Apple's Terrible Service - iMac 24 Image Persistence/Screenburn/Overheating

Discussion in 'iMac' started by paulbeattie87, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. paulbeattie87 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #1
    A couple of weeks ago at the end of June my iMac started having a few problems with heat. Temperatures on the power supply were getting at high at 80c, HDD was around 65c and above, GPU diode was around 72c. Having worked on computers before the temps worried me especially for the hard drive and GPU. Throughout all this time the ambient temperature was 29c-31c. While that is high, it's within operating temperatures published by Apple. The HDD was exceeding the max operating temps specified by Western Digital for the WDC5000AAJS drive.

    In addition to these high temperatures my display started to exhibit image persistence or screen burn as it was called in days gone by. It was mostly concentrated to the top left of the screen roughly where the PSU is. Images here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbeattie/sets/72157620740779954/ . While the image persistence was most prevalent in the top left it was not confined to this area. Some may say this is due to leaving the same image displayed on screen for extended periods of time, to that effect I turned my iMac off for 16 hours. Upon boot the screen was perfect, temps were rising though. So I opened Safari and Mail, I positioned mail towards the top left of the screen and Safari towards the bottom right. Within an hour of turning on, and mail sitting without changing the image was persistent albeit not as deep as it would have been.

    My next step was to run the Apple Hardware Test found on Disk 1 of my OS X install disks. After running for a while it found the following error: 4MOT/2/40000004: HDD-1323. In the couple of hours AHT was running, even it had burnt into the screen.

    Armed with this information I called Apple, the first technician I got was extremely unhelpful and told me to go to my nearest Apple Store (200 miles away!!!) he also said the error code was a logic board error. He didn't even take my serial number to know what product it applied to!! So I called up again and spoke to a relatively helpful guy who arranged to get my iMac uplifted and brought to a Apple Authorised Service Provider, my AppleCare contract stated "UPLIFT" when purchasing via the Apple UK HED Agreement. I was told the service provider would call within the next 24-48 hours.

    The call from the service provider came after only 30 minutes which was very impressive. I was slightly confused when the service provider asked me what the problem was, the reason for asking was that Apple hadn't told them any information other than my iMac was a custom order and the AHT error code. For reference they didn't even put the custom order specs just it was a custom order!!!

    That was 2 weeks ago...

    Since then I have been told parts had been ordered, they hadn't. I've been told the repair was complete and the machine was shipping back to me, it wasn't. I've had failed call backs, been placed on hold when Apple didn't want to listen to me anymore. I was even told because I bought AppleCare I have no consumer rights!!! The lies and dishonesty with Apple and their service provider have been shocking.

    Now to today, I still have no iMac, it's my primary and only machine at the moment other than borrowing the occasional moment on another computer. Apple seem to have no clue what's going on just now, they don't really seem to care. I have been speaking to a service agent called Morgan based at Apple's EMEA HQ in Ireland. I could try and say she has been helpful, she hasn't. She really doesn't seem to care if my iMac is fixed or not, any information she has I seem to be telling her rather than her finding it out for herself. When I try to argue my corner after she has told me something, I get put on hold as she doesn't want to listen.

    After this experience I am sick fed up of Apple, the after sales service is shoddy, a downright disgrace. Before my iMac I had a £700 Dell, Dell managed to turn up on my doorstep the next day with parts to fix this problem. Apple on the other hand cant even seem to organise what they have. It's appalling. The icing on the cake is that Apple don't even seem bothered by the whole experience.

    I've been buying Apple products in various shapes and forms since 2003 and never really had to deal with "AppleCare", any dealings in the past had been good. I thought it's about time others know about the truly shocking service provided by Apple now. I'm really disappointed Apple of all companies treat their customers like this.
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
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    #2
    I am sorry you have had a bad experience

    My experiences with Apple and their service have always been exceptional

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  3. DavidR91 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bourne, Lincs, UK
    #3
    sjobs@apple.com

    If the person you're in contact with won't listen (and is treating you like that) an email to the above address may be in order. It's normally read by a bunch of customer relations executives - and something like that is bound catch their attention (I've had arguments on the phone to their staff, but they have always listened to what I was saying - they never ever ignore me or put me on hold. So I think your case warrants 'escalating')
     
  4. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
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    #4
    E-mailed :) hopefully get a response back. It didn't bounce with can only be a good thing.

     
  5. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #5
    Sorry to hear about your awful experience Paul.

    My experience with Applecare's technician has been hit-and-miss: At times I'll get someone who's genuinely helpful and knowledgeable, sometimes it's someone who's just a jerk, but most of the time it's simply someone who's just going through the motions-- reading off standard troubleshooting diagnostics from their screen.

    Have you tried ringing Apple's Customer Service to let them know about your awful experience? They could connect you with someone higher up, and hopefully, more considerate and professional in the Applecare department. I've always found them much, much more professional and considerate than the Applecare agents.

    Good luck:)
     
  6. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    North East Scotland
    #6
    I agree, it's very hit and miss. I spoke to a AppleCare rep about issues with my iPhone both that agent and his colleague were excellent. Sadly my experience with my iMac has been terrible.

    The agent who I mentioned above putting me on hold is already quite high up in the Apple EMEA food-chain. The next step according to another AppleCare agent is to write in to their HQ in Cork, Ireland.

    We will see how it goes tomorrow the Service Provider thinks they have found another fault with the power supply producing excessive heat. The technician working on my iMac also noted that when the temperatures in the room started to rise, the fan speed didn't increase, this is after replacing the fans and the logic board. That's the thing though, it has never went about 1200rpm on the CPU & HDD. The optical drive fan would speed up when burning a disk only. I also experienced some disk burning issues when the temperature inside my iMac got to excessive levels.
     
  7. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
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    North East Scotland
    #7
    The service provider have ordered a new power supply which should be arriving on Friday to be fitted to my iMac. We will see how this goes. :(
     
  8. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #8
    That sounds like a bit of good news there :)

    Like yourself, I also own 4 Macs-- starting with my very 1st Blueberry iMac G3 333Mhz from 10 years ago: Made in CALIFORNIA. There was no Applecare back in those days, but that may be because the hardware was much more solid, and even the support agents were so knowledgeable, considerate and HELPFUL it seemed. They would even call me out of the blue to ask if everything was alright. True. Now I'm just grateful I don't get some snotty kid or some girl simply reading me info I could easily find on the Apple site.

    I completely understand your frustration Paul. Just be patient, and continue to be firm and direct with them if things aren't satisfactory.
     
  9. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #9
    Suburbia thanks for your post and I agree, as Apple have grown they seem to be putting less and less effort into AppleCare and ensuring after-sales is good.

    I've spoken to the AASP this morning, they swapped the PSU with another iMac they had in the workshop, it made no difference to the heat. A new one was ordered from Apple yesterday anyway which has just arrived, so they will be fitting that and seeing how it goes.

    So far they have replaced the fans, logic board and swapped out/replaced the PSU and it's made no difference. Will find out this afternoon what happens next!
     
  10. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #10
    I really do feel for you-- that iMac is a genuine dud... Going by what these boards are saying about Apple's replacement policy, you should be eligible for a new iMac replacement since so many of its major components failed, no?

    I don't think Apple's going to make that offer, but I'd inquire if I were you.
     
  11. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #11
    Yup. The service provider replaced the PSU and it never made all that much of a difference to the heat.

    Spoke to Apple who said I had two options, get a replacement machine or get the service provider to keep trying to repair. After chatting I decided on the replacement as the service provider has pretty much tried everything I could think of to solve heat.

    The replacement procedure is pretty silly, my old iMac will be shipped back to me, I will put my keyboard and mouse into the box, then send it back to Apple. Apple when the receive my iMac will start custom building my new machine. Funny thing is, the spec is exactly the same as the current 2.93Ghz, why cant they just take one off the shelf instead of having me sitting around waiting. I've also been told the replacement could take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

    Seems a pretty ridiculous exchange procedure shipping it back to me and all, then getting a machine specifically built and shipped when their is a perfectly good one sitting in a warehouse exactly the same as the custom built one! Not to mention the replacement time.

    Ah Apple what terrible service!
     
  12. DavidR91 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bourne, Lincs, UK
    #12
    I doubt they will custom build it as they said - they'll take an off the shelf one that is the closest match. They said this to me too, and I ended up with an off the shelf (and a slightly better spec because of it).

    Personally, I found the weirdest thing about the replacements is that there's no confirmation - they send you the shipment details, but other than that, there's no letter of apology or confirmation or anything. It just... arrives. On it's own, in a standard box with no other information, as if you had just ordered it new. I just found that a little odd to be honest.
     
  13. Stuart in Oz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    paulbeattie87, you've listed exactly the same problems I've had with my early 2008 24" 3.06GHz machine.

    The fans would never speed up, even as the ambient temperature started to rise. Finally, one warm day in January this year (about 38C ambient), the hard drive started failing and I realised what was going on. I found a temp utility and the HDD was at 82 C (!!!) and the other sensors were all off the charts as well.

    Both before and after that day (obviously more so after) it was giving constant problems, including the screen burn-in (and a brown haze across parts of the screen too).

    I took it to the flagship Apple store here in Sydney and they took it in and fixed it under warranty. I posted somewhere else a few months back about how much they replaced - the whole LCD panel, the logic board, the processor, the hard drive, the speakers and the fans. (Why they didn't just give me a new one I'll never know). Still, they did it all in 5 days without any other hitches.

    In my experience, if you can get to a flagship Apple store you get much better service than anywhere else - but I know you said distance makes that hard for you.

    Interestingly, the fans STILL don't speed up on warmer days! So, I run smcFanControl all the time and that keeps it under control. On hot days I just boot the fans up to max first thing in the morning and leave them there all day. On moderate days I set them at 50%.

    The machine gets hot very easily - the compact design obviously reaches the very limit of the thermal envelope of the components inside. Or in other words, to look good, it don't work so good. ;)

    Right now it's a cold winters day - only 16C on my thermometer at the moment. (This is Sydney - I know that's summer in lots of other places, but really, I have lambs wool slippers and a jumper on right now. Its cold.) I'm encoding some HD video and I've got the fans set to medium cause on default the HDD temps were starting to creep up.

    The iMac is a hot beasty.
     
  14. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #14
    That's great news Paul! I hope all the trouble was worth it...

    As you've pointed out and as David stated, they're not "customizing" anything for you: They'll just send you an off-the-shelf unit. (And your dud will be tinkered with and most likely sold as a refurb.)
     
  15. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #15
    I never can say anything bad about Apple I always have had super service the best I ever had with any company.

    I would not call Apple replacing it bad service:( you need to get a grip.
     
  16. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #16
    Hmm DavidR91, how long did it take for yours to arrive? I take it you had to get your iMac back and then get it collected also? I'm really hoping it wont take more than a week before my new iMac arrives, this really is starting to drag out something terrible!! I have been told specifically it will be configured she ran through the options, I was even given the choice of keyboard...

    I would have to point out the max operating temp set by Apple is 35c but a few degrees over wouldn't have caused all those issues. HDD temp on mine was approaching 70c when the ambient here was 30c, screen burn occurred but no brown tinge. PSU was heading towards 90c at one point!!!
    The service provider who were repairing mine have been great once they got sorted out, they have replaced the PSU, Logic board and fans/speakers and it made no difference. The nearest flagship store for me is Regent St, London. Around about 500+ miles from me!!

    I tried smcFanControl and another app called iMac fan control from memory, I didn't see the point in using such apps, from what I could see the damage had been done by the time I found them and it was only a short term solution. I did turn the fans up full speed and it never made much if a difference at all, it sat for at least 1 hour to get the HDD from 60c down to 49c. Thats full speed!! Very noisy.

    16c isn't cold! -5c is cold for me, North East Scotland!!

    Thanks suburbia, well I was given the choice of the keyboard, I've opted for the non-numeric so will see how I find it. I do get the feeling it was custom built with the keyboard choice, It would be great if it wasn't, be much faster shipping from a warehouse in the UK than from China!

    I did mention the lack of customisation but she was adamant it would be built and then shipped to me.
     
  17. Stuart in Oz macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #17
    Yeah, I agree. There's millions of people in cities around the world where daytime max temps exceed that regularly and 35C is a stupidly low limit. If 35C was the real max, then no-one in Sydney could us an iMac for about 3 months of the year.

    They are noisy but they may stop the problem happening again. On predicted hot days (or most days in Summer) I run the fans full tilt all day - the earlier you start ventilating the longer the whole thing stays cool. Although you're right - on the really warm days I still need to aircondition the room sometimes.

    LOL - I was in Edinburgh once in July, expecting summer weather. It was raining horizontally and about 5C - and when I went in the department stores to try and buy a jumper, all they had on offer was bikinis and swim trunks!!! I nearly died.

    I'll take Sydney thanks. ;)
     
  18. DavidR91 macrumors member

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    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bourne, Lincs, UK
    #18
    Well, my situation was different - I took mine to a store, got it "repaired" (which didn't fix the issue), got it back home again, then rang up for a replacement. So I only had to have it collected (they didn't have to return it first).

    Even with that though, the turnaround should be pretty quick. My replacement machine was dispatched and delivered pretty quickly (can't remember specifics, but it was dispatched probably about a day after the old one was collected).

    The fact you need to get yours back, then sent away again though is fairly annoying and obviously slows things down. It's also kind of strange too (I would have expected them to "take the hit" in terms of cost by not getting the keyboard and mouse back rather than paying for two lots of collections/deliveries. Obviously they must recycle faulty machines - probably into stores or something)
     
  19. suburbia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #19
    Yes-- switching out keyboards is considered "customizing" now :rolleyes:

    Keep us updated on the new arrival Paul. I'm sure this one will be perfection!
     
  20. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #20
    But that's the thing, I didn't even customise the keyboard, thought I'd try out the one without the numeric keypad for size. I notice it's a custom build if you choose a numeric keypad now but I didn't...

    Will keep you posted, looks like I will be getting a call from Apple tomorrow again updating me on the ridiculous shipping procedures they are going to go through.
     
  21. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #21
    Keep us updated. Ive always found the phone operators to be amazing, but the technicians in person to be pricks. For the majority, it seems, its the other way around.
     
  22. paulbeattie87 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2008
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    North East Scotland
    #22
    The technicians in my case have always been fantastic, telephone guys have been a mixed bag some good some bad.

    Just throwing this out there, I had some troubles with a Dell XPS system which cost nearly half my iMac. Dell arrived next day with parts, when they found the problem couldn't be fixed and a re-build was required, Dell built and shipped the new machine to me within 3 days. During this time I was left with my old machine so I still had something to use, even once the new system was delivered I still had the old machine. A couple of days after the new machine arrived they called to arrange collection of the old one.
    Dell to apologise for the situation gave me a free next business day warranty for 3 years, gave me more RAM, bigger HDD and a better graphics card, the also threw in a free printer to boot.

    Compare this to Apple I could be without my iMac for up to 3 weeks, Apple wouldn't even give me the mini displayport - DVI cable, my old iMac had Mini DVI so a new adapter was required, I was told they aren't that expensive on the Apple Store (£20). The only upgrades I have got were just because Apple upgraded the hardware
    I've lost Mini-DVI, Firewire 400 and gained around 120Mhz in CPU speed and 140GB of HDD space. Let's throw a party!!
    Gonna call Apple today about FW400 thing as I need it.

    Apple have done the bare minimum required and I mean the bare minimum. To think Apple have a high quality reputation yet they are shipping an iMac 200 miles back to me to get a well used keyboard, mighty mouse with clogged ball, couple of manuals, few disks, power cord and Apple remote. Not even throwing in a free minidisplayport - DVI adaptor.

    All that and it will take three weeks to come, that's some service!
     
  23. suburbia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #23
    We're all rooting for you Paul! Your new iMac better be nothing short of perfection, or Apple Ireland's going to have us come after them-- from all parts of the world!!!
     
  24. doox00 macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2006
    #24
    I agree, dell's service is fantastic, I have had machines repaired/replaced many times by dell and it was always lightning fast and very little to no hassle every time.
     
  25. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #25
    when I was stationed in Germany, my iBook logic board failed, there is no apple store, so I called apple (in berlin) they told me to take it to an apple dealer next city over.

    I turned it in, they said part should be in the next few days, when I called back they then told me 3 weeks.

    Here is what I did,

    I called Apple Customer Service in Ireland (that is where in Europe Apple HQ is). I explained, they did some research, 2 hours later they told me they dealer has been shipped the part. I called the dealer who lied straight out to me, so I called back apple in Ireland, within 30 minutes the dealer had called me back saying my iBooks is fix, what it had turn out to be the dealer was using my part to fix a germans iBook.

    If i was you contact apple customer service in Ireland and explain the issue you are having with the dealer, explain the dealer is swapping in used parts.

    It would of been worth the pain of the 200 miles to get it fixed, or shipped it to them.
     

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