Apple Sells You The Wrong AppleCare Package, Then Loses Your Refund

Apple sold reader Melody the wrong AppleCare package, but instead of switching her to the proper coverage, they issued a refund and told her to re-purchase the warranty extension. They even gave her American Express transaction reference numbers so she could track the refund, but AmEx says the numbers are invalid and that they have no record of a refund posting. Melody’s been out $195 since February, and thinks it’s time for Apple to cough up her money.

Melody writes:

Apple is supposed to have the best customer service, but my experience with them has been nothing short of frustrating. I was hoping you could help out.

I had ordered Applecare along with my Macbook Aluminum on October 14, 2008 through the Applestore. I later called to upgrade it to a 2.4ghz Macbook instead, and the CSR ended up making a mistake and inputting a purchase for AppleCare international instead of the US Applecare. When I took my laptop to get repaired on January 30, 2009, I was told I did not have AppleCare. I made numerous phone calls to AppleCare (case number 116149917) and even went to an Applestore and showed them my AppleCare agreement paper I went sent in the mail. They insisted that they had no record, but on my apple account, there is an order on October 14, 2008 that shows I purchased AppleCare with my computer purchase. I already went through a lot of difficulty with the original purchase because when the CSR upgraded my laptop from the 2.0 to the 2.4, she put a return on my printer, which I wanted to keep, and thus prevented me from obtaining a rebate. That took numerous phone calls to resolve. The situation with my AppleCare warranty was even more of a nightmare.

After several phone calls and getting transferred to separate departments, I finally was able to spoke to CSR Julia at (512) 674-2500, ex 41224. My case number is #116149917. After speaking to her, she figured out that the Apple customer service representative had make a mistake and sold me AppleCare International, so that’s why it wasnt working. She wasnt able to switch that to regular US AppleCare, so she said that she would arrange a refund of the cost of the AppleCare to my credit card I used for my purchase and I should repurchase AppleCare again. She said it would be processed by the end of that week. That was on February 3, 2009. So I bought AppleCare again online, anticipating my refund from Apple. By February 18th, I still had not received credit back to my credit card for my AppleCare. I called Julia, and she told me that she never told me it would be done by a week, that it would take 10 business days, and that it would be 2 cycles to be credited to my card.

Today, I called Apple once again because the credit has not showed up on my credit card and it has been two billing cycles already (my billing cycle ends on the 18th). After talking to the CSR for an hour, they figured out that they had refunded back my purchase on my American Express back in February. They gave me two transaction numbers (******3703 and ******2091) to check on with American Express. I called American Express, and guess what, those numbers don’t exist and there is no refund from Apple. I called back customer service, and was told they would “escalate” the refund. The new CSR I talked to said that a refund was never processed. What?? He said he would escalate it, and they would take a few days to ten days to process, and another 2 billing cycles to credit to my account. He said to call back again in 48 hours to check on the process, and gave me a new case number of 120786610.

So now, I’m just really really pissed off. Something that wasn’t my mistake to begin with has already cost me 10 hours of talking to CSRs and getting put on hold, and re-explaining everything. And now, potentially it will be another 2 months until I get my refund. I emailed sjobs@apple.com on February 19th, and had no reply. I don’t know what else to do to speed up the process. Calling customer service gets me nowhere…apparently I get made-up American Express refund transaction numbers and get lied to. Who else can I call? I’m a big fan of the Consumerist, so I was hoping maybe you could publish my story and some Apple higher-up or something might see it. I love my Macbook Aluminum (except for the problems w/ its keyboard), and I’ve been a Apple customer for years (iBook, iPod touch, iPods, Macbook). But, I’ve never been so frustrated with Apple in my life. I’ve spent way too much time trying to explain and get this problem solved.

I’m going to check on the status of the case again in 2 days, but as of right now, I have no faith…and I cant believe I have to wait another 2 months for the money for a product I never received. I bought this in October…and its going to be possibly May/June until I get my money back. I’m a student, so the $183 + tax ($195) is a lot of money to me.

Apple, care to fix this one for Melody? Sending her the $195 you owe is a good start, and if you really feel bad for the unnecessary bauble, nothing says “Sorry We Lost Your Refund” like a new iPod shuffle.

(Photo: robotpolisher)