I ordered a MacBook Pro from Apple for my daughter, paying £2,399, and gave her address for delivery.
It didn’t arrive. When I chased, I was told initially that it was in transit. Then I was informed it had been delivered to number 16, whereas the number of the address on the order was 114.
I expected Apple to apologise and send a new computer, but instead it sent me a photograph of a woman opening the door to 16. She was not touching the computer box.
Apple said this was proof that she had my computer and I should go there to retrieve it. I said I didn’t feel safe knocking on a stranger’s door. However, I wanted to get my daughter’s computer before Christmas.
Expensive mistake: Apple delivered a reader’s £2,400 laptop to an address 100 doors away but instead of apologising, told them to call the police
The householder confirmed that the courier had rung her doorbell and asked her to take in the package even though she said she did not know the addressee. She had refused.
Apple says I must report this to the police as it is stolen and the matter is out of their hands.
M. D., London.
Tony Hazell replies: I own many Apple devices and have always found its customer service to be excellent, so I was shocked at this.
It is not a customer’s responsibility to seek out something that has been delivered to the wrong address.
Apple has a contract with its courier firm, and if that firm delivers to the wrong address, or fails to deliver, it is Apple’s responsibility to sort it out.
Apple also has a contract with you, and it is its responsibility to see that items are delivered.
To suggest you go knocking on a stranger’s door in the middle of a pandemic is daft, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.
Apple has now agreed to refund your PayPal account, but it told me: ‘We don’t comment on individual customer cases.’
Well, I do.
Apple says it worked with you to find a resolution. But you told me: ‘I mentioned some compensation for the ten weeks of frustration and hours of phone calls but the firm was not interested.’
At a minimum, Apple should offer a replacement MacBook at a heavily discounted price. Has it not heard of sending flowers as an apology?
Your letter reminded me of a bizarre experience I had with the company a few years ago. It insisted an item had been delivered but there was no sign of it. It provided a replacement without equivocation.
I found the original several weeks later when weeding under a bush in front of my house – and sent it back.
You have YOUR say
Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some regarding our article on how investors have used tax-free accounts to make £1m.
I have held shares for 55 years and Isas have never made me anything close to the cash you can get from purchasing an old house and reselling it.
Buying shares can be like gambling, and you should only do it if you can afford to lose.
M. A., Manchester.
I’m 60 and have amassed a nice sum from investing in many of the shares Money Mail listed in this article.
One has had a few wobbles over the years, but I have stuck with it and I’m still getting returns of 7 per cent.
N.L., via email.
It’s always a good idea to use tax breaks wisely, and if you don’t need the cash you can put away the maximum allowance for more than 20 years.
However, if you choose to do this your heirs will probably be the only ones who benefit from it.
J. N., Richmond, London.
If you are not prepared to take any risks with your capital, then you have to accept low returns. You must risk it if you want a decent return. That is the trade-off.
P. S., Darwen, Lancs.
Unfortunately, it is usually the case that if you have money you will make money.
The vast majority of UK workers have no hope of being able to invest £20,000 a year. Some are lucky to have £500 put aside for emergencies.
H. R., Devon.
I’ve always tried to invest the maximum allowed in my Isa and only failed to do this on four occasions.
While many young people say they do not have the money to invest, pensioners are less likely to have spent cash on holidays and new cars.
S. C., via email.
Barclays won’t believe I’m not dead
Barclays wrote to my husband regarding my investment account, referring to me as ‘the deceased’. It said I had passed away some time ago.
I spent an afternoon on the phone to a young man who kept looking for my death certificate.
I then tried to make a complaint, but the individual I spoke to did not know what an investment account was and wanted security details I could not supply.
I have written but received no response.
V. W., Daventry, Northants.
Last month I covered a case in which Barclays was persisting in writing to someone who had died. Now it has adopted the role of Grim Reaper.
It was lucky that you are in decent health. Imagine if someone with a seriously sick relative had received a letter which said: ‘We’re aware that the deceased . . . passed away some time ago.’
A Barclays spokesman says: ‘We are truly sorry for our mistake and the distress and inconvenience caused when we incorrectly applied a deceased marker to Mrs W’s investment account.’
It agrees that when you called you did not receive the level of service you should be able to expect.
You now have full access to your investments and have accepted a £250 goodwill gesture.
Straight to the point
On November 8, Virgin Money offered new customers who opened a current account that week 15 bottles of wine worth £180.
I signed up on November 9 and was told I was eligible, but have since been informed that I don’t qualify because the offer began on November 11.
R. B., via email.
Virgin Money has reviewed your complaint and offered you the case of wine as a gesture of goodwill.
My PayPal account has been frozen and now I can’t access £150 of credit.
It is asking me for further proof of personal ID, but there is a scam doing the rounds asking for the same information and I am uncomfortable handing it out.
D. T., Worthing, W. Sussex.
It’s sensible to be suspicious, but this was not a scam. PayPal says it must verify a customer’s identity to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
It requests more information when a customer reaches a set limit, or based on activity on their account. The situation has now been resolved.
I bought a 99p ebook from Amazon almost a year ago but am still being charged £7.99 a month.
D. C., Suffolk.
You signed up for Kindle Unlimited by mistake, and as you didn’t cancel after the 30-day free trial you were charged a £7.99 monthly fee.
Amazon has now cancelled your subscription and refunded you £87.89 for the 11 months you were charged.
I received £225 on a Co-op member’s card when I bought a pre-paid funeral plan in 2016.
I only used the card once to buy a small Hoover and still had £184 left. But in November, my balance was zero.
J. K., Manchester.
Co-op says its terms and conditions state that a member’s card rewards will expire if unused for 12 months, which is standard practice for loyalty programmes. It says it will consider how it can better communicate this to members.
National Insurance records in a muddle
HMRC has either lost my National Insurance records or attributed most of them to someone else.
I wrote to it and received a reply saying that my NI number brings up the records of someone else.
This is the number on my P60. It now seems that I have just seven qualifying years of NI to go towards a pension.
L. F., Holmfirth, W. Yorks.
Good news. There haven’t been any errors by HMRC here but, reading between the lines, I suspect there has been some sloppy record-keeping by former employers.
Your correct NI number has been registered since 1971. The number you referred to, and which was on your P60, was never registered to you.
It seems this number was used by an employer, but not by HMRC.
A second number you mention was a temporary reference number used in the absence of a correct number for the tax year 2016-17.
HMRC was only given documentation for three of the years from 1993-94 to 1998-99, but based on the information you provided, it has manually updated your record to post earnings data for the missing years.
An HMRC spokesman tells me: ‘Using all of the information and employment evidence from Mrs F, and our internal systems, we have carried out a full investigation of her National Insurance record.
‘All of the evidence she sent HMRC is correctly posted to her NI record. Steps have been taken to manually note some additional employment data.’
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