I am an Apple fan. Have been for many years. Owned iPhones since its release, ipads, laptops. However I ran into issues with my Mid 2012 MacBook Pro soon after purchase. This is why I sued Apple.
Due to my issues I took Apple to the small claims court in the UK as I believed that Apple was ignoring my consumer rights, in particular The Sales Of Goods Act. The law states that a manufacturer must repair or replace with a reasonable time. I believe that 4 years is more than a reasonable time. Here is my experience and my view on the whole story:
Within a few months of getting my laptop I had to get the screen and WiFi card replaced. I was subjected to that frustrating LG screen ghosting issue. Soon after getting the laptop fixed I was having issues with my external Seagate hard drive. It kept ejecting unsafely without my permission. As a freelancer I rely heavily on hardrive storage and the Cloud to store my work, but I was particularly worried about my hard drive corrupting due to the unsafe ejection. I took it to the Apple Store in Bluewater and they gave me a USB2 cable and said you can’t use USB3 anymore. This clearly was not a solution to the issue. I had also tested the hard drive on other mac’s and it was working perfectly, meaning there was a deeper underlying issue on my macbook.
Over the next couple of years I saw more issues with my laptop: FaceTime camera not turning on when needed, Bluetooth mouse and other bluetooth devices loosing connection, and even an SSD failure. Due to having so many issues I was speaking directly to a couple of senior advisors at Apple for over 3 months. They helped with lots of testing and lots of formatting my SSD, even testing on a brand new SSD with the new OS at the time. After all of this, sadly my issues persisted. Eventually they said that I could go in store and get the laptop replaced under consumer law as they could see my laptop needed at least 1 more repair. This was stated in my notes written by Apple.
Keen for getting everything sorted, I went to the Stratford Apple store. Explaining everything, I showed them my case number and asked for a new laptop that had been promised to me. However when I turned up to the store they ignored my request and the instructions by the senior support advisor. The Genius staff (loving the irony) wanted to have a go at fixing it. So I asked what can you do that 6 hardware repairs, several Apple Senior advisers and your engineering team can’t do? I was very sceptical and at this stage frustrated that my problem couldn’t be resolved. Due to me relying on the laptop for work I reluctantly gave it to them. 4 days later no luck. They said they could not see a problem.
I was confused as the engineering team and senior advisors had already run so many hardware repairs and were adamant that there were more issues that needed resolving, why were these engineers unable to see these issues? I had to show them some of the issues in store. I showed the external hard drive working fine on other in store macs. I was also told my Apple Bluetooth mouse wasn’t working due to interference. I hadn’t heard this before and would mean hypothetically that there should be wider issues with an apple mouse being used in an office environment, but I was using mine at home.
I work with technology and I know computers very well and therefore stood my ground, feeling that the solutions given to my issues were sub par and just quick fixes rather than really fixing the deeper problem. Sadly It got to the point where one of the managers would ignore me in store if I was there to collect or meet up with Apple to discuss my laptop further. I personally felt that this was bad customer service, as a manager they should have been in the forefront trying to help solve my issues.
Getting nowhere and feeling very frustrated I emailed Tim Cook. I explained everything that has gone on over the course of 3 years and felt that Apple were ignoring my request to replace my laptop under consumer law. I got a response from the famous executive relations team in Ireland. Why is it famous? Guess what? They wanted to have a go at fixing my laptop… of course they got no where after 3 months of testing.
In the end I decided I was going to settle this in the small claims court as they kept ignoring my legal right to get my laptop replaced under consumer law as it was taking them so long to repair it. Apple suggested going through mediation with the retail ombudsman. So I went with that as I wanted to get this sorted the quickest and best way for all involved. However after applying, Apple then retracted and turned mediation down.
So where did this leave me? In 2017, a full 5 years since everything started, I finally received all (well all that apple would send me) my case notes from phone calls, emails and in store appointments and applied to take Apple my case to the small claims court.
22nd December 2017 was the big day. Excited and nervous I went in, faced with the judge and Apples lawyer. The judge explained how everything worked. I started with what I had to say about my ordeal and the reasoning as to how it got to the point of me standing before him. To my shock, this is when the judge started to rip apart Apple and their lawyers. Firstly, their lawyers did not have the copy of my evidence that had painstakingly been prepared into sections with labelled dividers. This meant that during the course of the hearing their lawyer could not easily find my supporting evidence and getting confused, this meant the judge then had to step in and read out certain parts.
It was then Apples turn to run through how they saw the events of the previous years panned out. Again straight away the judge ripped into their presentation of their case. As a big firm from Canary Wharf you would expect their paper work to be 100%. The judge commented that if he ever receives documents in this state again he world reject them and send them back due to the fact that the formatting was wrong.
Apples lawyer began by asking me questions. Every question thrown at me I had a very good answer which was backed up by my evidence I had presented to the court and Apple. Apple kept blaming all my issues all on the external usb hard drive. They ignored all the supporting evidence that the usb hard drive was not the cause of the issues. The judge seemed a bit confused and perplexed at their remarks. One of the strangest statements from Apple’s lawyer was that I should not use a Bluetooth mouse but a wired mouse. If you are an Apple user and have a Macbook, you will know that Apple do not produce a wired mouse anymore and so a Bluetooth mouse was the only answer.
After 90mins the case was ruled in my favour by the Judge. Unfortunately not awarding all of the money and no replacement laptop. At this point, after so many years this was a really big win. The Judge did make a point that under consumer law the section stating there being an issue within the first 6 months is nonsense. You should not need to prove this, the laptop should last the 6 Years and not have so many issues.
Apple was given until 4pm 12 January 2018 to pay me the money owed and agreed at court. After 6 years of issues They eventually paid me on Tuesday the 23rd January. Granted it was late, but they paid. Now my biggest problem, I just need to get my hands on a working laptop.
We don’t tend to chat about non gaming topics at Caffeine Gaming. However we felt that this is a worthy story to tell you all. Just because we are a consumer doesn’t mean we have to be bullied by big corporations. Please don’t hesitate in taking legal action against a company chasing a trillion dollar valuation. Just make sure you are 100% confident you are in the right. Check out our other gaming articles.
Please note all the below is only the statements and not the case notes. I will not give these out as they contain sensitive information