When reading about Apple products you often come across the term “Apple Tax.” It refers to the premium Apple users pay for the products. This premium is simply not an imaginary addition to the cost of the product, but provides real, tangible benefits. More than once this year, I’ve been reminded how much the premium for Apple products is worth it.
A couple of months ago my wife’s original Apple Watch had the back separate from the body. She could put it back on, but almost daily it would come off. I logged onto the Apple Support app and scheduled an appointment with the genius bar at the nearest Apple store.
Upon arrival they took us to the Genius Bar within 10 or so minutes. The man examined the watch and determined quickly there was an issue not caused by us, and we were covered by AppleCare. He took the watch and got our information. This was a Monday. Two days later on Wednesday, a FedEx truck pulled into our driveway with a replacement watch from Apple. It was not only a new watch, but it was an upgraded model to the next model of watch, a Series 1.
We not only received my wife’s Apple Watch back in less than 48 hours, but it was new and not refurbished and upgraded to a better model. The main difference in the upgraded model is the Series 1 has a dual core processor. She got a new and better watch two years after the original purchase. Yes, I’ll gladly pay the Apple Tax.
Last month I purchased the Apple TV. It arrived on day one of availability. After a few days I decided to return it. It worked perfectly and is an amazing device, but for various reasons I decided not to keep it at the time. My main reason is that I have a brand new functioning Chromecast and many of the features overlap. Granted the Apple TV offered other functions unavailable on the Chromecast. When the Chromecast ceases to function, I’ll repurchase the Apple TV.
After logging onto the Apple Store app I initiated a return. It was quick and easy and I was able to even print out the return label from my iPhone. The label was attached to the original box with the Apple TV and original materials inside. I simply dropped it in a FedEx box in town and in less than five days I had a full refund and didn’t even have to pay for the return shipping. Yes, I’ll gladly pay the Apple Tax.
A less than stellar experience happened to us this past weekend on a non-Apple product. We had just purchased a surround sound system, and it worked perfectly for six weeks. While watching a video at relatively low volume, it just stopped working. It would not power on. I did all the standard and online suggested troubleshooting. Nothing worked. I finally called the company, as the device has a one-year warranty.
They told me they would not offer a refund. Which was fine, as I just wanted another one like it. They said it was not in stock and offered me a replacement that was of lesser quality and ability — and was two years old. I didn’t want to accept this. I just simply wanted what I had before.
The person told me to look online and find what I wanted. I told them Amazon has it in stock. They then said to look on “our site.” Well, I had already been told it was out of stock. So, I told them I would just take my losses and get something else.
I did look on their site and found the exact one I had, and was able to even put it in the shopping cart. But, at this point I just removed it and never called back. Yes, I lost $250 but I didn’t trust giving this company a credit card number and getting in deeper with them. They had a very poor warranty, and I would have to had pay $30 to $50 to return it because it was a very heavy device.
So I ordered a better one from a much more respected vendor. Upon looking at all the Amazon comments I then saw how often the first sound system just “went out” as well as replacement and refurbished units failing and many other issues with the company. At least with the new one, I did not see one comment about the device failing.
I did go ahead and decide just to lose the $250. Perhaps I’ll find on ebay the one component that failed and have a fully functioning system again and not have a total loss. It was a very unpleasant experience and I simply will not purchase this brand again. (Just to comment, our church had a rather expensive device from the same vendor and it went out at four months and was not covered under warranty because they consider that a “commercial” environment and warranties end at three months.)
At this point, I wish Apple would make every electronic device I use--large screen TV’s, sound systems, routers, etc. Yes, I’ll gladly pay the Apple Tax. Always.