Apple extends product return period following store closures

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You'll have 14 days after stores reopen.
Photo: Apple

Apple is extending product return policies after it made the decision to close all retail stores outside of Greater China amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In its updated Temporary Retail Store Closures document, the company says customers will be able to return items for up to 14 days after stores reopen.

Apple has been keen to avoid statements and actions that might lead to unnecessary panic throughout the coronavirus outbreak. There are some actions, however, that it cannot avoid — like closing retail stores.

Cupertino said last Thursday that the measure, designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading, is necessary to protect retail staff and customers. Measures are now in place to ensure customers do not suffer as a result.

Apple extends return policy

One of those measure is extending its product return policy. Customers usually have 14 days from the date of purchase to return an unwanted Apple product for a full refund. That period has been extended.

“Don’t worry,” Apple’s helpful FAQ reads. “We’ll accept your return up to 14 days after we reopen.”

This gives customers plenty of time to make arrangements to visit their local Apple Store when its doors are open again and return any unwanted items. Be aware, however, that as usual there are some exclusions.

Contracted iPhone units in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia are not included in this extended return policy. Products purchased using carrier financing in the U.S. are also exempt. This is typically the case.

If you took advantage of Apple’s trade-in program to make your purchase, the value of the device you traded in will be issued in the form of a gift card. Again, this is in line with Apple’s usual return policy.

Repairs and Genius Bar appointments

If Apple has one of your devices in for repair, you can check the status of it through the Apple website. You can also start the process for a new repair — even while Apple Stores are closed — via Apple Support online.

Apple says it is still working to complete all repairs. Once your device is ready for pickup, you will be contacted. As things stand, however, Apple is offering pickups through March 16 at 5 p.m. PT. That could change later.

Apple Stores are currently closed through March 27. The closure could be extended in some markets if the situation does not improve before then, but that’s the date Apple has issued for now.