Buying Tip: Don't get Apple Store Bluewater (UK) to fit extra RAM!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by thomasp, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I thought buying my 15" Combo Apple PowerBook from the newly-opened Apple Store in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, UK would be a wonderful experience. Oh how wrong I was...

    Last night, I phoned the Apple Store to reserve the PB and an extra 512Mb chip of RAM. They said that they couldn't install the ram there and then, because they need payment before they can crack open the case.

    We arrived at BlueWater at about 11:00am this morning and handed over out credit card, making sure that they knew we wanted an extra chip of RAM. We returned half an hour later to pick up the computer and were told the RAM had been installed.

    On the way home (which, for the record is a 90 minute journey on a good day, and about a 150 mile round trip) I noted that it seemed strange that the outer security seal on the box was undamaged. We thought nothing of it.

    I got home and was so eager to get this new piece of kit up and running, I went upstairs and booted it up. Everything seemed to go well - registration send off OK and it started up fine.

    Until....

    I went into "About this mac" to check its specs (something we always do when we buy a new computer). To my horror under "Memory", it said "512Mb DDR SDRAM". Worried, I went into the Apple System Profiler: "Upper slot: 512Mb DDR SDRAM; Lower slow: Empty". Disaster: :( :mad: :eek: There was no extra RAM and a £100 (less 8% student discount) dent in my dad's credit card for something that wasn't there!

    I phoned up the Apple Store and spoke to the Manager - he said he'd phone back when he looked into it, but it was looking like we were going to have to make yet another 150 mile journey down to Bluewater, thus eating up even more time, diesel and money (we have to pay £2 to go over/under the Dartford Crossing). Plus, there'd be the nightmare of parking. When we left Bluewater at 11:45, there were no free spaces at all in the car park, and even more cars were pouring in. I dread to think what it would be like at 3:30, when we would have got down there. For the record, the Regent Street store is well over 2 and a half hours away by road. And I don't fancy going into London by train at the minute...

    When Paul, the manager eventually phoned back they seemed to have come to an agreement that let me keep my PowerBook and not have to drive down to Kent again. They are going to send a technician up to my house to fit the RAM - they should be here in about two hours, although everyone who tries to visit us always gets lost.


    This will probably be the last time I buy something from an Apple shop - I may risk buying something from the Apple Online store, but I'll wait and see. Has this experience harmed what I think of Apple? Probably - let's wait and see if I get a working PowerBook to restore my faith in Apple


    I hope my next post in this thread has some good news and doesn't involve me talking about how an Apple Store manager was made to eat a PowerBook.
     
  2. Frank (Atlanta) macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #2
    As frustrating as this situation is, it does seem that Apple has (have subject-verb agreement for UK) attempted to resolve the issue in the least inconvenient fashion for you.

    You're right - should have been done correctly up-front, but at least they're sending a tech to your house to resolve that issue. That dispatch may be more costly to Apple than just sending you a stick of RAM in the mail for free!

    At least they're going out of their way to rectify their mistake.

    Good luck,
    Frank
     
  3. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    They can't do that, because if I installed the RAM my one-year's warantee would be voided.

    We also gave them the option of couriering a fresh PB with the correct amount of RAM over, and the courier taking the old 'book back, but they declined that option.

    Yeah, let's hope it gets solved and I haven't got a dodgy RAM slot with a fried chip of RAM inside that PB....
     
  4. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    err no your warranty would not be void, ram is a consumer installable part, just the ram will not be under the same unbrella as the powerbooks 1 year warranty.
     
  5. swy32x macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    #5
    Whatever gave you that idea?!

    It's fine to upgrade the RAM manually ...
     
  6. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #6
    150 miles!! you should have ordered from the online shop and get the ram installed as an option

    in any case, they are sending somebody, which is quite impressive, humans make mistake, they made one and they seem to be doing quite well to fix it

    buying memory from apple is very expensive and installing it is really easy, it is much better to buy it from someone else and do it yourself.
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    Yes, it's a pain but it was a genuine mistake but as others have said, they are going out of their way to fix it for you (150 miles out of their way :p )

    I guess the lesson for us all here is that to check if a box has been opened before we leave the store if we think it should have been.

    In the meantime while you're waiting for the technician to arrive, enjoy getting used to your new PB - 512 is enough to start enjoying it!

    And if you ever decide to up your RAM, I'll again confirm that it is very, very easy to do and won't affect your warranty (I think the only Mac where it may void warranty is the Mac mini since it's not a user-serviceable part)
     
  8. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    you can upgrade any part of a mac without voiding the warranty, only if you actually damage it as a result, just the part you replaced is not covered by the warranty, apple dose not encourage you to do anything drastic, but it in no way voids your warranty, and how could they know weather you did it yourself of got an apple tech to do it
     
  9. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    You ought to have asked them to refund the £100 and instaled the RAM yourself at some point in the future - I think you can get a 1GB RAM stick for less that than £100.
     
  10. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    On a jet plane
    #10
    Here's an excellent guide to installing the RAM yourself. It's really not that difficult and as others have mentioned, will not void your warranty.
     
  11. psycho bob macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    #11
    I will never understand why people insist in thinking that installing items like RAM and airport cards void the warranty. No computer in the world, not even the safety deposit box that is the mac mini, is subject to such silly recommendations.

    If people would just read the product manuals all these things are explained ;)
     
  12. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #12
    You should of just called blue water apple store and told them to refund the RAM costs, and bought the extra RAM on crucial.com/uk and installed it yourself.....

    That would have saved you alot of money as apple sell there RAM for a bunch more than crucial....

    Your call though,

    ShadOW ;)
     
  13. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I either read it on the Apple website (can't remember where) or heard an Apple sales assistant say that installing RAM voids the warrantee - but that could have just been on the 3 year protection plan.

    According to Nick, the friendly apple tech who arrived a few hours ago the warrantee is voided on certain macs - I'd imagine the ones that have hidden RAM slots that aren't consumer accessible.


    Anyway, Nick arrived one hour and 40 minutes after the store phoned to say he'd be on his way (they said he'd be 2 hours). He came armed with a chip of RAM and a 10% discount card for the Apple Store :) (not bad!). He installed the RAM on his way home from work (he actually lives about half an hour away from me) and the PB was up and running in no time.

    It turns out the wrong computer had been picked up, so someone else has got a free 512Mb of RAM in their PowerBook :eek:


    As for not ordering this computer online, because I wanted a student discount but I am not yet at university (but have the required evidence for the Apple Store), it was easier to go into a shop and do it.

    I may go back and use my 10% discount on a Mighty Mouse :D In the meantime, I think I'll enjoy my PowerBook.

    For those who are nosey, this post was made from my iMac - I need to find the large roll of Cat5 cable lying around somewhere before I can get the PB online. The Airport Extreme seems to interfear with my current (bad) wireless setup....
     
  14. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    On a jet plane
    #14
    Glad it all worked ok in the end :)

    Credit goes to Apple for resolving the situation, sounds like they were very reasonable and eager to atone for their mistake. Wonder how the technician felt being sent two hours out of the way to install some RAM?! :p

    Enjoy your new PB - with added extra RAM goodness!
     
  15. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    no offence to techs, but they rarely know apples real policys about the warrenty being void

    there is no mention of the instalation of 3rd party hardware voids your warrnty anywhere it's just word of mouth, the trouble is on some macs unless you are experienced you are likely to damage your mac, like replaceing the HD on an ibook but as i said the warrenty only covers the items shiped with the powerbook, for example if i acctually had apple care for my ibook, my cd rom drive that i replaced with a dvd burner would still be under warrenty even though it sits on my desk as would my 20GB HD which sits in a caddy that was replaced by an 80GB drive, the only exception is damaged caused by thierd party hardware, for example if my HD overheated and damaged my ibook applecare would not be liable but the HD manufactuer would be liable to replace the HD, your warrenty is void if damage caused by upgraded hardware occurs when not installed by apple or an apple authorized center aka you are liable for your own mistakes, sure if you mod the crap out of your mac your warrenty would be void (overclocking, airport antenna mods, modifying the cd drive bezel to fit a NEC dvd burner, aka all things i have done) and this is when it has been modified significantly to alter functionality which upgrading standard parts dose not cover.

    in other words, back when my ibook was acctually covered by apple care i had a bigger HD my case was painted black i had maxed out ram and an airport care all upgraded from a bare 600MHz g3 ibook but they still replaced the logic board because all my upgrades had not modified the functionality significantly, apple store employes often dont know jack about the warrantees and will play it safe.
     
  16. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    #16
    Sounds like they thought you were a moron and were trying to f*** you. The reason they are going so far out of the way to fix it is because they could have been convicted of fraud... Genuine mistake my a**. If theyre going through all the trouble of sending a tech guy that means something abnormal/badl was happening and they didnt want you to call attention to it.

    I love apple products that doesnt mean apple people cant be bad
     
  17. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    It was more or less on his way home, so it didn't put him out that much.


    Hector: As I can't remember where exactly I read about the warrantee, I'll just have to assume that I got something wrong :) If I did hear it in the Apple store (which I think I did), as you said, they were probably playing it safe, and trying to get commission on their RAM sales


    AP_piano295: I wouldn't have gone as far as to do Apple for fraud, I'd have just returned the whole piece of kit, demanding that they pay the delivery fees, and gone and bought a computer elsewhere - maybe resorting to switching if I couldn't get a good enough deal.

    We only gave them a few options:
    1) Courier a correct-spec PB to us before the end of the day, and put the wrong-spec PB on the courier, back to them
    2) Courier us the RAM
    3) Give us our money back and cover shipping costs to send the PB back.

    In the end, they sent the tech out who should have installed the RAM. This just happened to coinside with his shift ending, and he did it on his way home, only making a detour of about 45 minutes.
     

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