Do Not Buy APC Back-UPS

Do not buy any APC product, you will regret it. I just had a most unpleasant experience with APC, regarding a battery backup unit I purchased. About 2 years ago, I bought an APC Office 280 unit for about $30 at Staples. The unit was always a little troublesome, the recharger to buzzed about once an hour, but I figured that was normal, I didn’t know because I’d never owned a backup power unit before. It wasn’t normal. The one time I had a power outage, about 2 months after I bought the unit, the battery lasted about 30 seconds. Now I am informed it should have lasted at least 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, after about 18 months, the Replace Battery light came on and it totally failed. I thought the unit had a one year warranty, so I tried to find a replacement battery through the APC website. It didn’t exist. So I threw it in a closet and forgot about it.

Today I found the original packaging and discovered it had a 2 year warranty. I called APC and they informed me that the UPS I bought had an expected battery life of 3 to 4 years, but that model was discontinued 4 years ago. The UPS I bought had been sitting on somebody’s warehouse shelf for at least 2 years, the battery had already rotted away before I ever purchased it.

I told APC that the unit did not meet the Implied Waranty of Merchantibility, since it was defective when I purchased it. They said I should have returned it under warranty if I had problems. I told them I didn’t know it was defective until now, their story about the unit being 4 years old when I bought it explained everything.

APC presented me with two options: replace the battery for $45, far more than I spent for it in the first place, or buy a “trade up” that costs $60. I said this was not acceptable when the unit was defective when purchased. APC blamed Staples, and absolutely refused to replace the battery or even offer it at a discount. The manager I spoke to said I was unreasonable, that it was like buying a new car with a full tank of gas and insisting the dealer replace the gas when it ran out. I vehemently disagreed, and said it was like purchasing a 2003 Toyota and when you take delivery, they’ve switched it with an identical-looking 2001 Toyota that’s been sitting in the back lot, rusting and rotting away.

Anyone who is considering the purchase of any APC product should be aware that they do not stand behind their products. Any APC product you buy may already be nearly dead when you purchase it. APC will use any excuse to refuse any request for replacement, their favorite excuse is to blame the vendor. Do not buy any APC product, you will regret it.

6 thoughts on “Do Not Buy APC Back-UPS”

  1. Hmm I had a different exp in that had no trouble for two years with my APC product. Of course my purchased product was brand new including the battery as was not sitting on shelf for 2 years..
    Its funny that they did not call staples immediately and get you a refund from staples..
    I finally made the swtich from UserLand Manila to Roller Weblogging ..oh god I love Roller!

  2. I’m dealing with Staples directly, the local manager seems truly interested in helping me, she made a couple of good offers that I’m considering. I told them they better have a chat with APC and ask them how they got stuck with these expired products.
    And congratulations for turning off the Radio.

  3. I would agree with APC that you are unreasonable. Think about what happened.
    1. The system was not working right. You chose not to return it.
    2. You had a power outage. The unit did not perform correctly. You chose not to report that.
    3. The battery completely failed after 18 months. You chose not to call in at that time and request a replacement.
    Now, after 3 of your own problems you expect APC to make it right for you. They are not your mom. It is not their job to fix your mistakes.I am sorry to hear your product did not work as expected but don’t attempt to give a company a bad name because you were ignorant of what should have happened. That just makes you look like a whiner.
    I am sad to hear that Staples was willing to alter their profit margin even after you made all those mistakes. My guess is that they did not want to risk it being their fault for the 18 month battery life.

  4. Don’t get in an uproar, bubba, Staples only gave me $7.50 towards a new Belkin UPS. They can recover the money from APC.

  5. Counterpoint:
    1) I grant you that principles do count, but I think that, for a “$30” item, you spent WAY too much time “venting” on this.
    2) I’ve been happily using an APC Smart UPS with my Dell PC for over 6 years. Since the battery is dying, and a replacement would cost $44, I’m now shopping for my next APC UPS (probably the Back-UPS ES 500). But hey, that’s just my experience.

  6. Well, I have used APC almost exclusively for more than 15 years now. I have used big APC units in server room environments, and small APC units for protecting desktop computers. I have never had a complaint about APC products.
    Once I did have an issue with bad batteries in an APC Smart-UPS. APC replaced the batteries under warranty with no issue whatsoever.
    Your problem seems to be more a question of where you purchased the unit than with APC itself. Any UPS that sits on a warehouse shelf for 4 years is almost certainly going to have a battery problem.
    Also, for what its worth, if you buy from a reputable dealer APC is going to honer the warranty from time of sale. But if you go with one of the Internet SCAM artists out there who sell bad stuff “on the cheap” you will usually get burned.
    Sorry you had such a bad experience. But based on 15 years of using APC, they will continue to be one of my first choices.

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