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Apple ends mail-in repair service in the UK - report

post #1 of 26
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Apple Computer has quietly discontinued its mail-in repair service in the UK without notifying its customers or resellers, according to a report.

UK-based Ping Wales said it stumbled upon the news when one of its contributors contacted Apple to schedule a repair for a PowerBook that had been registered with the company's AppleCare extended protection plan.

Instead of going through the usual procedure where Apple would dispatch an empty box with prepaid shipping labels and packaging material, the customer was told to take the notebook to the nearest Apple authorised repair center.

"Apple declined to comment on the matter, but a call to the company's tech support call centre confirmed that the mail-in repair service had been discontinued just over a month ago," the report states.

Apple resellers reportedly told Ping Wales that they hadn't been informed of the change either, but added that the report may explain why they have seen a sharp increase in the number of repair requests at their stores in recent weeks.

"I recently had cause to ring Apple to get my MacBook serviced, and was informed I'd need to take it to Cardiff," wrote one customer, who at press time had posted the lone comment on the report. "I asked the tech support agent if Apple could reimburse me for the expenses incurred by getting to and from Cardiff and was told no, Apple can't do that."

Update:

A tipster informs AppleInsider that Apple has temporarily halted its mail-in repair service in the U.K. due to the impending closure of Celestica's Telford, England repair facility.

The facility specialized in repair services for clients such as Apple, IBM, Sony, Dell, Fujitsu, Kodak, Blackberry, Telewest and Sun -- all of which are now seeking replacement providers.

Its closure later this month will reportedly result in the loss of 665 jobs right around Christmas time.
post #2 of 26
This is illegal.

By law in the UK a company must provide a warranty on the goods and if the goods are faulty then you have the right to either return the goods to the place of purchase for a full refund (ie, return them to the online apple store within the first year) or if this is not possible, have a free repair carried out.

The definitions of a free repair are set out in this OFT document.

If you can reasonably prove that you incurred significant expense in returning the goods to Apple, they are required to reimburse you.

A good idea may be rather than taking the computer yourself, call a courier and have it delivered to the repair center and then ask for the goods to be delivered back to you - an extra step but you'll then have two receipts which will be good enough to make copies of and send to Apple for refund.

It's somewhat disgusting to hear of this.
post #3 of 26
Wow apple that's bs! Fix this!
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post #4 of 26
I live in the middle of nowhere in Ireland, and yet my nearest Apple authorised repair centre is only 40 miles away. In fact, there are two! What's the problem?
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood

I live in the middle of nowhere in Ireland, and yet my nearest Apple authorised repair centre is only 40 miles away. In fact, there are two! What's the problem?

Isn't that an additional two hours round trip travel time, plus fuel + mileage (or fare) expenses to get there? Do you have to go back to pick it up after it's fixed? That adds up.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13

This is illegal.

By law in the UK a company must...

Ah, so that explains why prices are higher in the UK.
post #7 of 26
can you guys imagine dell reimbursing someone for travel time to a store? i mean, i'd love for apple to pay me to go and check out new computers, but c'mon guys. apple is the leader in customer service and satisfaction, and i think it always will be, but at the heart it's still a business that has to make smart fiscal decisions.
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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan371

can you guys imagine dell reimbursing someone for travel time to a store? i mean, i'd love for apple to pay me to go and check out new computers, but c'mon guys. apple is the leader in customer service and satisfaction, and i think it always will be, but at the heart it's still a business that has to make smart fiscal decisions.

Please explain why you can't just ship the defective product to them rather than having to carry it into a store.
post #9 of 26
Bah, UK isn't that big and you have tons of repair centres and authorized dealers to bring your stuff to.
Still sucks tho. We'll probably be hearing about another lawsuit in a little bit.
post #10 of 26
sick people, disabled people, single parents with child, poor people etc etc. I don't see this as being sustainable.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13

This is illegal.
The definitions of a free repair are set out in this OFT document.

Can't see where it says free repair. Actually, this has nothing to do with repair but cancelling an at home purchase.

In addition, having taken a month before anyone brought this up, implies that there can't be much of a problem with Apple products.

As for Apple's decision to change their repair program, I do believe that as their warrantees state, the cost of getting the item to a service/repair outlet is born by the user.
post #12 of 26
When you take into account that manufacturing quality of the latest Apple products sucks as I learned from my own experience, this can cause a lot of problems to many guys in UK
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

Please explain why you can't just ship the defective product to them rather than having to carry it into a store.

There is nothing to stop anybody from using the postal service, a courrier or a taxi to get their Mac in for repair. Apple has just stopped doing it for nothing. Which I would say complies wholely with the condition of sale that was contracted at the time of purchase.

For the life of me, I am trying to think of a consumer product that guaratees free pick and delivery as part of their warantee program. I do believe the Lamborgini has such a policy, but you do in fact pay for it up front. Perhaps no one has noticed that it is buried in the price.
post #14 of 26
The reason Apple no longer have a mail in service is because Celestica Telford is closing the end of this month with a loss off 665 jobs. They handled Apple mail in from the UK France and Germany along with accounts for IBM, Sony, Dell, Fujitsu, Kodak, Blackberry, Telewest and Sun. All of these have had to find alternatives.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13

This is illegal.

By law in the UK a company must provide a warranty on the goods and if the goods are faulty then you have the right to either return the goods to the place of purchase for a full refund (ie, return them to the online apple store within the first year) or if this is not possible, have a free repair carried out.

The definitions of a free repair are set out in this OFT document.

If you can reasonably prove that you incurred significant expense in returning the goods to Apple, they are required to reimburse you.

A good idea may be rather than taking the computer yourself, call a courier and have it delivered to the repair center and then ask for the goods to be delivered back to you - an extra step but you'll then have two receipts which will be good enough to make copies of and send to Apple for refund.

It's somewhat disgusting to hear of this.

Read the story...
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by exapple

The reason Apple no longer have a mail in service is because Celestica Telford is closing the end of this month with a loss off 665 jobs. They handled Apple mail in from the UK France and Germany along with accounts for IBM, Sony, Dell, Fujitsu, Kodak, Blackberry, Telewest and Sun. All of these have had to find alternatives.

Thank you.
post #17 of 26
It can be a pain but I'd actually prefer to get my computer fixed more locally and where I can pick it up at my convenience. One of the biggest complaints I see among PC users is that they can take their machine to a repair shop and get a 1-2 day return time. To send a machine to Apple can take upwards of a week, some people wait months. Not to mention that relying on the postal service sometimes means your pride an joy gets manhandled by your untrustworthy neighbour.

I don't know how the postal service have the right to assume you actually get on well with your neighbours. My neighbours happen to be involved with drugs and the like and I was shocked to see that when I ordered a hard drive that all the postal service left was a single name of who it had been collected by - they didn't take it back to the depot. I didn't even know my neighbour's last name because they are separated but live together to claim more welfare as single parents. For all the information I had, it was stolen. That kind of thing is not acceptable to me and I would never order a computer from Apple to my home address nor would I wish to send it knowing it would come back the same way.

All Apple need to do is make sure they cover enough area that nobody has to drive more than about 40-50 miles to a store that is authorised to do warranty repairs. That way I can get an email or phone call to say when it is ready and I can pick it up myself knowing it won't be damaged or lost in transit.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin

It can be a pain but I'd actually prefer to get my computer fixed more locally and where I can pick it up at my convenience. One of the biggest complaints I see among PC users is that they can take their machine to a repair shop and get a 1-2 day return time. To send a machine to Apple can take upwards of a week, some people wait months. Not to mention that relying on the postal service sometimes means your pride an joy gets manhandled by your untrustworthy neighbour.

I don't know how the postal service have the right to assume you actually get on well with your neighbours. My neighbours happen to be involved with drugs and the like and I was shocked to see that when I ordered a hard drive that all the postal service left was a single name of who it had been collected by - they didn't take it back to the depot. I didn't even know my neighbour's last name because they are separated but live together to claim more welfare as single parents. For all the information I had, it was stolen. That kind of thing is not acceptable to me and I would never order a computer from Apple to my home address nor would I wish to send it knowing it would come back the same way.

All Apple need to do is make sure they cover enough area that nobody has to drive more than about 40-50 miles to a store that is authorised to do warranty repairs. That way I can get an email or phone call to say when it is ready and I can pick it up myself knowing it won't be damaged or lost in transit.

England is even farther down the tubes than the USA. Except for California, we're changing overnight to Mexifornia.
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post #19 of 26
Sucks that the repair depot has shut down and Apple can't do anything about that ... but ...

Dell give you 2 years at-home repair service for around £60 (or 1 year for £30). Whether it does what it says on the tin is another thing.

Apple are way way way behind, it pains me to say. Driving 50 miles to an Apple store (if you have a car, the UK isn't the USA) and back, twice, would cost some £40 in fuel and 4 hours of time if you don't get stuck in traffic.

If the product fails in warranty then the company should foot the bill for the user's costs. Common sense.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood

I live in the middle of nowhere in Ireland, and yet my nearest Apple authorised repair centre is only 40 miles away. In fact, there are two! What's the problem?

Could be transport... I live in Dublin, but it is a heck of a trip to a service centre, especially when you have to take several buses to get there
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirron

England is even farther down the tubes than the USA. Except for California, we're changing overnight to Mexifornia.

WTF? If you are going to be hateful, at least make sure it has something to do with the thread...


Anyways, There is a lot of fuss with little info. Not a single person from this board has been impacted though it appears to be a month old change. Neither do we know if this is a permenant change or if Apple will resume the mail-in service when/if they line up another repair facility...
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post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey

WTF? If you are going to be hateful, at least make sure it has something to do with the thread...


Anyways, There is a lot of fuss with little info. Not a single person from this board has been impacted though it appears to be a month old change. Neither do we know if this is a permenant change or if Apple will resume the mail-in service when/if they line up another repair facility...

I was referring to the cultures slithering into the gutter. Hateful-not. Truthful-yes. Closing a facility with the loss of hundreds of jobs is hateful.

ie:My neighbours happen to be involved with drugs and the like and I was shocked to see that when I ordered a hard drive that all the postal service left was a single name of who it had been collected by - they didn't take it back to the depot. I didn't even know my neighbour's last name because they are separated but live together to claim more welfare as single parents.
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig

Sucks that the repair depot has shut down and Apple can't do anything about that ... but ...

Dell give you 2 years at-home repair service for around £60 (or 1 year for £30). Whether it does what it says on the tin is another thing.

Apple are way way way behind, it pains me to say. Driving 50 miles to an Apple store (if you have a car, the UK isn't the USA) and back, twice, would cost some £40 in fuel and 4 hours of time if you don't get stuck in traffic.

If the product fails in warranty then the company should foot the bill for the user's costs. Common sense.

Have you ever tried to use the Dell in home service? I've heard plenty of stories about inexperienced techs that come in and make a mess of things trying to 'fix' the machine. Oh, and if you get a new hard drive put in, that's all you get. Your data that was there is gone. You have to reinstall everything yourself, etc.

Apple is quite generous on what kind of things they do cover under warranty. Reimbursement for your time if a machine fails definitely should not be one of them.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin

It can be a pain but I'd actually prefer to get my computer fixed more locally and where I can pick it up at my convenience. One of the biggest complaints I see among PC users is that they can take their machine to a repair shop and get a 1-2 day return time.

Considering that most of Apple's laptop computers as well as new iMacs are a pain to take apart, I doubt that many local repair shops are happy about having to repair Apple hardware. They would just as soon ship their customers' Macs to Apple themselves rather than deal with the hassle of completely tearing apart a Mac just to replace basic components.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar

Considering that most of Apple's laptop computers as well as new iMacs are a pain to take apart, I doubt that many local repair shops are happy about having to repair Apple hardware. They would just as soon ship their customers' Macs to Apple themselves rather than deal with the hassle of completely tearing apart a Mac just to replace basic components.

Basic replacements like Ram and HD are usually ok but I agree Apple should put some work into making their machines more easily serviceable, especially the Mac Mini.
post #26 of 26
This pisses me off.

One of the major reasons I got my MBP was because I knew when I moved over to England I could still get it easily repaired/etc.

If they don't fix this problem-- and fast, I'm going to be one angry redhead
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