bad experience with apple on site support for emac, need advice

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by swingerofbirch, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Hi. Well I need some advice as to how to approach Apple, and what to tell them I even want at this point, as I am not sure.

    When I purchased my eMac (1 gigahertz, Superdrive, 80 gig, upgraded to 768 mb ram), it right away had a problem where playing music or any sound at the maximum volume caused waves on the screen to appear. I called Apple at that time (November 2003), they told me it was just a characteristic of an all in one computer, and suggested I buy external speakers. I wasn't entirely happy, but I did want external speakers eventually anyway. So, problem solved, sort of.

    Recently I gave my speakers away, and was annoyed with the shimmering of the screen that came back right away. I called Apple to see if in the couple of years since I bought the computer they had any new info. The Apple tech I talked to said he had heard of the issue, and that it was very simple to solve by tightening something inside the computer. He took my zip code and said that someone would call me to service the computer. I was not doing this to be overly picky--just that I want to sell this computer and have it in good order and get it taken care of before AppleCare expires. I am a bit paranoid, so I even asked at that time, are these people Apple certified etc, and he said they were.

    So the man from the service company came out today. The name was something like Qualiservice, I am not sure--I never received any invoice or paperwork. The technician arrived with a huge box. So, I told him I was curious to watch to see how it would be fixed and asked if I could watch--I was curious to see under the opaque white case of the eMac. He said that was fine, and I stayed, and he showed me the replacement part which was an entirely new CRT.

    He also had paperwork describing my problem and said well this isn't going to fix what's going on, but I might as well install it because Apple is asking me to and they are he ones who supposedly know what's going on, and getting a new CRT will extend the life of your product, it'll be like having a whole new computer (I'm not quite sure how, but anyway...)

    So he starts to take it apart and I notice he is having some trouble and being a bit rough with it. I bring a towel downstairs so he can lie it face down on my dining room table. The eMac (and tilt and swivel it sits on) require various sizes of Alan wrenches to take apart which he didn't have with him--I had them in my garage and brought them to him.

    He tells me that by taking it apart and putting it back together it might be more secure and stop the waving lines from appearing.

    Once we take the white case off, he tells me to go run it under the water in my shower, because getting the dust out will make it run more quietly. I actually had been wanting to clean out the dust, so I went ahead and did it.

    After I showered it, I was trying to dry it out as best I could, I used a hair blower, but he said it didn't need to be bone dry. I suddenly noticed that on the white plastic case itself connected to the power button (which is connected to the case) there is a little metal part that connects to wires. I got worried and said, oh gosh, this got soaked, is that a problem? And he said it was not a problem at all.

    So he kept taking it apart--this happened very slowly--he was at my house for three and a half hours. He kept saying it wasn't cooperating and there were screws in "precarious" places.

    So, he kept working and then handed me a metal piece of some sort from the bottom of the computer, that on the edges had some sort of black foam like stuff. He told me to do the same thing and go shower it. So I did. Trying to squeeze water out of the foam part. I asked him again if it was a problem that this was wet, and he said it was no problem because it didn't touch anything important.

    I started to ask him more about what sort of work he does, and he said that his company works almost exclusively on Dells for the military. And I said, so you don't see too many eMacs? No, he said, THIS IS THE FIRST MAC I HAVE EVER SEEN.

    So, that's when I really knew I was in trouble. The problem was that he was very nice, and I felt bad because he was sweating like a pig and looked really nervous, and I am not good at saying things like, "maybe we should give apple a call......"

    But we kept working, and he put the new CRT in and it all looked good enough, even though it seemed like he was a bit forceful at times with the parts.

    Then I looked in the box and found a red cord in a bag with two white ends. I asked what it was for. He said he didn't know, and pulled out after about two hours THE INSTRUCTIONS. I thought, oh my god, there were instructions, we haven't been looking at???? Well sure enough the instructions said something about needing to connect this plug to convert something from 220 to 110 (something about electricity I'm sure wiser people here know about).

    So he plugs in that red cord. And puts the case back on, and it wasn't flush at all and he was trying to force the screws in, and that's when I finally spoke up and said, umm I don't think it's flush. So we got that right.


    It won't turn on.


    So he takes the plastic case off, and says it must be that the brand new CRT is bad..I am having my doubts suggesting maybe it is the water drenched power button area.

    At this point he is playing around with different things and while the case is off asks me to hold it up with the metal part to see if anything is happening on the screen as he tries to start it. I got really scared when it finally did turn on and I was holding the metal and it made this crackling noise, that I guess a CRT can from time to time. It usually would not start up, but when it did, it played a long tone, sort of like a European phone ring.

    He was convinced the problem was with the new CRT and was furious with Apple. So he said he wouldn't leave me in a mess and would install the old one back again. Which we did.

    And go to start it up without the case on again and me holding the metal, just exhausted by this point, and basically the computer would either turn on for a second and turn right off. It would turn on and make that European ringing beep, or it would turn on make that beep and the front light would flash really quickly, or it would just turn on and turn right off. He told me there was no more he could do, and that he would tell Apple if it wasn't working in a day that I had a faulty case and power button thing so that they could send out a new white case part to put on the computer.

    Listening to the facts now, I guess I should have been mad. As it was in reality, I was thanking him and apologizing for Apple confusing him and for him having to be so inconvenienced by working so hard to replace the CRT and then having to put the old one back in. I know it doesn't sound rational online, but in real life I am a people pleaser. soon as he left I realized: I had a minor problem I wanted fixed, and I now have a computer that doesn't work, which MIGHT work according to this guy after it dries out. And then I realized OMG, I am filthy, I have computer dust all over, what was in that? And then I thought, OMG I could have been shocked. So I called Apple, and it's easier for me to be assertive on the phone, so I called them and told them everything I have told you.

    Their answer is to bring the computer into my local authorisized repair place (Which i should have done from the beginning, but i was assuming they were sending someone like those techs out).

    They asked me who the person was that came out and the name of the company and I said it was something like Qualiservice, and they said they had never heard of it before.

    OK, so at midnight after talking to Apple and all this fiasco I turned the computer on, and it works! I am typing from it.

    BUT.........I feel like I have damaged goods now. I realized that Apple kept saying how awful this tech was, but I realized, Apple is the one that hired this company, and this company sent out this guy knowing he didnt know Macs, etc, and I feel like Apple should take more responsibility.

    I guess my question is: what should Apple at this point? What is reasonable to expect?

    I hope this makes sense. If it doesn't it's because I have had a really long day and it's 2:46 AM. Thanks for reading.
  2. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    OMG! I was gonna say that your warranty is voided since the computer has been taken apart, but since Apple actually were the ones to recommend his company, they should be responsible for replacing/fixing it. Good luck.
  3. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    Your problem was getting a guy from Qualxserv. More than likely you got some 3rd party technician who didn't know anything about computers, let alone your emac. I know this because I work in the computer repair field and although I don't deal with this company directly, I know that in general, people often get techs from these companies who are underqualified for the job. I'd call Apple and let them know how bad the tech screwed up and that you're incredibly disappointed with their service and tell them you want it repaired/replaced at their cost at a repair facility.
  4. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Cape Breton Island
    I second this, call tech support and ask them to give you the customer relations phone number for your country.
    Also make sure to have the case numbers and whatnot on hand for your case.
  5. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    I didn't like that wavy image thing caused by the speaker on my eMac but I quickly realised that's just a condition of having the inbuilt speaker on loud. I used external speaker on both my eMacs. If you went to a store that had eMacs you would see there was no problem with it. That's just how they are.

    You should document exactly what has happened including the wet switch, (oh you already have haven't you) and kick up a big fuss at the complete fracking imbecile they sent over. Just keep at it till they do something about it. Threaten them with consumer affairs. You will definitely have problems with it in the future. Even if you sell it, how will your peace of mind be knowing that you are now selling a lemon. I presume you won't be telling your prospective buyer about this little incident?

    Zappa wrote a song about people like your technician, called Flakes...

    They don't do no good

    They never be workin'

    When they oughta should

    They waste your time

    They're wastin' mine

    California's got the most of them

    Boy, they got a host of them

    Swear t'God they got the most

    At every business on the coast

    Swear t'God they got the most

    At every business on the coast

    They got the Flakes

    They can't fix yer brakes

    You ask 'em, "Where's my motor?"

    "Well it was eaten by snakes . . ."

    You can stab 'n' shoot 'n' spit

    But they won't be fixin' it

    They're lyin' an' lazy

    They can be drivin' you crazy

    Swear t'God they got the most

    At every business on the coast

    Swear t'God they got the most

    At every business on the coast

    [Take it away, Bob. . .]

    I asked as nice as I could

    If my job would

    Somehow be finished by Friday

    Well, the whole damn weekend

    Came 'n' went, Frankie

    [Wanna buy some mandies, Bob?]

    'N'they didn't do nothin'

    But they charged me double for Sunday

    You know, no matter what you do

    They gonna cheat 'n' rob you

    Then they'll send you a bill

    That'll get your senses reelin'

    And if you do not pay

    They got computer collectors

    That'll get you so crazy

    Til your head'll go through th' ceilin'

    Yes it will!

    I'm a moron 'n' this is my wife

    She's frosting a cake

    With a paper knife

    All what we got here's

    American made

    It's a little bit cheesey,

    But it's nicely displayed

    Well we don't get excited when it

    Crumbles 'n' breaks

    We just get on the phone

    And call up some Flakes

    They rush on over

    'N' wreck it some more

    'N' we are so dumb

    They're linin' up at our door

    Well, the toilet went crazy

    Yesterday afternoon

    The plumber he says

    "Never flush a lampoon!"

    This great information

    Cost me half a week's pay

    And the toilet blew up

    Later on the next day ay-eee-ay

    Blew up the next day WOO-OOO

    We are millions 'n' millions

    We're coming to get you

    We're protected by unions

    So don't let it upset you

    Can't escape the conclusion

    It's probably God's Will

    That civilization

    Will grind to a standstill

    And we are the people

    Who will make it all happen

    While yer children is sleepin',

    Yer puppy is crappin'

    You might call us Flakes

    Or something else you might coin us

    But we know you're so greedy

    That you'll probably join us

    We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you

    We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you

    We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you

    We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
  6. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    woah... 2 longest posts in the history of MR... lol

    I thought the idea of putting computer parts in the shower was a weird one. The foam things dont need washing...

    Ah well... if it works now, and if its working in 12 months time, you have nothing to worry about.
  7. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Thanks for the input everyone. It's true that he wasn't qualified to work on my computer, but I am not really angry with him, more at the company he works for and Apple for contracting them. He was a blue collar, nice guy. I realize in writing about it, there were many times where I should have halted the whole thing.

    I'm going to take it to a local place that is Apple authorized as soon as I can get a ride, and see what they do. I am particularly concerned that they will see it is (now) in working order and not replace anything. My Apple Care runs out in October, so my main concern is being "squared away" as much as one can be with a computer that is almost three years old.

    Apple is paying for this authorized place to look at it, and I assume do whatever repairs are necessary to get it back to a good state--although like I said it IS working now, except the monitor isn't quite level inside the case, the case isn't on flush, and the bolt things are sticking out, but those could be easily fixed.

    When I asked, what would be reasonable to ask of Apple, I don't know if it would be overly aggressive to ask for a new computer and on what grounds I would ask for it, but it's more just a feeling of not feeling this computer is as safe as it would have been for the long haul if it hadn't been jerked around a lot and had water inside it. Would you ask? I guess it doesn't hurt to?
  8. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Wow, that is a really, really scary story. I had an eMac for a year, and I actually went ahead and opened it up inside to make some upgrades. And let me tell you, the insides of an eMac are NOT to be taken lightly. The innards can be confusing, and some parts even dangerous, especially if the CRT isn't discharged. I'm not surprised that he had trouble getting it apart and back together, especially if he wasn't using the Apple Service Manual.

    The fact that Apple specifically said that changing the CRT can fix the wavy lines tells me that they don't have a clue what they are talking about. EVERY eMac i've ever seen has this problem - its a design flaw.
  9. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America

    Yeah, I mean Apple never SAID replacing the CRT would help. In fact, the guy said from the 1800 apple line said, oh I know exactly what causes that we just need to have someone tighten something. But they sent out a whole new CRT for who knows what reason. I can't imagine how much money they most lose in hiring a technician, paying for a new CRT, and shipping a new CRT! It's crazy how bad communication can cause so much needless work and costs.

    I knew about the problem of being shocked by the CRT--he seemed capable enough that I think he discharged it properly.......
  10. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    running water over sentive electronic parts...... that would raise so many red flags with me on the guys quifications. Any one who ever really work on computers knows not to put water in a computer.

    If you use any liguided at all 90% rubbing achole is what you use because that stuff dry very quickly. BUT WATER.. That makes getting off a lot of the stuff even harder. To get dust out of a computer you either use a valcum cleaner of some type to suck it out or blasted it with compressed air....

    Yeah I would be really tick off at apple and would start trying to demand a new computer because the tech telling you to run it under water pretty much destored or damage a lot of stuff. Electronic and water do not mix.

    I would say call apple and demand they replace the computer.
  11. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I just got off the phone with Apple again. It basically sounds like they won't decide what to do until I get into an authorized repair place......which is kind of a pain but I see their point, I guess. I told them I wanted a new computer because basically how could I ever trust this one, but they said that if the people see anything wrong Apple has given them special authorization to replace any bad parts. But how could they really see where the water had traveled?

    So the big challenge now is getting it the town over. I have to wait until I get a ride which i told Apple is not easy for me. It doesn't make sense that they will pay to ship a CRT out in a HUGE box and which weights almost as much as the eMac itself, and then pay for this the tech to pick it up, but they won't let me send it in to them. OH WELL. I tried my darndest, I'll see what the authorized repair place says.
  12. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I have a small update. I dropped my eMac off at the closest apple authorized place today. It's actually quite a ways away. It has the rainbow apple logo on the front, like a lit sign one but it's not lit and it's crooked. It's a funny place. They had one intel iMac on display and they were pushing it hard. I had brought the case number and the email address of the guy at apple on a piece of paper. the guy was really gruff and said he just needed to know what the serial number was. i started to show him it was in the superdrive bay and he cut me off saying i know where it is damn't.

    my sister just got an advertisement in the mail for applecare and they claim in the brochure that they offer on site support. bull chips!

    anyhow, they said they'd call me when they know something. i'm hoping they'll give me a brand new mac!
  13. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    The service place gave me bad serive, another long story which is boring but the end result is:

    Apple is sending me a new iMac!

    They are in my good graces again. It took some exhortation, but Apple did done right by me! :)
  14. shuurajou macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2005
    Bristol, England.
    Awesome! I really want to hear your long story though :(. This thread has been really interesting!
  15. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Thanks I'll post some more later, a little busy right now. But I am super-pscyhed. I wasn't expecting to get an Intel mac this soon. Lots of new stuff that I have never used: iLife 06, iSight (and iChat with video conferencing), not to mention the Mighty Mouse. Plus I can run Windows for that ONE app I need for work!
  16. shuurajou macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2005
    Bristol, England.
    To be honest, with how much people take legal action these days, Apple are probably aware that had you wanted to, you could have sued them for the cost of more than 5x Mac Pro's, so an Intel iMac is them getting off lightly :).
  17. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I haven't received my return tags by e-mail yet. I am starting to wonder if I should ask for a Macbook at the same pricepoint instead. I have never seen a Macbook in person. I really wanted one when they came out and then figured I would wait until the next generation. I have seen the iMac in person and it is quite nice. It has the video card as well, but it actually has a slower processor than the Macbook at the same price. They each have 512 mb ram, and the macbook has a 60 gb hard disk while the iMac has a 160 gb hard disk. The iMac is 17" and the macbook 13".

    I have really wanted a laptop but I hesitate only because I had trouble taking care of them in the past--dropping them, spilling on them. I always assumed if I got another laptop I would buy accidental insurance with it, but even with that, I am not sure if I am a great laptop candidate. On the other hand I am an anxious traveler, and having a notebook computer with me when I had one was a calming experience, having my whole "life" along with me.

    I have a friend I'm going to consult with, I am horrible at making decisions. I hate to do it.

    The reason I think they would let me pick a Macbook instead is that he asked me if I wanted to upgrade anything on the iMac or if I wanted to pay more for the 20" model, so I dont see why they would mind if I picked a different computer.

    I'm torn! Especially seeing that new iMacs might be released in September. If I keep the iMac in the box can I return it for a new one if they come out in September?

    I can sort of control when I get the iMac by when I send the eMac back in.

    Thanks for any advice. I don't want to push my luck too far. AHHHHHH, not sure what to do! Thanks.
  18. SVG macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2006
    Thanks for sharing your experience. It's definitely a bad one and you should contacted Customer Relations and have them file a complaint.

    You pay for service by a Certified Apple tech and instead got a guy who didn't know what he was doing. Hopefully Apple get your problem resolved.
  19. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    A small update.

    Apple is sending me the new iMac (the 17" Core 2 Duo 2 Ghz model).

    At first they were sending me the $999 model. The customer service rep didn't seem to get that my eMac had a super drive and discrete graphics which that model doesn't.

    Fortunately I called to make sure they were sending the right one.

    I felt guilty at first waiting to get the latest iMac, but as some consolation the one they are sending me is the exact price as my eMac was, $1,199, whereas the previous model of iMac I would have been sent was $1299.

    Aditionally they might have depleted the stock of those anyhow even if I hadn't waited.

    They'll ship it out as soon as they see my eMac in the FedEx system, which is Monday, I can't wait to get it!

    It'll be a huge upgrade for me, especially since I haven't been using my eMac for a month now and have been using a two year old eMachines that is hurtin' for certain!

    Yay iMac!

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