Forced to book a Genius Appointment to return an item

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brodie, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. brodie macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Hi there,

    Does anyone know of the legalities in the UK of Apple forcing you to make a genius appointment in order to return a faulty item?

    I ask because since the inception of the genius bar, I have been unable to return clearly faulty goods without having to make an appointment some time in the distant future.

    A wasted trip and wasted time, it's incredibly infuriating to wait in line in an always busy Apple Store only to be told I must then make an appointment at their convenience 8-10 days in the future.

    I'm sure it can't be legal, it must infract on your statutory rights to demand you make an appointment in order to return a faulty good to a store that is otherwise open, does anyone have any legal experience with this?
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Wow, wow, wow. I would have gotten really mad at the store if I were you. Try a different store. I guess they want you to keep your computer.
  3. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
  4. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    I don't see why Apple can't dictate the method by which they fulfill their obligations under the relevant statutory warranties that you speak of.

    The alternative is what? Litigation?
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    That's Apple for you. I had a clearly-defective AirPort Extreme base once, and instead of just letting me return it directly I had to go through three phone-based troubleshooting sessions before Apple finally allowed me to swap it for a new one. Naturally the replacement worked immediately. Ever since then I've bought hardware from resellers because it's so much easier if things go wrong.

    I wish you luck.
  6. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    True, but it's also crap customer service. If you have something broken you'd like it looked at fairly quick. Not as the OP said 8-10 days in the future.

    I think the booking system has its merits, but you should also have a system in place so people can walk in.
  7. brodie thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Sorry for not replying sooner...

    It was a melted magsafe adapter, clearly melted and clearly a known issue, still they insisted I make an appointment.

    I'd like to take Nermal's solution and buy elsewhere but I get a work discount, so I'm compelled to purchase at an Apple store.
  8. MST macrumors 6502


    Dec 3, 2007
    Surrey, UK
    Absolute rubbish...

    I suggest you go back mate - make a stand, cause a scene and ask to speak with the store manager, the key point of your complaint now being that you'd already been inconvenienced by the fact that your MagSafe is clearly knackered, but then to be told that you'd have to wait 8-10 days to return it is unacceptable (see taking the piss).

    I'm not sure about the legalities of Apple's stance on this, but it is something that I have considered before and have come to the conclusion that seeing as no other retailer in the UK [that I am aware of] operates a similar policy then it is generally accepted that if a product is faulty it can be returned to the retailer without delay, or you can at the very least speak with them about the possibility of doing so.
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I agree with MST. Your magsafe is melted. it's clearly broken and unrepairable, and you can't use your laptop without it.

    I'd go to the Apple store, grab a member of staff (anyone will do) and shove your magsafe under their nose and say loudly "I bought this last week! (or whenever) See! it's all melted! What can you do about this??"

    That should get you a replacement pretty quick.

    There are certain merits to the appointment system, and if you had something with a subtle flaw that needed teasing out and working on, then yeah 1 week to wait for an appointment is irksome but not too bad.

    But a melted magsafe is clearly an urgent issue.
  10. Norrsund macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2005
    If the power adapter doesn't fall under a 14 day return policy with either an apple retail store or online store receipt, it's not a return that can be done by a specialist. It then becomes a warranty claim which must be addressed at the genius bar, those parts come out of a different stock with different accounting and inventory measures. If it is a warranty claim, you simply need to go the the Genius Bar or contact AppleCare and have a replacement adapter mailed to you.
  11. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    That, plus Apple has trained the Genius Bar to get capture additional information from customers in regards to products that show serious defects, such as your fire-hazard of a melting MagSafe adapter.

    Was this adapter the one that came included with your Mac?
  12. Norrsund macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2005
    Yes, the Genius Bar has a battery and power adapter test they can run on the faulty power adapter and your computer to make sure that the magsafe port is still receiving a charge correctly.
  13. brodie thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2007
    When I visited I did kick up a stink, I got promoted up through the ranks until I got to the manager who pleaded 'protocol' and 'out of my hands', much as Norrsund suggests.

    At the time i actually considered refusing to move but he was convincing, and made it clear it wouldn't get me anywhere.

    It's beyond 1 year warranty, and the macbook it came with has gone to the great gig in the sky, I do however have a new macbook it should work with and would like it as a spare.

    Anyway it's not such much that I want a new adapter but that Apple's returns policy forces you to make an appointment - and if you're not aware of the policy - a wasted trip.

    I'll give it another go next time i'm in town and see how I get on, i've been a good customer for a good 12 years and my account shows that, but these days that seems to hold less and less water with Apple.
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    When you buy something from Apple, you have 14 days in which to return it. You walk into with the item you're returning, the receipt, and you walk out with a refund. A Genius Bar appointment isn't required for returns.

    After 14 days, if something breaks, you get it repaired or replaced under warranty service. That's not the same thing as a return. Especially when you're trying to have something replaced that was a potential safety hazard...

    And FWIW, Apple's looking to change their Genius Bar method to better accommodate people without appointments that expect immediate warranty service:
  15. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Shame, but you gave it a good try. I would have been tempted to claim the power adaptor came with the new laptop, but due to the nature of the damage, you're best off being honest about its age.
  16. Norrsund macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2005
    If the computer is out of warranty, they technically do not have to replace it. However, I've seen Apple replace burnt adapters out of warranty multiple times due to safety issues. If the cable is damaged, bent, broken or frayed, they may claim abuse and not replace it at all though. You may have better luck claiming it under your newer MacBook's warranty.
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I just remembered - I think Apple warranty also covers all the small bits and pieces that you use with the computer. E.g. if you buy extended Applecare for a Macbook, then it also covers the Time Capsule, Airport Express, etc etc.

    Worth checking - you might be able to claim for the power lead under the warranty of your new macbook. Try giving applecare a ring. (saves you going down to the shop.)
  18. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

    I am sorry but "Forced to book a Genius Appointment to return an item" is a completely false topic title.

    Are you serious? Beyond 1 year warranty period and you believe you think it's called "return an item"?

    Are pulling it by the cord instead of the plug too?
  19. SaltyPiratePony macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    off topic but:
    Sheesh, give the guy a break. There are accounts of ppl getting free replacements (out of warranty), don't take my word for it but I think I read it somewhere on here... Unless I don't get the meaning of "returning an item"

    way off topic: My magsafe (4 yrs old, yaddayaddayadda) melted too, but I wasn't really upset I didn't get a replacement. I was more upset about the possibility of the house burning down. Anyway, I'm not charging my laptops overnight/when there is nobody in the house anymore* (although I'm already slacking on that area :rolleyes: good intentions, right?).

    There was a great thread about the melting magsafe adapters; some engineer (reminder: this is the internetz) thought it would be caused by "arcing" the adapter. I noticed the new adapters have a stronger magnet and fit much tighter now.

    *Yeah I know, I got lots of other electrical equipment plugged in 24/7. Idc, we'll talk again when you discover your melting magsafe leaving a burn mark on your table... ;)
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    agreed.......the OP should have made it clear from the start that he was trying to "return" an out of warranty item

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