagnostic test.

Question is, how does anyone actually use AppleCare+ for battery replacement? Is there any way for the user to make the choice to use AppleCare+ as they see fit given that they are the one paying for it?

If you have used it for this purpose, how do you work your way through the battle? Though we have tried to keep this experience calm and professional, it's very hard not to resent being unable to use a plan you've paid for, especially in an situation that involves heat.