Applecare and Genius Bar service... My powersupply died

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crazydreaming, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #1
    My Powerbooks (see sig) Power supply died a couple nights ago. Basically it has been sparking a lot lately when I plug it in and kinda smelling. The last time I plugged it in, there was a big spark, and what do you know, my Powerook was no longer receiving power.

    So I called Applecare, and after them making me run through all different tests, they too concluded that my powersupply is broken. However, they said there is apparently a shortage or something and I would have to wait until the second or third week in December! I'm in college, and this is an especially busy time, there is no way I can go that long without my Powerbook. He told me to call my local Apple Store and tell them my problem and see if they had any Power Supply's available.

    So I did. I called my Apple Store and they told me I would have to come in. I asked if he could at least tell me if he knew if they had any there before I made the 1/2 hour drive and he responded with "I really don't know".

    What else was I to do? I made the 1/2 hour drive, with an appointment for the earliest available time which was noon. I arrived at 11:30 because I was in a hurry. I get there and they told me I had to wait until my appointment at least. They were busy. I told him my problem anyway and he still told me I would have to wait. Well, I walked around the store, getting asked 3 times if I needed help for a half hour until my appointment and went back to the bar. There were still 5 people ahead of me! I said forget that, I had to go and would have to come back.

    I'm just a bit annoyed at how much work it is to get my $2,000 laptop back in order...
     
  2. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #2
    wow sounds like apples a busy place with buggy/faulty products
     
  3. miseldine macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    #3
    From someone who found themselves in a similar bind, deepest condolences!

    I rely on my Powerbook for literally all digital entertainment in my student accomodation: TV, music, movies, surfing etc. So when my power brick blew up, I was left thinking of how to fill those evenings without digital goodness :) The Apple Store here in the UK had a wait of 3 weeks for a power supply...so I tried ringing Applecare: same problem, no supply.

    Getting desperate, I remembered a little shop here in Liverpool that is an Apple reseller. I had little hope thinking that if Apple UK and their store in Birmingham had no power supplies, this shop wouldn't. But, lo and behold they did. So I bought 2.

    What I've found is, when you plug them into a "live" plug, i.e. here in the UK you can turn on and off each socket, a little blue spark comes from the main plug. Though when my supply blew up, a huge blue spark emitted from the brick itself. I've found now, plugging it into an "off" socket, then turning it on when it's in stops this from happening. And touch wood, neither has blown since, nor sparked. It's very annoying to have to do this though...manually switching sockets is a bind, and something no other laptop charger insists on :)
     
  4. CompUser Guest

    #4
    Tell them to either give you a temp one off of one of the display models or enough batteries to last 2 weeks.
     
  5. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #5
    If you bought a Dell maybe you will get that level of service, but get real! You bought an Apple!

    Seriously, have you guys thought of buying one of those inline surge protectors from APC to protect your power adapter?
     
  6. CompUser Guest

    #6
    What I was saying have them give you a temporary charger, one taken from one of the floor models. When new chargers come in, give back the temp one and they can give you a new one.
     
  7. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #7
    The spark you see when plugging it in is most likely inrush current due to big capacitors in the supply. It's not at all likely that that spark has anything to do with the failure of the power supply. In fact, the same inrush current occurs when you flip an inactive socket on, it's just that it doesn't spark.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
  9. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #9
    haha, I like your thinking. :D

    Seriously though, why can't they give me one of the ones in the pretty packaging they keep on their shelves??
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    Remember the KY jelly next time, it helps make the Apple Customer Service more pleasant.

    You definitely got the full treatment.
     
  11. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #11
    haha. Yea, they're service really does suck. Perhaps if I was a hott woman it would be different. No offence to any geniuses here, but maybe the geeks at the bar would have tried and help me.
     
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #12
    Because there's a difference between "sevice parts" and "retail accessories". Your broken power adapter needs a service part. I had the same issue a few years ago when my iMac's keyboard gave up the ghost. They had plenty keyboards sitting on the shelf, but no service parts. I had to purchase a keyboard while they ordered a new one, and then returned it with a restocking fee once the service part arrived.:rolleyes:
     
  13. strydr macrumors 6502

    strydr

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    I know this may not be much help, but get a iGo power supply (Radio Shack sells it, or you can get it online). It's a great power brick, and doubles as a phone charger, among other things. I keep the regular brick @ work, and the iGo travels with me.
     
  14. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #14
    The iGo stuff is pretty convenient. FWIW, I noticed that the Apple Store carries them too when I was their tonight. I had assumed that they were a RadioShack only thing.
     
  15. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #15
    The genius bar service setup is my biggest qualm with buying apple. They make no consideration for someone who walks in and KNOWS what's wrong with their computer. The last time I went in with an appt. time, I had to wait another hour anyway. Now I'm near a particularly busy store (manhattan), but its seriously a pain in the butt. Especially if you don't have another computer to make the appt. from.
     
  16. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #16
    I'm so darn busy I don't know when I'm going to get to the Applestore again. Today I tried to get there about 15min. before they closed; figured it wouldn't be busy, and I was going right by there anyway. However, the traffic jam ruined those plans. :( Now I'm back in school, borrowing my dad's iBook power adapter. He says he should be fine until I see him next weekend.

    What I'm thinking I'm going to do is go to Radioshack and buy (or borrow if you will :eek:) one of those iGo's. There I should hopefully avoid a restoke fee if I do decide to return it.

    Is this a common problem? My dad is an electrician and he says its a flimsy design to begin with. Says it looks like they choose style over durability... I'm starting to believe him.
     
  17. strydr macrumors 6502

    strydr

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    #17
    I love my Apple's, but sometimes there's a better way. My PB adapter's LED is flakey, I think the designer style is too much, I only use it as a secondary adapter. That's why I recomended the iGo. Buy it, and keep it. if you have a cell phone, portable game system, or just about anything that need recharging, it will make your life easier.

    PS, I don't work for them or anything, I just like to share the things I have found to be good.
     
  18. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #18
    I'm not sure if your dad's iBook adaptor is the same as your powerbook adaptor or not. I have a 12" Powerbook and my girlfriend has a 17" and our adaptors are definitely not the same. They have different voltages. You can't tell it by looking at them but the genius pointed it out to me when I was at the Apple Store. I would do some research and make sure that your dad's ibook adaptor has the same specs as your powerbook one before you use it just to be on the safe side. I know it probably has lower voltage but I would be careful anyway.
     
  19. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #19
    Apple's power supplies for their PowerBook and iBook products are cheaply made. I've been through two myself and my PowerBook is just over a year old. My brother has been through five of them and his iBook is less than three years old. Goodluck. If you have the cash, pbparts.com had the power bricks for $59.
     
  20. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #20
    Actually, I had to take my computer in and wait about an hour to get it fixed. Just like anything, there's people that are in line before you, and you have to wait your turn...simple as that. If your really impatient, you could just ask them for a beeper, and they would just buzz you when it was your time so you could walk around the mall or close proximity to the store and do other things...
     
  21. scarlets knees macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    #21
    I had a similar problem as my pb powerblock died after 6 months, I don't have applecare as it's only 6 months old, you think the service is bad for applecare, try having a warranty. I couldn't get anyone to talk to me at apple to find out what someone without applecare but WITH a year long warranty should do. In the UK we only have 2 (and now 3) Apple stores and my nearest one is London. Luckily I was going through London so I popped in. How foolish I was, I had to have an appointment, I told them I just needed a power supply NOPE I had to have an appointment to get an expert to check it out. Okay, I was coming back through London the next day I'll book in ..NOPE I couldn't make one then I had to wait until booking opened the next day...The next day I got my wife to try and book me an appointment as I was in an all day conference. except you can't get a damn appointment as they give priority to...Applecare customers. Thinking that it was time to call trading standards I happened to walk past an Apple re-seller - HOORAY, I went in, he told me that yes my power supply was broken and no he couldn't replace it, he's have to send it to Apple who would then approve a replacement (or not). Anyway a week later I got my new power supply.
    I'm a swithcher and I love my pb, but bloody hell how do Apple get away with such crappy service and crappy products like the power supply?
    I'd still buy a mac but they do test your alleigance....
     
  22. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #22
    They are not the same. The wattages are what's different. The iBook adapter is 45W and the PB adapter is 65W. It just takes forever to charge my powerbook.
     
  23. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #23
    I would read it as lots of converts from windows talking to the apple store people trying to figure out how to load spyware/virus scanning/pop up blocking software onto their machines. I think they are all very concerned that this type of software does not come preloaded on a mac and they are in a panic!!
     
  24. olufsen69 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWest
    #24
    Hope not to far off topic. But my new PowerMac G5 2.7 gave up the ghost in October, got it back in July '05 due to bad to bad power supply (according to CompUSA)
    Called AppleCare and they had me take it to local CompUSA and that in itself was a nightmare. Ordered wrong part, told me 3 weeks later it was to be fixed the next day and then after driving over there to pick it up, told me no part was available until the end of December. Oh and they also lost my install discs as well.
    Called AppleCare once again and told them what a big disappointment this was, a $3500.00 paperweight for a month. Some people at AppleCare was really helpful, others acted like I was giving them a hard time for calling. Finally got a real helpful customer service woman, had me take it to an Apple store after AppleCare had sent a tech out to house to fix it, which he failed to do.
    So I was pretty much a high priority case by now and did not have to have an appointment at Apple store over this. And on the bright side of things, if they cannot fix this by Dec. 3rd, I get a brand new PowerMac.
    But my big issue with this whole mess is that I finally made the switch over to Apple after debating over to for the last year and a half. I had been on a PC for the last 15 years and never have I had a computer down for more than a day.
    And to have this happen, and yes I do understand things happen to the best of anything but to have to wait on a stupid part for over a month is just a pure nightmare.
     

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