I’ll Be Seeing Apple in Court

by Colin Berkshire

In December 2016 I purchased a MacBook Pro. It was their best and latest model which was just announced.

This has been a terrible computer.

Advertised as having “All Day Battery Life” and a battery life of “Up to 10 Hours”, the laptop actually gets 3¾ hours. Only.

Now, I realize that the phrase “Up to 10 hours of battery life” means that you will NOT get more than 10 hours. And I realize that “all day battery life” is vague, and Apple may consider using your computer 3¾ hours to be a full day of work. But I don’t agree.

I asked Apple for a refund. They denied it, because I was beyond their paltry 15 day return period.

I made 56 phone calls to their support department and spoke with dozens of people. They concluded that the laptop was “within Apple’s guidelines” and they agreed that it only got 3¾ hours of battery life.

So I wrote to Tim Cook, their CEO. It was a nice letter, and it expressed that I am a decades lone Apple customer (going back to 1978) and that I am also a shareholder (owning about 25,000 shares.) The letter expressed polite disappointment that my MacBook pro was far from the promised 10 hour battery life and that I just wanted a refund.

The fact is that I can’t use the MacBook Pro because a 3¾ hour battery life is useless to me. I fly internationally a lot, and these flights are 8 or 12 hours long. A battery lasting 3¾ hours doesn’t cut it. I can’t even give a Keynote presentation in 3¾ hours, including set-up and practice. So my new MacBook Pro is useless. (i went back to using my 2012 MacBook Pro which does deliver 10 hour battery life.)

So I filed a small-claim lawsuit against Apple, asking for a refund.

I expected Apple would perhaps reconsider and grant an exception and issue me a refund.

Apple’s reputation for aggressive litigation is well earned. They shut down all communications with me, and they became hostile. At the mediation they sent a person who had no authority to settle for any amount. That person made clear that Apple would not compromise, and that they were strictly enforcing their 15 day no-returns policy.

The mediation resulted in no settlement. So the case has now been set for trial in September.

Apple is utterly un-moved by the fact that their products do not meet the marketing claims.

Apple. Hardball.