Want your $200 back?

My friend Lan Bui, one of the producers of the wonderful podcast NoodleScar, just twittered that he got his $200 back from Apple for buying the (now $399) 8GB iPhone. Yes, I know that they’re giving a 10-day price guarantee, but Lan purchased his phone on July 2nd — more than two months ago.

Lan told me that he spent an hour on the phone with his local Apple store, and they told him that apparently as of tomorrow there will be a company wide policy put in place regarding refunds, and that he should come down immediately if he wanted his $200. I don’t know how many returns they’ll let people get away with for the rest of the day, but it can’t hurt trying!

For the record, I’m happy with the $600 I paid- I’ve had the phone for 2 months, and I love it. As many have said, that’s the price of being an early adopter, and you have to understand that sometimes things are going to change (sometimes faster than you’d expect) after you purchase a device early. So no, I’m not trying to get any money back, but I was sharing the story of someone who felt it wasn’t fair (or hell, someone who thought they might as well try and get some dough back from Apple, which isn’t a terrible thing either!).

45 thoughts on “Want your $200 back?

  1. I’ve had a similar problem with Macbook’s. Not exactly the same but 2 days after I bought the Macbook, they started selling the better one’s for the same price. Once I wanted to change it, they asked me for a restocking fee because I opened it.

    *30 minutes of bitching around on the phone with the store manager*

    ta-daa! I changed my macbook for no fees. Go ahead, ask for your money back as soon as possible, they’ll at least give you store credit.

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  3. I had a similar experience. Called my local Apple Store (where they kinda know me I go there so often) immediately after the announcement and was told if I brought my receipt in within the 30 day time slot (I bought my iPod August 11th) they would refund my money. Once I got there this afternoon they agreed to do it because I called, but told me they just had a conference call about it and were supposed to enforce the 14-day return policy.

    Looks like the stores may have some flexibility, but I would say hop on it if you want because once a mandate from Apple comes down from apple it will be more difficult.

  4. I thought the whole thing was to be one of the first to have the iPhone and that it is a great $600 phone. Is not $200 worth being one of the first?

  5. Called all four of the Minnesota stores and they all head steadfast to the 14 day return policy, otherwise your SOL in Minnesota.

  6. Thanks for the heads up. I think I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that I paid the price for having to have it at launch. If you happened to have paid for it with a Citibank Preferred Mastercard or a Visa Signature card they have 60 day price protection. Unfotunately, I bought mine 65 days ago.

    When are you starting your new podcast?

  7. @ewj – I’m OK with having paid $600 to be an early adopter, but $200 is still a lot of money, and I can’t blame people for wanting it back. 69 days is a very short time period before a price drop.

  8. Yeah 2 months is 2 short of a time period. Could have waited 6 months at least. Guess they are thinking they can make it up in volume during the holidays. I absolutely love my iphone and glad I got it when I did and I would pay the 600 all over again, would be nice if apple had a little “thank you” for all of use early adopters.

  9. I bought mine exactly 30 days after launch and settled for the 4GB to save a few bucks. Now here I am only a month and a half later and I could get the 8GB for less. A $100 price drop I could have taken, but $200 hurts a lot.

    I think we all deserve free copies of Leopard. I’d be willing to call it about even…

  10. I think that $200.00 is a big cut in price, I think the people who bought the phone 14 days ago or sooner that that should get their $200.00. But many of the early adopters should not get anything back from Apple, you pay for the privilege of being a early adopter; one of whom use to work in my company, he went around the office bragging about how he has a iPhone the day after the launch.

    Like you Veronica, I am happy with T-Mobile… Horay for the iPod Touch!!!

  11. Here’s my posting that got deleted from Apple.com…


    Got my iPhone 8GB on Aug 14 at the Apple Store in Cambridge, MA. I called the 1-800 Apple line but gave up when I read that if you bought your iPhone from a store, you had to deal with the store. I called the Cambridge store around 4pm EST and was told that they cannot do anything for me if the “14 day policy” has passed. I said, “Look, I would even settle for store credit.” No dice. I even called my credit card company for price protection… no dice there too (thanks Bank of America).

    Then, I emailed a friend of mine who works for an Apple Store (not Cambridge). He told me: (1) go to the store; (2) ask for the store manager; and (3) tell them you want a price adjustment refund. Seemed simple enough, but after all I read on here, I didn’t think it would work.

    So, I went down to the Apple Store with receipt in hand. I initially spoke with a sales rep and asked for the manager. The rep told me he could try and help, so I told him my story and he asked me where did I hear about ‘price adjustment policy’, and I told him “I have a friend who works for Apple.” At the point, he went and got the manager.

    Long story short, the manager credited my card back $210 (5% tax in MA). I didn’t want to settle for store credit, so I didn’t even bring it up. I also heard the manager speaking to another “price adjustment” person saying on the phone “if you come in by Friday, I can take care of it.” Then the manager did the same thing for the guy behind me.

    I don’t know if every Apple store is doing this. It seems like some are and some are not. Maybe it’s up to the individual managers and/or stores.

    I am still peeved that I had to waste an afternoon going through all this, but $200 dollars is nothing to sneeze at.

    So don’t give up. Go down to your local Apple Store and ask directly for the manager. And if you live in Boston, go to the Cambridge store!

  12. Bah. I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll call but I know I’ll be told I’m SOL. I got mine day 1. I figured I paid $50 – $75 for being first and that it would be six months before the drop. $200 after less than three months is kinda mean.

  13. Thanks, V. I guess it’s worth a try. Too bad I was in the Apple Store earlier tonight at closing and didn’t even think of bringing anything up.

  14. The new iPod are so cool! Kind a sucky because I bought an iPod one week ago and there you go, Apple comes with a new iPod Classic with over 160GB capacity!!!!!! incredible! My favourite from all the iPods is the iPod Touch, which is pretty lacking when it comes to the capacity but it is so beautiful!!!
    Anyhow I do think Apple are doing great job, I hope I will work there! someday…=]

  15. I’m guessing here, but the reason Apple is so quickly lowering the price by $200.00 is that they aren’t meeting the goal of reaching 10 million units in circulation.
    Speaking from someone that feels he “lost” $200.00, it’s quite difficult to swallow. Apple really has lowered the price of it’s equipment that quickly before. Part of my reasoning for purchasing the unit was that I’ve never really seen apple lower prices so quickly and so drastically.
    Oh well, going to read around to see how people are trying to get their money back. I’m not too keen on their new products, and being a little embarrassed about spending more for product, I don’t think I’ll be too eager to give up my money to apple… until the next breaktrough product comes through that is…

  16. From what I’ve heard, it only costs Apple about $200 to MAKE an iPhone… so there is obviously a lot of room to drop the cost and still make profit (just like, well, EVERYTHING Apple makes).

  17. You guys are whiners! If you didn’t feel like the phone was worth $600, you shouldn’t have paid it! This is how the world works, prices on electronic devices always drops. Remember when that Razr cost like $250? Now you can get one free with a new contract. This is how it works, especially in the cell phone market.

  18. You’ve got to be kidding me — you pay the (now) extra $200 to be an early adopter, and now you want your money back? I don’t think so…oh sure, Apple will bend to a few whiners, but can you see this happening at some other business? (Hey, I know I just bought this new car, but I heard you had a sale this past weekend, and now I want the difference back!). Sheesh.

  19. I bought my iPhone on iDay, and I’m so happy the price has dropped. Now many more people will be able to join the many happy iPhone users like me.

  20. You’re an idiot. Being an early adopter means paying more. The price of components goes down, the price of the product goes down. It’s simple economics. Once again, you and your friend are idiots.

  21. @coward – i’d rather be an idiot than a coward. also, i’m not trying to get any money back, but i still say kudos to anyone who tried!

  22. I am not upset that I spent an extra $200.00, I am upset that Apple took advantage of my loyalties to them, and once all the Apple loyalists paid the $599, they dropped the price by $200.00. I could understand coming out with an iPhone Nano, less features at $399, but not the same exact model that is only two months old. Can anyone tell me when this has ever happened in Apple history? When I dropped my $599.00, most people asked me why I would pay so much for a product when the price will eventually drop. I would kindly explain to them that Apple doesn’t drop prices on the same model until a next generation product comes out. I would always reference the iMac and how each year generally the price remains constant but the features increase.

  23. I myself am also very happy with my iPhone – whether it’s $399 or $599. What gets me is this is the only product in recent memory that Apple has had such a significant price drop on. I’ve cajoled more than one person into buying at $599 because “Trust me, Apple never lowers their prices…” and now I look like an idiot (something I do just fine at, I don’t need Apple’s help!) :)

    Anyways, It would be nice if Apple did something to acknowledge the early adopters – $50 in iTunes credit, $100 store credit, 5 free movie downloads. Something – ANYTHING. It would help wash the bad taste left in my mouth today.


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  25. This is very annoying. They are allowing some customers get their money back, but I cannot?
    That is so messed up apple. If this is the way you are going to business, then you shouldn’t be selling anything at all.

  26. Like you the price drop is to be expected… it’s part of being an early adopter. Fortunately for me (and most of all others) I didn’t have to sell my body on the street to a get the phone. Everyone seems to be focused on the poor customer, but really this is just another great marketing ploy by Apple. They get to be the good guy and attract new customers who will have greater trust in the Apple brand. It really is impressive marketing. They’ve been able to leverage early adopters as customer advocates and sales people.

    Ironically, while waiting in line for my iPhone, I was reading “Word of Mouth Marketing” by Andy Sernovitz. Actually I was living Word of Mouth Marketing while reading it. Being first in line at the other SF store I answered “what are you in line for?” 100+ times. I was a living commercial for Apple. The media ate up the wait and the lines for the iPhone eclipsing any coverage Apple got with their commercials. Now the dramatic price drop of $200 grabs headlines again. By splitting the difference with early adopters they retain the $100 extra profit and the invaluable “good guy status” that will bring in 10x the revenue given up by refunding the other $100.

    I still say that the iPhone launch will be a marketing case study for the next 10 years in MBA textbooks.

  27. Veronica, I can’t find you on CNET.com. Why aren’t you on their front page? You are so cute, and charming, that it isn’t funny, only it is. Good luck!


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  30. My iPhone was worth $600 when I bought it and it was still worth $600 to me up until I got my refund. Even if I didn’t get my refund I would have been just as happy with my iPhone.

    It was great to be one of the first and I knew I was paying a premium for it. That didn’t stop me from trying to get some money back. Apple was very nice, best customer service experience I ever receive is from Apple (and my credit union).

  31. I called Citibank this morning. I have “price protection” however one of the requirements is a piece of paper fron the Apple store that proves the new cost for the 8 gb iPhone. I stopped at the store, they were not helpful, said the only proof of cost was the store online. Citibank specifically said no internet information to verify the new price. I thought I might buy a new priced phone and return it to prove the present price. Citibank didn’t seem to agree, thought I should look in USA Today and Wall Street Journal. This is getting to be strange. I’ll have to go to the library because it will be in an old paper.

    Any suggestions?

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