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Apple screwed you: So now what?

The $200 price drop isn't going over well with readers. So here are a few TUAW tips for how to handle this situation:

Returns. If you're within the first 14 days of purchase, you're golden. Go back to the store and raise hell. You may still be charged a $40 restocking fee--theoretically you shouldn't be for exchanges--but otherwise, you're good to return. Apple's official policy states "Should Apple reduce its price on any shipped product within 10 days of shipment, you may contact Apple Sales Support at 1-800-MY-APPLE to request a credit of the difference between the price you were charged and the current selling price." One reader writes that he was able to do a return for a September 1 purchase by asking to speak to the manager at the store.

Price Guarantees. The American Express Best Value Guarantee will refund the difference in price for items purchased within 60 days. Other pricematch credit cards include Citi Diamond, American Express Rewards Gold, and American Express Starwood. (Best Value Guarantee program ended on October 1, 2006. Readers report varied success with other card providers.) NOTE: CitiBank and Visa Signature are offering price protection. CitiBank is requesting "printed" ads--anyone know how to find these?American Express apparently offers 90 day returns as a standard benefit--but it may not cover over $300

Call AT&T That's what reader Robbie D did. "I called AT&T said I was not happy after standing in line with my wife on the 29th so we could get 2 of them only to have it cost $ 400.00 less 66 days later. They said sorry and gave me a $75.00 per line credit!"

Complain. Write Apple and give them a piece of your mind. The Complaint Assistance Unit of the Division of Consumer Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may be contacted in writing at 1020 N Street, #501, Sacramento, California 95814, or by telephone at 1-916-445-1254. If you email, don't forget to cc in

Call your store Press 5 to get to a person. Demand to know if they will issue a price adjustment. Some readers report they're getting results. I ran into a brick wall from an obviously frustrated sales person. She told me to check online to see if any policy changes would be made.

Thanks to everyone at ModMyiPhone who suggested this post.

Update: A blue and green birdie associated with Apple chirped in our ears: "The stores heard about the price drop exactly when your readers heard about it -- officially, they didn't hear about it until about half an hour later. They will not have an answer for you today about price drops, but they will likely have an answer for you tomorrow. What people who call the stores today will get is frustration -- because the stores will be frustrated too, until the official line about what to do is handed down, which will likely be in another few hours."

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