Fine print shows Apple's $100 iPhone store credit offer is full of holes

 Apple's just posted details on how to obtain a $100 store credit if you've purchased an iPhone before August 22.What I find interesting is the inclusion of the term "may be eligible.


Apple's just posted details on how to obtain a $100 store credit if you've purchased an iPhone before August 22.

What I find interesting is the inclusion of the term "may be eligible."

Is that lawyer-inserted CYA?

Quite likely yes.

If you want to learn how to get that $100 store credit, click here. But I am more interested in the fine-print exceptions. Why? In technology, as well as almost any other business sector, the fine print is more important than the big type.

So let's get to the fine print about the exceptions to a $100 iPhone store credit.

With that caveat put out there, here are the steps Apple recommends to get $100 back if you paid $599 for the iPhone before August 22:

Terms and Conditions for the $100 store credit for Early iPhone owners program

This credit is extended to end-customers who own a qualifying iPhone purchased from Apple or AT&T prior to August 22, 2007. To receive a credit, customers must submit requests between September 13, 2007, and November 30, 2007, at Requests will not be accepted after November 30, 2007. The program is for a $100 Apple electronic store credit in the form of a numeric code consisting of a credit number and PIN. This program is limited to one $100 Apple electronic store credit per eligible iPhone. Customers may apply this credit as provided in these terms and conditions. Customers should record the numeric codes that are presented electronically through the web browser. Apple will not replace lost or stolen codes. Only iPhones activated through AT&T are eligible to receive a credit.

Some iPhones will not qualify for a credit. They are: (1) iPhones purchased from Apple from August 22, 2007, through September 4, 2007, as they are subject to price protection (Separate terms and conditions apply. Details are available at, (2) iPhones that have been returned to Apple or AT&T, (3) iPhones for which a Gift Card, rebate, or other consideration have already been issued, (4) iPhones that Apple provided to employees, either for personal use or for departmental use, (5) iPhones provided by Apple for product reviews, (6) AppleCare Service iPhones, (7) iPhones registered to customers whose addresses are outside the United States, (8) iPhones for which Apple or AT&T already has extended price protection under applicable sales terms, and (9) iPhones purchased by corporations or education institutions where Apple has provided alternative accommodation.

Customers may redeem their store credits only for qualified purchases directly from Apple at an Apple Retail Store, the Apple Online Store, or Apple Telesales (1-800-MY-APPLE) in the United States. Customers may not redeem their store credits: (1) at any iTunes Store in the United States or elsewhere, (2) Apple Store locations outside the United States; (3) at Apple resellers; (4) for cash; (5) to purchase Apple Gift Cards, or,iTunes Store Gift Certificates, to give iTunes Store content as gifts, or to create iTunes Store allowances; or (6) as payments on Apple accounts. Customers may not resell, transfer, or otherwise assign the credits. Remaining balances on store credits can be determined by calling 888-320-3301. This store credit program is governed by the laws of the State of California. Apple reserves the right to deny or disregard any claim deemed to be false or fraudulent. This program is valid only to customers who reside within the 50 United States or District of Columbia. This program and the store credits are void where prohibited or restricted by law. Apple is not responsible for printing or database errors. Customers should keep copies of these Terms and Conditions. Apple reserves the right to change without notice the Terms and Conditions, modify the program, or end the program at any time.

Let me repeat that last sentence in plain English. Apple can run this store credit program as long or as short an interval as they want to. Although a spitstorm would undoubtedly ensue, they could end the program tomorrow.

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