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so - i talked someone into buying an ibook before xmas and she is thrilled about it - she absolutely loves it - and has been saving up for an ipod to go along with it -
unfortunately, she doesnt frequent the message boards here, or other places to understand that a keynote speech was happening this past tuesday and she doesnt understand the impact it could have to apples products or pricing.
so.... she went out and bought her 10GB ipod on monday - the day before the keynote (which announced the ipod bump to 15gb for the price of the 10gb)

she told me about her new 10Gb ipod on tuesday afternoon (after i watched the online updates of the keynote) and my jaw dropped.

which brings me to my question -

the apple store has a policy that allows a credit to be honoured to anyone that purchases a product where a price change occurs within 10 days.

the apple authorized retailer that she purchased this from is saying that they have a "final sale" policy on anything purchased and if she were to return the product, she would have to pay a 30% restocking fee (which is 20% higher than the apple stores), however, her ipod is still in the shrinkwrap.

the same thing almost occured to her when she purchased her ibook at the same store - she had went in to buy a new G4 ibook, and they tried to sell her one of the older G3 ibooks at the same price (because the quote that she received to get the company cheque to pay for the ibook showed the G3 - however, luckily the company took 3 weeks to process the cheque which was again when a keynote speech happened annoucing the G3 ibook lines were being bumped to a G4 processor for roughly the same price)

so - here ive continued to talk people into switching (7 so far) and they have jumped blindly to the other side and are having bad experiences so soon after the switch.

my question to you - if apple offers a price protection of 10 days, then shouldnt their authorized retailers offer the same?

are retailers protected by price changes as well? or does apple leave them hanging?
 

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Technically there wasn't a price change, but simply a new product. So as far as I can tell your friend is SOL about getting the new 15 gig iPod.

Reatilers find it harder to provide price protection as the stock they have they bought at a set price, and have a profit margin they have to meet in order to stay in business. But, for the most case retailers will change their prices when a price change comes into effect, but anything before most often won't be changed because it happened before and it would be a loss for the retailer.

Sorry to hear about the bad luck, but a 10 GB iPod is still a great iPod.
 

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Just return it... most retalier offer a 7-14 day return policy. You might have to pay a restocking fee.
 

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As I see it, your choices are:
1. Return it and pay the 30% restock fee;
2. Sell it and pay more out of pocket than you would with Option 1;
3. Keep it and enjoy it for a long time.

This kind of thing happens a lot with hardware and there's really no easy solution that doesn't involve someone being left holding the bag, so-to-speak.

As a matter of practice, I never buy Apple products in Jan-Feb because that's when they tend to announce their new stuff (and quite frankly, I've long felt that this is probably the worst time of year to do that).

Next time, consult the buyers' guide on Macrumors.com. They tend to provide pretty accurate advice on when to buy, just by tracking a product's life cycle.
 

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Check consumer protection regulations. Most will allow a cool-off period that varies with the sector (i.e. generally better protection for financial services). This may vary by Province. Worth checking.
 

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Apple does have price protection policies for resellers in place. However, once a product has been sold to the end-user, the protection is not in effect. The store should have the decency to make the return and have the returned unit price protected. It usually takes some time for the process to kick in and they shouldn't have a problem getting the unit price reduced.

Even though the 10GB was dropped in favour of a 15GB model, the price of units in the channel should be dropped to reflect end-of-life. Dealers work this kind of thing out with Apple all the time. If they don't, they aren't following good business practices.
 

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I was tempted to say tough luck at first, but when I went to shop for appliances at Sears, they have a process to check if an item was on sale the previous/following week or two, so I'm tempted to say you just shouldn't buy from retailers like that. If the retailers aren't going to offer you that service go to Apple. I can honestly say that when I got out of Sears with 4 appliances and saved about $1000, they earned my business. The poor saleman even stayed late to help me... he phoned his wife to tell her he'd be late. Then again, my Sears example may be a bad examplle since most Apple retailers are not big businesses.
 

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I don't know who the reseller is, but I highly highly highly doubt they have the buying power that Sears has. Sears sells so much every day that they can basically take back any item and send it back to the manufacturer for a refund. A little Mac shop in Canada is not going to be able to return a product to Apple and get the price protection on 1 iPod if Macified's comments are what Apple's policy is.
 

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From direct experience, I can say that (at least in the past) Apple has/had price protection in place. When products go end-of-life, the final price is set and dealers are permitted to count inventory and submit reports for rebates/credits for on-hand inventory. No product is sent back to Apple unless a deal has been struck whereby on or two dealers take all inventory in the channel for a blow-out sale.

Since the whole issue of the iPod purchase happened so recently it would be doubtful that the dealer has issued their reports to Apple and been credited for costs. If the dealer were to accept the iPod on return, it could be counted in the inventory and submitted for credit. The iPod itself does not get sent back to Apple for a credit.

All that said, the dealer is in no way required to take the iPd back unless they have a price protection policy in place and posted in-store or on a reciept. The act would be a courtesy in the interests of good customer relations.
 

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Tell her to call Apple and see if they will do anything for her. Worst case is she is stuck with the 10gig which reall isn't so bad. Best case is they get her to send the iPod back and they replace it with a 15gig.

No harm in trying.
 

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The store should have the decency to make the return and have the returned unit price protected. It usually takes some time for the process to kick in and they shouldn't have a problem getting the unit price reduced.

Dealers work this kind of thing out with Apple all the time. If they don't, they aren't following good business practices.
I wish it worked that way!

Direct resellers get price protection on instock items only. Once it leaves the door, Apple in no way offers price protection. It is even worse for indirect resellers. Once they buy it, it is theirs. No price protection what so ever.

If it was us, I am sorry to say that we would not take it back without a restocking charge. That being said, there is no way we would have sold an iPod the day before the keynote without making sure the customer understood that there is a chance that new products may be released or the price may drop the next day.
 

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That being said, there is no way we would have sold an iPod the day before the keynote without making sure the customer understood that there is a chance that new products may be released or the price may drop the next day.
I have to say I like Gary's response. Informing the customer like this is not only good for the customer but for the retailer. I mean the retailer is likely going to make the sale, just a week later. I know I'd buy from a retailer that informs if the price/product is going to change a day or two later.
 

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Different but same...

I bought a new iMac after the Paris expo assuming naively that I would get a free Panther upgrade (you know, new machines, new OS), well I missed the date by 2 days and Apple told me to get stuffed. Escalation through formal complaints yielded nothing (not even an acknowledgement). :mad:
 

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Apple is wise in backing off on shows as hardware focus but even so they do cast a shadow about 3 weeks ahead.

Informing a customer about the possibility of an imminent price change and letting THEM decide to wait or not I think is the right thing to do.

In a similar vein I find the entire notion of huge price drops on Boxing day odious as well.

Switchers are particularly vulnerable and can be left with a bad taste if taken advantage of.
Becasue we specialize in "behind the market" products price drops are often opportunities for our clients.
Those 900 iBooks mentioned are still terrific sellers.....at the new price point and had the person in question picked one up for $1400-1500 I sure there would hav been a big smile.

Apple obviously caught a lot of people by surprise with the G4 iBooks as the iBook G3 900 bundle we are featuring at the moment I was told were CTOs "not accepted".


This business is crazy for price shifts ( RAM !!! ) - basically buy what you need when you need it, never buy forward ( "well I want it to last 5 years!!"...NOT
) and do your homework.

That's why places like online forums are so useful for prospective purchases. :cool:

depMode maybe a loyalty switch in order so at least honest advice like Gary's is gotten.
Apple is absolutely brutal on it's dealers and it's getting worse.

The entire computer industry has a "channel problem" and that's a whole other thread.
 

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Dep101, that just sux. :rolleyes: 30% restocking fee! is it indicated on the bill of sale?? whoa...

Although I think that there likely is no legal ground to stand, this is very very very bad cust service and downright bad practice (in my eyes). Although I might be tempted to say caveat emptor, I just feel that the retailer took advantage of a switcher and did not let her in on the eminent annoucements - and saw an op to get rid of some product @ full pop. :rolleyes:

I would do the following:

Make an attempt to return the item.
Speak to a manager (esp as an authorized Apple reseller), and explain the situation as it transpired, and to let them know that you would simply like to have the new model as it was annouced. As a switcher, she simply did not know about events like MacWord, and the unwrtitten h/w moratorium.

If nothing comes of this, I would simply make sure that the manager acknowedged that he/she understood what your friend was saying, then take the manager's name and write a letter to both store management and Apple. I just feel that as an Apple reseller, they need to promote much more than the usual PC $ grab, and let the cust know that she can come back for some more sage advice. Not what happened here. If no reasonable resolution, I would make clear that this would be your last purchase @ their retail outlet as you could never substantiate their lack of cust.serv/disclosure.

I've been there with some re-stocking dispute, and did the same. The retail cleark ended up finding me @ work to refund me my $$ - after I wrote a scathing letter to head office.

Anyhow, worst comes to worst, she will have a nice unit, but @ a cost. :(

H!
 
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