Apple products have connected the world in a very profound way. From the smartphone revolution to the way we take in media, Apple has their hands in a lot of stuff and sells many different products. But what happens when we aren’t happy with an Apple product and need to return it? That’s when things can get a bit murky and it becomes important that we fully understand the Apple return policy. Here’s a full breakdown of the good things about their return policy and the things that aren’t so great.
6 Reasons Why Their Return Policy Sucks…
1. You Only Have 14 Days to Return Stuff
Yep, Apple only gives you 14 days to test out a product.
So make it quick and don’t let the item sit around gathering dust or you just might find yourself stuck with something that doesn’t do what you thought it would do.
Apple will refund you back to your original form of payment and I was told it could take up to 5 business days to get your money back.
Hack Alert #1: A 14-day return policy is ridiculous, so OUTSMART Apple and buy your next iPhone or iPad from Costco (if you’re a member).
You’ll get a 90-day return window on all Apple devices so you can test it out thoroughly and not feel rushed to make a decision if it’s right for you.
All that Costco asks you to do before you return it is perform a Factory Reset and Unlock your device.
2. Gotta Have Your Receipt
Apple claims that you MUST have your receipt to make a return.
But if you find yourself needing to make a return sans receipt, you stand a fighting chance of taking it back to the Apple location where you purchased it and asking for help.
I was told by an Apple Store employee that in many cases they will have evidence of your purchase in their system and can bring up your order history and make your return happen.
You can also call them at (800) MY–APPLE and they can pull up the purchase by gathering some information from you.
3. Some Stuff Can’t Be Return
While the majority of Apple products are eligible for a return, these things aren’t…
- Opened software
- Electronic Software Downloads
- Software Upgrades
- Apple Store Gift Cards
- Apple Developer Products
- Apple Print Products
Not a huge deal, but worth knowing.
Hack Alert #2: I had an employee give me the great tip of downloading a trial version of any Apple software you’re considering buying so you know for sure it’s going to work for you before purchasing.
4. Returning an iPhone or iPad Doesn’t Cancel Your Wireless Account
Just because you return your iPhone or iPad, it doesn’t automatically mean your wireless service provider will cancel or update your account.
So make sure you call Verizon or AT&T (or whoever you use) and let them know so you don’t get charged incorrectly.
5. Apple Limits the Dollar Amount of a Cash Return
Apple has a limit on cash returns of $750.
Let’s say you pay cash for a $950 MacBook Air and decide a week later you don’t like it.
When you bring it back, Apple will only refund you $750 in cash and will mail you a check for the other $200 that will take up to 10 days to get.
Seriously Apple? You’re worth almost $3 trillion and you can’t give me all my cash back on a purchase? Weak applesauce.
6. Apple Pushes You Towards In-Store Return/Exchange
This is especially true when it comes to exchanges.
Several readers have made mention of this to me and the reason is because they DON’T want to pay the shipping charges.
So they tell you that you must return to an Apple Store to make an exchange or return.
Like John said in the comments, “The closest store to me is 80 miles at the price of gas that’s more then what a label costs.”
So do what John did and complain to Apple corporate and they’ll eventually agree to mail you a replacement product.
and Now 7 Reasons Why their Return Policy is Great…
1. You Can Return Opened Stuff
Get your new Apple products out of the box and give them a trial run to make sure you’re satisfied.
Just be gentle and keep that iPad, iPhone, or MacBook in “like new” condition in case you do need to return it.
This is especially important as Apple only gives you 14 days to return products.
2. Stuff Bought Online Can Be Returned for FREE
Apple picks up the cost of returned shipping which is REALLY nice.
Most retailers these days stick you with the return shipping charges which is a real fun suck. But not Apple.
You can also return stuff bought online to your nearest Apple Store.
3. You Can Return a Gift Online or In-Store
To do it online, simply go into your Apple Account Page and select Return a Gift.
All you need to provide is the product serial number or order number to initiate the return which is AWESOME as you often won’t have a gift receipt.
The best part is that return shipping is completely FREE.
Also, it’s important to note that Apple will almost always be able to help you out if it’s been over 14 days since you were given the gift.
Just call Apple at (800) MY–APPLE and they can help you out.
You can either get an Apple gift card for the amount of the returned gift or you can do a product exchange for equal value.
4. You Can Exchange Items at ANY Apple Store
All Apple Stores in the U.S. can process your exchange, doesn’t matter where you originally bought it.
If you do an exchange for an item of lesser value, the difference will be added to an Apple Gift Card OR refunded to the original form of payment…your choice.
5. Extended Holiday Return Policy
Last year, Apple had a cool extended holiday return policy and they did the same in 2023.
It works like this…
Any item purchased between November 3rd and December 25th can be returned all the way up until January 8, 2024.
6. Apple Bends Over Backwards for Damaged Items
If for some reason you get a damaged Apple product delivered to you, Apple has your back in a BIG way.
You can either take the damaged item to any Apple Store for a replacement or mail it back (at no cost to you) for a replacement.
Pretty standard stuff, right? But where Apple takes the prize is they’ll actually overnight ship the replacement product for FREE.
7. Download a Crappy App? Not a Problem
Have you ever paid $0.99 (or more) for an app only to have it be a total piece of crap?
Glitches on top of glitches. Or maybe it crashes more than your 81-year old Grandma in her Buick sedan.
I was told on my last trip to the Apple Store that they will actually give you your money back within 14 days of purchase.
To make this hidden gem in their return policy happen, you just need to visit the App Store support page and tell them you want your money back.
Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the return policy at Apple? Do you like it or has the 14 day return window been an issue?
By Kyle James