CompUSA sold my friend a used PowerBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jaw04005, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #1
    I need some advice. A friend of mine recently purchase a PowerBook G4 from CompUSA on Dec. 16. She has had major problems with it from the beginning, but yesterday the hard drive fatally crashed. I told her to call Apple and see about getting it fixed.

    She calls Apple, and the rep asked her when she purchased it. She said Dec. 16. The rep tells her that according to their records, the computer was manufactured in July of 2005 and initially registered on Aug. 5. The CSR told her to immediately call CompUSA and speak with a manager.

    She calls CompUSA. The manager says sure we will be glad to return it, bring it back along with all the original boxes. She drives to CompUSA to return the computer, and upon inspection the manager notices the UPC code is missing. He tells her that they cannot take the computer back without a UPC code. She tells him that the .Mac and printer rebate required the original UPC code, and she cut it out to mail off her rebates.

    Now, CompUSA is refusing to do anything about the computer. She purchased the PowerBook along with .Mac, a printer and AppleCare.

    What should we do? The receipt clearly shows that she paid full retail price for a previously registered (and probably used) model.

    Update: The problem has been resolved by Apple, her warranty was extended and I apologize for not using the word "allegedly" in the title of this thread.
     
  2. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #2
    Before you go the corp route, try speaking with the store manager. You likely talked to either the hardware, or the retail manager and you got the standard response. It has always been policy for them to not return items without the UPC code on it. Simply go in, above all remain calm and cool headed, and speak with the store manager. Explain in full detail what has happened and why you believe it to be a used computer. Offer up names of Apple employees that can confirm that to the store manager and date and times that you spoke with said individual. I would also suggest you have a plan on what you would like to happen. The last suggestion is fuel for you because he will probably say he'll check it into the tech department for you and get it all fixed free.

    Now, if you're not happy with that answer here is when your plan on what you want comes into play, simply lay that out there. Remember, you have to have proof that it was "previously" registered as ammo so make sure you have that info with dates, times, names etc all with you. After a very good cool headed conversation with the store manager, if you still do not receive what you feel is fair service treatment, ask the store manager to provide you with the regional manager's name and direct telephone # and inform him that you will be contacting him on the spot, in his store to find a better solution.

    If you end up going through regional's office, then you take it up one higher level, you go to headquarters. Remember to never lose your cool, remain calm, don't crack under pressure and you'll get what you feel you deserve.

    You can also inform them that you plan on contacting the BBB and as a last resort the state's attorney if you MUST go that route (the attorney part) but it shouldn't get that far. Make sure you document who, where, and what time any conversations transpire. Documentation will be your key in getting what you want. Get the store # also

    Lastly, could you provide where you bought the computer?

    Hope this helps, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

    Jack
     
  3. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #3
    It's only illegal to sell used/refurbished REPRESENTING it as new. If anything on the receipt, box, or price tag says 'used', then she'd be out of luck on that aspect. But if it was sold as 'new', then you've got them for something. First: Call AppleCare and make 100% certain that the serial number is, indeed, already registered to someone else. Have AppleCare fax or mail (not email) a letter to this effect. (Be 100% certain that you're reading the right serial number, too.) They won't give you the name/address, but they should be able to give you a letter simply stating that 'serial number xxyyzz was registered to another person on 8/5/2005'.

    Then go to CompUSA, speak to the store manager about it. Show him the letter, the receipt, etc; showing that it was sold as 'new', and Apple says it was already registered to someone else. It could be something as thorny as Apple having sent it to CompUSA as 'new', and CompUSA not doing anything wrong. But you need to get it as sorted out with CompUSA as you can before complaining.

    THEN complain.
     
  4. kjr39 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    #4
    Did she use a credit card to buy it?

    If so, call the card company and let them know what happened. They can help put pressure if CompUSA is not being responsive...
     
  5. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #5
    Did your friend not notice the power cord had been unwrapped already? Or that the seals were already broken?

    Its pretty much impossible to take a laptop out of the packaging and put it back without it being obvious.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    Actually this isn't true. Apple PowerBooks come with a piece of anti-static paper in between the screen and the keyboard. THen it's wrapped in same said paper with a giant white sticker on it to hold the flap down. If careful, you can remove this without tearing...I did. Then it's put back into the box. Providing the person really only used it from August 05 to Dec 05, the cords may not have relaxed enough to come apart so much that they couldn't be put back together. Also, my dvi and phone cord remained in the box until I got a dell lcd which I actually took out the dvi adapter. So yeah, it's possible, highly possible. If someone bought it and had buyer's remorse they would have taken it back. Otherwise I can't see CompUSA taking back the PB after a certain amout of time.

    As for the friend...I would jump on that so hard. CompUSA made a mistake and they need to pay for it by giving you a new PowerBook.
     
  7. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #7
    I used to work at a computer store and have taken many a computer (incl. PBs and iBooks) out of its packaging. I guarantee you I can tell a power cord thats been unwrapped even once. Even if it was wrapped back up carefully.
     
  8. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #8
    Well, let's see...

    The hard drive failed - it did not last as long as your friend intended, insisting that the PB was indeed older than your friend thought.

    Your friend mailed the UPC's in, not knowing what they had was a used computer; had they known, the UPC for discounts would have never been sent in.

    Your friend also paid full price for a PB that is not fully new.

    All of the above are directly related to CompUSA's neglect in not telling your friend of the PB's status, for selling it as new, etc.

    These problems would have never began had CompUSA been truthful, and because of that, it is entirely, 100%, their responsibility.

    If they think it's a problem with getting it returned, it's their problem, and they should jump through hoops to fix it, not the other way around. They made the mistakes, and it is no ones' responsibility to correct except theirs.

    Although you did not specify, I'm assuming your friend is not on CompUSA's payroll...if this is true, I'd tell her to not do a single thing out of her way to fix this. Sit at home and call people all day long if you have to, threaten legal action, etc...but do NOT settle for anything less than what you deserve, no matter what canned excuse they give.

    I'd personally go in and speak to the manager, mention this thread along with the popularity of the site, and how that does indeed have a direct affect on their reputation, and if they failed to cooperate, I'd keep working my way up until I find someone who cares enough about their job not to risk losing it.

    I wouldn't settle for anything less than a NEW PB (or MacBook Pro) as well as a decent check to make up for the price difference, the gas spent driving to/from their store any number of times, and the other troubles this has caused.

    The customer's skill in detecting previously unwrapped merchandise is not a prerequisite to a satisfactory return on a distrustful sale; if that were the case, every customer would be given a quick skills test before they bought the item.

    Now I don't want to go out on any limbs here, but the OP didn't mention this, so I also presume this did not take place.
     
  9. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

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    Virginia Beach
    #9
    You could always ask for the manager's first born son... :eek:
     
  10. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #10
    Just go for the throat. Tell him his grandma is in your basement, and a new powerbook is the key to the locked door.
     
  11. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
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    Virginia Beach, VA
    #11
    If there's no evidence (other than the registration) that the computer was used, then its a jump to assume CompUSA did anything wrong. It may have never been taken out of the box before your friend opened it.

    At any rate, its still under the original 1 year warranty. Apple will fix it.

    This story still sounds strange to me.
     
  12. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
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    Virginia Beach, VA
    #12
    A hard drive failure is hardly proof of the age of any computer.

    And (if I were the manager) I would laugh at you if you came in demanding a new computer or reimbursement for your travel. Lose you as a customer? Who cares? Customers that always think you owe them free stuff aren't worth the trouble.
     
  13. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
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    Virginia Beach
    #13
    Honestly tho, there is alot more to this. IF it was registered to someone else back in summer of last year thats when the official 1 yr applecare was started. So, she also bought a computer with the 90 day tech support gone and only 6 months of hardware support. The machine was sold to someone, then returned. Probably it was returned within a week or so, and I do believe they can repackage it as new. The problem is they waited 6 months to sell it. What they needed to do was call Apple with the serial # after it was returned to get it wiped from the system as registered so the next person who bought it could.
     
  14. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
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    #14
    That scenario is possible. IF thats what happened, then the difference is whether the first person that bought it ever took it out of the box. If they never took it out of the box, then its not a used laptop. Thats why I'm saying it is usually pretty obvious that the packaging has been disturbed.
     
  15. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #15
    True; but like all things with moving parts, they do wear out, and the likelihood of a failure does increase with time.

    The manager may not care about the customer, but if he/she cares about his job, selling something as new when it is obviously not is something he/she should care about.

    An excellent point was made about the amount of time gone on the warranty; that's part of what you pay for, and if you're not getting all of that, there's no reason you should be paying full price.
     
  16. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
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    Virginia Beach, VA
    #16
    Actually a hard drive is most likely to fail in the first two weeks of operation. After that, the likelihood falls dramatically and only begins rising slowly after several years of use.

    You're right about the warranty. But there are ways of making up for that without giving someone a whole new computer.
     
  17. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #17
    Well whatever it is, it is CompUSA's responsibility to set this right. They need to take the computer back and mark it as defective w/ or w/o the UPC label. I mean honestly, what were they gonna do, sell it to someone else?
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #18

    Glad that you aren't a retail manager, and hope you will never become one.

    Based on the simple facts of this case it seems that CompUSA dropped the ball on a possible return that was old as new.

    Apple in my case has shown they are pretty good at tracking registrations of computer purchases. In my case I bought a Mac Mini soon after their release. Had a total HDD failure during the install process, after an initial boot (at which point I registered the computer). I returned the computer for cash since they had no more at Micro Center at the time.

    Guess what? I got hounded by Apple a couple weeks ago about buying AppleCare for a system I did not own any longer!

    Customers need to be treated with respect. Selling "used" as "new" is unethical and may be illegal depending on the state you are in.

    In this case the manager calling Apple would confirm that the unit was previously registered. And they could then make the customer whole. But no, that manager has now made CompUSA look bad to a whole new group of customers and future customers (as if they needed any help in that).

    Hope that the companies you work for in the future don't let you go after their fumbles in satisfying the customer. Or maybe it would be better for you to understand that with out a customer you wouldn't have a job.
     
  19. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

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    Virginia Beach
    #19
    I have to say tho, on the subject of it being sold as new, I think they had every right to do so as long as it was returned within the dates on their return policy. You can't expect a computer reseller to take a loss everytime someone returns a product they disliked. Alot of companies will sell products that have been returned with no defects as new. I personally would like to have one that hasn't been returned, but thats why I buy off the apple store online and buy CTO.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #20
    We as the consumer can not expect to return items at no charge and not expect to receive used goods in return, when we think we are buying new. But in this case it was registered according to Apple, so it was no longer considered new.
     
  21. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2006
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    Virginia Beach
    #21
    Right, so thats why I said in one of my earlier posts, that CompUSA failed to contact Apple about the return to get the SN# unregistered.
     
  22. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #22
    Well, here's the update.

    I called Apple Customer Relations and verified that the computer was indeed registered in August and manufactured in July. The representative told me that she could not reveal the name of the person that registered it, however she did say it was "in my local area." The Apple rep said that the CompUSA in question was an Apple Certified Service Provider and that they (customer relations) may be able to contact the store directly to help resolve the problem.

    CompUSA's return policy sticker is on the box, however nothing mentioning floor or used model is present.

    The other box materials seem to be intact, but I noticed a slight bulging on the left side of the PowerBook. I asked her if she had dropped it or bumped it, she said no and she noticed that too when she got it home from the store, but it didn't concern her at the time.

    By the way, this is the same store that sold me a printer a year ago that had already been opened, ink cartridges installed and had a piece of paper jammed in the feeder. The box didn't look suspicious to me at the time of purchase. However, I immediately took it back and was refunded.
     
  23. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Yeah....CompUSA.....never again. Once its resolved, which I am sure it will be, sever all ties with that store. >.>
     
  24. Dr. J macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    #24
    I think that you should contact Apple again, and see if they can send proof of when the computer was actually registered. Then I would take the fax or whatever they send you to the manager. I was in Comp USA today, and they had a opened Pb for sale. They were trying to get $1599 out of the PB.
     
  25. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #25
    Here's the kicker about CompUSA. The guy that sold her the PowerBook still works there and he was a former student of hers. He told his manager that he specifically remembers selling her the PowerBook, and that it was supposed to have been new. He even helped her get all of the materials ready for her mail-in-rebates.

    I don't understand why the manager could not have just went to Apple's web site and typed in the serial number. It clearly shows that it was previously registered. UPC code missing or not, she deserves a refund.
     

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