Had earlier on the scheduled call from Apple Care regarding my defective brand new pencil.
The call came from Ireland, which is hardly surprising, and took more than 45 minutes.
Anyway all is solved to my satisfaction. I shall get my money back. I have therefore ordered a new pencil. It is quicker to do it this way rather than wait for a replacement pencil which would have been shipped only when the warehouse would acknowledge receipt of the old pencil which will be picked up by UPS tomorrow.