Feeling Scammed by Apple

So I mentioned trading in my MacBook Air as part of my Mac Mini purchase. When the Mini arrived, I did the transfer dance migrating my laptop settings, files, etc over. Then I shipped the Macbook air (In Apple’s provided trade in packaging. You can see in the pic in that post, that the machine at least externally looked pristine. Sadly I didn’t feel the need to take pictures of the laptop from other angles prior to shipping. Why would I? I trust Apple.

Lesson Learned.

During the purchase of the Mini Apple offered $610 for the laptop. I’ve never done their trade-in thing before, opting to sell on eBay, but $610 was a good-ish offer (I felt) and saved me dealing with eBay.

According to their docs, it takes 3 business days to evaluate the trade-in. My Macbook Air arrived in TX 5/27. Much more than 3 business days passed. I got an email 6/10 telling me the laptop was damaged and they were now offering $210. The damage was vague “Delaminating” and no photos or anything were offered to support the claim. I had two choices, take it, or leave it.

I left it.

What kind of bait-n-switch bullshittery is this?

Apple has partnered with a company called phobio. I don’t know how their arrangement works but can only assume they get a better deal by low-balling people, because what other reason would there be?

The MacBook Air arrived, and while I expected it to be a damaged mess I’d have to sell for parts or toss, it was in the exact same perfect condition I’d sent in. It had some smudgey black fingerprints, but otherwise, no damage. Booted up fine.

My initial though (purely speculation) is that somehow low balling me, increases whatever profit is available. I don’t know if Apple then buys these devices from phobios or what? I assumed the laptop would find its way to the refurb store where it for sure would have been offered at over $1,000.

Lesson(s) learned. I was already feeling pretty burned that my $2,000 laptop in less than a year had a largely useless keyboard and Apple’s only remedy was “Take it in for a complimentary replacement” Oh you’ll give me a new shitty keyboard with a shelf life of a year? Awesome.

I had thought that after the 2011 MacBook Pro GPU thing that Apple might take hardware more seriously. I was and am wrong.

Stay tuned for my “Brand new Mac Mini has useless USB A ports” post. I’ll let my blood pressure stabilize before I post that. :)

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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