You Can't Discount The Past, Apple

A reader noticed that Apple is selling refurbished 8gb iPhones for $349, and they’re listing the original price as $599. “Save 42% off the original price,” says the Apple Store. Gosh, that’s a huge savings! Wait… well sure, the original original price was $599, but we all know that Apple knocked that down fairly quickly, and now a brand new 8 gb model sells for $399—which means actually you’re only saving 12.5% off the Real World Price Right Now of a brand new iPhone, if you went and bought it today.

The reader, Patrick, had a little chat with an Apple rep and tried to get him to go off script and admit the true discount, but Josh was too crafty:

You are chatting with Josh, an Apple Expert
Hi, my name is Josh. Welcome to Apple!

Josh: Good afternoon.
Josh: How may I help you today?

You: why is the refurb iphone 8gb listed with an original price of 599 and a your price of 349?

Josh: One moment while I research that for you.

You: are those the right numbers seeing as the 8gb sells for far less new

Josh: One moment please.

You: ok thank you

Josh: You’re welcome.
Josh: The original price was $599.

You: 8gb phone original prices are $399 though? [Patrick pasted a link to the 8gb Apple iPhone for sale on the Apple site]

Josh: Not quite.
Josh: The original price was $599.
Josh: They were re priced at a later date.

You: oh so it is more crafty marketing wording than a mistake on the website?

Josh: Let me explain…
Josh: The 8GB original price was $599.

You: i understand completely i just believe it to be a misleading way to sell a customer a refurbished phone at $349 when you can buy the phone new for $399 or even $499 for a better version

Josh: OK.

You: and i don’t hold it against you it’s just personally i would rather buy new for only $50 more
You: so i was just wondering if the prices were off at all

Josh: I completely understand.

You: but thank you for clarifying

Josh: My pleasure and thank you for asking.
Josh: This refurbished model was probably the older $499 version.
[Consumerist: What? We’re confused.]

You: is there a difference in the models?

Josh: The only difference was the price.

Apple, we know you enjoy taking huge liberties with your marketing materials, but trying to pass off a $50 discount as a $250 discount by referring to a price that no longer exists is just dumb. And it makes us wonder how stupid you really think we are.

Please, Apple, just be honest with us. A lot of us like your products and keep wanting to buy them. Why, just tonight this writer watched a CNET video clip of how to set up multiple screens on the iPhone and got iPhone fever all over again, eight months after it came out! Please just be honest.

(Thanks to Patrick!)

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