Apple's free case program was the response to the massive (and mainstream media coverage) of the antenna design weakness of the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs said at the time that the case program would run until the end of September, at which point the company will reevaluate the situation.
Well, Apple appears to have reevaluated and concluded that the antenna problem isn't much of a problem at all and will be putting an end to the free case program as it is now.
Apple posted on its website:
That doesn't mean that those with reception issues who buy iPhone 4 after this month will be left out in the cold. For those people, they will have to call into AppleCare and talk with a representative to request a free Bumper case.
Apple is also tightening up again on its return policy. Previously, dissatisfied could return their undamaged iPhone 4 to any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
At the end of this month, Apple is going back its normal returns policy – 14 days and a possible 10 percent restocking fee – for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30.