Apple's decision regarding Mac Mini BTO option pricing is immoral and unethical

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
Apple has just dropped the prices significantly for BTO options on the new Mac Mini (US only apparently):
http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/01/20050125124129.shtml

The value of these options has not significantly changed in the past two weeks. This appears to be an attempt by Apple to gouge the Mac fanatics they knew would buy right away and buy with a lot of extras added. After all the early adopters (the ones most likely to max them out) got their computers, they dropped the insane prices on the BTO options before too many people realized how insane they actually were.

Even if they do offer to pay the difference to those who bought one earlier, most will not even be aware of the BTO options price drop, and will possibly be out over a hundred dollars or more. This is blatantly unethical behavior by Apple, and unless Apple can provide a solution to this problem and prove what happened was not an intentional way to squeeze more money out of the initial surge of customers, my current mac will by my last.

*has no time for capitalists*
 

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edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
johnnowak said:
This is blatantly unethical behavior by Apple, and unless Apple can provide a solution to this problem and prove what happened was not an intentional way to squeeze more money out of the initial surge of customers, my current mac will by my last.

*has no time for capitalists*
I understand what you're saying. But how does never buying a Mac again (and presumably using Windows/Linux) hurt anyone but you?
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
Well it hurts Apple. They're not getting my money.

Besides... It's a moral issue. If people don't "vote" with their dollars, then we have absolutely no control over what corporations do. If you buy whatever is the cheapest or best for you, then don't complain when companies like Wal*Mart start destroying the country. Just because Wal*Mart's products are the cheapest doesn't mean I can morally justify buying stuff from them. Same for Apple. If they're going to take advantage of consumers, I cannot morally justify giving them any money.

Besides, NetBSD runs fine on my Powerbook.
 

TheMac19

macrumors regular
May 13, 2004
171
0
Pitt
johnnowak said:
This appears to be an attempt by Apple to gouge the Mac fanatics [...who...] will not even be aware of the BTO options price drop, and will possibly be out over a hundred dollars or more. This is blatantly unethical behavior by Apple,
Funny, I would lean towards saying that "Mac fanatics" WOULD be aware of the price drop, and most would be aware of Apple's price protection policy. We don't yet know apple's rationale or response, but certainly many "fanatics" have already phoned apple regarding the pricing issue - as shown in the first thread on the subject.

It is an interesting move to say the least. there was another thread about the airport/bluetooth integration, which explain that price drop quite succinctly.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
Apple take the piss out of their customers all the time. Hell, the prices they charge pretty much everyone outside the US for anything is a rip off to what you guys have to pay. They promise 3GHz, and don't deliver. They take FOREVER to deliver any new product, and the list goes on. I just don't see why you've taken this long to fly off the handle if morals are so important to you.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57


People complained about the price of the BTO options, and he get's mad.


What a nimrod, Apple did what the consumer asked...

People can take advantage of Apple's Price Protection plan if their BTO machine shipped within 10 days of the price change -- but these people will probably spend all their time mad an miss out on the 14 days from shipment cutoff for claiming their rebate.

Either that, or they'll be plain lazy and miss out.
PRICES
The Apple Store endeavors to offer you competitive prices on current Apple products and selected Sale and Apple Certified Reconditioned products. Your total order price will include the price of the product (on the day of shipping) plus any applicable sales tax and shipping charges. Apple reserves the right to change prices for products displayed at the Apple Store at any time.

Should Apple reduce its price on any shipped product within 10 calendar days of shipment, you may contact Apple Sales Support at 1-800-676-2775 to request a refund or credit of the difference between the price you were charged and the current selling price. To receive the refund or credit you must contact Apple within 14 business days of shipment.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
TheMac19 said:
Funny, I would lean towards saying that "Mac fanatics" WOULD be aware of the price drop, and most would be aware of Apple's price protection policy. We don't yet know apple's rationale or response, but certainly many "fanatics" have already phoned apple regarding the pricing issue - as shown in the first thread on the subject.

It is an interesting move to say the least. there was another thread about the airport/bluetooth integration, which explain that price drop quite succinctly.
If there is a reason for it, fine. I'm not sure how you explain the RAM price changes though. Or the hard drives.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
edesignuk said:
Apple take the piss out of their customers all the time. Hell, the prices they charge pretty much everyone outside the US for anything is a rip off to what you guys have to pay. They promise 3GHz, and don't deliver. They take FOREVER to deliver any new product, and the list goes on. I just don't see why you've taken this long to fly off the handle if morals are so important to you.
I'm an American. I'm good at ignoring the injustices committed by leaders of groups I am part of.

100,000 Iraqis are dead. I still pay taxes to give the military more money to kill more arabs. Compared to that, I'm surprised I have the energy to get pissed at Apple at all.

(This is a personal justification for edesignuk. Please do not turn this into a political thread and get it locked.)
 

Laslo Panaflex

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2003
1,292
0
Tokyo
Has anyone even called and asked if you could be refunded if you paid the old BTO prices for your addons? Maybe Apple will refund you, if not send it back, pay the restocking fee then reorder, I bet you still we be better off price wise, even with the restocking fee.

Also, maybe Apple lowered the BTO prices becuase not many people were upgrading the mini's and just getting them stock, I know my work got a stock one because the prices were too high. Or maybe Apple is just making up for the now 3-4 week wait for the mini by lowering the BTO prices. Sure, the people that have them NOW paid more than the people that don't but that's what you get when you are an early adopter . . .

Really, I don't see how lowering prices is a bad thing, and if I got a maxed out mini, and they changed the prices, I would contact apple and see what options I have for compensation, not complaining on a message board.

p.s. if you have no time for capitalists, you should remove yourself from western civilization as we know it. :rolleyes:
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
What a nimrod, Apple did what the consumer asked...

I'm hardly a nimrod. The initial prices were nothing but insane. Over $450 for 1GB RAM?! They were taking advantage of customers who didn't know better, or those who worship Apple and really wanted a new maxed out Mac Mini.

People can take advantage of Apple's Price Protection plan if their BTO machine shipped within 10 days of the price change -- but these people will probably spend all their time mad an miss out on the 14 days from shipment cutoff for claiming their rebate.

For those who do not regularly check rumors sites (most Mac buyers) and for those who do not check the Apple store to see if there were unannounced price changes daily (just about everyone), how are they going to know? This attitude of, "If they don't know, screw em!" is just as disgusting as Apple's actions.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
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New York, New York
wordmunger said:
You're right. It's unethical and immoral to ever decrease prices. The people who bought the items before the price cuts might feel bad. :rolleyes:
Consider the context for christ's sake. They cut prices two weeks after it was introduced, right after the initial shipments went out. There is NO reason why this should happen unless it was an intentional maneuver to sucker more money out of the early adopters.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
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Laslo Panaflex said:
Has anyone even called and asked if you could be refunded if you paid the old BTO prices for your addons? Maybe Apple will refund you, if not send it back, pay the restocking fee then reorder, I bet you still we be better off price wise, even with the restocking fee.
This is not the point. Apple giving money back to those people that happened to notice that they were being taken advantage of doesn't make Apple's actions any less excusable.

p.s. if you have no time for capitalists, you should remove yourself from western civilization as we know it. :rolleyes:
It was tongue in cheek. Keep your eyes in your head please.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Rants at MacRumors...

Almost as disgusting as the smell of SPAM getting incinerated by the mods.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Crying over a couple of dollars is such a waste of time; there are greater things to worry about. This reminds me of some guy from Creative Cow who hollered and scream and shouted never to use Macs again because he felt he shouldn't have to pay for what he thought were point upgrades to OSX. When Apple started charging for 10.2, the guy flew off his handle, swearing never to use Apple products again. Well, we know where he ended up.
 

TheMac19

macrumors regular
May 13, 2004
171
0
Pitt
johnnowak said:
If there is a reason for it, fine. I'm not sure how you explain the RAM price changes though. Or the hard drives.
Maybe they dropped the prices so quickly so that everyone who ordered a mini COULD get their money back if they wanted to... If Apple had waited another 2 weeks to drop the prices, the initial burst of buyers would be stuck just outside price-protection territory, and left with no recourse. (and probably would be angrily venting on boards here too...) This way everyone wins with lower prices - with the exception of those who don't notice. (And what they don't know won't hurt them, they still have wonderful new machines, and were presumably quite happy paying the prices they paid at the time!)

Apple certainly watches all these mac boards... (what a great resource for free, real world R&D and focus group studies!) They probably realised that nobody was buying $400 sticks of ram for a $500 machine, and came to the simple conclusion that if they dropped the price of their 1gig RAM stick, loads more people would buy it, plus it would cut down on the number of people sticking putty knives inside their new mini's on day one, just to insert cheap ram. Indeed, maybe their larger hard drives weren't moving as quickly as they'd hoped either.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
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New York, New York
Lacero said:
Crying over a couple of dollars is such a waste of time; there are greater things to worry about. This reminds me of some guy from Creative Cow who hollered and scream and shouted never to use Macs again because he felt he shouldn't have to pay for what he thought were point upgrades to OSX. When Apple started charging for 10.2, the guy flew off his handle, swearing never to use Apple products again. Well, we know where he ended up.
In that case, the guy had no idea what he was talking about. However, in this case, if it becomes very obvious that Apple was blatantly taking advantage of their most trusting and loyal customers, that's a very different story.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
johnnowak said:
Consider the context for christ's sake. They cut prices two weeks after it was introduced, right after the initial shipments went out. There is NO reason why this should happen unless it was an intentional maneuver to sucker more money out of the early adopters.
Prices fluctuate DAILY in the computer world. Apple had no idea the level of demand they would have for the mini. Perhaps they had a contract with suppliers for discounts after they reached a certain number of units. They couldn't reasonably price the computers that low until they reached that number. There are LOTS of reasons to do this. Given the high demand, Apple could have easily just kept the high prices, but they chose to lower them. Consumers who are upset can complain to the company and will likely be given a refund. Others are presumably happy with their purchases.
 

johnnowak

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Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
TheMac19 said:
Maybe they dropped the prices so quickly so that everyone who ordered a mini COULD get their money back if they wanted to... If Apple had waited another 2 weeks to drop the prices, the initial burst of buyers would be stuck just outside price-protection territory, and left with no recourse. (and probably would be angrily venting on boards here too...) This way everyone wins with lower prices - with the exception of those who don't notice. (And what they don't know won't hurt them, they still have wonderful new machines, and were presumably quite happy paying the prices they paid at the time!)
I'm not ready to write them off yet. I'm waiting for more information. Just to clarify.

I'm not too optimistic however.
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
wordmunger said:
Prices fluctuate DAILY in the computer world. Apple had no idea the level of demand they would have for the mini. Perhaps they had a contract with suppliers for discounts after they reached a certain number of units. They couldn't reasonably price the computers that low until they reached that number.
Ram isn't exactly in low supply nowadays. If *we* can get it for $230, I see no reason why apple was charging $450+. Be reasonable.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,570
2,660
Bay Area
Did the early shoppers know what they were getting? Yes.

Did they choose to pay the money anyway? Yes.

Is what they paid for any less functional today because the same thing can now be had for less? No.

Early buyers of the mini were not tricked, not deceived, not conned. They knew what they were getting and what it cost. Whether or not apple dropped the price two weeks later has no impact on those early buyers whatsoever.

It's time that people learned that Apple is a BUSINESS, which means they are interested in MAKING MONEY. They will raise and lower prices in ways that help them make money just like any other business. And they haven't even *approached* the "unethical" line here.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,817
37
Andover, MA
Let me see if I have this right:

Many, many, many people decided to buy a mini with upgrades. Anyone who did so thought that the price was reasonable enough to buy the system. Some of those upgrades are now cheaper. Anyone who ordered a mini qualifies for a rebate, as, of course, none of them had shipped ten days ago. Most people will get, say, the better DVD burner because that's the part they're using now. Automatically. And they'll likely get charged less. Automatically.

So, basically, Apple lowered prices soon enough so that everyone who ever bought a mini would qualify for a refund, instead of waiting, say, 10 more days to screw the early adopters.

They also improved at least two of the options (faster burner, all-in-one AE/BT board).

I guess I am failing to see what is wrong here.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I'm really disappointed that Apple would produce a computer that was reasonably-priced and finally figure out that the BTO options were not so reasonably-priced and adjust them downward. :D

After all the people who complain about Apple, this is a step in the right direction, especially if they refund money as quietly as they changed prices. :)
 

johnnowak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 24, 2003
498
1
New York, New York
jsw said:
So, basically, Apple lowered prices soon enough so that everyone who ever bought a mini would qualify for a refund, instead of waiting, say, 10 more days to screw the early adopters
We don't know about that yet though. If that's the case, fine.

P.S. Nice avatar.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
1
LaLaLand, CA
Wow, I thought you were kidding.

Well, if you do decide to go WinTel, I'm sure you'll be fine. It's not like prices fluctuate at all on that side. :rolleyes: * Apple just lowered prices BTO on an item that's almost impossible to get unless it's stock. I somehow doubt anyone is going to be too pissed over $40 to stop enjoying their new Mini.

* (complain about the :rolleyes: all you want, but be prepared to get a lot of them)