Apollo Lifetime Warranty... Legal: Unfair Business Practices?
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Thread: Apollo Lifetime Warranty... Legal: Unfair Business Practices?

  1. #1
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    Default Apollo Lifetime Warranty... Legal: Unfair Business Practices?

    Hi All,

    This weekend, I inquired to Apollo Ecigs regarding their Lifetime Warranty and how it may apply to the Vtube that I purchased last year. The Lifetime Warranty states, in part, "The item must be defective and will be replaced with an equal item from current inventory. Replacement or upgrade of product is your exclusive remedy under this warranty." There is no mention of a REPLACEMENT FEE.

    The following is a complete accounting of the email correspondence that I have had with Apollo regarding this issue. Note that my original inquiry to Apollo was in the form of an email response to my ORIGINAL order confirmation email for my purchase. It included all ORIGINAL ORDER INFORMATION, clearly showing the make/model of the Vtube that I had purchased. That same information was included in each running correspondence with Apollo. (See the image that I will attempt to include in this post.)

    I, the customer, inquired about Apollo's Lifetime Warranty coverage of my original purchase, the make/model of which was INCLUDED in my inquiry. The company replied that I would first need to make ANOTHER PURCHASE so that my device will be REPLACED under warranty. After making another purchase per the company's request, the company informs me that, if I have version 1 of the Vtube, I will be required to pay an ADDITIONAL FEE FOR REPLACEMENT.

    THE COMPANY, APOLLO, WAS IN FULL KNOWLEDGE OF MY VTUBE VERSION BECAUSE IT WAS INCLUDED IN EVERY CORRESPONDENCE, INCLUDING THE CORRESPONDENCE WHERE APOLLO TOLD ME THAT I WAS REQUIRED TO MAKE ANOTHER PURCHASE. THEY REQUIRED ME TO MAKE A PURCHASE BEFORE TELLING ME THAT I WOULD BE FORCED TO PAY A FEE FOR REPLACEMENT. (Pardon the caps, but I am so angry. I do not like being swindled.)

    The warranty states that the item "will be replaced with an equal item from current inventory."

    As of this posting, I have not received a return telephone call from Apollo.

    **************************************

    On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 1:07 AM, KinHouston <[customer email omitted]> wrote:

    Good morning. I ordered this single vtube last year (see below). I really like it better than any other mod, including my Reo that I retired in favor of this one. Everything was fine for about nine months. One day, I had noticed a small rattling sound in it. When I went to remove the battery for charging, a tiny black plastic piece fell out of the vtube. I have *never* dropped the vtube or even taken it out of the house. It stays on my end table unless I'm sitting in my recliner and using it.

    The vtube still seemed to work when I used it. But, since the black piece fell out, it has become so increasingly aggravating. Sometimes the fire button works fine if you push it REAL HARD or in just the right area (varies) for that day, and sometimes it won't fire at all after numerous pushes. It is very aggravating. I don't know if it has something to do with that tiny piece of black plastic that fell out or not. My question is, is this an issue that you are aware of? If so, is there some way that I can fix it? If not, is this type of malfunction covered by the lifetime warranty? If not, how much do you charge to fix it?

    Thanks in advance,
    [customer name omitted]

    apollo.jpg

    **************************************

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: apollo support
    To: KinHouston
    Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 10:23 AM
    Subject: Re: E cigs | Electronic cigarettes | Apollo Electronic cigarettes Order Confirmation


    Hi [customer name omitted],

    Thank you for contacting Apollo! It does sound like your VTube does need to be replaced under warranty. I have looked up your account and do see that your warranty isn't currently active. In order to re-activate your limited lifetime warranty you must have had an order placed within the last 60 days. At this time once you've placed a new order with us to reactivate your warranty we can continue with the warranty claim processes. Once a new order has been placed under your account please contact us back so we can send you the necessary return merchandise authorization form in order to proceed with the warranty replacement for your VTube. Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon!

    Sincerely,
    Arvin
    -Apollo E-cigs

    **************************************

    On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM, KinHouston <customer email omitted> wrote:

    Dear Arvin,

    Good afternoon, and thank you for your prompt reply. If I understand correctly, I need to place an order from your website? Do I need to purchase another appliance, or can I purchase just anything? I apologize for my confusion. Thanks.

    [customer name omitted]

    **************************************

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: apollo support
    To: KinHouston
    Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 5:09 PM
    Subject: Re: E cigs | Electronic cigarettes | Apollo Electronic cigarettes Order Confirmation


    Hi [customer name omitted],

    You may make any purchase on our website to reactive your warranty. Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Arvin
    -Apollo E-cigs

    **************************************

    On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 6:31 PM, KinHouston <[customer email omitted]> wrote:

    Thanks, Arvin. I made my purchase on your website just now. My order number is 186746, placed 01/12/2014 at 06:22PM (8:22PM CST). Now, what do I need to do to proceed with getting my vtube fixed? Thanks.

    **************************************

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: apollo support
    To: KinHouston
    Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:02 AM
    Subject: Re: E cigs | Electronic cigarettes | Apollo Electronic cigarettes Order Confirmation


    Hi [customer name omitted],

    Thank you for that reply. I've just spoke with my shipping manager about the replacement for your VTube. Is your VTube the ver. 1 or ver. 2? Version 1 is black with a flat top and bottom, Version 2 is chrome/silver with an angled top piece. If it is Version 1 then there would be an upgrade fee to receive our V2 as replacement as the V1 is no longer being produced. This upgrade fee is $30.00. Or we do have a VTube V3 available that offers Variable Wattage as a new feature on top of Variable Voltage. The upgrade fee to the V3 would be $60.00. Please advise. Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Arvin
    -Apollo E-cigs

    **************************************

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: KinHouston
    To: apollo support
    Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:53 AM
    Subject: Re: E cigs | Electronic cigarettes | Apollo Electronic cigarettes Order Confirmation


    I just tried to call. Was put on hold to then leave a message. Please have your "shipping manager" call me: ###-###-####

  2. #2
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    Default

    Well, it's been more than 24 hours, and I haven't heard from Apollo at all. I am not surprised. Are you? No, wait. I did receive an automated email stating that the order I was forced to make has shipped. Great.

  3. #3
    Registered Supplier ECF Veteran IronHorse's Avatar
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    Wimpy,
    I can appreciate your frustration with your device breaking, I too have the version 1 VTube and love it. That being said fortunately I have never had to take advantage of the Limited Lifetime Warranty that Apollo offers. I have however helped others to facilitate their claims when they've needed to use their Warranties. In the case of an item no longer being carried or a newer version being released that has more "bells and whistles" an Upgrade is the only option available for replacement. As with any upgrade of hardware there is a difference in cost that has to be accounted for that the Customer has the responsibility to pay. Even in and of itself the term "Upgrade" implies that. I for one feel fortunate that Apollo even carries a Warranty for the products at all, and a Lifetime Warranty is even better, even if it is Limited. The Limited Lifetime Warranty is there for the benefit of the end User, but is also to protect the Vendor to avoid any potentially fraudulent claims. Here is more info on the Warranty for the benefit of having it publicly posted here:

    Apollo Electronic Cigarettes is Proud to Offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty
    We believe so strongly in the quality of our products that we guarantee them for life. A limited lifetime warranty is offered on products purchased on the Apollo Electronic Cigarettes website. If you obtained your product from a retailer, please return the product to the retailer.

    We warrant that your Apollo product will be free from defects in material workmanship under normal use and service for the product’s lifecycle and is subject to all product usage documentation. This warranty applies only to Apollo electronic components and does not apply to cartridges, cartomizers, clearomizers, disposables or e-liquids. All Apollo cartridges, cartomizers, and clearomizers are subject to a two-week warranty. All Apollo disposable and e-liquid sales are final and cannot be exchanged. This warranty does not cover any defects or damages on products that have been lost, misused, improperly or inadequately maintained, or modified. Using third party e-liquid that that is highly acidic or contains cinnamon will void this warranty.

    The Apollo Electronic Cigarettes warranty may only be used within 60 days of your last purchase through the Apollo website. There is no expiration on your Apollo warranty, however products are limited to a maximum of 5 replacements on any given item. The item must be defective and will be replaced with an equal item from current inventory. Replacement or upgrade of product is your exclusive remedy under this warranty.

    All warranty exchanges require preauthorization and must be accompanied by a completed Return Merchandise Authorization form (RMA). To obtain authorization and an RMA form, please contact customer service via online chat, or email support, or call customer service at 855-2-APOLLO (855-227-6556).

    If it is determined that your product warrants replacement, please place product(s) to be returned along with RMA form in a padded envelope and mail to address indicated on RMA form. Please make sure you return your product via traceable mail as we do not take any responsibility for undelivered items. Once we receive your items, we will ship you a brand new replacement item. Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing.

    - See more at: Apollo Warranty

    In my experience Apollo has always made the effort to make things right and to do the right thing. They have been having a lot of sales and can get pretty busy around there so sometimes it may take a day or two for someone to email you back. Your best bet is to use the Live Chat feature located at the upper center part of the Apollo homepage, they are real people that man that chat. Keep me posted on how things go, I will talk to them as well to make sure we can expedite your exchange in a fair and equitable manner. E cigs | Electronic cigarettes | Apollo Electronic cigarettes

  4. #4
    Registered Supplier ECF Veteran IronHorse's Avatar
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    Update:
    I have been informed that Customer Service has spoken with you already and that they have shipped you a replacement VTube at no extra charge in keeping with their commitment to excellent Customer Service and honoring their Warranty.
    Tracking shows that it has shipped and is on it's way to you. In all fairness to Apollo I would ask that you delete your thread claiming that they have unfair business practices as they could have simply not replaced your VTube at all for failing to keep your Warranty current and up to date.
    I'm glad you were able to get this resolved. Don't forget, there are other things to consider regarding your Warranty as well;
    "This warranty does not cover any defects or damages on products that have been lost, misused, improperly or inadequately maintained, or modified. Using third party e-liquid that that is highly acidic or contains cinnamon will void this warranty." - See more at: Apollo Warranty

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    Kittykrazee, it is uncanny to me how so many of your comments to me here on this forum are word-for-word the exact same phrasing as those of the Apollo representative that I spoke with on the telephone yesterday. I see that you are a "Supplier Associate." From reading your other posts, I assume that you are an Apollo associate, though you will most assuredly deny, and I assume that you are here to do damage control.

    While I am a person who avoids controversy and confrontation in my personal life, I will repeat here the same issues as I stated on the telephone, for the sake of all that will read this.

    As you feel it necessary to point out select portions of Apollo's lifetime warranty, I will address that first.

    "In the case of an item no longer being carried or a newer version being released that has more 'bells and whistles' an Upgrade is the only option available for replacement. As with any upgrade of hardware there is a difference in cost that has to be accounted for that the Customer has the responsibility to pay. Even in and of itself the term "Upgrade" implies that." To this, I will enlighten you that any warranty to which any part of it is "implied," that which is not explicitly spelled out and is left up to the consumer's interpretation, is worthless - not to mention misleading. If the "Lifetime Warranty" has exclusions in which the customer may/will be required to pay a FEE for replacement, it MUST be clearly written in the warranty. Apollo’s enticing "Lifetime Warranty" is smoke and mirrors, and it is garbage.

    A particular portion of the warranty to which you did *not* highlight in bold/red is as follows: "The item must be defective and will be replaced with an equal item from current inventory." Do you know what this means? This means exactly what it states. It means that the item will be replaced with "an equal item from current inventory." There is no ambiguity there. If a company issues a lifetime warranty for replacement of a product that they sell, it is their responsibility to keep that inventory in stock to make good on their warranty. If they choose not to stock the older version anymore so as to make good on their “lifetime warranty” for replacement of that product, then it is the company's responsibility to replace the item with the equivalent newer model that is in "current inventory" as stated in the warranty. The consumer has no knowledge of, responsibility for, nor control over a vendor's inventory. It is ridiculous to think that a company would issue a "lifetime warranty" on a product that would include the statement "or until we run out." However, under Apollo's actual working policy, that IS how they currently honor their lifetime warranty.

    I refer you to my original email to Apollo in my original post. Read carefully. I never attempted to seek a replacement from Apollo without cost. I never assumed that I should receive a replacement at all. I wrote to Apollo, "My question is, is this an issue that you are aware of? If so, is there some way that I can fix it? If not, is this type of malfunction covered by the lifetime warranty? If not, how much do you charge to fix it?"

    My inquiry included a copy of my original Apollo invoice for the Vtube Version 1. That is why I asked, "is this an issue that you are aware of?" regarding that particular model. Additionally, the Apollo representative, Arvin, wrote, "I have looked up your account..." It was clear to me that Arvin was completely aware of the Vtube model at issue. It was he who suggested replacement under warranty. It was he who instructed me that I was required to make an additional purchase on Apollo's website before he could honor the warranty. He never mentioned that I would ALSO be required to PAY FOR A REPLACEMENT - not until AFTER I was forced to make another purchase.

    THAT is my issue. THAT is deception. THAT is illegal.

    Federal Trade Commission Act
    Section 5: Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices

    Deceptive Acts or Practices
    An act or practice is deceptive where
    • A representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;
    • A consumer’s interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and
    • The misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.

    I suggest that Apollo rewrite their "Lifetime Warranty" to disclose ALL considerations and stipulations to the consumer as required by law so as not to MISLEAD the public.

    An Apollo representative called me after I sent them another email, a day later, that included a link to this post. It turns out that they "found" a new Vtube Version 1 to offer me in replacement after all. ("Curiouser and curiouser!" - Alice) In a second phone call from them, they stated that they would be sending the replacement to me in a day or two and that there would be no need for me to return my original one.

    I appreciated that. You see, I am not a conniving bi-atch. I don't thrive on drama. I prefer to enjoy my life in peace and harmony to the point of boredom. I believe that one should pay fairly for goods and services. I didn't expect anything from Apollo without cost to begin with. I did not appreciate having to PAY Apollo FOR INFORMATION that I was going to have to pay MORE money to have my product replaced under their "Lifetime Warranty." Frankly, if Apollo had just returned my call as I requested, or sent me an email to try and resolve the issue, this post would never have been made to begin with. Let that be a lesson learned, Apollo.

    I will use an analogy... I buy a yellow Chevy with a lifetime warranty against defects. Part of the engine fell out, and it often won’t start. I drive it to the dealership where I bought it. I am sitting in my yellow Chevy as the repairman comes out to my car. I roll down the window. He tells me that my problem is covered for replacement under warranty with "an equal item from current inventory." He tells me that I am required to buy something from him, and then he’ll replace my car. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out some key chains, and I buy one from him. He looks at me again, still sitting in my yellow Chevy, and says, “Oh, you’ve got a YELLOW Chevy. Too bad for you. We don’t sell those anymore. I can sell you a blue Chevy that costs a lot more than what you paid for that yellow one, but I’ll give you a discount.” Really? What’s wrong with this picture?

    How anyone can find it reasonable to defend Apollo's Lifetime Warranty and actions in this case is incomprehensible to me.

    I am at a loss to explain this any clearer than I already have. I’m done.

    Update: As I am writing this post, I see that Kittykrazee has just posted a request that I delete my posts regarding this matter, since Apollo has now seen fit to honor their warranty. So, delete the posts because this never happened? Delete the posts so that Apollo can keep this dirty little secret from the PUBLIC? Not going to happen. Sue me. I will be more than pleased to hear the good judge's views on Apollo's business practices. Don't push me. Good day.
    Reddhott and Jenn Perry like this.

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