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14 January 2005

Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

More and more I hear weird stories about Apple's importer in Greece

Buying a Mac in Greece can be a weird experience. And when you get to the price tag, you are up for big surprises. Prices should be equivalent to european prices, except I don't get how they come up with those high Euro prices considering the currently low Dollar. And then Rainbow (the importer) puts a hefty surprice on the machine for translating the system software to Greek. They make a mess of the market, having invented one of the weirdest systems of doing business online, and showing a lack of sense for business in general. Diomidis Spinellis (a professor at the Athens University of Economy and Business, and simultaneously a FreeBSD committer) gives his experiences under the title "Apple's Presence in Greece Appears to be a Joke."

Nice take, but one big point is that Rainbow is not Apple. You can't blame Apple as if Rainbow was part of their flesh and blood. But Apple can and should be blamed for not forcing Rainbow to behave. After all they let Rainbow represent Apple in Greece. The low market share of Macs in Greece is in my oppinion at least partly Rainbow's fault. And I've seen Apple react much more stringent in cases where much smaller harm was done to their name.

Posted by betabug at 13:02 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
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Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

I have a very similar experience. I bought a powerbook g4 17" in Athens about a month ago. So far I have spent a lot of my precious time arguing with rainbow when i could have spending buying the goods. My IT suppliers helped me in obtaining the powerbook fast through a reseller but informed me they would not be able to do so in the future again because of the above reasons. Should they had added their usual margins i would have ended paying more than the online store price. My suppliers made a profit of 45 euros for a laptop that costed 3100 euros so i dont blame them for not wanting a repeat of the experience. Soon after i got the powerbook i needed a bunch of cables, accessories etc, as well as the tiger update. The tiger update is given as a media and postal cost of around 9USD all over the world (for people that bought a mac after april 12), however Rainbow sells it for 22 EUR + VAT + Postal (Plus you had to wait for 1 month). I could not believe my ears when they told me i had to physically go to the showroom to register, i could not buy the product from there but had to return to my office to order it over the internet and wait.... It took them 10 days and 4 very aggressive phonecalls on my part to even create my account! By that time I had ordered the update through a reseller hoping I would get it faster through them but I am still waiting..
In the meantime i ordered all my accessories, airport extreme, cables, bags from the UK applestore and even when adding the UK to Greece delivery costs with DHL it still came cheaper and quicker than buying from Rainbow. Of course i dont have greek instructions or service as rainbow refuses to honor apple's global warranty if you have not purchased the goods from them! Further more it refuses to sell Applecare protection or an equivalent package aand forces you to pay their hefty service pricing should anything go wrong with your expensive apple hardware after the first year.

I could go on forever discussing the worst customer experience I have encountered in my life. Pitty rainbow is too smallminded to realise that a customer that spends that much to get a product does not assume but demands an excellent customer experience and an even better after sales service.
I would do whatever possible to support an anti rainbow movement / petition, maybe Apple is not aware of the actual situation. I love my powerbook and would appreciate being able to buy more Apple products in Greece where i live. However unless Rainbow radically reshuffles its policies and procedures, these where the last euros they have seen from me. and imagine that nothing has gone wrong yet!

Posted by: Alex Kritikos at May 24,2005 08:27
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

i need the blue usb microphone, is there somewhere in athens i can find it?

Posted by: tasos at April 17,2008 20:29
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

Tasos, I had no idea whatsoever what the "blue usb microphone" is. Following that I have no clue where to buy it either. Maybe ask on the HelMUG Forum.

Posted by: betabug at April 18,2008 08:48
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

i got a mac book pro,and my battery life quicckly dropped significantly.any ideas?

Posted by: dimitrios at December 16,2008 09:36
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

dimitrios, asking in the wrong place won't help - this is not a support forum here. Try HelMUG, the Greek Mac User Group.

Posted by: betabug at December 16,2008 09:51
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

Hi there.
I respresent an it company in greece actually i'm the owner. I lived in the UK for 10 years and Mac pc was in general a powerfull tool for many people. I've tried to make a contract with Apple(Rainbow to be more precise) so i can be able to sell and support Aplle's products in Larissa where I'm based. Unfortunately i made all my discussions with Rainbow and from a professional point of view nothing is different than the comments i've read above. Completely unrealistic, unprofessional and in general not a welcoming experience for a customer in a larger scale. I completely agree with you guys. Finally i heard that Apple products are available from a another suppliers(importer) but i'm not sure who. I will invastigate it. Thanks

Posted by: Aris at January 18,2010 19:30
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

Aris, things have changed, much for the better. Rainbow as we knew it is no more. We have iSquare who - if I understood that correctly - bought out Rainbow. They also got the tools and parts to fix Mac hardware now, so apparently to fix a broken MacBook Pro it takes 2 days now, not months and months. I haven't got any first hand experience with them yet, but it might well be worth to check things out again.

Posted by: betabug at January 21,2010 09:13
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

I don't know about the client service of iSquare.
The only thing I sure know is that I've just checked the price for a simple version of a macbook in the official mac web site; it costs 999$ (this is 739 euros).
The price for the same product in Greece is 975 euros. I would be very interested to know the reason for those extra 236 euros.

Posted by: K.Nathalie at March 20,2010 13:27
Re: Price difference

This price difference has been discussed many times. According to people at Apple Switzerland, who I spoke with some years ago, Apple adds a certain amount for localization of products, on top of that there is the cost for customs and taxes (especially VAT).

I guess that inside those extra costs there is also the expense of running the local "settlements" of Apple - or in case of Greece, the money the importer makes. Personally, if the local representative does its job, some extra charge is justifiable: I wouldn't want the hassle of importing a machine myself (dealing with customs anyone?) and I would not like to have to send my macbook for repair to some other country. The latter being exactly one of the points criticized in Rainbow and - as far as I've heard - the "new" one doing better in.

Posted by: betabug at March 20,2010 15:40
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece was tough with Rainbow, yet prices are still high at iSquare

I am a happy macbook pro user since 2007. Apple inc. and MacBook pro is just like a dream to me.
Rainbow was a nightmare!
The new company, iSquare seems to me got also that high prices and the difference can be huge (!), specially on the Macbook Pro!! ...the high (pharmacy) price-list is no better than of its predecessor's I reckon.

Posted by: A. Csatari at June 13,2010 23:09
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

The difference in price compared to the US for a maxed out macbook pro is about 800euros. If I fly to the US today I will spend ~600euros... then I'll spend another $200 for sight seeing for the weekend, buy the laptop and come back to Greece for the same price.

While I'm at it.. I could also buy a camera, shoes, ipod... clothing... and save another couple of thousand euros.

Who on earth would buy a mac from Greece?

Posted by: James K. at January 06,2011 21:58
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

James, of course you fail to calculate in any customs duties and V.A.T. Maybe you can get by not paying them when you import a laptop in your hands, but an official importer can't just hope that they won't get questioned when they cross the line on the airport.

"Back of envelope calculations" are fun, but they're quite often not the full story. VAT alone is 23% now.

Posted by: betabug at January 07,2011 18:15
Re: Buying a Mac in Greece is tough, but Rainbow is not Apple

IN Athens with my MacBook silver and I don't have a charger..where can I pick up a used one if not new ??

Best Wishes !!!!!! Jamas !


Posted by: peter at November 27,2011 16:15
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