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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:12 AM   #1
cb911
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PowerBook saga: longest Apple repair ever?

Where to begin...

Basically my HD died. I heard the *click* *whirr* of death, it wouldn't boot, lost everything.

So I took it into the Apple reseller to claim a warranty repair. This is a 1.25GHz PowerBook, still has AppleCare until September this year. It was booked in on the 21st of January.

After not hearing from the store for a while, I sent them an email asking what was up. They said they didn't have the part, and suggest that I call Apple Customer Care. So I did that on Thursday last week. After 27 minutes on the phone all I find out is that they were shipping the part on Friday (last week) and that it should be at the store on Monday or Tuesday this week.

And surprise, surprise. It's Wednesday now, and no call from the store. So I give them a buzz, they say the part is still not in, and that it's showing as being on backorder. At this point I'm thoroughly disappointed.

So today (Thursday 16th Feb, 06) I give the store a call, and see if i could get my PB back and try taking it to another store that might have the part in stock. And now it gets interesting... NO APPLE RESELLERS KEEP PARTS IN STOCK?!!! Apparently all service requests go straight to Apple and get in their queue. So now I call Apple Australia again to see what the hell is going on. This time after 28 minutes on the phone I find out that they still have the part on backorder!!! NO APPLE RESELLERS HAVE THIS PART, APPLE THEMSELVES DO NOT HAVE THE PART (A HARD DRIVE)!!! Now all they can do is wait until this shipment comes in on next Friday!!.

That will be at least 35 DAYS until I get my PB back. Just to get a new hard drive put in.

This is absolutely ridiculous! How the hell am I supposed to get any work done? So much for Apple's in small business!

And to top it off... I've been looking for a 2nd hand PowerMac G5. Now it looks like I'll have to look faster just so I can get some damn work done around here. This has REALLY PISSED ME OFF. I can't believe that I'm really considering buying a PM. But one thing's for sure - I'm not too worried about getting AppleCare again. Sure, you won't pay for repairs, but you won't have your Mac back for more than a month either!

So - is this the longest Apple repair ever, or what!? It's got to be a contender. If there is any longer than this... I really do feel for those customers.

(ps - the forums need some really evil looking flaming emoticons. any combination or amount of the current ones cannot possibly convey how absolutely furious i am about this.)
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:20 AM   #2
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If you complain perfectly, Apple may well replace your PowerBook...
It might be something to try for... But waiting that long for a hard drive repair is unacceptable, especially since you purchased 3-year AppleCare.

good luck,
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:20 AM   #3
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Pity you took it to the reseller. In my experience dealing with Apple directly will get things fixed pretty quickly. Good luck.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:31 AM   #4
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but how do I take it to Apple directly? Remember in Australia there's no Apple owned stores, they're all just resellers.

Also, I didn't exactly 'purchase' the AppleCare either. I purchased this PowerBook while I was a student, when they still gave 3 year AppleCare with education purchases. Nonetheless, I still am a customer who has AppleCare. Although that may mean more messing about... for some reason the people at Apple said that the AppleCare on my PB wasn't showing on their system?

The AppleCare doesn't somehow expire when you stop being a student, does it? I damn well hope not. But I've got to check all the in's and out's of this.

Now tell me more about the perfect complaint... I think I might just call them up again and explain that I've got work to do and a business to run. Should I try and tell them to give me a new PB? That seems a bit pushy... maybe I should just let them decide what to do? But what if they don't decide to do anything and give me the "I"m sorry, but there's nothing we can really do"? I need something else to say to them.

Thanks for all the ideas and help, I want to do everything possible to expediate this process.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:35 AM   #5
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Damn that is bad! I can understand your fury. Reminds me of my G4 cubes power adapter refusing to work the first day I have it 5 years ago. Bought it for my final projects in graphic design college. Took them 3 weeks to replace a power adapter! I never bought anything at this particular store again. From my experience it is all a matter of the store, and how reliable/friendly/competent the employees are. I buy at a different store now, repairs get done in less than a week and they gave me a free monitor!
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 06:33 AM   #6
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I once had a similar experience, not with Apple, but with IBM over a Thinkpad with a borked hard drive. Same story, same waits, and yes, and you won't believe how lame their reason was.

So apparently the Thinkpad was previously purchased in the US, and they claimed that due to some licensing issues, they need to order in a US version of the Windows XP preload discs to fix it. But I argued, "What the hell, I'm in Australia now, Windows is still Windows, just give me my computer back!" but they just apologised and couldn't do it.

And then when they got the discs they gave the same stupid reason ("we need to order in that part"). I can't imagine IBM doesn't even have one bloody harddrive to put into my laptop, seriously.

But ultimately it was cool, they fixed the computer and to my surprised I got a hard drive upgrade (was previously 40GB, when I got it back it was 80) for free.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 07:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb911
but how do I take it to Apple directly? Remember in Australia there's no Apple owned stores, they're all just resellers.
I don't know how it is in Australia, but in the United States the process goes like this.

1. Call Applecare
2. They send out a box to ship it back to them in.
3. They repair it.
4. They ship it back.
5. I have my laptop back in under a week.

The nearest Apple store to me is a 3 hour drive away. And that would be ridiculous if I had to go there to get a repair.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 07:30 AM   #8
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Did you phone other resellers to see if they had the part in stock or was the no resellers stock the part the information your reseller gave?

If it is the latter then I'd phone around and see. In the end it has to be better than the wait and you can then take your business elsewhere and not to a store that doesn't appear to care.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 07:37 AM   #9
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Call Apple Customer Relations:
I had a PB in repair for 4 weeks and they replaced it with a new one. I was told by Customer Relations that 4 weeks is the cut-off point for waiting for parts and that they will just replace it at that point (and they did for me).
Be polite but firm. Good luck.

Apple Customer Relations: (800) 767-2775
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 07:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cb911
So - is this the longest Apple repair ever, or what!? It's got to be a contender. If there is any longer than this... I really do feel for those customers.
I can beat that... in November '02 my Rev A TiBook died, didn't see it again till January the following year.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 08:47 AM   #11
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My mom sent her iBook in to get fixed, and they evidently took another iBook, used, and switched the RAM and Airport card I had installed into it, and shipped it back, because there were TONS of little scratches all over the case that hadn't been there before.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 04:31 PM   #12
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okay, i will call Apple Customer "Care" again today. Thanks for that number Jovian9 - but remember - I'm in Australia. or maybe that's my big mistake?

That sounds a bit nasty Mr. Mister. Did they even tell you what they were doing? Well, at this point I really don't care what happens, if I get a refurb PB back, as long as it works. Also as long as it's got 1.5GB RAM. For some reason the repair tracking sheet only shows it as having 512MB, but I added another 1GB after it was purchased.

iGav - did you have a spare Mac? I've just got a couple of spare PC's here... so I can do a very limited amount of work only. Did you follow that up with Apple? What lame reason did they give for that one?

Okay... i've got to do some stuff first, hopefully I can calm down. Here's to being polite but firm.

Also - they say to buy a car at the end of a week, right? So being Friday now maybe they'll cave in and send me a PB.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:34 PM   #13
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Well - when I lost my PB HDD - I got so hacked off with not being able to just take it to the Apple store on Regent Street for a quick repair - I simply went out and bought an 2.5" Hitachi 80GB 7200 rpm HDD - and fitted it myself!!

Not really an easy job, but there was a very good step by step guide with photos - that worked. So I had my little 12" PB back up on the same day - which is basically still TOO LONG to be without it for my liking.

I really think they could make the disk easier to replace, it's crazy what you have to do to replace it...

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Old Feb 16, 2006, 05:53 PM   #14
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Dude-


SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME.

I WENT TWO MONTHS without my powerbook. No compensation, no reclamation of apple care time lost. NOTHING. They gave me no machine to use until the time it was done...nothing.



I DID however complain enough...and that was my third part to fail. Therefore, after many calls, many grouchy trips into the store, the apple store REPLACED my powerbook. Now that one was only 4 months old.

Sad thing is, that the replacement, has spent time in for repair as well, im on failed part number two right now, and of course, waiting for the third one to fail!

Frankly, every single apple computer i have owned. ( a mini, powermac, 2 powerbooks, and an iBook) HAVE all had serious flaws.

ya...its a rant, and ya, im grouchy, but to hear that somebody else had to go through the same 40 day period as me, really ticks me off. In a sense, its unacceptable that they let a customer go 40 days without their computer.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 06:06 PM   #15
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damn.

and here i was thinking this was an isolated case. so were they all HD's? i'd like to know why Apple can't have the HD's in stock. if it's such a common thing... why don't the resellers have them in stock?

I have only had a 667MHz TiBook before this. I treated it as well as any parent could hope to look after a child. Never had any complaints with that unit, but it looks like Apple's efforts to reduce hardware costs have also reduced the reliability.

I'll post an update after I make this call this afternoon.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 06:08 PM   #16
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Is your powerbook a 12" or 15"? It seems like the 15" powerbooks have been having a lot of issues in the past years. Lets hope the macbook pro takes care of those problems.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 07:16 PM   #17
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yeah it's a 15". maybe the 15" TiBooks were the best of the lot?

BTW realityisterror, you username has a whole new meaning to me now.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 11:45 PM   #18
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15" powerbook 1.5ghz second to last revision...yup...


hard drive
logic board
dc in board

the new one:
hard drive
dc in board
waiting on a third thing to go wrong......
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 11:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb911
yeah it's a 15". maybe the 15" TiBooks were the best of the lot?

BTW realityisterror, you username has a whole new meaning to me now.

Err..Only time will tell, but us Ti users have lots to worry about. Snapping hinges, inverter wires snapping, and also HDD issues. Not to mention palm rests that pit more than one would think..

I knock on wood because mine is still mint...but you never know.

I'm sorry for your experience though!
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 02:39 AM   #20
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the conclusion...

well, i've finally got my PB back.

it was ready last Friday, after 34 days in for repair. they said they called, but no one was home, so I only found out on Monday when i rang them up.

i let it slip on the 4th week, i didn't have any time to call them. they were just kinda like "oh well, the part is still on the ship. sorry."

ahwell. the saga is finally over. now i can get back to work.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 09:48 AM   #21
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glad to hear....!


mine is BACK OUT for repair again...

now..its the super drive. They replaced that. and then they also replaced the topcase too?? go figure?

but when i went to pick it up...ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

heres what my new repair order says...

SYMPTOMS: EXTERNAL CASE DAMAGED DURING REPAIR. REPLACE EXTERNAL TOP CASE. ALSO LOWER RIGHT OF DISPLAY IS BOWING AWAY FROM BASE OF DISPLAY. TOP EXTERIOR DENTED. APPLE LOGO HAS TAPE RESIDUE AND SCUFFS ON IT. DISPLAY BESEL BOWING AWAY FROM MACHINE. ABOVE DVI PORT SID IS BOWING AS WELL.

end quote....

a lil fed up....not gonna lie. hope it doesnt take another month on this powerbook.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 03:38 PM   #22
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oh DAMN. what... did this use it as a stepping stool or something? they tried PowerBook juggling with it?

so now it's back in for repair to fix the damage they did to it?

well if it takes more than 4 weeks, really put the pressure on them.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 05:30 PM   #23
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IBM story.

Sent my Thinkpad T23 in for repair. Came standard with 3 yr warranty and had 6 months left. They had it for 3 months. Finally they just shipped me a brand new Thinkpad T42p loaded with dvd burner, 1gb ram etc. They also replaced my docking station with the new one and gave me another 1gb ram to total 2gb. I had some old port replicators lying around and they replaced with the full docking station.

Now thats freakin service.

Especially since I bought it off of ebay for $700 2 weeks earlier. LOL.

That was so amazing I went on ebay and bought another one with problems for $500 and sent that one in as well. Yep you guessed it, they sent me another Thinkpad T42p loaded with 2gb ram and docking station. I ended up selling the docking stations for $600 and the other T42p for $3000.

So basically I got a free thinkpad and $2000 cash.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 05:36 PM   #24
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OK, I was going to say that it was "kind of" service from IBM until you edited the post and added the stuff about buying it on eBay...now you're my hero: scamming a large corporation.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 06:31 PM   #25
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I never had a problem with apple but then again I have not need to get stuff repair by them yet.

Now on my old gateway laptop something went wrong with the PSU or the mobo on it. I had the thing for about 6 months when it started happening. Took it in to get fixed with a few things (got it back 10days later) Got it back wasnt fix and I went down to the store. The guys at the store where surpised and where not happy about it and we sent it off again. Came back again 15 days later they did not find the problem. This time took it back to store with my dad. The guys there where still surpised and they where even pretty mad about it because it was not right. Made a few phone calls and 10days later they gave us the value we paid for to buying a replacement. We just upgraded.

Now that one is a little over 4 years old. In its life it only thing that gone wrong with it was PCIMA card died and the the part on the MOBO that reads the power button being pushed completely died and that was about 1.5 years go. We paid for a new mobo and put it in. Still going pretty well all things considered. Mind you it is a pretty old computer but hardware wise it still running strong. Also like to point out that I am pretty hard on eletronics so that not to bad.

The point of the story is laptops are hit or miss. The industry average on laptops going in for warrenty repair work in the first year is at 20%. Apple average if I rememeber right is 15%. Chance are you just got a one of the bad 15%
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