Buying online vs retail apple store

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by erure, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. erure macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Hello, this is my first time posting a new thread. I've been searching for answers on the forums since yesterday and haven't found something that answers my questions exactly, so here goes.

    I am planning on buying the higher end MacBook Pro 15-inch, but with the antiglare display. The problem is, I've always purchased Macs at retail apple stores and I'm hesitant to buy online. However, it seems that none of the retail apple stores carry antiglare models (some stores did have the 17-inch antiglare model but not 15-inch) and they all tell me that they don't know when they will be in stock. I think it will be faster to buy from the online apple store at this point, but I am paranoid about dead pixels. I've had a dead pixel on an iMac before and I was able to get an exchange without paying the 10% restocking fee, but it was not easy (this was from the retail apple store). I chatted with a representative of the online apple store, and she said that antiglare MacBook Pros count as custom configuration -- this means that I won't be able to exchange or ask for a return unless they are DOA, right? I just feel that the retail apple stores are more lenient with their return/exchange policies based on individual cases compared to the online apple store.

    So should I just buy from the online apple store and take a chance, or wait for the retail apple stores to have the antiglare models in stock? The retail stores all told me that they do not know if they'll ever have antiglare models in stock, so I don't know how long I will have to wait... It's just that antiglare MBPs count as CTO from the online apple store, so on the chance that I will have to return/exchange, it won't happen unless the computer arrives DOA. I don't want to end up being stuck with a MacBook Pro with one dead pixel that I won't be able to get an exchange for, because I purchased it online. The representative I chatted with online said that apple will make sure everything's "perfect," but I have doubts to say the least...
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You are correct that you won't be able to walk in and exchange a CTO machine for a new one if there are dead pixels. However, you will be able to get it repaired under AppleCare- it will just involve sending your machine in and having them send it back to you.
  3. erure thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thank you for your post. I understand that the retail apple store and online apple store are very different and do not work together (i.e. buy online, return at retail unless you have approval from AppleCare beforehand, etc). I was wondering if I did purchase an antiglare model from online apple store (counts as CTO regrettably) and it had a dead pixel or some minor issue that I was dissatisfied with, will I be able to ask for an exchange within 14 days or does the online apple store never allow return/exchange unless the computer arrives DOA? I'm sorry that my question is very confusing and particular... :(
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You can ask for an exchange but you probably won't get one. They'll almost certainly force you to accept a repair under AppleCare. However if you're polite and persistent enough about it on the phone and you call immediately after you open the box you might be able to swing a full replacement.

    The "no returns on CTO machines to the physical stores" policy is probably because they often won't have the proper configuration in stock, and don't want to deal with things on a case-by-case basis even if they do have the model. It's easier just to tell everyone to go away :p
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I think the odds of a single dead pixel are pretty damn small. million to 1?

    And you better call and ask --from everything I have ever read it takes at *least* 3 dead pixels to call the screen defective.

    And they will repair it.

    I dunno why everyone (on these forums it seems) is on the "its got a teeny-tiny XXX, REPLACE IT!" bandwagon.

    Probably getting worried over nothing.
  6. erure thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    I spoke with another representative by chatting online, and apparently apple has recently changed their return policy -- they now allow you to return/exchange computers even if they are CTO as long as it's within 14 days. The representative even told me that you can return at the retail apple store too. Amazing! :D

    Thank you for all the help :)
  7. Jaden01 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    Buying and shopping online has become very popular in recent years. As per me buying online is better than buying at stores, as online products are cheaper with much larger selection of goods. But still, there are a number of scams that you need to be wary of online.
  8. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    the karma in the forums suck lately...

    The tenor and tone ALL over the forums is the same mostly. In the iMac threads someone wanted everyone to list all the problems, so they could make a checklist when they were scrutinizing their new machine so they could discover defects, real or imagined. Everyone is so primed to hate their new purchases before it even arrives, geeze... go buy something else will ya, lol.

    One dead pixel out of millions? Yikes... folks need to chill.
  9. Giuly macrumors 68040


    You don't really want to replace an Apple CTO at the moment, I guess.

    Anyways, if I remember correctly, there was some clause that you could only repair it via AppleCare if it had at least X dead pixels.

    And you can return a Mac 14 days after purchase with full refund without questions - whether it's DOA or not, whether bought online or not.

    Also, you can just walk into any Apple Store with your under-AppleCare-Mac and have it fixed, whether bought online or not.
  10. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2009
    Coachella, CA
    I agree that everyone is so worried that something will be wrong. They are still computers, and they will have some percentage of defects or fail rates. I agree that I wanted both my purchases to be the best of the best since I was paying quite a bit more for Apple than I could have for another brand. I am comfortable with the premium because I know what I am paying for. This being said, Apple seems to be strict, but I have heard about more situations where they took care of the customer than for almost any other brand. The fact that someone could walk or talk their way into a replacement after the return policy in lieu of warranty repairs is awesome as long as it is appropriate.
  11. anon.ymous macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    are you sure about the local apple store not having the AG display? my local store has the AG on the 15 inch in stock, but only in the i7 model.
  12. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    And can you get the Academic discount on in store purchases?
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some stores have them, some don't. Just call your local store to find out.

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