First Horrendous AppleCare Encounter

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
I took my iMac in to Apple Store about 9 days ago to fixed because of an unusual amount of kernel panics I was receiving on the daily. You can read more about this in detail within this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1402907

I was very specific with the "tech" before turning in my iMac. I told him that I pulled out all 16GB (4X4GB) Corsair RAM and replaced it with the Apple stock RAM and was still was receiving kernel panics.

I also explained to him that the kernel panics would happen in safe mode, thus, ruling out any third party kernel drivers causing the issues.

I gave him about 10 different error codes I was receiving from the Apple hardware test and made sure he included them in his description of the problem. I also made him note that some of the MOT errors were errors that people on Apple's support forums described as likely problems with the logic board's fan controllers properly spinning fast enough to keep components cool. He immediately dismissed this and said heat has nothing to do with it.

Well 9 days later I get my iMac back and bring it home only to find more issues than I started with. First of all, they took one of my 4GB sticks out and taped it to the foot of the iMac, which I'm guessing they figured was bad and the cause of the problem, but in reality they're wrong.

I've already swapped the sticks around multiple times and still got the same errors, which I explained to them when I dropped my iMac off and now I am still getting the same errors even after the "repair".

Secondly, when booting, my screen flickers intermittently enough to become an annoyance.

Thirdly, with no keyboards plugged in, the iMac will just begin writing letters and numbers extremely fast and at random.

Lastly, I am receiving really loud beeps like the ones you get when your pressing a key on the keyboard that has no function.

In closing, I looked at my receipt when I got home and it says that the work that was done was software repair! Are you kidding me? Or do they just think I'm stupid! What did they do? Run Disk Warrior and repair permissions? What a sorry excuse for saying they did a repair when they most certainly did next to nothing.

I am sorry if this sounds like a rant, I'm just extremely frustrated as I need to finish a wedding video very soon.

If anyone has ANY ADVICE or INPUT, please feel free to chime in!
 

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
Maybe there's some random wireless keyboard hidden in your house that is paired to the iMac. Maybe with books on top of it or something.
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
Maybe there's some random wireless keyboard hidden in your house that is paired to the iMac. Maybe with books on top of it or something.
Thank you for the quick reply! I'm 100% positive there's not, but thank you for the input. This iMac is not even usable now sadly.
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
1,045
65
Take it back and talk to a manager this time.

You can also try another Apple store and describe what you've been through with a manager there.
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
Take it back and talk to a manager this time.

You can also try another Apple store and describe what you've been through with a manager there.
Good advice. I've always taken it to the apple store in Brea CA and never had any problems until now.

I think a manager needs to be requested so he can understand my frustration and hear how imperative it is that I get this sorted out quickly because I have a video to finish.

Does it sound it bit odd they would actually write software repair on the receipt?
 

McGarvels

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2006
281
0
Irvine, CA
Go the Apple Store at South Coast Plaza, Irvine Spectrum, or in Pasadena. I've had nothing but problems at the one in Brea.
 

freedevil

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2007
817
1
While frustrating, remain calm and don't tell the genius what you believe the problem to be (just show/describe the issue). It's the genius's job to diagnose it. When you come to pick it up, it's your job to test it and make sure you are satisfied before leaving. Instead of going into this whole RAM maze, just show them that the problem still exists and its not working. I always pretend like I lack computer knowledge and it has helped me in getting things resolved as the ego gets removed from the situation. Good luck!
 

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
Next time you take it in only have the Apple ram it came with installed.

While you said the problems happen either way, that will help to avoid a tech from pointing at your third party ram as the problem.

Sorry you had problems with the service at the store. That's a real bummer.


When you take it back, remain in a zen like state of calm and ask them nicely to try again. Then tell them you're disappointed in the repair attempt last time and you hope they can really fix it this time. As hard as it may be, do not attempt to strangle the genius. It won't work and they'll just drop your iMac in the back room after you leave...


About the keyboard - do you have neighbors? Stranger things have happened.
 

Confuzzzed

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2011
1,630
0
Liverpool, UK
This what? Precisely? That RAM provided by the same OEMs that provide the RAM Apple puts in their machines is somehow inferior because it wasn't installed by someone who is not even an Apple employee in China somewhere? As long as the 3rd party RAM is from a reputable source which offers warranty, what's the problem? As OP stated, he swapped these around a few times including factory installed sticks and it's not the problem. It sounds to me that it may be a motherboard issue if I am honest.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
While frustrating, remain calm and don't tell the genius what you believe the problem to be (just show/describe the issue). It's the genius's job to diagnose it. When you come to pick it up, it's your job to test it and make sure you are satisfied before leaving. Instead of going into this whole RAM maze, just show them that the problem still exists and its not working. I always pretend like I lack computer knowledge and it has helped me in getting things resolved as the ego gets removed from the situation. Good luck!
I agree, this is excellent advice. In addition it would be worthwhile to go to another store. I've had excellent service at South Coast Plaza. It's very important to calmly explain what the symptoms are. Let them do the diagnosis. That's their job.

Good luck. :)
 

LaunchpadBS

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2008
653
0
iLondon/iDurban
I sympathize with the OP on this one, back when the MBP had screen flickering issues I took my MBP in 3 times, 3 difference geniuses 'repaired' it only for the problem to get worse.
Eventually I took it to a different store, the genius there took one look at the work log and said their was nothing they could do, I asked to speak to the manager who right away said he'd replace the logic board...boom problem solved.
I must just ad that in the previous repair receipts they all showed the logic board as being replaced...dodgy geniuses!!!

So don't give up hope, you will find someone who will know what they're doing and fix ur iMac.
 

lannisters4life

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
298
0
Sydney
While frustrating, remain calm and don't tell the genius what you believe the problem to be (just show/describe the issue). It's the genius's job to diagnose it. When you come to pick it up, it's your job to test it and make sure you are satisfied before leaving. Instead of going into this whole RAM maze, just show them that the problem still exists and its not working. I always pretend like I lack computer knowledge and it has helped me in getting things resolved as the ego gets removed from the situation. Good luck!
Sticky this, pander to their ego, don't challenge it
 

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
This what? Precisely? That RAM provided by the same OEMs that provide the RAM Apple puts in their machines is somehow inferior because it wasn't installed by someone who is not even an Apple employee in China somewhere? As long as the 3rd party RAM is from a reputable source which offers warranty, what's the problem?
If there is third party ram in the computer - it's an easy out for the tech if they can't locate another problem (or didn't look hard enough for it).

By virtue of getting their machine back with one of the sticks of ram removed, it sounds like they think that was causing a problem. Most likely it's not - but by the tech removing it, they blamed the problem on that ram.

Then they did the general "can't find anything wrong - go away" routine of repairing the permissions and running disk warrior. It's the computer equivalent of changing the oil because the engine was making a horrible noise in your car. "I don't know what's wrong, but now I did something - so I hope you go away."

You remove the ram not because it's causing the problem - but so that Apple doesn't blame the ram for the problem.
 

Confuzzzed

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2011
1,630
0
Liverpool, UK
You remove the ram not because it's causing the problem - but so that Apple doesn't blame the ram for the problem.
That's fair. I misread the OP's original post thinking he'd replaced his Corsair with the Apple stock RAM before taking it in for a check. Having re-read the post, seems that he then went back to his Corsair sticks, which, as you say, gives people an easy win
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,555
989
I agree with the advice given so far. It's not the OP's responsibility to diagnose the problem any more than it would be if they were taking a car with a problem to the dealer. It's certainly tempting to tell the tech what you think is or isn't wrong in these situations, but that sometimes leads them down the wrong path. Bottom line: it's under warranty and it's their job to make it right.
 

Johnf1285

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2010
893
13
New Jersey
Yeah I agree that you need to speak to a manager and demand that this issue is resolved as it is within warranty. It is a shame that they just breezed through some utilities, "fixed the software", and called it a day. NOT very "Genius" like. What do you expect from some punks who make $15 an hour? There's no dedication in these retail environments. Perhaps only from management when their bonus is on the line.

This is very similar to when my wife brought her car in for repair recently. The first time, they dismissed that there is any problem. We dropped it off again as I knew there was an issue. I gave them a detailed note, sure enough they're replacing the steering rack under warranty. It's a very new car, 2011 Mazda.

It was frustrating for me with the car dealer dismissing that there is an issue, much like the Apple "Genius" dismissing your issue. Just stay diligent and even print out your forum threads. I've read about this before in extreme cases with some users not getting the warranty work that they deserve.

Yes I agree, stay calm, but not any calmer than you would be with any other human being. Just because they're Apple "Geniuses" doesn't mean you need to kiss their ass for them to do their job. Kindness goes a long way when its genuine and warranted. But if you're 100% in the right (which you seem to be), then you need to demand satisfaction, even if it calls for being stern.

Good luck!
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,242
5,908
Any place but here or there....
I second this

While frustrating, remain calm and don't tell the genius what you believe the problem to be (just show/describe the issue). It's the genius's job to diagnose it. When you come to pick it up, it's your job to test it and make sure you are satisfied before leaving. Instead of going into this whole RAM maze, just show them that the problem still exists and its not working. I always pretend like I lack computer knowledge and it has helped me in getting things resolved as the ego gets removed from the situation. Good luck!
Great advice...sorry you are having problems. Hope it gets resolved very soon. It might be a good idea to politely mention to the manager that you need this fixed asap because you are in the middle of a video project. And, yes, remain calm, for every (other) time I've been calm, things get resolved a lot faster.
 

JohnGrey

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2012
298
557
Cincinnati Metro
Dunno if anyone has commented, but I looked at the error codes in your original thread and it's not any kind of input problem. The 4MEM error deals with a faulty memory module and the 3 4MOT errors are referencing a bad fan motor.
 

harcosparky

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,055
0
As a matter of routine....

If a computer is turned in for repair and has 3rd party RAM, Apple removes it and installs OEM ram for troubleshooting and repair.

At least that has been my experience, not even worthy of a mention in my opinion.


Another thing, people need to stop supplying TOO MUCH INFORMATION to Apple when they turn in a machine. Apple is going to do what they are going to do regardless of what you tell them.

Take the damn thing in, hand it over and say " I think it is broken because it keeps getting kernel panics ".

Don't tell them you did this, or you did that. Don't tell them the cat got mad and sprayed the computer.

I took my iMac in for what hardware diags told me was a failing hard drive.

FIRST THING - I put it back to original config - REMOVED 3rd Party RAM and put back ORIGINAL APPLE RAM

I turned it in and said " I think it is broke because I see that spinning beach ball thing a whole lot. " and that is all I said.

I did not tell them I ran diags, I did not complain about any other issues.

When I went to pick it up I was in utter shock.

Apple had just about rebuilt the ENTIRE iMac.

NEW HDD
NEW LCD PANEL - ( tech notice an issue in one corner )
NEW LOGIC BOARD - ( tech noticed some board mounted connector was broken )

That is what I get for keeping my mouth shut. The tech had to go over the entire machine because I did not give specifics!!!

The OP is not the first person I have seen complain about Apple Care after blabbering to the Apple folks all of what had happened!!!
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
First, I need to thank all of you and this great community for chiming in with the multitude of advice and opinion so far, it is greatly appreciated!

So let me get this straight and break down what I've read thus far.

1. I should possibly try visiting another Apple Store in the Orange County area.
2. I need to first and foremost ask to speak to a Manager, rather than a Genius.
3. I must remain as calm as possible even though I'm quite frustrated in reality.
4. Bring it in with the Apple RAM installed, rather than my 16GB Corsair set.
5. Play as ignorant/dumb as possible and briefly explain my problem.
6. Explain that I was unhappy with my last repair attempt and need it fixed.
7. Do not challenge the "techs" because it will only agitate them more.

That's about what I'm looking at so far. Should I mention anything about the 4MOT errors or just play completely ignorant to all?

Also, if I am missing anything, please let me know!
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,331
243
I agree with your summary.

In fact, with the new problems they may have done you a favor: now there's some hardware to fix, and it's usually easier for them to just replace stuff. The phantom keyboard issue, for example, can be caused by pooching the reassembly of an iMac (don't ask...:rolleyes: ). I wonder if the genius took it apart, did nothing, so wrote what s/he did on the ticket. But no need to speculate: just describe the current symptoms.

Rob
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
Keep it simple stupid

KISS
Hey, hey I know now!


I agree with your summary.

In fact, with the new problems they may have done you a favor: now there's some hardware to fix, and it's usually easier for them to just replace stuff. The phantom keyboard issue, for example, can be caused by pooching the reassembly of an iMac (don't ask...:rolleyes: ). I wonder if the genius took it apart, did nothing, so wrote what s/he did on the ticket. But no need to speculate: just describe the current symptoms.

Rob
Really, this can happen from the reassembly? Good to know! Not like I need it now though :rolleyes: