For the un-georgepneumaticos.comified, here’s the recap. I bought a “new” Apple MacBook on October 3 in Fort Lauderdale. I was disappointed on October 21 when Apple launched a better model at the same price.

I researched my options, and found out Apple’s return policy on open products is two weeks, plus a 10% restocking fee. Obviously, I was past the deadline and would have to ask for an exception. I called the Fort Lauderdale store on October 23, and they offered me a return/replace, provided I could come to the Galleria Mall on that day.

“But I live in Costa Rica, I can’t make it to Fort Lauderdale today. The next time I’m in North America is November in Toronto.”

“You should call the Toronto Store.” Galleria Apple Girl said.

Encouraged, I hung up and called Toronto (Eaton Centre). I explained the situation as above. Eaton Centre Apple Girl put me on hold, and a few minutes later returned to say “My manager says you should bring the computer in and let’s see what we can do.”

I took that as “I can’t officially promise you a return/replace, but you can make the inconvenient effort and bring your computer and your disks and all the connectors and all the power cables and it shouldn’t be a problem.” I didn’t make a note of the name of Eaton Centre Apple Girl, nor that of her manager.

Double disappointment from Apple

Double disappointment from Apple

Last Thursday (19 November) I arrived at Eaton Centre Apple store fully equipped. How very disappointing. The acting manager came out of the backroom asking “Can you give me the name of the manager that you spoke to? I’m sorry, you’ve been given the wrong information.  American and Canadian Apple products and accessories have a different serial number system. Canadian stores can’t take American products back, and vice versa. I have no way of taking back your computer because there’s no way of entering it into my system, or sending it back to the US.”

To make matters worse, she tried calling the Galleria store to see if they were still willing to honour their offer from October 23.  Their response was “No we can’t do that, it’s past the two week deadline.”


Brand points today – excellent products, proactive consumer anticipation, and top-notch retail create great expectations. Any breaks in the great chain create more disappointment in consumers than normal brands do. Do you think I would care this much if it was a HP or Sony laptop? Do you think you would be reading this entire lengthy post?

Let’s see what all this rigamarole gets me after I call Apple USA and Apple Canada directly about the situation.  I will keep you updated.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Excellent insight George. Shows how important customer care is!
    Hope all is great in CR.

  2. Isn’t it Nordstroms that takes back car tires???? Maybe they’d take back an apple too?

  3. Call Steve Jobs directly.

  4. Wow – I just had the exact opposite experience! Bought a new iMac 27 inch. From the moment we started buying online to the delivery to the setup. It was perfect from End to End. I was very impressed all in all. But it seems even Apple isn’t immune…

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Brand Mythology, Organizational Behaviour, Retail


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