How do i get my money back from apple?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bkarabel, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. bkarabel macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    This is a long story but i am going to make it short without loosing the important bits. On Feb 17 2009 i bought a NIB Macbook Air Rev A from B&H in NY ( 1.6/ 80g version )plus applecare warranty. It was on sale so i got it for 1399 plus tax plus applecare.
    Everything was fine for first two weeks, moving data from my back up,working on it,traveling etc. I do sales so i am always on the road. After 3rd week everything started getting different, i was experiencing heat, core shutdowns,random freezes, the usual suspects:). I called applecare spoke to someone and i explained my situation in details. After being on the phone for more than hour he told me that they were going to ship me a new adapter ( don`t laugh ) i tried to explain him that it is very unlikely a power adapter issue but he insisted that they have to try all these steps in order to solve the problem. I gave my c/c and they shipped the next day. As you can imagine nothing changed. Same problems, this time i can`t even use it with clients for presentations.( keynote freezing for minutes ). I called them again, this time i spoke to a product specialist, he told me to take it to an apple store, he said everything is documented.

    Here comes the funny part :)

    The next day i made my appointment went to my local apple store. The genius asked me couple of questions and he started working on it. After 25 minutes he came back with a new macbook air box ( 1.6/120gb version ). He told me that my mba failed all the tests and they are going to replace it. While he was filling the paperwork one of the managers came to me and dropped the BOMB!!!. He said that i have to pay $ 400 plus tax for this exchange. This is because they don`t carry these versions in stores anymore and my mba is $ 1399 in their system ( they are buying my mba for 1399 plus tax and selling me a new one for 1799 plus tax ). I guess at the store somehow it made sense to me and i paid them $ 400 plus tax.

    When i got home, started to think about it, things did not make and sense so i called apple customer relations. I spoke to someone, explained her what happened. She asked my receipt number ( numbers below the bar code, starting with R ) and she told me stay online. She came back in 15 minutes and she said that everything they did at the store was right and there is nothing that she could do.

    Is this right? Can apple purchase my laptop at a discount price?
    What can i do?
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar

    Um....NO thats NOT right. First off you shouldn't have paid the money in the store you are under manufacturers warranty AND you have applecare.

    Now, if your model has lower specs then the one they have in the store then its common practice instead of sending it out you can OFFER the customer the chance to upgrade to a higher (or lower) speced model instead of waiting. (For those of you who want to argue and say this isn't common dont. I used to work at Best Buy and Circuit City and both chains do it). If you purchased an upgraded model then there isn't much you can do except maybe return it and opt to ship it out to apple instead.

    Now if you DIDN't get an upgraded model I would be on the phone with apple, explain your model is the exact same but you had to pay $400 for the exchange when you are covered under warranty.
  3. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    That is just wrong i had a whitebook 2.4 with hardware issues and they replaced it with a 2.4 al book at no cost i did have to wait a week but it was free. you could try emailing
  4. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Well that`s what they claimed on the phone
    MBA 1.6/80g vs MBA 1.6/120g
    I tried to explain that they are the same base models, i didn`t upgrade anything but i guess they saw it different.
    My thing is if my MBA is faulty and the genius confirms that fault and grants a replacement. That replacement should not cost me, ofcourse this is me and i don`t really know retail/chain store practices.
  5. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007

    i am going to write an email right now. I hope it helps.
  6. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    You don't need to contact Jobs. Besides, I think he's a little preoccupied at the moment.

    Why don't you call Applecare (not customer support) and explain the entire story and see if they validate the store's decision to charge you for any amount, let alone the difference in price for your covered device and the replacement.

    Make sure it's clear to the Applecare rep that: a)your MBA is covered by the Applecare extended warranty; b) the genius at the Apple store determined that your MBA was defective when it was examined at the store; c) it was further determined that the defect was not the result of your misuse of the product or any other issue that would void your Applecare warranty.

    If they still insist that you were legitimately charged (which I strongly doubt they will) ask them to point you to the specific section in the Applecare terms and conditions that they believe supports the position that you can be charged for a replacement unit, regardless if your Applecare covered and defective MBA is no longer the current model offered at the store.

    Post back if necessary.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    One thing to add....

    BE NICE!!! Yelling or getting angry is the fastest way to getting no help. Nice people usually receive a lot better help.
  8. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Thanks guys,
    I am going to call applecare today first thing in the morning and try to explain the whole thing again.
    I`ll post the outcome.
  9. sjwk macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see anything wrong.
    You bought the 80gb model at a reduced price of 1399.
    It was faulty, they bought it back from you for 1399 - the price that your receipt showed you paid.
    You then bought a 120gb model at the full price of 1799.

    Putting aside the issues of applecare - although I'm guessing that since they couldn't swap it there and then since they didn't have a replacement of the same spec, you chose to return it and buy a new one rather than send it off to be repaired?

    Assuming I'm not misinterpreting the facts, that sounds right - if you return something that you bought discounted, you get back the discounted price that you paid, not the full retail price. That's the norm over here anyway. If I bought something in a sale at half price, I wouldn't expect to take it back two weeks later and be given the full amount back, I'd expect to get back what I paid in the first place. If the replacement then costs more then that's just tough luck on my part although any good shop would probably offer to do some deal, and if it was faulty I would expect it replaced anyway.

    I think your best bet would have been to send it away to be repaired and be without for a few days, annoying I'm sure, but one of those things.

    edit: I just re-read, and it does sound as though you weren't given an option of returning it for repair? Just that they were going to replace it with the higher spec model? If so, then yes, I agree, it does sound a bit odd. In that instance I would expect that if they chose to upgrade it, they should do it for free or at least negotiate with you. The key factor is why they opted to replace rather than send for repair? Did you have a need that meant you couldn't be without?

  10. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    The thing is, it isn't your fault the store couldn't fix your laptop or replace it with the same model - it is the store's fault. You are entitled to get a working machine of the spec you took in for repair

    Now, seeing as the Apple Store didn't have your laptop (obviously), and didn't want to repair it then they should be expected to make good at no extra cost to you. In other words, give you that upgraded laptop for no charge.
  11. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Couple of things i should clear first,
    They did not offer to repair at the genius bar, he simply told me replacement.

    They did not even look at my receipt so they did not know how much i paid for it. He told me that is apple`s price on their in store system ( which does not make any sense ). And i don`t think apple has a secondhand dealer license to buy it back and even if they do why would i sell it back to them?. To be perfectly clear, i did not demand for a replacement nor i was given an option for repair.

    My only mistake was i did not ask for second option, when he came back with the new one. I know i should have said something but honestly i don`t know why i did not. Maybe i was thinking 400 is not a bad deal for a better mba but again why did i buy it on sale price to save some in the first place.

    I know $ 400 is not a lot, and i got the less problematic machine but it was not an upgrade. They swapped a base model with a base model. I had to explain this to the customer relations rep on the phone as well. She kept telling me " But on your original one you had 80g and the new one has 120g ", when i told her the new ones ( base model ) only comes with 120g she just said " yes see that is an upgraded hard disk space, 40 gigs larger drive".

    I am going to try my luck one more time in couple hours with applecare department. Let`s see what happens.
  12. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    The point is that you didn't go the Apple store to shop for a new computer, you went there to have your existing computer repaired.

    It is at Apple's discretion (per the Applecare terms and conditions) to either repair your existing unit or replace it. There is nothing in the Applecare agreement that allows Apple to charge a prorated amount upon their election to resolve a defect by replacing the computer with the currently available model.

    To put this into some perspective, Applecare coverage is available for refurbished Macs, which are sold at a reduced price and in many cases are not the current model. If a refurb goes belly up, you are entitled to a fully covered repair of the existing unit (e.g., logic board replacement, hard drive replacement, etc.) or a brand new machine. Again, it's solely at Apple's discretion.

    On the other hand, if you bought an MBA at the Apple store, and, within the 15 day exchange period, decided you wanted to return your computer and upgrade to a better (and more expensive) model, Apple will credit you for the price you paid for your existing computer and charge the difference for the better model. It sounds like that's what happened here, and the problem with that is that you came in for repair of your covered computer, not to make a deal.
  13. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Also, dispute the charge with your c/c company. That often applies some pressure, especially if it is amex.
  14. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    He went in for a repair, they said they couldn't fix it. The replacement should not have cost him a penny.
  15. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502


    Dec 24, 2007
    That about sums up my thoughts too.

    I would also consider this if Apple refuses to budge. The CC company may balk since you agreed to the deal, but looking at the big picture, I think they should take it seriously.
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It depends on exactly what happened. He bought a computer, and it was broken. So they have to fix it, replace it, or refund the money. Usually that is also exactly the order in which Apple would prefer to do it. And you have the right to insist that one of these things will happen. If they can't fix it, and they don't have an identical computer to replace it, they can either give your money back or give you a better computer with no additional charge.

    However, they can _offer_ anything they want, and you are free to accept or reject any offer they make. Or you could make any offer you want, and they are free to accept it. So if they don't have an identical computer right there in the shop, but the better model is there, they can say "we can give you an identical, brand new computer next week or we can give you a better computer for the price difference". Making that offer is perfectly fine, and accepting or rejecting it (or starting to haggle), would be fine as well. Say you bought a 4 core MacPro, and the sales person remembers that you had a hard time deciding between 4 and 8 cores, then giving you the option to change your mind and get 8 cores for the price difference would actually be very sensible.

    If that is what happened, then Apple has done nothing wrong. On the other hand, if they told you that you have no choice but to accept that offer, that would be very wrong. On the third hand, if the employee believed that he gave you a choice, and you think you were not given a choice, then there should be room for negotiation. The path of negotiation would be that even though Apple has done nothing really wrong, there was a misunderstanding that left you $400 out of pocket, for a different laptop that may be better, but not really $400 better, and what can they do to improve the situation?
  17. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I'm not sure why you say Apple purchased your laptop at a discount price???

    They couldn't fix your REv A so they offered you a new REv B for the cost difference between what you paid for your Rev A and the price of a new Rev B. You paid $1399 for the Rev A and that's how much credit your were given towards a new Rev B Macbook Air.

    The exchange doesn't sound unreasonable at all. It sounds normal.

    Maybe you're thinking since you got the Rev A for $400 less you should get the Rev B for $400 less. The problem with that is your Rev A was $400 less because it was on clearance. It was the old model. It's not like you just hit a sale on the Rev A in the middle of the cycle and afterwards the REv A was $1799 again. That would be a different story and you'd have more leverage. Maybe if you were very pesuasive and loud and stomped your feet and got the right manager then you could have got a better deal. But the offer you received was very normal.
  18. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I actually read the terms an conditions of Apple care. No where does it mention refunding money. The options are repair or replace. They couldn't repair it so they should replace. If they don't have an identical machine that is actually their problem not the OP's. When it comes to warrantees what he paid for it isn't the issue.
  19. sjwk macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I don't think Applecare refunds if the machine is broken, but I understand Apple themselves may do so if you decide to return the machine within 15? 30? days of purchase.

    Never done that myself though..

  20. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Applecare protects your computer against hardware failure. No charge on replacement of any of that hardware failure. If it all fails, well that sucks for Apple and they lost money on his pure profit Applecare purchase. They should under his contract replace all the faulty hardware, regardless if they have to give him an updated version of the computer he owns. None of this is his fault and really since its under both 1 and 3 yr warranty you shouldn't pay anything.

    I would keep complaining but be as nice as possible. If they still refuse to refund your money then you can start getting pushy, but in retail being nice goes a lot farther than being an a**.
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I can see the logic of both sides here. I agree that you should not have had to pay $400 for the replacement of a faulty machine. I also see that Apple believes that they made an offer for an immediate replacement to an upgraded model... an offer you accepted. It is an unfortunate misunderstanding, and I don't think Apple is trying to mess with you... its just that you are caught by corporate rules.

    Here is my advice. Comes from experience. Mostly not at Apple.

    Prepare for an afternoon or morning of being on the phone with Apple. Prepare a big pot of herbal tea or the like.... no beer or caffeine, you want to stay sharp and - especially - calm. Use the washroom before you start.

    Call AppleCare. Explain the situation. Get the answer you've already received. Ask to speak to their supervisor. Explain to this front line person that you are not unhappy with them - that they have been professional, polite, etc.... you just don't like their answer. When you get the supervisor, again start off by saying that the front line person was polite and professional, etc.... you just don't like the answer. Explain your problem again. As they (and the front line person too) explain why they can't refund, etc etc pay particular attention to see if you can pick up what I call the "code word".

    Your problem has likely already been categorized as an "XY" problem, which means it is resolved by doing what they have already done. (If you are lucky, they will say that if it had been an "ABC" problem then it could have been resolved differently.) Once you have the name of the problem they are using, then you can ask them "Why is this an 'XY' " problem?" And then you can argue that it doesn't meet the criteria of 'XY'. If you were lucky you can ask them to reclassify it as 'ABC' or whatever.

    Stay calm. If you feel yourself getting angry, or catch yourself being in-polite.... calmly tell them that you aren't happy, get the case number and that you need to think this over, say goodbye, and hangup. Drink your herbal tea. Call back, tell them that you have a case number, and you would like to talk to a supervisor. Start again. If you can't get satisfaction, explain that the supervisor has been very helpful, but that you don't like the answer, and ask to speak to their supervisor. If you get their supervisor (there is a limit to how many levels up one can go, afterall).... explain again that the last person you talked to was professional and polite and helpful, etc etc But you don't like the answer.

    At this point hopefully you are arguing using the "code words" that you have learned. You are not disputing the facts of the return at the Apple Store, just that your problem has been misclassifed.

    Repeat as many times as possible/required.

    They will likely not refund the $400, but will offer to send you some stuff, or sign you up for Mobileme, etc etc. That may be the best you can do, so be prepared and know what kind of services or stuff would make you happy. Don't be greedy. Apple thinks they are in the right here, and this offer will be to make a customer happy.

    Document the above. If you really want to push it, and if you don't get any satisfaction, write a letter. You don't need to explain all the details, they can look that up in their system. But be sure to include the case # in the letter. State your problem succinctly, that you have already spent X hours over Y number of days talking to Z number of people, that you think the problem is still unresolved. Drop in the "code words" if you know them, and tell them clearly what they need to do to make you happy.

    Send it to CEO of Apple. It won't get there, but someone will see it. Make and send a copy to the Apple Store manager as well.

    Then be prepared to wait.

    Good Luck.
  22. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Apple's 1 yr warranty states that if a hardware defect is found they will, at their option, either repair at no charge, exchange for a product that is new or manufactured from new and serviceable used parts that is at least functionally equivalent or refund the purchase price of the product.

    Note it doesn't say the exchange is no charge although it doesn't spell out you'll pay the difference for a more expensive product either. But in general any product return and exchange for a different product means you pay the difference.

    I don't think you have much a leg to stand on. You took the deal. It sounds like it has been weeks since you took the deal. IT's difficult to go back now and say oh by the way I want to haggle.
  23. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    I am on the phone with them right now as i am typing this. I have been on the phone about 2 hrs now, They seem to acknowledge the problem but they are just trying to find out the best option. The last person i spoke to from customer relations ( Jason ) he was very interested the fact that they charged tax for $ 400. I am still on hold, i`ll post the outcome.
  24. bkarabel thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Just finished talking to them, they are going to call me back. I was on the phone with them for 3 hours but i guess they need more time to see what they can do for me.

    One particular person ( apple customer relations ) offered me free applecare protection plan !!!. When i kindly reminded him that i already have 3 years of applecare on my macbook air, there was an awkward moment of silence :).

    One other person i spoke to ( apple technical support, i think ) offered me a free upgrade to macbook pro if i experience any problems with my new macbook air. He said everything is documented and he gave me a case number and an extension to call him directly.

    Overall experience was very nice actually, i was very calm and polite so they were. Every person i spoke to apologized for the troubles that caused me.

    So i am waiting for an update...

    I`ll keep you guys posted and thanks again for your inputs :)

  25. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    Like everyone else here, I don't agree with what Apple did. I had a 16 month old iMac 2.GHZ that failed. Apple decided to replace it with a new one that was a 2.93GHz, twice the HD space and 4x the RAM and they didn't charge me a cent.

Share This Page