Pricewatch: Apple won’t replace MacBook Pro after two breakdowns

Cancelling cash back deal and when ‘20% off everything’ sale doesn’t mean everything

We got a mail from a reader called Noel who was writing on behalf of his wife who bought a MacBook Pro in November 2016 from Apple. "It broke down within a year and CompuB repaired it, replacing the logic board," he writes. "It broke down again, the same problem, and Apple said they would replace the logic board. However, we feel a great lack of confidence in this unit now and we asked why they would not replace the whole unit as there would seem to be a persistent problem in it."

He says Apple told him there would have to be “three similar breakdowns with the laptop before they would replace the complete unit” and he expressed wonder that the logic board “would have to fail three times before they will replace it! What options do we have do you know under Irish consumer law?”

The options are limited. While it is annoying for Noel and his wife, it is perfectly understandable that the company will want to do all that it can to fix the problem before it offers a replacement product. A Mac Book Pro costs about €1,400 and while we are not privy to how much Apple pays for its logic boards we were able to find them selling on eBay for less than €100 and it is a racing certainty that they cost Apple a whole lot less than that.

So it will always seek to repair rather than replace. It can’t, however, keep doing that indefinitely although there is nothing written in consumer legislation saying how many times a company can repair a product – but for something of this value – three times sounds about right.


Backing out of cash back deal

“I bought online with




at the weekend,” starts a mail from Davin


. “I was offered approximately €10 and €16 cash back on each purchase,” he says.

He signed up for the first of those offers with a company he presumed was Debenhams. “They asked for my credit card details and – as I said already – I thought it was Debenhams, who I had just given my credit card details to so I was happy to give them again.”

To his surprise he received an email from a company called telling him he had “agreed to a €15 per month membership of their ‘club’. I cancelled immediately. I don’t recall Debenhams and indeed other shops who have partnered with saying anything clear that you’re giving your details to a third party and they are charging you per month for the pleasure.”

This is not the first – or the second or the third – time readers have got in touch about Complete Savings. So, what is it? It is a self-styled web loyalty scheme that pops up after people make purchases on a whole host of sites including Ticketmaster, Irish Rail, and Debenhams. While it has partnered with those companies it is entirely unrelated. It promises cash back to its members if they shop on certain sites.

The company has repeatedly told us that to sign up customers must enter their name, email address, postal address and their credit or debit card details on the online sign-up page and at no point is data transferred to the Complete Savings sign-up form from their previous purchase.

The manner in which it operates is, however, confusing to many people and many people – people like Davin – do end up signing up inadvertently. He is lucky in that he noticed he had signed up almost immediately and we have heard from readers in the past who only realised they had “joined the club” months after the fact.

Complete Savings does tend to be pretty good at issuing refunds however.

Misled by ‘20% off everything’ sign

A reader by the name of


went to a Carraig Donn shop in Ennis last weekend and saw a sign in-store which promised 20 per cent off everything. “I double checked the sign and yes it said 20 per cent off EVERYTHING.”

So she picked up a Max Benjamin diffuser refill which was priced at €19.95 "I brought it to the counter expecting to get it for 20 per cent less but alas no. The shop assistant said Max Benjamin stuff is never reduced. I pointed to the sign that said 20 per cent off everything but she said not off Max Benjamin.

Teresa asks why a shop would have a sign that says 20 per cent off everything “when everything is not included? The shop assistant said there was a sign. On my way out I checked and on a high shelf there was a sign that said: “These items are not in the promotion”.Therefore the sign about 20 per cent was misleading and should have read 20 per cent off almost everything.”

We contacted the retailer and a spokeswoman immediately accepted that its signage was wrong and had been put up in error. She apologised to our reader and said she had been offered a voucher.