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My Biggest Complaint About Apple Store Costa Mesa, California

My loyalty for Apple still goes unwavering. The company has always pushed to give its customers more at every turn. This I will always stand by.

It’s unfortunate that managers like the Costa Mesa, CA manager have lost sight of what Apple culture stands for. I went to return Apple’s proprietary software Leopard OS X server there after I purchased it online.

I learned from Apple’s technical department that although the software can be installed locally like the instructions suggests, that to not do it as it opens up my computer to harm. Therefore I could not use the $500.00 software for what I intended.

After the sales associate told me no problem, the manager dropped the ax and would not honor the return and carried himself by being very curt, rude, passive aggressive and ultimately–UN-Apple.

This is the first time I have ever returned an Apple product for personal, school and/or my business.

I am a 15-year patron and it saddened me to see how one man could be so unenlightened and close minded. It was obvious that the manager did not want to take the loss on his numbers as it was end of month and didn’t want my return to affect the store’s profit goal or his bonus.

I have already told at least 20 of my colleagues and friends about my experience and will continue to do so in effort to keep non-Apple-minded employees from tainting the company philosophy.

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10 Comments

  1. Why in the world did you pay $500 for leopard? I just it got it for $72 from a college bookstore.

    Are you saying you loaded leopard and then wanted to return it? If so, that’s pretty bold.

  2. No, He bought the server version of Leopard, which is $500. The reason the manager didn’t want you to return it is because when software is returned open box, the store eats the entire cost of it. since it is pricey the manager wasn’t happy about that probably, you should contact the online store from the number on you packing list and complain to them first, if that doesn’t work i would go back into the store and ask to speak to another manager and explain that the software doesn’t work for what you need it to. At our store if you do that they usually give in.

  3. Also email the store and explain that you have supported apple for many years…. this email will get read by more than one manager usually. And ask them to respond via email, if you would like that.

  4. I don’t see how the store should be put on the hook to eat $500 if you didn’t purchase it there, and I don’t see why you would have a problem with that.

    It’s your job as a consumer to educate yourself about your software needs; if you discover it doesn’t meet your needs after you’ve opened it, then you should count on not being able to return it. No, and I mean _NO_ retailer is going to return opened software unless it’s defective.

    To put Apple on some sort of pedestal thinking it will surround you with magic dust and pixies and do anything you ask of it is simply absurd. It’s a business, and like any business, they can’t afford to eat the mistakes of their customers.

    Man up and put that copy of Leopard Server on eBay or craigslist and get some of your investment back. Take some responsibility for your own actions and chalk it up as a lesson learned.

  5. open software is not returnable. not from apple, not from any company.

  6. What the hell are you talking about?

    “I learned from Apple’s technical department that although the software can be installed locally like the instructions suggests, that to not do it as it opens up my computer to harm. Therefore I could not use the $500.00 software for what I intended.”

    HUH? Installed locally? As opposed to… installing it over the internet? I feel like i’m not getting your meaning here.

    And yes, opened software, generally not returnable period. Although in this case since the store IS the manufacturer, IF you had a valid reason (which you haven’t proven because your complaint made no sense) it’s true that there is nothing stopping Apple from tossing the OS in the trash and giving you most of your money back (you SHOULD have to pay a restocking fee though), since they MADE the software they don’t have to “pay” for it, hence all Apple would be out is the cost of pressing a DVD and packaging, so maybe $10 on the outside.

    Please do clarify what you thought you could do with Leopard but now think you can’t do.

  7. “And yes, opened software, generally not returnable period. Although in this case since the store IS the manufacturer..”

    After a fashion, you are correct. However, that’s an entirely consumer-centric way to view things. As with all things, there’s more than one side to the issue.

    The local store, in many ways, functions financially as its own institution. The local staff are compensated by Apple for their performance in many regards, and this includes sales dollars, units sold, returns, and other categories.

    In asking the Retail store to take back opened software that was purchased elsewhere (even if from another division of Apple), you’re asking them to make an exception to policy _and_ you’re asking them to incur significant negative consequences, in an issue that they, personally and professionally, had absolutely nothing to do with.

    First, they have to write off that copy. They cannot return it to Apple Corporate for credit, nor can they repackage it for another customer. You’ve asking them to simply _give you_ $500.

    Second, this will deduct revenue from their statistics for the period, potentially with a negative affecting on some team member’s personal compensation plan (specifically, managements’ and the small business sales teams’).

    Third, it makes the Inventory guy look bad for having to scrap a fairly expensive unit, and potentially affects his year end review.

    …..all because you didn’t do your research.

    In my store, we would occasionally make an exception like this _on product purchased in our store._ The negative for us is less: some of these things cancel out with the fact that “we” effectively had your money, and had your “unit” in the first place.

    Look at it from another perspective. You, in your day job, have someone come to your desk and ask you to fix some clerical error or some such, that was caused by a coworker. The system will penalize you for fixing it, because it assumes the fixer is the cause of the problem in the first place. The penalty for doing so could mean you lose your Christmas bonus, or you might not get as good a raise at the end of the year, or you might not get that promotion you’ve been boning for. You know that there is less than Zero Chance that you can fix it yourself and get the blame assigned to the other guy; if you fix it, you will be blamed. End of story.

    What would _you_ do?

  8. “since they MADE the software they don’t have to “pay” for it, hence all Apple would be out is the cost of pressing a DVD and packaging, so maybe $10 on the outside.”

    And that’s simply wrong.

    In order to share revenue equitably within the company (and account for the fact that, say, whatever passes for “Apple Manufacturing” will want a cut of the sale), the Sales-based organizations in Apple (Apple Sales, Apple Retail, etc) actually buy product from the manufacturing arm, and not at cost. This isn’t unique to Apple, either. Just about everyone (in every industry) works on some variation of this. So, the guys at the Online Store actually paid something significant to another branch of Apple to get that copy of Server, then charged the customer retail price for it.

    It may sound like a shell game, but it’s pretty much how internal revenue sharing in any large corporation works. The guys who run the pressing plant deserve bonuses, raises, and promotions, for their work, just like the sales guys. By breaking up the flow of revenue like this, the corporation is basically setting up the funds from which to mete out these benefits.

    Hell, when I worked for Apple Corporate, my department had to _rent my cube_ from Facilities. The ad agency I worked at before that did too.

  9. JC, that’s fascinating. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Although I did learn about transfer payments, etc. I did not really think hard about how that applies here before I commented.

    I still think, absent any follow-up from the OP, that he’s a dork who has no idea what he’s doing. And sometimes dorks get themselves in all sorts of situations that cost them money.

    Personally, my rule is simple: If the software is expensive, or usually even if it’s cheap, pirate-before-you-buy. Make sure it works, does what you want, AND that you’re satisfied with its quality before you plunk down your cash. Or especially before you break shrink-wrap!!

  10. I have found the same problem to be true at the costa mesa store. Jam packed with people, rude and impatient store individuals that show no follow through w/products and support/compatibility. And even when they attempt to assist, they mess up. Hours of wasted time here.

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