Apple Care Disatisfaction - Help!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aaronlow5000, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. aaronlow5000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #1
    Hi all,
    I'm new to these forums, and unfortunately, my first post is one of disatisfaction and disapointment with Apple - in particularly, Apple Care. First of all, let me say that my family and I switched to macs from Windows based computers in 2002. We love the OSX computing experience, and since then, have bought three macs from Apple - a dual 867 mhz G4 powermac, a 17" iMac G5, and a 1.33 ghz 12" powerbook, and various ipods - a 4G ipod, a 5G ipod, and 3 ipod minis. As such, I feel that we are loyal Apple customers. However, I also feel that Apple has let us down in terms of service - I'd even go as far as to say they've taken advantage of us. Our first Apple Care experience occured during winter, 2002 when the logic board in our powermac failed. Apple took three weeks to replace the logic board. I thought this was absurd and kept phoning Apple Care - they kept on telling me the part was on back order. I was not pleased, but with the computer being my first mac, I gave Apple the benefit of the the doubt. My friend, the mac rep on campus couldn't believe that I'd stood for that kind of treatment and said I should have demanded my computer back, or demanded a replacement. Fastforward to December, 2005. The trackpad had been acting funkily for a few weeks - uneaven acceleration, jumping, opposite movement, etc. Then, one night, I was using the computer when it suddenly switched off. A strong burning smell was then emitted from the powerbook which also got very hot. At that point, I phoned Apple Care, and they sent out a box for these two issues - the smell and the trackpad. Apple replaced the hard drive, logic board and airport card. When I got the computer back, not only was the trackpad not fixed, but there were dents on the casing that I had not inflicted, pressure points on the screen, and the battery was so damaged in one corner that the powerbook no longer sat stably. Needless to say, I was pretty upset and phoned Apple Care back. They then sent out another box. A few days later, I got an email saying to call Apple Care. Apple Care then proceeded to tell me that they would not fix the computer - just the trackpad, as the damage was already on the computer when I had sent it in the first time - I knew this was not true, so demmanded to speak to customer service. The woman at customer service was very professional and promised me that everything would be taken care of. When I got the computer back, everything was fixed - they replaced the screen, fixed the trackpad, fixed the case, and replaced the battery. However, the battery lasted all of thirty minutes (after a full charge and calibration). It also claimed a batter life of 500 hours on a 1% charge. As I depend a lot on my powerbook, I was very disapointed, and at this point, upset with Apple. Luckily, I live close to an Apple Store and took the powerbook in. The people at the Apple Store were very nice and replaced the battery right away. However, on Friday, as luck would have it, the screen on my powerbook failed - I was using it, and all of a sudden, it blanked out. Another call to Apple Care, and a few diagnostics later determined that it was a hardware issue. I received the DHL box today. I cannot however send it in until Wednesday, as I have a medical school interview that day and need files on my powerbook. I think that I am justified in my frustration and disapointment with Apple Care. I am travelling a lot with interviews at various med schools, and need my computer. While on the phone with Apple Care on Friday, I raised the issue of having Apple replace my powerbook outright. I feel that I have either been dealt a lemon, or that Apple is replacing parts with less than satisfactory components (keep in mind that Apple damaged the battery, screen and case). The woman on the line said that Apple only entertains the notion of replacing the computer after the third time an issue presents itself and does not give out loaner computers. Every time I send my powerbook into Apple, a week of my time is wasted - I depend on my powerbook a lot. The mac rep on campus (a new rep) told me that Apple's policy on replacements is to consider them after the 4th incident of a 'major component failure' which I feel my powerbook meets. My question to all of you is, do you think I am justified in demanding a replacement from Apple given all that I've gone through? The worst thing that could happen to me would be to have my powerbook fail on me while I'm out of town (or country) interviewing. Thanks so much for listening to me!
    -Aaron
     
  2. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #2
    Sorry to hear all this happened to you. I really would take issue with applecare. If you email them with a list of all the problems that have happened along with any and all documentation from the repairs... they really should listen to you. Tell them that your computer has become nearly unusable and if it continues to perform in the way it has in the past, that it could affect your career.

    Don't be rude, but be assertive. :) It is your well-earned money, after all. A product is made to work, not be a piece of garbage.
     
  3. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #3
    This is why I don't deal with Apple Service directly. There are a myriad of Apple Authorized Service Providers who can easily fix your machines, under warranty, in far less time than it takes to ship it to Apple and back. Moreover, I find that they never cause any extra damage to the machine.

    With regard to getting a replacement, I'm only counting 2 major component failures. The logic board and hard drive count as one because they occurred at the same time, and the logic board failure likely shorted the drive. Only the screen failure counts as the second. The initial screen replacement was not an issue of failure. Trackpads, Airport Cards, and Batteries are not considered major components. I understand your frustration, but most of your problems have not been the result of a bad machine, but from bad technicians. As such, not much chance of getting a replacement.

    As a sidenote: Does this thread belong in the Help section?
     
  4. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #4
    Yeah, I count only two problems. And I would be very nervous about sending my own 12" powerbook in to anyone. I agree with the previous poster -- take it to an apple Tech near you -- where you can keep a better eye on things.

    Human nature is human nature and I just always am very very wary of sending my computers in for service. Applecare has proved to be a wonderful thing for me -- only really used it three times in the 25 odd Macs I've owned since 1989 -- once on a 400mhz Tibook with hard drive failure (geez, now I know how easy that would have been to fix) and later, they gave me a new logic board because i happened to be on the phone wiht them while I screwed up putting memory in the machine for the first time. (they sent a new logic board!) -- once on a 1ghz Tibook with logic board problem -- and once on a 1.2ghz iBook 14" with a faulty trackpad that the local apple Certificed Tech fixed in one day.

    I was extremely vocal and paranoid when sending the macs in and usually let either the University Apple Tech or an outside Apple Tech handle the actual mailings into Apple if needed. That way they were responsible for any problems with shipping or what not -- not me. If I had to send my pristine cased 12" pb in? I would take a photo of it with a newspaper nearby and tape the edges with tape and warnings: CASE PERFECT NO DENTS HANDLE WITH CARE"

    I am so not kidding.
     
  5. aaronlow5000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #5
    Hi, and thanks for the replies.
    I never knew that people were so wary of Apple Care....and be as it may that some issues were the result of Apple's technicians, or that certain items failed at the same time, I just feel that so much has gone wrong - and each time I send the powerbook in, I lose about a week of productivity, that Apple should replace the powerbook. I really didn't bargain for Apple ruining my machine.
     
  6. aaronlow5000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #6
    Hi all,
    Just thought I'd update on the issue. I phoned Apple Care 2 days ago, explained the situation, and asked them to replace the computer. The guy was really nice and apologetic, not like some of the other techs before him. He immediately offered to replace the powerbook and asked if I'd like to upgrade and pay the difference. So.....I decided to pay the $900 and get the 1.83 ghz macbook pro. In addition, I can get Apple Care pro rated (since I have 1.5 years left on the old powerbook). To top it off, my school has a loaner tibook I can use while waiting for the new laptop to ship. Needless to say, my faith in Apple has been restored.
    -Aaron
     
  7. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a

    Flyinace2000

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    #7
    I am in a similar situation as you. i will be asking apple to replace my PB as well. I an curious what powerbook you had and how much the upgrade to the MBP cost?
     
  8. XFce macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #8
    If I had to send my pristine cased 12" pb in? I would take a photo of it with a newspaper nearby and tape the edges with tape and warnings: CASE PERFECT NO DENTS HANDLE WITH CARE"

    I am so not kidding.

    Bump ^^^
     
  9. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    That wouldn't work though because you could have had an old newspaper lying around. :(
     
  10. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a

    Flyinace2000

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    #10
    yeah but if you took a photo of your laptop with a newspaper from today you know that your powerbook was good up to that date.
     
  11. Aramis macrumors member

    Aramis

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    Dont think taking a photo with a newspaper would matter. You could have more than one PB (i.e. one damaged and one in excellent condition).

    Anytime a system is shipped theres a chance that it could be damaged. Luckily I live near an Apple store.
     
  12. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    True but even if you did, it wouldnt make any sense, you dont wait a month for the computer to come back to you, You get the box, take a picture of the box, the notice to send it in, and the newspaper, it would be at your own disadvantage to take a picture of a older newspaper date
     

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