I ordered a used MacBook Pro from the CEX website, on 21 December 2018.
(I’ve written separately about what lead me to choose a MacBook Pro.)
There were quite a few models to choose from, and I decided to go for the 11,3, which seemed both reasonably good value and adequate for my needs.
I noticed that some models listed GT750M graphics, and some did not. Interestingly, the ones without GT750M were more expensive, so I did some research. I got the impression that it was worth paying extra for the one without it, because battery life is more important to me than graphics performance.
Slow to Arrive
The machine took quite a while to arrive for a couple of reasons. First, CEX were slow to dispatch it. And second, on the day it was due to arrive, UPS told me that it would be delayed due to “operating conditions.” (I never did get to find out what they meant by that, and I had to resort to Twitter to find out when to expect the parcel.)
When the parcel finally arrived on 31 December, I have to say it was very well packed. But sadly, that’s about the only good thing I can say about my experience.
I spotted a couple of minor dents on the top and bottom of the machine, but nothing I couldn’t live with.
I erased the existing macOS Mojave installation, and did a fresh install of High Sierra.
Not What I Ordered
Whilst setting the machine up, I noticed that I had a model with GT750M graphics… very annoying after choosing to pay more for a model without it!
So I sent a message to CEX, explaining that I seemed to have been sent a slightly different model to the one I ordered.
I explained that I’d already started setting it up, and was prepared to keep it if they adjusted the price and gave me a partial refund, as the machine I received was £40 cheaper on their website.
They told me that they do not do partial refunds, and that I should return it. I argued that it would cost more to return it than the amount of money they owed me.
Several emails were exchanged from 1 — 8 January.
Many of their emails contained irritating and patronising phrases, such as “as I’ve already explained” and “have a great day ahead.”
Finally, they admitted that they’d sent me the wrong machine. They also told me that the mix-up was due to the serial number of the machine they sent being similar to that of the machine they should have sent.
No Warranty, Due to Their Mistake!
The biggest shock was when they told me that it would not be covered by their usual 2-year warranty, because the serial number was not as stated on my invoice! So if I’d not complained at all, I’d have had no idea that it wasn’t covered.
Here’s a quote from one email:
“On investigating, it was found out that this error was due to the serial number of the item you have received which is similar to the serial number of the item that you had ordered.And in such cases, as I’ve explained we do not have partial refund options available as the serial number is different to what you had ordered, this will void your warranty for the items and remove any ability to claim from CeX in the event of any service needed.”
And what did they offer me? Return it, or have a £10 voucher and no warranty!
I didn’t give up, and after yet more emails, they said I could go to a local store to receive a partial refund:
“On checking with the relevant team, I’ve been informed that there is a way this can be resolved as per your request. However, for that, you’d have to visit any of your nearest CeX stores.”
It took just ten minutes in the store to sort everything out. I didn’t even have the laptop with me! They basically gave me a full refund, then sold me the machine immediately at the lower price — including a warranty.
I still don’t know why it couldn’t have been sorted out sooner.
Nearly One Month Later
So finally, 3 1/2 weeks after ordering it, I can start using it! Annoyingly, I’d erased it again when it looked like I’d have to return it due to the warranty situation. So now, I have to start setting it up from scratch, for the second time!
I’d hoped that they might have offered me a £10 voucher or something, to compensate me for all the wasted time. But despite me telling them how I felt, and how much time had been wasted, I just got another standard reply from them.
If you have a problem with something you bought from CEX online, my advice is to take it to a local store, if you want to get it resolved quickly.