User feels bitten by Apple

04 July 2011 - 01:56 By NASHIRA DAVIDS
Thania Petersen has received a refund for a faulty computer but has been asked not to shop at the Cape Town iStore again Picture: SHELLEY CHRISTIANS
Thania Petersen has received a refund for a faulty computer but has been asked not to shop at the Cape Town iStore again Picture: SHELLEY CHRISTIANS

A Cape Town woman has been asked not to shop at an iStore after a fight with the local Apple distributors.

Photographer Thania Petersen complained about "a faulty 27-inch iMac that she bought from the iStore at the V&A Waterfront in May last year for almost R20 000.

Distributors of the computer say she did not use the iMac properly and this caused the problems.

Petersen said problems with the DVD drive started the day after she bought the computer. Technicians came to her home but the problem persisted.

After months of lodging complaints with the Core Group, Apple's distribution company; begging Apple in the US for help; trying to open a case with police; and even writing to the new National Consumer Forum, she finally got her money back last week.

But there were conditions attached.

"The refund is conditional on us not engaging in any further communication on this issue and you making no further purchases from the iStore," Wayne Grieveson, a manager of the Core Group, told her in an e-mail.

Core Group executive director RJ van Spaandonk said the company had gone out of its way to help her. He had evidence and affidavits from employees to support this.

"We have expressed our sincerest regrets that she has problems. We have sent people on no fewer than five occasions to her house to try and help.

"We gave her a full refund for a product she bought a year ago. And there is no obligation, even under the new Consumer Act, to do that."

Van Spaandonk said Petersen was not banned from the store.

"We just asked her not to buy our products and to stop communicating about this issue."

Petersen said: " It is insane. I am not a criminal. I didn't steal from them. I never caused a scene or screamed in their store. I just wanted my Mac to be fixed ."

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