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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Apple with warranty or no warranty?

On a recent trip abroad, I had accidentally left my Apple charger at home and my iPhone was running out of juice. As everyone knows that Apple iPhones don't last more than a day if fully charged. So while I was transiting over at Sydney International Airport, I popped into the official Apple store to buy a new charger. All other stores were selling third party USB chargers with the Apple connector for roughly the same price as an official Apple charger so I went ahead and bought the Apple iPad 10W USB Power Adapter.

Now what was my reasoning for choosing Apple in the first place? Was it because of the brand recognition, price or quality? Well, all of the above tbh. For a few dollars cheaper I could have bought an unheard third party brand product, not knowing how long it would last etc, it was just not worth the hassle.

The charger itself has been working wonderfully as expected for a couple of weeks now and to my surprise, it stopped charging a few days ago. I took the cable and plugged it to the computer and it was charging fine so I know the cable is working fine. Next I attached the extension cable that came with the box to plug in the USB transformer portion of the charger. Tried it again and it didn't charge. So I jumped onto the Apple website to check for a support number that I can call to get this faulty charger replaced.

The first person that had received my call was very nice. He said that there are two ways of getting this sorted out and that one, Apple will set up a DIY part request where they send you a working charger and you send them back the faulty one. That option would take 4-5 business days to arrange. Option two was to call a few Apple certified support service companies and arrange a replacement. I went with option two thinking that it might be easier and quicker to arrange. Was I wrong about this. I called up two companies around my area and they said that it would too take 4-5 business days to arrange as they would have to investigate the cause of the fault with the charger and no replacement would be given on delivery so I would be out of a charger for 4-5 days.

From there I decided to call Apple back to arrange a DIY part request and that's where my annoyance grew. Apple now says that they can not replace the charger because it's outside of warranty. I was shocked. The newly bought charger is only 2 weeks old. I thought all Apple devices/accessories carry at least a one year warranty? Apple said that was correct but my iPad is outside of warranty. I was uhhh... I know my iPad is outside of warranty but what does that have to do with my iPad charger? For some reason when it comes to buying an Apple accessory, if there is a fault, they need to tie it in with an Apple device that it was intended for. I had to go in full circle to explain to them that it is a newly bought charger and it is not for my iPad etc... They then put me on hold to speak to their supervisor. I hung up a few times because the second person that I had talked to had me on hold for more than 30 mins. The third had me on hold for 10 mins. The fourth however was much quicker and after 5 mins or so later, they said yes can arrange for a part replacement but there is a holding cost. Basically the cost for a new charger.

The person at Apple had the audacity to tell me it's easier to just buy another charger. By this time I was furious. By this time I was ready to email Tim Cook my complaint... but didn't. Anyway I agreed to pay the holding fee to get the charger replaced. I hope the company comes through with this because this is not a way to treat your loyal customers. Living in the UK for several years now and have the ease of just popping into a physical Apple store to buy or exchange was so much easier. Why isn't Tim Cook interested in opening one in NZ?!?

Update: A TNT parcel arrived a few days ago with the replacement. What was received was just the USB transformer portion of the charger shown in the image below.

Apple Part 661-5594
For this they put a holding fee of NZD$44 on my credit card. What happened to the rest of the charger? Thought that Apple would send a new kit altogether. A brand new complete kit costs NZD$49 on the Apple Store! An interesting bit of info I found on the Customs Invoice that states that the part costs only USD$4.79! At today's exchange rate, that makes just over 700% markup! Now that's how Apple is able to trade above USD$600 boys and girls.

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