Did You Just Buy an iPad? Here's the Return Policy for Major Retailers - iSmashPhone iPhone Blog
Did You Just Buy an iPad? Here's the Return Policy for Major Retailers
Many of us at iSmashPhone are geeks, as we are sure many of our visitors are. That means we keep up with the tech trends and follow the rumors everyday. Still, that's not the case for everybody. There are many consumers out there who bought the original iPad because they just thought, "Hey, it's time for me to get an iPad."
Meet the iPad 2
As luck would have it for them, the iPad 2 was released soon after. Some of those people bought their iPad as little as two weeks ago, and if they weren't feeling buyer's remorse for doing it then, they are now. There is a bit of good news, maybe. If you bought your Apple tablet recently enough, you may be able to meet the requirements for a store's return policy.
What We Did
We called a few popular retailers around the country just to ask them about their return policy. Our scenario was that we recently bought the iPad and were looking to return it because we had heard of the new one. Our story was that we had already opened it and used it, but we had the box and the receipt and everything it came with (obviously a best-case scenario for any electronics product, but a good one to get into the habit of).
The one Wal-Mart where the associate did answer had very little to say (though we understand Wal-Mart can get very busy during the daytime hours). She mentioned that Wal-Mart offers 15 days with receipt and original packaging. No restocking fee was mentioned, but that seems in line with their in-store return policies according to their website, which states "Computers and postpaid cell phones must be returned within 15 days." The iPad likely to fall under the computer category.
We called a few Best Buy stores and asked about their return policy. They offer 14 days, and returning the product would be okay within that timeframe. Even if opened, the product can be returned, so long as you have your original packaging and receipt to prove that your item was purchased with them. We asked about restocking fees and were told that was not a concern. Only special orders will require a restocking fee. Best Buy's return policy can be found here if you need more details.
We called a local Verizon store to ask them the same question. They have the same 14-day grace period for anyone wanting to return their item. The associate made sure to specify that we need all the original packaging and documentation as well as a receipt if we want to make a return. The associate did not mention a restocking fee, but we found that tablets have a $70 restocking fee according to Verizon's website, so don't be surprised if you have that extra $70 fee.
We called Target as well, and they said that their return policy is 90 days, of course you must also have your original packaging and receipt. While most stores seemed to cut return policies on electronics down to 14 days, this didn't seem to matter for Target. However, the associate did say there would be a 15 percent restocking fee on the iPad. That matches what we read on their website.
Apple Retail Store
We called three Apple retail stores. The first one gave us some information that we found a bit hard to believe. The associate told us that we had 30 days to return the tablet, so long as it's undamaged and we have everything that came with it (meaning box, cables, documentation, etc.). May want to try your luck there, but we called to other stores just to double-check.
Another Apple Store told us that we have 14 days. If the packaging was opened, he said to expect a 10 percent restocking fee.
Yet another Apple Store employee told us about the same 14 day period and restocking fee. Though he did add that they may be lenient if you are buying an iPad 2 and if it's ship date happens within your 14 days, you may be able to return it as an exchange. However, he did say that if we know for a fact that the iPad 2 won't be arriving within our 14-day period, we should just make the return within the allotted time if we want to get a refund. After all, we would be returning a few days later to buy the new model.
It seems that all retailers have similar return policies. Target seems like the most lenient giving their 90-day period, but their restocking fee is a bit higher than Apple's. Either way, you can count on having to keep your receipt and returning within two weeks of your purchase date. If you are a bit over that, it may be too late, but it can't hurt to try to sweet talk them into it.
Also know that we read that Apple is refunding the difference for those who purchased an iPad within the last two weeks. Meaning, if you bought an iPad up to 14 days ago, you may be able to ask for a $100 refund to make up the discounted price. That's not a bad deal, and an iPad at $399 might be pretty cool.