Bad imac and Apple experience (long)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hdpaul, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. hdpaul macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    I really want to dump my PC and purchase a new imac, but have and a bad experience from November to January and now I need convincing.

    In November, I purchased a brand new imac from Amazon and it kept shutting down for no reason. I called Applecare and they told me to try several key push, resets, so-fourth, and at one point had me do a complete erase and install of Leopard. This went on for a while, till I finally was told to bring it to an Apple Store.

    The Apple Store "Genius" assured me that the imac would be turned on and watched for a week, or till it crashed again, and he order a new power supply because he thought that would be the problem.

    A week later, the Service Manager from the store called and told me that the imac passed diagnostics. It was never turned on for a week, but was only turned on for a short period to run their diagnostics. He told me to come get it. I told him it was not left on for long enough to catch the problem, but he insisted that it was fine. He said the problem was an electrical problem and I should call an electrician to re-wire my office.

    After arguing a bit, I went to picked it up, powered up, and within 24 hours, bam, it shut off again, three times in a row! I called Applecare and asked for a supervisor, and she contacted the Store Manager and basically stood up for him. She said that no way would they replace it and to get an electrician to check my plugs. (I have always used a power conditioner, and have had, and still have a PC running with no problems for 25 years.)

    Finally, I called Amazon and explained the situation, and they took it back and gave me a refund. Luckily, it was purchased in Nov. and they extended their 30 day refund to the end of Jan. because of the Holiday.

    Now...I really would like to replace my PC with an Apple product, but if the service is this bad then I can't bring myself to do it. Can anyone convince me to go ahead and try again, this time having only have 30 days to be sure it works out of the box? Are Apples bought from the Apple Store given more attention and better service? Would they be more sensitive to my problem and replace it if it were a lemon purchased from their store? Anyone else have such a bad experience with Apple?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    I can only add my personal experience with Applecare, which is in direct contrast with yours.

    My wife got a Macbook about 2yrs ago. Within 3-4mon she noticed the battery would not take a charge at all. And in-fact it was begging to swell, it wasnt sitting flush with the bottom. The replaced it no questions asked. This was, however, around the time where there was alot in the news about exploding notebook batteries so maybe there was a sense of urgency for them.

    A few months later she went to boot up and nothing. Just a gray screen with a ? and folder icon. Turns out the hard drive failed. They sent her a box, overnighted to Apple, hdd and mobo replaced, overnighted it back to her.

    Just recently she got a new (refurb) Macbook. Upon first boot after taking it out of the box she got a kernel panic. Then another. Reset the PRAM and it seemed to boot fine. But it was having shutdown issues, wouldnt sleep sometimes, apps not opening or crashing right after opening. Called Applecare, they set up a replacement straight away. Overnighted both directions again.

    Sometimes you just run into people that dont want to listen or help, which seems to be your situation. But my experience with it has been nothing but positive.
  3. ruckus macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    I believe there were problems with the video card drivers allowing the video card to overheat in the iMacs around that time period. I do believe that problem is fixed now. But I didn't follow it too closely since I never owned an iMac, i'm sure others will be able to verify if this is the case.
  4. ruckus macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    I have had 1 lemon laptop from apple. It was a first gen intel macbook pro. I kept sending it back for repairs and it was never quite right. After 8 months I decided to give up, and managed to get a full refund for the computer.

    All in all, I think apple customer support is pretty good.
  5. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    ...WOW, quite a testimonial. "They just work." ...huh?


    "The quality goes in before the name falls off."
  6. hdpaul thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    VoodooDaddy and Ruckus, or anyone else for that matter:

    Were the computers that you had good service on purchased directly from Apple, or an Apple distributor like Amazon.

    I'm wondering if the problems I had with Apple were due to purchasing from Amazon. Could anyone give any thumbs up on service for an Apple purchased from an Apple distributor, such as Amazon, then going to Apple for service?
  7. ruckus macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    All of mine were purchased through apple, which may be why it was easy to get good service from them.
  8. takeabyteoutta macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    plug something else in that socket that sucks some juice and see if the same problem occurs.
  9. hdpaul thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    No. I have a backup power conditioner from the socket to my PC and monitor, and it's been like that for years with several PC's, never any problems.
  10. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    I would strongly advise waiting until the next revision of iMacs. I bought a first rev. of the G4 iMac (the iLamp) and had several issues with it. It's a common thing for Apple products that the first version of a major redesign tends to be problematic. If you're really concerned about issues like that, I would hold off until Apple updates the iMacs.

    Although given their lethargic update schedule, you may be waiting until late summer or longer.
  11. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    well, I'm going to say it, it's not going to be popular here, but I'm going to say it anyway and everyone's free to attack me all they like- I'm a big boy, I can take it..

    Apple has some serious hardware and quality control issues.. I haven't purchased ANYTHING in recent memory from Apple that didn't have serious hardware issues.. Oh wait I lie, I bought a G4 eMac that runs like a tank- this baby just does work- love the eMac for that.. But the eMac was sandwiched between a G3 iBook (need I say more?- 4 logic boards total) and a 15" 800 MHZ iMac that was replaced with a G5 iMac because of logic board issues..

    They replaced the g4 iMac with the g5 because they didn't have any logic boards available in the country.. Hey, I wasn't complaining, I was getting a brand new unit for my old technology- I had something like 18 days left on my 3 year AC so I was happy.. Till 7 days into it and the G5 logic board need to be Fast forward a few months and the optical drive needed to be replaced to..

    Now while I was having all this fun with the iMac, that ugly old eMac was still cranking away- still is as a matter of fact, I'm typing this on it right now in my dusty, dark, messy shop office- lol- but don't forget that I was also replacing the logic board on the iBook every 8 months until it ran out of warranty and then once it was out of warranty the first time the logic board
    died I just retired her, and gave her parts away to anyone that could use them..I had it 6 years, and even though it had all those issues, I still liked it..

    Fast forward to 2 weeks ago- I've been without a laptop for several months, but hey, I've got the eMac and the family has the iMac right, so no biggie.. I finally decide to pull the trigger on a refurb black book for $1049.. Shows up, it's great, I'm loving it- till last night.. Put in a DVD and them BAM!!! Kernal Panic!!! That's right, I've got the dreaded "4 GB's Ram and DVD player" issue that's going around.. Of course I do, I mean, it's me we're talking about, why would I think I WOULDN'T have an issue? Only mine won't re-boot- but it did beep a lot.. Don't remember the beeping with my other 9 logic board replacements, but I digress...

    Make long story longer, my 2 week old macbook needs a new logic board already.. That makes 3 consecutive Macs that have needed logic board replacements within the first 3 weeks of ownership.. I never even heard of a logic board until I somehow became the great destroyer of them.. I truly believe I could crash a toaster if it had a logic board- I'm convinced..

    All of this doesn't include all of the iPod and iPhone replacements, repairs, and other problems my family and I have had with Apple hardware over the years.. Why do I keep buying their products? That's a damn fine question- lol.. Basically it's because the user experience is just better, when it's working- but also because the customer service I get from AppleCare is great.. It's not their fault Apple has hardware issues, but they've always got me squared away, quickly, no matter how busy they were.. I've always left feeling like I got a fair resolution.. Sure, I was irritated at Apple inc- but at least happy and satisfied knowing that they will always make good on their products.. Most companies don't do that.. They've always acknowledged their faults with me in the store, honestly, and open, and did what they could to get me back on my feet.. I appreciate that kind of honesty- and as long as it stays this way I'll work through all of these hardware issues with them.. Hell, I've been with them since OS 7, might as well commit..

    Sorry for the long, boring rant- but I literally just got home from dropping my macbook off at the Apple store, and figured I'd
  12. anglez macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    Heres a reply to your question.

    I bought my, 1st gen. Macbook pro a couple years ago from Best Buy. About 3 to 4 months after the battery began to swell and the layered casing for it started to peel making my laptop very wobbly when its being used.

    I didnt bother getting applecare or even bestbuy's service plan when I bought it. So I decided to go to the Apple store rather than best buy. I explained to the apple store about my issue and even showed them my reciept from BestBuy. I had doubts that they were going to do anything for me. Quite to my surprise I had no problem at all, they replaced my battery no charge and no questions asked with a fresh brand new battery, which itself had a 1 year warranty on top. The service was TOP NOTCH, even though I didnt give them any business. I knew if I went to best buy instead of apple, even if I did purchase their service plan I'd get REALLY bad service.
  13. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    Yes, direct apple purchases.
  14. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    Well I dont subscribe to that mantra. Hardware can fail regardless of what OS is on it.

    I have had absolutely ZERO issues with the mini I had or iMac I have.
  15. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Well I am as big of an Apple fan as they come, and I am going to agree with you. But I am going to expand the statement a little bit to the entire tech industry. I have had tremendous problems with quality control with all tech products that seem to be getting worse in recent years.

    I hold my breath whenever I plug anything new in whether it will work, and then have defects after it turns on. I just bought an LCD HDTV and went through 3 of them before I got one without issue. HD enclosures show up DOA. My first Mac (PowerMac G4 from 2002) showed up with a bad IDE controller making the Superdrive not burn right. The PC I bought prior to that went on the fritz right out of the box. Even simple things like toasters, cordless phones and DVD players are prone to all sorts of hit or miss issues out of the box.

    Personally, I blame a combination of consumers demanding ever-decreasing costs for tech products and the resulting export of manufacturing to China. Essentially, we are getting what we demand: cheaper products that are built cheaply. It is not just Apple, but a larger pandemic in the tech world right now. The problem for Apple is that they are branded and marketed as something better, but they suffer from the same hardware quality issues as anyone, and that creates a disconnect between their customers expectations and reality that will hit them particularly harder and with more backlash than most companies.
  16. TheSelfishGene macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2007
    The big divide in the quality of Apple's tech support is whether or not you have a desktop or a laptop. I was informed that "laptops" can be shipped directly to and from Apple, but "desktops" have to be physically taken into an Apple store or "authorized 3rd party". Which is at best inconvenient, at worst a huge hassle. Also, Apple does not refund costs of shipping, which encourages people to go to the Storefront. Unfortunately most of the employees there are no better than random Best Buy footpads.
  17. takeabyteoutta macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    The battery in your backup is probably starting to go. I had a problem in one of my old backups where my router was plugged into to. I would loss internet on a computer on a separate socket and I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I noticed that the battery backup would go on for a split second (meaning I lost power) and the router would restart. The iMac may just be programmed to shut down if it detects inconsistencies in its power supply. One of my older iMacs would force me to shut down or restart if I plugged in too many USB powered devices.

    While I'm not going to deny it could be the hardware, batteries do tend to go with age and as you've said, you've had that battery backup for many years.
  18. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    In the last six months, I've bought (or family have bought) 1 Macbook Pro, 3 iMacs and a Macbook. They all worked perfectly out of the box. The only one which had a problem later - one of the iMacs which seemed to have a problem with its Superdrive was fixed after calling Applecare and doing some diagnostics with them over the phone.

    Bad experiences always get talked about more than good ones and there will always be a few bad apples (excuse the pun) but give than consumer groups still tend to rank Apple near the top, they can't be doing entirely nothing on quality control.

    I'd buy one again since I do believe that you'd be pretty unlucky to get two lemons. If you're really paranoid, buy from a company that do no-quibble exchanges without having to go back through Apple.
  19. Nordichund macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I sent back 3 BTO 24" Al iMacs which I had ordered through the Online Store. Each one Apple paid for the return shipping throught TNT. Finally I decided to take a full refund and bought a new early 08 Mac Pro, which has suffered from the prevalent rebooting issue after been woken up from sleep, but now seems to have stopped and is working brilliantly, touch wood.
    Apple care have been brilliant in every case, the only problem is the time it takes to get a replacement when the machine goes wrong if you buy from the online store.
    But as for Apple Care and Customer Relations, I can't sing their praises high enough. But as has been mentioned, their quality control of the hardware leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion.
  20. hdpaul thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    No. It is not the original power conditioner/battery backup. I replace them every few years. Actually this one is only a few months old, and my PC, monitor, router, and cable modem is still going through it without a hiccup.
  21. albusseverus macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    my iMac runs during brown-outs

    Read Apple discussion forums for the product you intend to purchase. Be prepared to dig around, good info is hard to find, but it's there if you look.

    Wait a month or two after a new product is released, then check out the complaints in the Apple forums. At least you'll be informed.

    Regarding your problem. I have an Aluminium iMac and it was running quite happily during brown-outs, just a couple of days ago. The power company was doing maintenance down the street and the power was coming & going, running low voltage etc. for several hours. The iMac is set to re-boot if power is lost & any time there was enough voltage (light bulbs were glowing very dimly), my machine just restarted and went about its business. I eventually unplugged it, fearing damage, but in my experience, the power supplies are pretty robust. Yes, you'll hear stories about failures, but if you don't have a faulty one... clearly they'll run under the most hostile conditions.

    I have had only good experiences buying from the AppleStore on-line.
  22. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    Well to counter this post, I have been an Apple owner since 1988. I have had a Macintosh II, Macintosh IIfx, 2 Quadra 800s, 2 G4 1.25 duelies, 2 Alum PowerBooks, and 4 iBooks. Wife and kids also had eMates, and iMacs.

    1 iBook kept loosing keys. Called Apple they shipped out an overnight box for free, sent if off the next day and the iBook was back the next day fixed.

    1 Quadra 800 had a bad HD. Called Apple and they sent a technician to my studio and replaced the HD!

    1 iBook curently is just a year old and there have been NO issues with it. I bought a new aluminum 2.8 Ghz 24" extreme, even though I read so much about the monitor issues, graphic card issues., you name it. Guess what? NO ISSUES. iMac is on 12-14 hours a day! To say Apple has Hardware issues is your issue and you should not flame Apple by making a blank statement like that. Computers are machines and all kinds of stuff happens to them. Each machine does its own thing, something no manufacturer can predict except make the best product that they can!
  23. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    Did you know that the imacs have.....

    a sensor in the power button to reset all the hardwear? If you kept shutting down might mean that you need to reset the SMU (?) I think Apple calls it. To do this, unplug the power cord from the iMac. Wait 15 or 20 seconds. Now hit the power button and hold it in for about 10-15 seconds. Then release the power button. Plug the power supply back in. BAM all should work okay!
  24. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    ROFLMAO!!! Too funny..That, right there, is the reason why people think mac users are a bunch of elitist snobs.. First of all, Apple is a publicly traded company, so if I want to "flame" them I'll "flame" as much as I like.. And guess what, Apple will just have to deal with it- it comes with the territory.. If you want to use your public profile to tell us how "insanely great" you are, well you better damn well be prepared for others to use your public profile to tell the other side of the story when you make something that's "insanely crappy".. Apple understands this quite fine, they don't need you getting all worked up for them..

    Now, go back and read what I wrote.. That was a "flame"? You're way too sensitive.. That was more like a testimonial to them.. If I didn't actually enjoy their products so much, believe in them -from the very beginning-, and actually be proud to be a loyal mac user I would've written them off long ago.. But I haven't done that.. In fact, I came on here and posted a very nice tribute to how great their customer service has been on the day I dropped off ANOTHER mac to have ANOTHER LOGICBOARD REPLACED.. That's hardly a "flame".. I'm being more than fair- sorry, I won't bury my head in the sand and pretend like nothings wrong so that the "fanboy" reputation can live on- but that titles safe with cats like you out there to carry the torch so no worries..

    Hey man, you've had good luck with some of Apples recent hardware.. that's good to hear- though I noticed you did mention one of the numerous hardware issues that has plagued almost every new product Apple has put out for these past few years (monitor problems)- right before you said that I was making a blanket statement about Apples hardware problems.. You also said how you had "read so much about" these problems.. I guess you don't find it ironic that in the very same breath you accuse me of "flaming" apple you just happen to mention that you're at least aware of all of the problems many, many other users have with Apples hardware as of late? Didn't think so..

    Hey, whatever man, I'm as big a fan of Apple as you are, believe me I am- but APPLE HAS HARDWARE ISSUES!!! Now, if you want to say, like another poster above you did, that while they do have issues, they're certainly not alone, well hey, peace, I can definitely see the point there.. I think that's a fair point, and I only use Apple products, so it could very well be true.. My only comparison is the older Apples that really did "just work" that I grew up on..

    Either way, I'm riding this little run of bad luck I'm having with every Apple product I've purchased in the last 4 years out.. When they get this straightened out I'll still be using a Mac- and happily so.. For me, it'll be because Apple has impressed me with how they've handled the many, many issues that have come up.. Just another reason why I believe in them.. As a business owner I know for a fact that the growth that Apple is experiencing right now is not an easy thing to handle.. Problems come up as a result of it.. How you handle those problems will determine your fate.. Apple has been handling them very well, at least in my circumstances, now it's just a matter of getting the # of issues down..

    If that's a "flame"- then I guess I'm a flamer..
  25. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    I wonder what the actual statistics on long-term reliability of Apple machines over the years compared to other major manufacturers is.

    Is it just bigger absolute numbers that "beget" higher absolute numbers of complaints, or the percentage of machines that fail has actually gone up? I personally have never even touched an Intel Mac, save for an occasional visit to an Apple retail store. My G4 PB needed two repairs and those lappies have generally been troublesome. G5 iMacs around at work have been flawless for 2+ years.

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