Advice Required: Refurbished gone wrong

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yinz, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    So I bought a Refurbished 2011 MacBook Air three days ago. It arrived yesterday in the afternoon, and when I tried to turn it on, it made a bleep noise and then nothing happened. I brought it to the genius bar and they had their go, but they couldn't get it working. They said that the online store was separate from the Apple Store, so they couldn't do anything about it unless it was 14 days after the purchase. So I called the online store help line and they said they have to refund it and I have to purchase it again if I want a replacement because they don't keep stock. Also, their refund will take up to 30 days. My question is:

    Is it possible to just wait out the 14 days and get the Apple Store to replace it?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Jazper macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Don't risk it, If it's refurbished I'm sure they wouldn't replace it...
  3. derrranged macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Don't wait. The return policy is 14 days from the date of purchase. The physical store can accept your return, but they do not have refurbished items at all. Those are only available online. If you purchased with a credit card, obviously if you bought it online, it'll go back on your card like any other refund would…. likely within a day or two….5 business days on the outside.

    Alternatively, you could return it at the store for an apple gift card in the amount of your return and use that to buy your replacement from the online store, using one of the apple store's computers before you even left if you wanted to. Or start your purchase at home and save your cart. Go in, make your return, get gift card, use mac, retrieve cart, pay with gift card, go home and stare longingly into the sky while you wait for the email telling you that your replacement is waiting for your pickup back at the store a few days later.

    :) There are options. But don't risk the 14 day limit.
  4. yinz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    Thanks for the replies. I've returned it and they've returned my money, so I could in buy another one. Hopefully the second refurb won't be like the first. The lady over the phone suggested I buy new implying less faults with a new product over refurbished one. Any thoughts on this? I've always thought refurbished was safer to buy.
  5. Atlast3000 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    Generally I've head nothing but good things about refurbs; your story is a rarity. I wouldn't be concerned about buying another one as even a brand new Mac can be a lemon. Still, the inconvenience blows.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    This. I buy almost all of Apple Accessories refurbished and have had several friends buy refurbed from Apple. This is really about the first time I have heard of a refurb not working. Just like new, refurbs can fail too.
  7. RUGERMAN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Agree, I've bought my last 2 Macs an Iphone and an Ipad refurbished and all perfect, indistinguishable from new.
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    She was probably referring to the a) selection that stays stable when buying new, and b) the ease of replacement should you get another problem machine.

    There is always the chance that you can't get the same model again when you buy the refurbished version.

    I've always believed that refurbished are as good as new, and make the majority of my purchases there.
  9. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Mountains of N. California
    I have purchased 3 iMacs, an MBA and 2 iPod touches over the years as refurbs and have never had any problem at all. I have been using Apple computers since Apple II in 1982 and have never had a problem with any of them! This forum have many people complaining, many rightly so, but it is a very small minority of the overall number who have no problems. What's the point of posting everything works well? This is the place for problems and all the really fine people who help solve these problems do so willingly and so well. Buy your refurb MBA and keep checking with this forum and you will learn much.;)
  10. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    Refurbs or new you take a chance

    glad the OP got their refund

    I had 2 refurb iMacs fail and one new iMac fail in 2010, so I can vouch for the odds. I think it is a little easier to return a refurb rather than a new faulty machine (unless the problem is obvious), but it is a crap shoot.

    If I try refurbs again, it will probably be MBAs, iPads and Apple accessories, presently I can't justify the price for an MBA even with the price drop and EDU discount.
  11. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended


    Jun 6, 2005
    Universe 0 Timeline
    I'm confused by their response given that the Apple Store says:

    "We test and certify all Apple refurbished products and include a 1-year warranty."

    A warranty implies that you should get a replacement if they can't repair the refurbished unit. And if they don't have a direct replacement in stock, they should give you the equivalent new model.

    edit: Warranty for MBA:
  12. garylapointe macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    I love refurb anything. (I don't buy refurb hard drives, it's only got one function and if someone returned it for a problem, I don't want it.)

    I feel that when manufacturing products they don't fully test every unit. But I feel that refurbs get everything double-checked since they want to have a good rep at the refurb store....

    I've never felt that a warranty IMPLIES that you will get a replacement, just that they will get you working/fixed/replace a part. Is there a particular line of the warranty you are referring to?

    Yours was DOA so it's a little different and still in the return time-line, plus they didn't have refurbs for you.

  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Yeah, I'm surprised about the response from the Genius Bar as well. It should have been an option for the OP to leave his Air there for repair.

    Having said that, when I worked at Apple Retail, you were pretty much guaranteed a fight with a customer if you suggested that they leave a newly purchased product at the Genius Bar for a couple of days so it could be repaired. The customer's expectation was almost always that it should be swapped out (on the spot) with another new one. So maybe this Genius thought that's what the OP wanted (and immediate replacement vs. leaving it for repair). Had it not have been a refurb/BTO, the store could have done the immediate replacement.
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Whatever you buy, things can go wrong (and it seems in your case the problem was fixed quickly). The same thing can happen with a brand new computer as well. Also, whenever you buy a refurbished product that has just been updated, chances are excellent that what you buy is actually brand new - all the brand new 2011 models that haven't been sold are now being sold as "refurbished".
  15. yinz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    Yes, that's what I wanted to say.

    Me too. I've bought a refurbished iPod Touch and it was flawless. I thought the Macbook Air would be the same. Well, I'm trying again, so hopefully it's good. I agree though, new machines are easier to replace. I got my iPad replaced from them and it was much easier than getting this refurbished machine replaced.

    Yeah, I'm so surprised. I didn't think I'd get a lemon on the first try. Is there anyway to verify that it was new?
  16. yinz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    Problem solved, I just got another refurb, and it works great. They were pretty quick about it.

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