Apple's Return Policy on BTO sucks...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cmvsm, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #1
    I purposely bought my BTO 27" iMac from Apple online, so that I could take it to my local Apple store in the event of any issues.

    Well, now there is a screen issue, so I call Applecare, they do some simple tests, and then say its a hardware issue, and I need to take it to my local Apple store.

    So I'm thinking that they could go ahead and take my i7 back at the store, and I'd go ahead and exchange it for an i5, thus saving $200 and getting away from the headache of waiting for an i7 replacement since they don't carry them in the store.

    I get told that since it is a BTO model, that the Apple store cannot return it, and I have to wait 2-3 weeks for a replacement. That's the biggest bunch of sh**t that I've ever heard. Apple genius told me its been that way for the last 5 years. From a business standpoint, this is ridiculous, as Apple is incurring unnecessary shipping costs, more labor hours handing the issue, and the slight possibility of pissing off the customer royally.

    Next time I'll buy from a 3rd party retailer, save the tax, as if there is a problem, I'll have to send it away anyway.
     
  2. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #2
    Shipping costs: You ship it back vs. the Apple store ships it back. Either way, Apple is spending money shipping it wherever BTO returns need to go.

    More labor hours: Dealing directly with Applecare CSR vs. Applecare CSR and Apple Store reps. Don't see where the extra labor hours are coming from.

    Possibility of pissing off the customer < Keeping the extra cash they pocketed from the BTO order.

    Seems to me like Apple's thought their BTO policy out pretty well.
     
  3. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    Wait let me get this straight, you expect Apple to take back a BTO computer that is specifically designed for you and do an exchange. If you wanted to save the 200 why not just buy a regular of the shelf model. It costs Apple money to have it shipped to your direct from the factory. Why would they eat that charge?
     
  4. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #4
    I agree with MacNut.

    You should have though it all over before you bought it. Although there was an issue with it, this is the same with most other companies (Such as Windows Machines)... Although it would have been more of a paint because there is no local store for those if you bought it online.
     
  5. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #5
    I'm sorry to hear that you ran into a problem. That totally stinks.

    It doesn't take 2-3 weeks to get a replacement iMac. Call Applecare and they will ship you one overnight.

    Bryan
     
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #6
    You bought a custom computer specifically to take it back to the Apple Store?

    I agree with the above posts, you have to understand and expect this. The other problem might be that given the current limited quantities - giving you a new computer is probably not something that makes a whole lot of sense right now.
     
  7. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #7
    They would need to have a BTO 2.8GHz iMac in stock with the same configuration as the OP's to ship one out to him overnight.
     
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
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    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #8
    Agreed. The reason I imagine that it is taking so long to get a replacement is simply because they don't have one, because it's BTO and there is a general shortage as it is.
     
  9. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #9
    I would venture to say that Apple gets a much better deal freight wise when sending multiple machines to say an Apple store, than it does sending one to me via LTL. So in essence, it would be a much better deal for them to exchange it for me in the store, and send it back on a truck that is already delivering to them. I can see that you don't have much freight line experience. That's expected.

    The extra labor hours includes me having to deal with an Applecare Rep, then an Applecare Genius, and now I'll have to call an Applecare Rep again to get something scheduled. One extra step and communication that is unnecessary.

    They may keep the cash this time, but if this is the standard, I'll buy standard config next time from a 3rd party. Guess Apple won't get the long term direct purchase, as I've made quite a few.

    If you Special Order something, say from a store like Home Depot. If the item is defective, you simply return it for a refund. They don't have you take the defective item home, call them the next business day, arrange for a pickup, and then send you another one. There is a reason for that, as its highly inefficient method of servicing the customer and a waste of resources.

    That's the point. There should be an advantage to buying online when you are dealing directly with the manufacturer, especially if they have company stores. This should be a key selling point for Apple. Why would you have a company store that cannot service all of your customers, retail, online, or otherwise?

    As far as Windows machines are concerned, there are no company stores from which to exchange an online purchase, so of course you are going to have to deal via mail order.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #10
    When you buy BTO you are not dealing with the store. They don't have your machine in stock so how can they give you a replacement. If you buy BTO that machine is spec'd out just for you and nobody else so how can they just take it back. If you have a problem with it you have to send it back to the factory not the Apple store.
     
  11. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    Not really. I've bought Macs from Apple directly, and from Joe Bob off of Craigslist and gotten the same level of service...
     
  12. MasterDev macrumors 65816

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    Sep 14, 2009
    #12
    MacNut reads my mind. This is exactly what I was trying to get at.
     
  13. Freis968 macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Winter Park, Florida
    #13
    Sorry to hear about your problems.

    I guess you and I are the minority here that you should be a satisfied customer. I think Apple should be bending their ass over backwards and give you what you want.

    These are the days of "easy" returns ala Walmart, Target, etc...Apple should be no exception!!!

    Apple can easily take this BTO machine and sell it as a refurb, someone will buy it!
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Location:
    CT
    #14
    If he didn't want a BTO why did he buy one in the first place?:confused: Apple can't sell a BTO as a refurb without taking a huge hit. Why would they sell something built to order at a loss?
     
  15. Freis968 macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

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    #15
    He did want the BTO, didn't you read his post?
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #16
    So why would he take the lesser machine at the Apple store?
     
  17. Freis968 macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

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    Winter Park, Florida
    #17
    He wanted to save the money and not have to go through the hassle of reordering another BTO.
     
  18. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #18
    So why not do that first and save the money? Instead he went BTO and waited 2 weeks.
     
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #19
    You have to remember that they are separate stores, no matter how logical it is. Apple Retail Stores & Apple's Online Store are two separate entities.

    That's there job. The other alternative is some Genius having to customize your machine in-store, which may or may not be possible.

    You are still giving them money, as nasty as this may sound: one customer - not going to matter.

    This is answered above. You also have to remember that there are limited quantities. You can complain all you wish, but this is how BTO works, Apple doesn't hide this from anyone and it's not like they are being uniquely obnoxious to you, it's how they operate.
     
  20. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #20
    Man, you guys are unbelievable! So Apple should not service the customer in a way that he finds acceptable? You guys are such hardcore Apple apologists that you embarrass yourselves!

    Here is a question...why is selecting an i7 processor vs an i5 even considered BTO? Absurd. The i7 is 90 dollars more than the i5 (at retail, Apple chooses to make a further 110 profit off the unknowing mass public), and fits the exact same socket. Apples policy on this is absurd and insulting to people's intelligence. No version of the iMac is TRULY "BTO." It's simply a different chip, or HD. Either of which SHOULD be able to be changed out, unless they are soldering the cpu to the board, and even THEN it's the exact same socket.

    I can't believe you guys let Apple screw you over and then you defend them. It's like the abused woman who insists her guy "loves" her.
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #21
    So why did he buy a BTO in the first place if he could just put the faster chip in himself?

    Apple is not going to put faster hardware in every machine. They would never have reasonable prices. People have different needs and want BTO options.
     
  22. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #22
    No, the OP should have realized what he was getting into when ordering BTO. It's the way that things are done, it's not like they are screwing him in a uniquely worse manner. The terms are clearly stated, sometimes Apple makes exceptions for the customer, but the general shortage of these machines and the BTO nature makes this exception unlikely.

    Wow, Apple making money. I can't wait to see what you have to say about their mark-up on ram.

    Don't compare the OP's service complaints to domestic abuse. The responses are above.
     
  23. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #23
    Apple gets the same deal on freight for 1 package as they do 10 shipping to or from the Apple Store. Their freight costs are based on overall annual volume. Additionally, they probably very rarely ship stuff to their stores via LTL shipments (unless during a store opening, but that may even be via full truck service). LTL is pallet load shipping at minimum and takes much longer (in relative terms) than small parcel such as FedEx and UPS.

    Apple is very keen when it comes to freight costs. They have recently purchased upwards of 60% of United Airlines cargo capacity coming from Asia (specifically China and probably specifically Shanghai).

    If you look at their margins and listen to their quarterly filings, freight costs are almost never mentioned. I doubt they are overly concerned about freight costs on some products that are not working properly.
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #24
    What do you think a "direct purchase" is. You did a BTO that came right from the factory. Not the Apple store or a warehouse somewhere.
     
  25. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #25
    You pretty much proved my original point, to wit. And obviously domestic abuse is much more serious than computers, but Apple does in fact "abuse" their customers. And yes, Apple's markup on RAM borders on completely criminal. Again, they take advantage of ignorant customers who simply do not know any better.

    I still can't believe people defend them in this way. They truly have a brainwashed consumer base.
     

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