After publicly threatening to keep returning defective iMacs at Apple's expense until he got one that worked, Apple blocked a Gizmodo contributor from making further exchanges of defective iMacs. The email message from Apple implies that they know that any new unit sent to him would probably have the same defect.
My plan to continue exchanging yellow-screened iMacs until the end of time has been thwarted, but I'm not giving up. Read on for the revised plan.
First, a little background. Yesterday, I posted about my second yellow-tinted iMac. And I made this threat:
I basically mail back review products for a living, and the joy of this new toy has long been spoiled. So I'm going to do my damndest to bankrupt Apple with return shipping. I will send back these iMacs as many times as it takes for them to build one correctly. And every single time that they screw it up, I'm going to air their dirty laundry here. Feel free to read it or don't. It's my opinion that Apple's cyclical production issues can't be swept under the rug any longer.
Shortly thereafter, a mid-level Apple representative who'd been handling my claim called (in alleged response to an email I'd sent before my post, not the post itself). I was informed that the company would not issue me another exchange straight from the factory. I'd, instead, need to get the iMac repaired at an Apple Store, lest I "want to waste the time and have to do this all over again." That's right, she basically admitted that everything coming off the line would be inflicted with the same disease.
I attempted calling technical support on my own for a second time to facilitate a true iMac exchange. After giving the technician my case number, they went off the line for about 5 minutes. And when they came back, my exchange was blocked again. This technician added that, following an exchange, "It's quite likely the issue will continue to happen...and that we'll become stuck in an endless loop."
Maybe she meant "infinite loop."
Call me paranoid, but I believe it to be true: Yesterday, after posting my threat, Apple tracked down my non-Gizmodo email I used to purchase the iMac and flagged my account to block exchanges. Either way, my hands are completely tied. Luckily, yours are not.
If my conspiracy thesis is correct, we've hit a nerve with Apple. So I'm only going to increase my efforts with your help until they publicize and/or fix the yellow LCD issue. Here's what I could use from you:
Anyone out there who's in the process of exchanging an iMac for one without a jaundiced screen and receives a replacement January 1st or after, email submissionsATgizmodo.com to let us know if the issue has been resolved. New purchases that turn out to be yellow are great as well. Please be sure to:
1. Use the subject "Yellow iMac"
2. Take photos of this screen test (just make sure to lock that white balance!)
3. Include details like the ship date and how many iMacs you've exchanged so far
Every week, assuming your participation, I will post an update on the problem. And let me make this point abundantly clear to any Apple corporate folk (because I know you're reading): If your company is still selling multi-thousand dollar computers with yellow screens in 52 weeks, I will be pointing it out in 52 weeks.
This problem will not go away, not until it's fixed. And I implore other sites, technology-based or not, to help me publicize the issue. No, this isn't the first time Apple has sold the public broken products, but maybe, just maybe, it could be the last.
Now having said all that, if Apple can come forward and openly admit the mistake while providing an adequate solution to their customers, I'll laud them as an example as to how companies can take an unforeseen manufacturing issue and make things right.
As for the fate of my iMac, I'm between returning it out of sheer disgust and attempting the repair for sake of our little narrative (plus, you know, I really would like one that works in spite of all this trouble). We'll see.
Send an email to Mark Wilson, the author of this post, at email@example.com.