Apple: 'We apologize'

Apple's online store is issuing thousands of apology letters to customers who pre-ordered Power Mac G4 systems in recent weeks -- only to have their orders canceled without warning when Apple reconfigured its G4 line on Wednesday.In a profusely apologetic e-mail letter, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) said that "after a good night's sleep and digesting emails from many upset customers, we have decided to reverse this decision.

Apple's online store is issuing thousands of apology letters to customers who pre-ordered Power Mac G4 systems in recent weeks -- only to have their orders canceled without warning when Apple reconfigured its G4 line on Wednesday.

In a profusely apologetic e-mail letter, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) said that "after a good night's sleep and digesting emails from many upset customers, we have decided to reverse this decision."

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Mark Baldwin, a graphic designer in Surry, Maine, said he received the e-mail message Friday morning, a few days after his order for a 450MHz G4 had been canceled.

After calling the Apple Store "and waiting 38 minutes," Baldwin said he was told that his order had been reinstated and, along with other advance orders, moved to the head of Apple's production and delivery queue.

Baldwin said he was also told that he would be charged the original price for the 450MHz G4 -- not the higher prices Apple announced on Wednesday for all future orders.

"I'm eager to have it, but I'm still ticked at what happened," he said.

Apple Store's letter:
The letter from the Apple Store reads:

Dear Valued Apple Store Customer,

Yesterday the Apple Store decided to cancel all G4 orders placed before October 13. After a good night's sleep and digesting emails from many upset customers, we have decided to reverse this decision. Please give us an opportunity to reinstate your order.

If you ordered a Power Mac G4 configured with a 400 MHz or 450 MHz processor prior to October 13, we will honor the original price quoted for your order.

If you ordered a Power Mac G4 configured with a 500 MHz processor prior to October 13, you can choose either the same configuration with a 450 MHz processor at $350 less than your original order price, or you may substitute any other configuration with a 450 MHz processor at the original prices in effect before October 13.

Please call us at the Apple Store at 800-MY-APPLE for assistance in reinstating your original order. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.

Sincerely,

The Apple Store

Benefit to advance orders
Apple did not immediately return a telephone call requesting comment Friday.

Other G4 customers told MacWEEK on Thursday that Apple sales representatives had told them the company was preparing to reverse its decision to cancel pre-ordered systems.

Customers who didn't place advance orders, however, will apparently pay hundreds of dollars more for similar systems.

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