Apple Won't Sell You A Computer Because You've Got Too Many Gift Cards

Charlie asked her family to chip in towards a new (refurbished) Apple computer by sending her Apple gift cards for Christmas. All told she received 8 cards with a total of $900 distributed among them. Since Christmas she’s been saving her pennies and finally the other day she went on-line to buy her computer. There were only 4 slots for gift cards per transaction. No problem, she thought. She’d just call Apple and buy the computer that way. From her email:

So I called 1-800-My-Apple to speak with someone who could maybe help me. The first person I spoke to, after putting me on hold two or three times to speak to supervisors, tried to sell me a printer and speakers, saying that I could use four gift cards, plus a credit card to buy the computer, and use up the remaining cards for my accessories. I was confused and upset, and before I became rude thanked him for his time, and ended the phone call.

After glancing around the Apple site, I came across the gift card faq which about 11 questions down clearly states: There is no limit to the numbers of cards you can use when making a purchase through 1-800-MY-APPLE.

So did Charlie get her computer? No, she didn’t. Apple’s gift card FAQ is, apparently, false. Their solution was for Charlie to drive 3 hours to an Apple store so they could convert her cards into one card, so she can then go home and order her refurbished computer through the website because they’re not available in stores. No word on if they’re going to pay for the travel expenses on a 6 hour commute. Read her email inside.

Charlie writes:

For Christmas, I asked all of my friends and family for Apple gift cards. In total, I received 8 gift cards with their values totaling to $900. For two -almost three- months, I saved up the remaining money I need to purchase an iMac. So today, I go online to buy the computer and I run into a slight problem.. there were only enough slots for four of my eight gift cards. So I called 1-800-My-Apple to speak with someone who could maybe help me. The first person I spoke to, after putting me on hold two or three times to speak to supervisors, tried to sell me a printer and speakers, saying that I could use four gift cards, plus a credit card to buy the computer, and use up the remaining cards for my accessories. I was confused and upset, and before I became rude thanked him for his time, and ended the phone call.

After glancing around the Apple site, I came across the gift card faq which about 11 questions down clearly states: There is no limit to the numbers of cards you can use when making a purchase through 1-800-MY-APPLE

So armed with this knowledge, I called back. Everyone that I spoke to explained to me that the system was set up so that they could not enter any more than four gift cards for one purchase. One person suggested that I use the gift cards to purchase a larger gift card, but another person I spoke to said that this was not possible. I was transferred over and over again, and even disconnected one time. At the end of about three hours, the only solution I was given was to go to my nearest Apple store — a 3 hour drive away. This six hour commute would be only to consolidate the gift cards, because the iMac I want to buy is refurbished, and so I still have to make the purchase online. I even asked for a refund on the gift cards, but they can only be refunded to the original purchasers, most of who are extended relatives that I only hear from around the holidays.

I just don’t understand, all I want it to give them my money. Oh wait– they already have $900 of it in the form of gift card purchases.

C’mon, Apple. You already have Charlie’s money. Sell her a computer! —MEGHANN MARCO

Gift Card FAQ [Apple]