My options were limited: I could either buy a new hard drive to install into my MacBook, or I could buy a new computer.
WWDC was just days away, and I knew that new MacBooks and Airs were imminent. My ailing MacBook was on its last legs, anyway; a new hard drive would only prolong the its decline. It was time for a new computer.
I worked that night at Gizmodo HQ and resolved to return to the Apple Store the next day. At the Genius Bar I had been told that a 30-day return period (two weeks longer than their usual 14-day policy) could be granted, because — without directly affirming my suspicion of new computers coming soon — they agreed it made no sense to buy a computer when upgraded ones were only weeks away. It would be in my best interest to have a longer window in which to return the 11″ MacBook Air that I resolved to float on my credit card for the time being.
WWDC came and went. As suspected, updated computers were announced and unveiled. I placed my order: a 13″ MacBook Air, with a 2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) and 8GB RAM.
Well, this morning — exactly one month later — the new MacBook Air arrived via FedEx from Shanghai. Timing!
The Mac Genius who’d granted me the 30-day policy was careful to clearly note this on my receipt — still, I worried that I might be given a hard time by an employee unfamiliar with this special-case policy.
Reader, I was wrong. It took maybe all of two minutes for the floor manager to give my return the OK. Returning anything to a local supermarket — shampoo, mascara, the wrong kind of bleach — has been more convoluted and time consuming than this.
Essentially, Apple loaned me a brand new laptop — which I purchased and was ultimately reimbursed for as a form of collateral — until I was able to order the upgraded computer I actually wanted, the one we all knew it made more sense to buy.
When you’re about to shell out a few grand for a piece of much-hyped machinery, it’s nice to know that the company is more or less on your side.