How does my treatment rate?

  chris56 08:07 26 Jul 2006

Hi there,

I'd never bought a computer before until recently, when I bought an Apple Macbook Pro (I have used computers a lot, though). At nearly £2000, this is a significant investment for my work.

I'm wondering if people could tell me how this experience of buying a new computer rates compared with theirs, so I know if I have grounds for complaint or not - thanks...

On first using the computer, I noticed that it emitted a kind of whining noise. Not too loud, but irritating while working in a silent room - and far more irritating than the noise produced by other laptops I've used. I decided to call Apple to ask about it, and they suggested I take it to my local Apple service centre. I did this, and the technician there said that switching a component might help. I agreed to the work, and collected the computer 3 days later.

The noise was as least as loud as before, and when I decided to hide it with some music, I found that neither the speakers nor the headphone jack worked. I'm not sure if they ever did, I hadn't tried before. I rang Apple again, who said they would take my computer in for repair. It now being one week since I purchased the computer, I suggested that they should probably replace it so that I didn't have to wait any more (there's a period of 14 days during which a defective Apple computer can be returned for a new one). They said that because it had been repaired, it was no longer eligible for replacement. I said that they'd repaired it once and failed, so surely a replacement was the way to go! I didn't want to argue more, feeling maybe I was being unreasonable.

So, they have my computer, and at the end of this week it will have been two weeks since I bought it, but I've only actually had it in my possession for two weekends, during which time it never worked fully.

I guess I was expecting better for so much money and from Apple (particularly following all the "I'm a mac, I just work out of the box, unlike a PC" advertising). Had I bought a cheap refurbished laptop (as I almost did), this is the kind of thing I would have been prepared for and would have accepted as bad luck.

But what do more experienced buyers say?

Thanks for your time.

  silverous 09:11 26 Jul 2006

When did you buy it exactly, and where did you buy it from?

  spuds 09:21 26 Jul 2006

Basically, consumer law is in your favour, especially as the machine is virtually brand new. Apple suggested that you took the machine to their local repair outlet, which you did, and there the technician gave their assessment to the problem. The 'repair' doesn't seem to have solved the problem, and as such under consumer law you have a claim of 'unfit for the purpose' or 'unsatisfactory quality'. You now mention other problems, so this will add weight to your complaints.

You haven't stated who or where you purchased the computer from. Was this a direct sale from Apple or an independent retailer. Because purchasing from a retailer, then consulting Apple for authorization for a repair may make a slight differences to your rights.

If you want to follow up your rights, then these two websites may help click here click here

  chris56 09:32 26 Jul 2006

Thanks for your replies.

The computer was purchased from an Apple shop in the UK, 15th July.

I went direct to Apple with my problem because the original store is in another part of the country, and not convenient to return to! I thought the benefit of a large brand was that you could buy in one place and get help in another...

But what are your opinions regarding how typical this experience is? Should I have expected this kind of delay could be possible, or is it totally unreasonable?


  spuds 10:44 26 Jul 2006

Mentioning that you purchased from a Apple shop on the 15th July 2006 (!),make a lot of difference. I could be wrong, but is it not possible that the Apple shops are on a franchisee basis. If so, then consumer law may or would class the franchisee as responsible for the product.

Personally, I would contact Apple and discuss the matter with them. Buying a brand new computer, which is less than 11 days old is within their terms of a new replacement. They suggested that you contacted their repair outlet for further advice. The item was in need of a repair. A replacement should have been offered at that point,and not a repair, and I would point this fact out to Apple. As previously stated, you have stated that there are further problems, that you have unearthed, and as such the item is 'not fit for the purpose' under consumer law.

Regarding your point about delay, I find it a little confusing as to the dates of purchase and repair plus return of the computer. It all seems extremely fast for events to have taken place in such a very short time. Other people, including myself, have 'lost' computers for weeks, due to waiting for repairs and actions by retailers.

  silverous 10:54 26 Jul 2006

It sounds like you've been unfortunate and when that happens sometimes things take longer than they 'should'. I suspect it isn't 'typical' and you certainly shouldn't have been without your machine so much, I haven't heard bad things about Apple so I suspect it is a one-off.

As per spuds I'm not 100% clear on the history - maybe list it for us if you have time so we can see what the timeline was i.e.:

x date - purchased
y date - had issues, notified thme
z date - sent for repair
a date - got it back


  961 11:17 26 Jul 2006

I'd ask for either a new replacement or a refund. The stuff about not being eligible for replacement is waffle

If you paid by credit card, inform the card company you are unhappy and may wish to claim under s75 of the consumer credit act

Your contract is with the shop. Have you established if this is company owned or a franchise?

  chris56 11:19 26 Jul 2006

Thanks agin for the replies. Here's the timeline:

14th July - purchased

15th July (Saturday) - opened; initial noise reported to apple

17th July - taken to apple service centre

21st July - collected from apple service centre; noise still present, speakers found not to work, intermittent screen flicker on lowest brightness setting

25th July - apple collected machine via dhl box (for repair)

So you see, the service has been speedy - except that overall I bought the computer 12 days ago and it's never worked (plus I've only had it to use for a few days - most of its use has been by apple people!). If it comes back soon with no faults, then I'll just have lost time and some normal use wear and tear (e.g. the battery), and it won't be too bad. But I feel they should just send me out a new one straight away ( now, since it was nearly £2000!). That might be an unreasonable expectation.

  961 11:29 26 Jul 2006

I'd phone them and claim a new one (or a refund) under their 14 day rule. Ask to speak to the boss man. Say you need them machine for work and are most unhappy at being faffed around with

Follow up with same rejection by special delivery post

Be polite but firm

Advise the credit card company as above (or debit card bank if you paid by Visa debit card)

  silverous 11:32 26 Jul 2006

As I think may have been mentioned given your experience it is fair to assume that it was faulty at the moment it left Apple and they should replace it as a bad 'un.

  chris56 11:34 26 Jul 2006

Sorry 961, I missed your earlier post. That seems like a good idea - I think I'll try it. Unless of course they tell me for certain that my computer will turn up tomorrow or something like that...

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