Thursday, August 06, 2015

The refund

The 3 TB hard drive on my late-2012 iMac failed in September 2014, nine months past the one-year Apple warranty included with the computer's purchase. It cost me over $400 (Canadian) to have it replaced. I was a little pissed at the time because hard drives ordered directly from manufacturers are generally guaranteed for five years, so this seemed like a drive manufacturing defect for which I was made to pay because I purchased it through a third party.

Fast-forward another nine months: Apple officially recognizes a problem with those drives and initiates a replacement program. Since I already had my drive replaced, I was offered a full refund on the aforementioned expense instead. Great! I phoned Apple and they mailed me a check. Or at least they said they did. After five weeks, I informed them of not having received it. One of my options was to have that check cancelled and have the funds transferred electronically instead. I decided to try this. I phoned Apple with my banking details and, after an initial mixup over the so-called transit number, found the money in my bank account on July 30. Great!

Then, yesterday, I received a check in the mail for those same funds, initiated on the same day as my wire transfer — July 30 — so this was not the check mailed a month earlier.

Of course I had no intention of cashing the check but I thought it would be a courtesy to let them know of it, since the check's creation at the same time that the funds were being wired electronically pointed to an obscure failing of Apple's refund procedure. I provided the check date, number, and the reference numbers that were on the printout that accompanied the check. The slightly snarky email response was: "I can confirm that we successfully canceled the check, so we appreciate your assistance in discarding it, and not attempting to cash it." There seemed to be no recognition that the check they had cancelled was (presumably) the older check and not this newly generated one! Wow.

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