Did Apple take away my free $100 gift card in an exchange?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 12dylan34, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. 12dylan34, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

    12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Yesterday, I went in to the Apple Store to exchange my recently purchased rMBP for one of the new models that came out. It wasn't a huge bump, but it was $100 cheaper, and the type of stuff I do with my machine can benefit from a little spec boost.

    I originally bought the returned machine online, I used my education discount, and was issued a $100 gift card, as per the back to school promotion. This is billed, for whatever reason, by taking an additional $100 off the price of the machine, then charging me $100 for the gift card separately.

    When I went in to exchange it, I was credited ONLY the price of the machine, and not the additional $100 charge of the gift card. In essence, this makes it just like I paid for the gift card.

    This would be just fine, but I also was not issued a new gift card. So unless my logic is off, I no longer have a free gift card, because I was charged for my old one, and I didn't get a new one, correct?

    For what it's worth in understanding this, even though the new machine is $100 cheaper than the old one, I ended up not receiving any sort of refund at all, and had to pay up a bit because of sales tax differences.

    If anyone wants to point out an error in my reasoning, then please do, but I've consulted with a few friends about this, and they agree with me.

    Here's a breakdown of what I'm talking about, with real numbers:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Were you credited the whole price of the machine, or the price minus $100?
     
  3. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The price minus $100.
     
  4. Arran, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

    Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #4
    Did you return the $100 gift card? Had you spent any of it's value?

    When making the original online purchase, did you get an educational discount in addition to the $100 gift card - or was the gift card, itself, the educational discount?

    It would help with understanding if you show a complete breakdown of prices/discounts/gift cards/etc for the purchase and the return.

    Bear in mind, however, that the back-to-school promotion often appears to be a way for Apple to clear out last-year's models (at a discount). Don't expect any discount on a just-released model.
     
  5. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oh, wait. The new machine is not any cheaper than the old one. The prices stayed the same, they only increased the RAM and the processor speed slightly.
     
  6. Totally macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #6
    I just had this explained to me.

    If you buy the computer for lets say $1500 and you get a $100 gift card. Then you spend the $100 gift card and want to return the computer, you only get $1400 back. Cause you spent the gift card... You'd have to have spent 0 from the gift card to get all $1500 back.

    It's to prevent people from buying laptops just to use the $100 gift card for free and then return the laptop...

    They said the same policy works for exchanges, if you spent money from the gift card, you don't get the full back. You get the price - what you spent on the gift card.
     
  7. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Isn't them charging me for the gift card in the form of crediting me less, then not giving me a new gift card wight he exchange the same as just not getting anything for free, though?

    The gift card is now just something that I've bought with money, and I also don't have a new free gift card.

    ----------

    The highest end model ended up being $100 cheaper, but you're right that the rest stayed the same.
     
  8. Totally macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #8
    Correct. The gift card is something you've bought with money now. I think that's how it works. Wait for someone else to chime in.
     
  9. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    What people aren't realizing, is that it doesn't matter if I've spent the gift card - I paid for it in full when they credited me $100 less for my return.

    Pair that with them not giving me a new one with the new machine, and I think that the guy that helped me at the Apple Store has made an error.
     
  10. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #10
    Write everything down (with prices) and give us something to work with. You're claiming the arithmetic is wrong but aren't providing complete evidence.

    Alternatively, go back to the store and argue it with them. I'm not sure what else to tell you.
     
  11. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I broke down the prices here. I didn't mention the sales tax difference in my original post for simplicity, but I've included it in the breakdown.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #12
    We have two stores here, in different counties.

    Store A had an offer: Buy a Mac, get a free gift card. They implement this by giving you a Mac at $100 below the official price, and selling you a gift card separately. If you decided to return the Mac, you would only get the reduced price back. That's quite obvious, because otherwise anyone wanting a free $100 gift card would buy a Mac, get a free gift card, return the Mac, keep the gift card.

    It seems that Store B didn't have the same offer. Your "exchange" is really returning a Mac, followed by buying a different Mac. If that new Mac didn't itself come with an offer of a free gift card, you are not going to get one. Store A was giving out free gift cards, but you rejected that offer. Store B has no obligation to make you the same offer.

    If you feel hard done-by, remember that the first store had a perfectly fine Mac that they now have to sell as refurbished about 15% cheaper.
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #13
    gnasher has come to the same conclusion as I have. Was the second machine advertised as being part of the Back to School offer? If not, then the figures all work out correctly. On the other hand, if it was part of the offer then you are indeed short $100.
     
  14. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #14
    It does matter.
    • Did you spend it?
    • Or did you return it to Apple, unspent, along with the first MacBook?
    Thanks for the posting the other numbers.
     
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #15
    You can't return it. The way these "free $100 gift card" offers work is that you are charged $100 less for the computer and at the same time buy a $100 gift card. Non-refundable like all gift cards. You can't return it. It's yours. You do with it whatever you want. But since you bought the computer for $100 less than normal, you get back $100 less if you return it.
     
  16. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

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    #16
    If you look at your invoice it'll show savings -$100. They take $100 off of the machine to "charge" you for the gift card as that is the only way their system can give you the giftcard.

    Say your macbook cost $2000. When it is rang up they charge it at $1900 and you'll see a separate charge for $100, totaling the $2000 cost. When you return the macbook they won't give you a new gift card, it'll just be the same gift card you had originally.

    When you returned the Macbook you would have only gotten a credit for $1900 and you keep the gift card.
     
  17. bearda macrumors 6502

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    #17
    This doesn't sounds that complicated to me. You nullified the first transaction, and effectively came out even after the result ($100 cash poorer, but with a $100 gift card in hand. Close enough).

    The question is were you eligible for another gift card with the purchase of the second computer. If that store didn't have the promo active at the time it sounds like everything is right. If you were eligible and they forgot to give it to you or they didn't ring it up as educational it sounds like you should talk to them.
     
  18. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    The store was doing the gift card promotion. The argument by the guy who helped me was, "we just won't make you return your old gift card, but also won't give you a new one. Which would be fine if my return wasn't docked $100.

    But by taking $100 out of my refund, they basically both made me pay for the card (essentially the same as returning it), as well as not giving me a new one even though they were running that promotion, correct?

    ----------

    I agree that it isn't that complicated. I just want to make sure that I'm right before going in and making an issue of it.
     
  19. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #19
    In that case they definitely did screw up; you should've either received another card or a $100 discount on the new machine.
     
  20. 1k9 macrumors member

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    #20
    It should look something like this-
    $2399. Plus tax
    $100 gift card
    Total $2499.
    Credit $100 for gift card
    Total $2399 plus tax
    Return will be $2399. Plus tax and you still have a $100 gift card.


    New purchase
    $2299. Plus tax

    And you sill have you original $100 gift card

    If that's not how it worked out, the transaction in incorrect.
     
  21. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

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  22. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nobody probably cares, but I ended up going in, and they refunded me $100. I'm glad that Apple has such good customer service.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed!
     
  23. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #23
    Good to hear it's settled.

    So, to get your $100 refund, did you have to hand back the original gift card?
     
  24. nostresshere macrumors 68030

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    #24
    This thread is leading me to a drinking problem.
     
  25. 12dylan34, Aug 2, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014

    12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    No, because I had to pay for it out of pocket by getting docked $100 on my return.

    So the "free" status of the gift card was temporarily taken away by charging me for it, then reinstated when they refunded me the $100.
     

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