Customer service misled me

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by S600MBUSA, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. S600MBUSA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    I have a defective Macbook Pro battery, and I called Apple Care to have it replaced under warranty.

    They assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. The rep that I talked to asked for a credit card and said that it would be charged if I didn't return the old battery.

    My battery arrived today, and I have arranged for shipment of the old one tomorrow. However, I was very unhappy to see a charge on my checking account (I used a Visa Check Card, which I often use for "credit" transactions) for a little over $131. This number is odd because the letter that came with the new battery says I would be charged $129.00 if the old one wasn't returned.

    Customer service did not make it clear that I would be charged pending the return of the battery.

    :mad:
     
  2. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #2
    Well if you think about it...It makes sense right?
    What if you were a dead beat, and took both batteries, and maxed out your credit cards so apple couldn't charge you?
    It's kinda just common sense that they would do this.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    It might be because you're using a debit card and not a credit card... I think usually they issue a pending charge / authorization, and it remains pending. It should be refunded as soon as they receive the battery, in any event, though.
     
  4. S600MBUSA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    Any business should make clear to its customers what they are going to charge for. I wouldn't have as big of a problem with this if they hadn't done something different than what they said.

    I expect them to charge me if I don't return the battery, but are you telling me they don't have the capability to give me a reasonable amount of time to return the battery and then charge if I don't? I always pay cash for hotel stays, but they require a credit card upfront in case you damage or steal something. I've never been charged because at check-out, I pay my bill, and nothing is damaged.
     
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #5
    I agree that they should warn you, but at the same time, a lot of the battery's that Apple replaces, they could get away with not replacing. I'm not saying that yours was the case, but a lot of companies would probably just call any bulging external damage in be done with it. iThink you are doing a service of warning people that this is what they do, but this is like is stated above just the way debit cards work.
     
  6. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #6
    So you didn't follow their instructions, and then wonder why things didn't go as they said?
     
  7. S600MBUSA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #7
    I think this is a good time to clarify what my issue was, just to make sure everyone knows.

    After 33 charge cycles, my battery is down to 44% health. I can't even get two hours out of a full charge, and when I go down to about "25 minutes remaining," the computer shuts off with no warning and no sleep. I can't even re-calibrate the battery because of this.

    I also noted something odd. I said in my original post that they charged my $129. They actually charged me a little over $131, which I don't understand. The paper that came with today's battery said I'd be charged $129 if I don't return the battery.

    I've temporarily cancelled my shipment of the old battery until I confirm with Apple what exactly the discrepancy is. I fully intend to hold up my end of the deal and return the battery promptly, but I just want an explanation.
     
  8. S600MBUSA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    I use my Visa card for debit and "credit" purchases. It even says "check card" on the front, and no merchant has ever raised an eyebrow when presented with it for a "credit " transaction. Hell, I've even slid it through the electronic terminals as a "credit" card, with no issues.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Calling Apple is absolutely the first thing you should be doing... none of us really know exactly what's going on. Obviously, nor are we able to issue you a refund. :p Good luck!
     
  10. savanahrose macrumors 6502a

    savanahrose

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    greer SC
    #10
    AT&T when I called them on a phone said that if it looked like it was damaged in anyway that they would charge me 150.00. I asked if they were going to tell me first and they said no. So it seems like it is standard practice anyways.
    By the way the phone cost only 100.00. I was livid when they said that they would not notify before the charge so I bought the phone out right for a lessor fee. I didn't trust them, they could have said that I abused my phone and then charged me. Who does not drop their phone every once in awhile?
     
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #11
    Funny...I had that happen to my old powerbook...this is where having Apple Care is real nice...because I didn't...and had replaced the battery 4 times, because of bulging issues...iThought that this was my fault and when I took it to the Genius Bar the 1st time...they said it was cosmetic and user damage and wouldn't replace it. Then it happened on the 15th month on a battery purchased 4 months before, it was not user error, it just happened overnight. Well...Apple's policy is that the battery is based off the computer...so the warranty didn't exist and therefore I had to pay the full price. You still...are really lucky.
     
  12. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #12
    I think what the other poster was trying to get across was that while a debit card with a VISA symbol on it can be used anywhere a credit card is used, its not a credit card and works in a fundamentally different way. It coudl very well be (I'm not sure on this) that they can't place a hold on a debit card, and so they have to charge it. With a regular credit card, they essentially take part of your available credit without actually charging you, but since this isn't a credit card, that may be what caused the problem for you. Hopefully it will be refunded without any problems.
     
  13. S600MBUSA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    That could be the issue, and if it is, I will publicly retract my criticism. Actually, if I could, I'd change my thread title as it was probably a wee bit hasty. I was just a little peeved upon seeing the charge, and I reacted quickly.
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    Where I work, when we pre-authorize a transaction (i.e. simply check the card to see that the amount in question will authorize), if the card is associated with a checking account, the bank may choose to "hold onto" that money, even though we never actually charged anything against the customers account.

    How soon the money frees up for the customer is purely up to the bank. Some do it within 24 hours, others take up to 72 hours.

    Same thing can happen if you reserve a hotel room or a rental car with a debit card.

    Edit: didn't see striders post, .. guess I'm saying pretty much the same thing.
     
  15. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #15
    When they swipe your card at the beginning of a stay, they get an authorization for the full amount plus some. Check out your account online the next day and you'll see the pending auth sitting there, and it reduces your available credit. If you use a debit card, it's actually a hit on your checking account--that's why most hotels have signs on the front desk warning about using debit vs. credit at the beginning of the stay, regardless of how you "cash out."

    At the close of the stay, credit cards can be cleared (the pending auth is cancelled) immediately, but debits have to be refunded, which can take several business days.

    What Apple did is standard merchant practice. Online purchases are the same, even when they say they won't "charge until shipped." There's still a pending authorization.
     
  16. S600MBUSA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #16
    I wasn't aware of those little minutia of card transactions.

    Assuming that's the reason why the charge has shown up, and it appears that it probably is, why is there an approximately two dollar difference in what they said they would be charged for non-return and what actually showed up on the card?
     
  17. Mo Tiggas macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #17
    You've been cheated by apple. That is completely wrong of them to charge you and you should have no problem getting that refunded. However, I'm sure that it was just a little mistake and wasn't intentional...
     
  18. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #18
    That's ok. I'll bet that if you call them, they will take care of you. If not, then come back here, and we will all bitch about them right with you!
     
  19. danvan21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #19
    wow, why don't you just wait a little bit and see if the charge is taken off of your account. If it isn't then come to the forum and tell us but since your battery is still not returned, your crying wolf. You can be mad if they don't give it back but right now you can't
     
  20. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #20
    Pre-auths are commonly rounded up to cover anything from tax to shipping to discount fees, etc. Most hotels are about $50 over the room + tax times the number of days. Sounds like yours was 1% rounded up to the next dollar, you'd have to ask Apple what the precise reason was. In any case, as soon as they get the old battery back, it'll be back on your account--in full--within a few days. Make sure you have all the shipping & tracking info! If you're really paranoid, you can pay a little extra for signature delivery.
     
  21. iHerzeleid macrumors 6502a

    iHerzeleid

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #21
    Apple recently changed their policy. It used to be that if you didn't return the product, they would charge you after they gave the customer time to ship it back. Apple is taking more precautions now. They charge the customer, and remove the charge once they get delivery confirmation of the part coming back to Apple.
     
  22. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #22
    If this is true, then it sounds like the OP was indeed mis-informed on the phone of the correct policy.
     
  23. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    Having recently gone through a battery exchange, I can tell you that Apple DOES so a pre-authorization hold to make sure that they get paid if you don't return the old battery.

    On a credit card, it's no big deal. In this case, a pre-auth to your debit card is likely the culprit.

    As for the $2 discrepancy, perhaps you're being charged for shipping? Or, what is $129 multiplied by your local tax rate? And finally, why is $2 and change such a big deal when you won't be paying it?
     
  24. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #24
    actually if your using a debit card, even a gift card, if you read the info that came with your card it says that if you use it to pay for something, or just to secure a purchase, retailers will actually hold the amount against your account and it takes 2-7 days to clear it.
     
  25. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    MD/VA/DC
    #25
    I've done this with defective RAM I bought from a 3rd-party. They charged my account and when they received my returned shipment my account was credited back. I think you'd call this normal practice in these situations.
     

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