Apple practising bistro mathematics

Rather annoyingly I smashed my iPad mini coming back from the beer festival. I dropped it about 4 times, and only when I finally got home did I finally manage to smash it on my driveway. Gutted.

As James now works in Reading I asked him to pop in to the Apple store for me. They said they replace them now at discounted price, and would have to order one. They said it would be £207.50 and handed him the quote.

Turns out the quote has the rather odd mathematics as shown on the right whereby the price is £207.50 (as advised) but somehow it makes a total amount due of £229.00!

I cannot fathom that at all. Even the Total states £207.50 and £229.00, which is it?

Well, it turns out that it is actually £249.00. Yes, that is what they actually charged the card for the new iPad. James did not notice until he got home.

This sort of mathematics would have made Douglas Adams proud.


  1. Sorry for your loss but that sounds like one hell of a beer festival!

  2. I see what you did there - the answer is 42, or very nearly.

    Hope you enjoyed our new site and found plenty to drink.

  3. Wow. What a mess.

    £207.50 + VAT at 20% = £249

    The £38.17 is 20% of the £190.83, bringing an inc. VAT price of £229, but I'm not sure where the £229 comes into it at all...

  4. I ran into this when I got an iPhone replaced while in the US. The 'Price' column is a notional price for the line item -- I'm not sure if it's the internal cost or the retail price, but I assume the latter -- while the 'Amount Due' is what they actually intend to charge for it.

    In my case, the retail cost of the repair service was $299, and that showed up in the Price column, but the repair was handled under warranty with $0 in the Amount Due. This was totally confusing until I asked the store rep to explain it!

    The £249 sounds totally wrong, though...

  5. £207.50 + 20% = £249. It's clear that somebody's neglected to consider VAT… I wonder if the undiscounted price is £249.

  6. Yes, apple in store are very good at forgetting about VAT. Apparently their back office guys only see the non vat figures, which is misleading - consumers don't expect non VAT figures.

  7. It is illegal in the UK to quote non VAT prices to consumers. Someone should tell Apple, and whoever is supposed to take Apple to court for breaking the law.

    1. Is it illegal to quote them? Or just to advertise them. I am not sure on the distinction, but I think RevK has a very good case to tell apple to go right to hell, do not pass go, do not collect unquoted VAT

  8. I would conclude that they just haven't given you the promised discount if they debited you £249.00. Surely the left-hand column is the standard price and the right-hand column is the discounted price for replacement machines? They appear to have charged the standard price + VAT instead of the discounted price * VAT of £229.00. In other words the discount (after VAT is added) should be £20 but you've been charged as a new customer.


Comments are moderated purely to filter out obvious spam, but it means they may not show immediately.

NOTSCO (Not TOTSCO) One Touch Switching test platform (now launched)

I posted about how inept TOTSCO seem to be, and the call today with them was no improvement. It seems they have test stages... A "simul...