Dispute with reseller over MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by booyah2014, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. booyah2014 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2014
    Maybe not the right forum but oh well, I'm posting it here.

    On Wednesday I bought an early 2014 13" MBA from CeX in London (if you don't have CeX in your country they are a chain of franchised electronic stores which sell second hand phones/laptops/games etc) which was around $250-$300 cheaper than new from Apple. It was "as new" and seemed a good deal.

    I inspected it breifly when I collected it from the store, checked it was an early 2014 model in the About section of the desktop etc. Paid cash and left.

    Took it home and have since realised that I have been sold a US version of the MBA (i.e it has a US keyboard, different shaped keyboard keys and a $ key instead of a £ key).

    A lot of sellers on eBay sell imported US MBA's for cheaper than UK models. I could have bought a brand new sealed US one from Amazon for only £50 more.

    Basically, I wanted a UK MBA, I prefer the UK layout and I use the £ symbol a lot. Not only that, the resale value is less in the UK market as cleary like me UK buyers mostly want a UK model/keyboard!

    I took it back to the store, they said they won't refund or exchange it as I "should have noticed it was a US keyboard when inspecting it". My response was that I should have reasonably expected from a company selling in the UK that it would be a UK model and UK spec. I said it should have been advertised and sold as a US model and pointed out to me as no one would reasonably check the keyboard keys! Most people buying a laptop would just check it was running smoothly and was the correct specification for memory/processor etc. They refused to change their stance on this and I left with the MBA.

    I am not happy. The price of a US MBA herd in the UK is less than a UK one, but CeX have sold it to me at the UK price for a used one. Not only that I should have expected it to be UK spec with it being a UK store! I mean, if it was in the US and you had bought a UK model with a £ symbol instead of a $ you wouldnt be pleased right?

    I want to take this further to their head office and if need be, even further.

    Do I have a chance to get what I want? Am I right in my view or were the store reasonable in their response?
  2. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004


  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    If you had ordered online or paid by credit card maybe you stood a chance. Unfortunately paying cash and checking it in store, means they can argue you missed it.
    I believe you can remap the keyboard though,so your $ types a £. You might also be able to get a replacement key and swap it out.
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Or the OP could just sell it and buy a UK laptop like he wanted in the first place. Sucks, and some money will be lost, but it's not like he's out the entire price of a laptop.
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    It is really important that you understand the retailer's policy on returns/exchanges before purchasing expensive electronic devices. I'm in the US and not familiar with UK consumer protection policy, but retailers are required to disclose their return/exchange policies here. At a big store such as Best Buy, the policy is actually printed right on the sales receipt.

    Sounds like this store might have an "all sales are final" policy. If so, then I think you are out of luck, unless you can show they misrepresented something.
  6. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    Why don't you agree, i see why because he should've checked it, but isnt there a return policy?
  7. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    You are SOL. When buying in a physical store there is no 'consumer right on returns' as in online purchases. The seller may have their own return policy but that is voluntarily.

    But frankly speaking I do not see your issue. First of all this would have been rather easy to spot when you bought it given the different shape and size of the enter key. Secondly it doesn't make this a worse laptop, it is just slightly different. I have worked for years on both US and UK keyboards and one can quite easily get used to one or the other (I found the smaller enter key very irritating at first, now I do not even notice it anymore).
  8. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    In the US, essentially no. CEX's terms are very harsh, basically all sales final with a comical, illusory warranty. I only buy things there that I can afford to take a complete loss on.
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Here in the USA CEX has a 2-day return policy. I am surprised that in the UK you don't have at least that because typically you have better consumer protections than we do.

    Anyway, I think you are screwed. The item isn't defective and there is apparently no return period (I would never buy a big ticket item under those conditions).

    At this point I'd use key remapping software to that when you hit the $ key at least the GBP symbol is used.
  10. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    Abu Dhabi
    I can see you would be annoyed but legally, and probably morally, you don't have a leg to stand on.

    As an aside, I imagine there is something you can set in the software to make what would be the £ key produce a £ symbol?
  11. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    In theory, you're right. I have asked about that a couple of times and each time I'm told that they will only issue store credit, not a cash (or credit card) refund. I haven't tried to really push their staff, beyond saying "Really? Are you sure?"

    And the warranty only applies if they can find an equivalent replacement product...otherwise, you guessed it, store credit. Since inventory is highly variable, that's of doubtful value to me (YMMV).
  12. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    The thing is that the store is not an Apple distributor, the reason you pay more for something is to be able to do what you wanted. This store does not have that mark up and they led you check the machine in advance, they did just fine and they have to protect their business.

    If they could receive your laptop is up to them. I mean...

    I bought a used BMW from a reseller, as soon I leave the reseller I am on my own. If I want warranty I would have to pay $40,000 instead of $9,000, and I had to spend actually some $3,000 fixing things here and there after I got it.

    That is how things works.
  13. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    That is handled exclusively by the reseller. So, apparently not.
  14. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    Return policy is up to the reseller, not the user. As for why I don't agree... he was offered the opportunity to check, he accepted what they were giving him.
  15. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Where in the UK are you? Let me guess, you're not, but you still feel the need to make authoritative comments on UK consumer protections?


    Forget head office.
  16. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    I just came back from the UK and I was amazed at the prices of electronics company in the second hand shops. The fact that people patronize them speaks volumes. OP in this case the company did everything right. You inspected the item and was satisfied. How you did not notice it was the American version beats me.
  17. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    And where do you find there a consumer right that allows the return of a second hand good simply because the buyer didn't look properly what he was buying?

    Don't get me wrong, I think consumer rights are a good thing in general, but in this particular case I am on CEX side. If you do not know what you are doing, don't buy second hand but go to the Apple Store.
  18. abta1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2010
    Paris, France
    The issue here is that CEX did not advertise it or describe it as a UK region MBA and thus have not misrepresented the product. If they had and the buyer could prove this then perhaps there would be a chance. What the buyer assumes is irrelevant unless it is stated in the return policy that a refund is possible should you be unhappy with the product.

    Unfortunately the OP can try to complain but the combined circumstances, I'm not really sure how much good it would do. If you are really unhappy then accept the store credit and move on. Otherwise if it is a fully functional MBA with no faults then perhaps it's just better to live with it and try remapping amd/or even changing the physical key to go with that as others have suggested.
  19. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    The OP should act responsibly by taking responsibility for his mistake. It was his own fault for buying the wrong thing.
  20. NeilHD macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2014
    CEX prices are a joke anyway. You could probably have bought a refurb from the Apple Store online for the same, if not less.

    I got my MBA on a student rate (my daughter is in 6th form), and it was cheaper than CEX were selling 2nd hand ones for!

    Often you can even buy games brand new for less than they sell second hand for (recent example, GTA V on PS4 was £49.99 in CEX, but I got it for £36 brand new).

    CEX is good for older games IMHO. I often pick up older titles for peanuts on a whim. My younger son (9) loves going in there because we can always find something to grab that he's thrilled with and costs me only a few pounds. Everyone wins!

    On the other hand, sometimes they pay good prices too. I bought a game in Tesco but couldn't use it and they wouldn't accept a return (that's a whole other story and the reason I don't go into Tesco anymore), but CEX bought it for the price I paid Tesco.

    Anyway, in this case I'm probably with CEX given the item was inspected before sale.
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sounds like the OP should have inspected it a bit closer.

    Am I correct in that since they're selling used equipment there's no return policy?

    I think the retailer was correct, that the responsibility is on the buyer to make sure the used product is what you expect it too.
  22. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    what is written on the key bother you so much?

    I always get the English (American) version and use a Canadian French layout on my Mac. What's written on the key is irrelevant to how I type.

    You could just setup the keyboard layout to UK English and type as you did before. Aside from missing one key next to the return key. It shouldn't be an issue.
  23. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Can everybody not from the UK please stop trying to give this guy advice?

    As far as I know, since he bought it from a business and not from a private seller, he has full consumer protection, and if it was 'not as described' or 'unfit for purpose' he has the statutory right to take it back.

    However, second-hand or new, there's no statutory right to return something because you don't like it.

    He needs to consult a *UK* *expert* (Citizen's advice, trading standards or, if all else fails, a solicitor) with all the details to get an opinion on whether CiX's failure to explicitly state that it had a non-UK keyboard means the Mac is "not as described" or "unfit for purpose" - or whether it should have been obvious that it didn't have a '£' key.
  24. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I think most of the posts here are being unnecessarily harsh to the OP. If the situation was reversed and I ended up with a UK keyboard here in the states, I'd be pissed too.

    Sure the OP maybe should have noticed that but I can see that being overlooked in the moment he was inspecting it. The store is being unreasonable by not taking it back. They could have taken it back, found you what you wanted, sell this one to someone else, and end up with two happy customers. Instead they have zero.

    Most likely, they were having trouble finding someone to purchase the US keyboard version and when they finally found someone who didn't notice what it was, they didn't want to take it back. Good customer service would have been to let you know it was a US keyboard layout.
  25. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Agree completely.

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