The iPhone 4 Case Program Begins – And There’s an App for That

Did you buy a bumper from Apple (s aapl) already, or are you planning on getting a bumper or case to rectify the very not-fictitious reception issues Steve Jobs petulantly made light of while at the same time acknowledging? Today is the day to begin the process of healing, if so.

Apple has started processing refunds for already purchased iPhone 4 bumper cases, according to reports by people who’ve already purchased the tremendously overpriced thin band of rubber. You’ll be notified of the refund via official Apple email, but you shouldn’t have to do anything extra to get your money back if you’ve already bought one, unless you paid cash in-store, in which case you actually have to return to a retail location.

To get a free bumper or case, though, you won’t be able to just order one via Apple’s online store and have it arrive for free. There’s an extra step, albeit a simple one, involved in the application process. You need to download and install a specially made Apple app on your iPhone to take advantage of the case program.

Once you run the app, you’ll sign in with your Apple ID and select the bumper or case of your choice. After that, Apple should ship the case out to you in due time. Don’t expect speedy service, though, since Apple will probably be flooded with requests for quite a while.

Also note that there is some fine print about refund or free case eligibility. If you bought your iPhone on or before July 23, you have until August 22 to apply. Those who purchased their iPhone 4 after today have 30 days from the date of purchase to take advantage of the program. Regardless of purchase date, the deal ends entirely on September 30, when Apple has promised to re-evaluate the situation.