Friday, 21 August 2015
Getting a refund out of Apple!
It did not arrive on 10th, as Apple use "UK MAIL" as the courier. It was rather odd, as Apple emailed me 15:49 on 10th to say it was delayed, but the courier did not record the delay on their tracking until 19:00, which means their tracking is not as good as their reporting to Apple. What was also odd is that the courier had it down as "At delivery location" at 03:38 on 8th, which also made no sense.
I contacted Apple on their chat thing, which was a pain as they could not actually tell me any more than the web site and would not call the courier or chase them unless I called Apple!
Apparently the courier could not find it in the depot so would not be delivered on 11th either. Great! This meant changing plans for the birthday present.
I contacted apple and cancelled the order, as their web site does not offer "cancel" as an option once dispatched.
Nearly a week later, on 16th, courier site still said delayed and no more, and no refund, so contacted Apple again. They were very very reluctant to refund me. They insisted that they needed a contact number for me so they could get the courier to call me about an investigation.
I had to explain many times that I had cancelled the order and the law says they have to refund me without undue delay. Their issues with the courier are no concern of mine and I am in no mood to mess about with some sort of investigation with them. The law is clear that they take risk in transport. I had to quote the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 them several times!
They agreed a refund. But now, on 21st, still no refund. I have chased again and they say that the watch has only just been returned so only now will they do a refund.
This is not refunding me without undue delay is it Apple!!!
What is interesting is reading the regulations. Some people will know the old "Distance Selling Directive" which has been replaced with these new regulations. And I notice the new regulations have a hole in the wording. I am sure a judge would see sense with it, but still, bad drafting.
Section 34 covers a refund, and (4) says the "without undue delay" part, but there is also a hard limit on the time taken to refund. This is defined by either (5) or (6) which cover two cases.
(5) covers "If the contract is a sales contract and the trader has not offered to collect the goods", and sets the limit 14 days after return or proof or sending back
(6) covers all other cases, and sets the limit as 14 days from when cancelled
The problem here is that this was a sales contract, but the trader had not "offered to collect the goods", so the 14 days applies from when I send them back. But I don't have the watch, and never had it, and don't send it back, so the 14 days never starts!
Now, in my case the goods had been dispatched, but what of cases where they have not been. Such cases never start the 14 day time limit, as the goods never need to be sent back. The law has a gap. Clause (5) needs an extra caveat of "and the goods have been delivered to the customer". As I say, I am sure a judge would read that in to that clause.
Even so, Apple are simply ignoring several aspects of these regulations, not "allowing" cancellation at certain points in the process when the law says I can cancel, and not refunding without undue delay, and arguing over it!
You'd think someone would have spotted this hole!