A Poisoned Apple

Allow me to devote this entry to a bit of tedious whining.

I’m a die-hard Mac user, but Apple is jerking me around, and I’m getting pretty darn upset about the whole thing. I haven’t been able to record a new episode of the Cinemaslave podcast in several weeks, because the company *won’t fix my machine*. I’m presently using a borrowed computer for Internet access, but it doesn’t have any audio software on it, and the owner of the machine doesn’t want me to install any new programs on it. (I was even forced to rewrite the pilot script using Microsoft Word, rather than my preferred Final Draft software. Pure madness.)

The audio died on my laptop several weeks ago, along with the power connector on the logic board. (The battery works, but when you plug the AC adapter into the computer, the system doesn’t recognize it. So I have to charge the battery in a friend’s laptop, then transfer the battery back into my machine and use it until the battery *dies*, at which I point I repeat the process. That’s hardly an efficient way in which to work.)

So I took the iBook to the nearest Apple store (Rockaway, NJ, two hours away). I was given an estimate of $300.00-$400.00 to fix these two problems, and I gave my consent. The machine was shipped off for repair, and was gone for two weeks. The machine is now back at the Apple store, but before I drove another two hours to pick it up, I wisely called the store asked the rep to check out my system and make sure the sound had been fixed. She checked it, and whaddya know — no audio. I asked for a manager, and she said someone would call me back by the end of the day.

It’s now three days later, I still haven’t gotten a phone call. I’ve called back numerous times, and keep getting told that someone will call me back. They never do.

So anyway, after waiting on hold for ages yesterday, I finally got through to someone who tells me that Apple will need to charge me *another* $200 to fix the audio problem, *despite the fact* that the original repair quote *specifically states* that my machine needs both a logic board replacement and audio repair. Also, I specifically told the rep that I *did not* want to proceed with the fix if both problems could not be resolved for the quoted price.

The guy’s response was, essentially, “Too bad, we gave you the wrong price, and it’ll be another $200.00 to fix the sound.”

I very nearly told him to shove the laptop up his ass. I have now sunk several hundred bucks into repairing a (borderline obsolete) computer that still won’t do the thing I need it to do most: PROCESS AUDIO. It’s a little tricky to record and edit a podcast without that feature.

I am ridiculously close to a complete freak-out. Any suggestions? I have already demanded a callback from a senior manager, but hey, big surprise, no one has gotten back with me.

I have never had a single problem with Apple customer service over the past decade, but this is pushing me right to the edge. I can’t imagine ever switching back to Windows, but if this is the way Apple wants to treat me (a person who has bought five Macs, three iPods, and an Airport base station over the past ten years), then I can always take my business elsewhere.

Sorry for the rant. We’ll talk about movies next time, I promise.

-CSJ

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One response to “A Poisoned Apple

  1. Trevor Gensch

    Hi Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your problems.

    Here in Australia we have places like the Office of Fair Trading to deal with disputes with companies like this.

    Surely the USofA has something similar? If they quoted you $400 to fix the audio and the power, then it should be a quote they have to stick by. If they later made a mistake then THAT IS THERE PROBLEM.

    Of course taking this route means it would be some time before your laptop would be returned/fixed (most likely).

    How much does a new Apple puter cost? Or even a good refurbished unit? Perhaps that needs to be considered if Apple aren’t going to play ball and you are unprepared by pay them more money.

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