Apple ‘Genius’ Messes Up Customer Refund

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I recently bought myself a beautiful new MacBook Pro. I love the thing: it is the most beautiful computer I have ever owned. Nevertheless, Apple didn’t make it easy for me to give them two thousand dollars. Between that and the smug jackasses working the Genius Bars whom you practically have to beg to just try to fix your computers, I love my Apple just as much as I want to insert a catheter up one of those Geniuses’ urethras and then force him to jump up and down on a trampoline.

Rob A’s got a similar problem with Apple, only he doesn’t like his new MacBook. Frankly, he’s crazy, but we’ll leave that out of it. Rob’s story of Apple’s incompetence and lies after the jump:

A few days ago, I purchased a brand new MacBook from an Apple retail store, but found it fairly unsatisfactory, and returned it (no easy task), eating the 10% restocking fee in the process. Or so I had hoped. When I bought it, I had put most of the cost onto an Apple Credit account (with Juniper Bank) and the remainder onto my debit card. When I returned it, the lovely-yet-disinterested clerk assured me the whole balance could be refunded onto the credit account, an amount that exceeded my actual credit line by about $400. Despite my objections, she forced the system to accept the refund, gave me a reciept, and sent me on my way.

Fast forward to today, Friday: big surprise, a call to Juniper Bank tells me that only the amount up to my credit line was refunded. Nothing further is forthcoming, and the service rep told me that “Apple Retail should know that.” I call up the store after that, and talk to yet another lovely-yet-disinterested clerk, who puts me on hold repeatedly before trying to put me off entirely. First she says that the $400 descrepancy is the restocking fee, then she dictates my reciept back to me, the one I’d been reading to her, and says that since the receipt shows a full refund, she can’t do anything, finally she declares that my problem is with Apple Credit, not Apple Retail.

After I assure her that the restocking fee was only $100, as per the receipt, and that Apple Credit told me the exact opposite, she relented with a sigh and said she could have Apple Corporate get back to me, maybe “around Tuesday.”

So as it stands, I’m out $400 (which as a poor college student, I’d like back) because nobody at Apple Retail sees fit to actually listen to customers when they’re making returns or complaints. Rest assured, I won’t be making any further Apple purchases, up to now, I’ve had no beef with them, but this is easily the worst retail runaround I’ve ever had.

And I’ve returned things at Best Buy.


Edit Your Comment

  1. thrillhouse says:

    1> stop spending money you don’t have. Many reasons for this – but a biggie is that you’ll never again have to deal with anyones credit depatment. think on it.

    2> Bravo on the boycott. I took that stance years ago and never regretted it. If a company sees fit to screw me (by choice or stupidity), then they clearly do not need my business.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Nick writes:

    “OK first things first – until last week I was one of those Mac “Geniuses.” Yea some of them are retarted monkeys who you’ll wonder how they got hired, but most of us are OK. They don’t have to use the register very often, and unfortunately they are not infallible.

    Rob should go back into the store and ask for the store manager. Explain what happened and demand (in the politest way possible) the missing money. Apple prides itself on customer service, and no one in that store wants a nastygram from a regional manager about your issue. Basically they key point here is to go into the store so they can’t ignore you. It’s unfortunate that phone calls into the store are second rate behind all those people that are actually there in front of the salespeople. Ask to speak to the store manager. If you’re on the phone, ask for customer relations. “

  3. DCB says:

    For $100 more than the 400 you lost with apple, you could have bought a new laptop from a less trendy company.

  4. Paul D says:

    As much as the customer service you are getting from Apple sucks, my sympathy runneth dry.

    Real poor college students don’t buy macs for $2400.

  5. Ben Thoma says:

    After reading both these stories, I am reminded of the saying: “No one will ever care as much about your money as you will.”

    For full disclosure, I too was one of those employees not too long ago. (Also for the record, the decision to leave was my own.)

    Both of these stories involved transactions that were out of the ordinary. It’s not every day that someone wants to pay for something with a foreign credit card or that someone will make a return that originated from two payment sources.

    For most transactions, the POS system at Apple is fine and works well. As in all retail cases, you should try to work with the same person as before whenever possible or be able to reference ticket numbers or order histories to make life easier for both parties.

    This is not to say that these problems were not solvable and that you should have been able to get through the process easier. The one thing I learned working for Apple’s retail stores is that they provide an out-of-the-ordinary consumer experience and it’s generally very positive. But it’s still retail, and retail employees and retail interactions are never 100% ideal.

    I guess what I am suggesting is that not every interaction is going to be super positive and reason for an all-out boycott. Let’s keep our heads about us and realize in the big picture Apple is a way above average company in terms of customer service and they make a pretty darn good product.

  6. hazelwoodfarm says:

    There is nothing Genius about anyone at an Apple Store. I have been a Mac Addict for the past 12 years and absolutely love their products. But an Apple Store is only for looking at pretty hardware.
    About a month ago I visited the local Apple Store to have the hard drive replaced in my daughters G4 iBook. Although there was no one else in the store, I had to ask for assistance, as no one had the time to offer to help. I was asked if I had an appointment, since I did not, I was asked to make an appointment for a consultation. After filling out information on the computer, I was given a time, two hours in the future to talk to someone concerning this repair. After an hour and a half of wondering around the mall, where the store is located, I went back into the Apple Store hoping that someone could help me. Suddenly a “Genius” appeared and said that she could take care of my repair issue right then. Whooppee..except they would only replace the HD with the exact same size HD, even though I was willing to pay extra to upgrade. No way! Not only would they only replace the HD with the same size, I could not have the old HD back (which contained private information) and they wanted to charge the same price for a 60 G HD as I could purchase and have installed a 100 G HD at the local Mac repair shop.
    Needless to say I left and had the local shop do the upgraded install, in a shorter time, as a matter of fact.
    As far as the people at the Apple store were concerned, they could have cared less. I will continue to purchase Apple hardware, but only from the online store which I have never had a problem with, and I will never go back into an Apple Store.

  7. LLH says:

    my husband has been a certified mac tech for over 15 years but does not work directly for apple (ok, in england he did, but it’s a bit different over there, or it was before the apple stores opened there). for fun him and other techs he works with go into the apple store at the grove and see who can out genius the “genius’s”…hehe…cracks me up everytime. stump the chumps is what i like to call that game ;)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why would you use anything but a credit card for this type of purchase? That way you can cancel the charge and let Apple fight to get their money instead of the other way around.