iBook: Apple Customer Relations SUCKS.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gandalf55, May 20, 2005.

  1. gandalf55 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2001
    My wife's video unit on her logic board has fried again. They replace the whole thing since the component is integrated into the board itself. This is the FIFTH one to go. So she will need a SIXTH logic board replacement.

    Each time Apple replaces the unit for free (by shipping it someplace for a few days), but they refuse to replace the laptop. Well, I was told by about the 4th time we would get a replacement only to find out that their policy is never to replace it. I was told this by tier-2.

    We didn't buy AppleCare with that thing. If we would have paid the $300 or so, I was told Apple would have REPLACED the whole iBook, with a new model, a long, long time ago. But since we didn't, we have to go this process of giving them the iBook, they ship it away, fix it, then ship it back. Ad naseum? Yes its our fault, but no laptop should need this many board replacements, ever.

    So I ask you, shouldn't Apple at some point realize that this iBook is a lemon and replace it out of good faith? Shouldn't they allow us to buy AppleCare for this thing so we did get a new one?

    I mean, come on... this is disgusting Customer Relations. If we don't get a new iBook this time around, my wife is simply going to get a PC laptop. :eek: :eek:
  2. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Applecare, for me, was TOTALLY worth it. Piece of mind for three years. I essentially still have a brand new PB, three and half years later, because of Apple.

    Thank you APPLE.
  3. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    i got my iBook replaced with a new computer with the second logic board failure O_O

    EDIT: but i also have applecare
  4. gandalf55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2001
    That's awesome - but don't you think I have a special case here? I would think they might think to themselves, "This particular iBook is a real lemon... let's do something nice for him... otherwise this will never end."

    My wife was a switcher - and now they are about to lose her over a $300 AppleCare.
  5. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    i think you should call apple, then ask to speak with their manager, then ask to speak with their manager. then explain your situation, that is how i went about it
  6. gandalf55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2001
    I did that the last time. I was escalated to a manager in the top tier whom I was told could make the decision to replace it.

    He flatly told me unless it was covered under Apple Care, Apple could do absolutely nothing for me, except replace the board yet again. He wouldn't even consider it.

    I explained that this whole thing was getting ridiculous. He agreed - but stated again his hands were tied.

    I called the iBook a lemon - which I think it legally is by now in the state of MA. He got all upset and told me he couldn't speak to me about legal matters without an Apple lawyer on the phone. Whatever.
  7. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    find out if it is, i live in MA as well, but i bought it in NH and got my new computer in NH (the replaced one 12" PB for 500 bucks)

    keep asking for managers even past him, i think thats all you can do at this point
  8. iJaz macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2004
    So your computer is more than a year old? Because you can add AppleCare to your computer up to one year after you bought it, right?
  9. tutubibi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    AppleCare is way overpriced in my opinion.

    In Canada, it was never adjusted for lower US dollar. At 389 CAD for iBook it's over 30% of iBook's price (starts at 1249 CAD).

    In USA it's bit better at around 25% of iBook's price.

    My 1 year warranty is about to expire in couple of weeks but I am not getting AppleCare. Now, if AppleCare was priced max 200 CAD I would definitely go for it.
  10. Dogfood1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2004
    AppleCare is no guarantee!

    I feel your pain, but at least you didn't shell out the $300 for something that should have been covered for no charge. I bought Applecare when my first logic board fried on my 12" 600mhz iBook, before they "officially acknowledged" the problem. Since then, each time it dies, someone in the applecare chain will tell me, "one more time, and we'll replace it."

    I've sent it back to them 3 times, which means that the logic board in the computer is now the the 5th (I think). The last time it happened I plead my case to the highest level customer service manager I could find. He flatly refused to replace it, and our good natured conversation took a sudden turn for the worse when I used the term "Lemon" in description of my iBook. He go angry, snarky, and defensive. He made it clear that this is NOT a lemon-law issue. He was real snarky.

    Each time I was promised that THIS logic board was better and wouldn't fry like the last ones. So far the latest one is going on 6 months - about as long as the other ones lasted so we'll see. Of course I've replaced the iBook with a new 15" PB, so I may never get the chance to have the board die on me again.

    So, the moral is, don't feel bad, at least they're really good about fixing it, and you didn't have to pay for Apple Care! Apple is still great about repairing and returning - usually less than 3 days, and remember, it's still a Mac. I'm pretty sure that a 2-year-old Sony or Toshiba laptop that had similar issues would be tossed in the trash, its guts full of spyware and viruses.

    Keep the Mac Faith
  11. DickArmAndHarT macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2004

    How did u get a brand new PB?
    Im abotu to send mine in for the 4th time, Totally BS. ??
  12. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    Insure a portable device for 3 years? I doubt any insurance company would offer you complete repair or replacement cover for 3 years for less than 130 CAD a year for any laptop!
    It IS expensive, but of course it's not overpriced!
  13. fener macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2003

    AppleCare is for years 2 and 3. You DO NOT have to buy it for the 1st year. In this case, you should insist and get awarded with a new laptop. Its policy. Know your rights.

    I personally NEVER purchase AppleCare, since I always replace my equipment within 1 year.
    However, extra warranty coverages are life savers for companies, such as Apple and Dell, and that is where they make a lot of money, because a lot of people purchase it, and never use; just like insurance for rental cars.
  14. calyxman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    If you were living in Florida, Applecare wouldn't be a question. We can't get Applecare down here in the Sunshine state.

    I think Applecare can serve a purpose, but many manufacturers including HP not only offer extended warranty coverage on manufacturer defects, but also accidental coverage which includes LCD replacement. Office Depot also sells an extended warranty plan through their store that includes accidental coverage for your machine and up to 2 or peripherals that are attached to it, like a printer or scanner. The plans vary based on the price you paid for your system.

    If I were Apple I'd sure hate it every time I had to take apart the iBook, because the design is so complex! I downloaded the servicing manual on my HP and taking that system apart is much easier and less time consuming based on the instructions I've seen.
  15. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    If I was Apple, I would've replace the thing already. The shipping, all the replacements parts, and the labor that went into it must have cost them as much as a new iBook by now. It would be cheaper for Apple to just replace the damn thing.
  16. bammac macrumors member

    May 20, 2005
    The biggest problem that I have had is that I never get a straight answer from anyone regarding my faulty PB. I have already read a few threads regarding Apple Australia's level of customer service, and they are pretty much bang on the mark.

    I'm not going to get into the finer details of it all, surfice to that in a nut shell it goes like this:

    1. Call 133 622 (MAC)
    2. Go through a maze of IVR's just to get through to customer service
    3. Get transferred to India where I try to explain a complex issue to a person that can barely understand the language I am speaking. Even if they could the phone line quality ensures that any form of communication is nigh on impossible.
    4. I hang up
    5. I fire off an email
    6. I get a call from Apple stating they are onto the issue and will call me in a few hours to confirm.
    7. After day 2 of waiting for a reponse?.....please go to step 1.

    Like gambling, Apple Customer Service has a vicious cycle....
  17. shambolic macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    My own experience..

    I purchased Applecare when my iBook was about nine months old, at which point it had one logic board replacement already.

    The day after I activated the Applecare, the Logic Board Extension Program began. Some timing - the only reason I stumped up the cash for the Applecare was to protect myself against a recurrence of that issue! :rolleyes:

    Two days after that (Feb '04), the logic board failed for a second time. In it went for replacement, and due to a combination of ineptness on the part of DHL/Airborne and a lack of logic boards at the Apple repair center, I was away from my computer for almost three weeks.

    Four months after that, a third failure. No replacement offered. In it went for another repair. Shouldn't happen again, I was told.

    Another five months, the fourth failure. This time I called Customer Relations directly, tried to be calm but direct ("can't rely on this machine", that sort of thing) and for a while, it looked like a replacement would be issued, but no, instead I was given the "we have a new supplier, it shouldn't happen again" spiel. I have however been promised that if it happens again, a replacement will finally be given to me, with a direct line to the Customer Relations agent who dealt with my case before.

    If it comes to that, hopefully he still works at Apple... ;)

    In the meantime though, I too have upgraded to a 15" Powerbook (which has its own problems - fried lower memory slot, but that's another story), and the iBook gets much less usage as a result - which in turn will probably save Apple the cost of replacing it (as I suspect that heavy usage causes the logic board to get fried). They should thank me for that..

    The moral of the story, though, is that I agree with Dogfood1: even with Applecare, getting a lemon replaced is no easy process...
  18. tangerineyum macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2005
    Ontario, CA
    I sympethize wit heveryone on the board, I think if you have a lemon, it should be replaced. But i have to defend apple just a little bit, becuase im a stupid kid and they helped me out of a jam. First let me list the number of replacements i have had on my ibook, all covered by apple care no questions asked.

    Logic board
    HD failure
    2nd Logic board failure
    As a result of a poorly installed HD, i had a 2 inch crack forming over the HD on the palm rest. Because of an over large screw.
    Combo drive replacement
    Another combo drive

    My applecare officially ended on may the 22nd, i took it in on monday the 23rd thinking i had until the 25th, regarding that last combo drive. After some careful explaing that i thought i had till the 25th and the fact that the combo drive failure occured on a sunday night and i would not have been able to take it to any retailer to have it fixed. Apple issued me a CS code that i could provide to any Apple authorized reseller, that would extend my applecare by one day so that i could get it fixed for free under the program. To have to replace the combo drive on my own with parts and labor comes to a little over $400. Hardly worth it as my lowly 700Mhz G3, maxed out or not is barely worth $600 to an unsuspecting buyer and maybe $450-500 to some one who knows their macs. One 30 minute call, and an understanding representative has so far been the highlight of my week.
  19. Moxiemike macrumors 68020


    Jan 1, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    You should always buy Applecare. Lemon or not, apple has their rules, and I bet Sony, Dell, HP or Compaq has similar policies. ;)

    I had a G3 333 laptop, logic board fried. Had applecare. Got a tiBook 667, which was the equivalent machine at the time. :) When the hinges on that broke, under applecare as well, they fixed them for free.

    Finally, I sold the tibook 667 and recouped $1000 2 years back. Got a 12" Powerbook 1ghz and it's been ok, but I wish i had applecare on it for several issues recurring.

    I was talking to my dad and he asked why i don't just take it in under Applecare. I said, flatly, "I stupidly didn't buy it this time. Wanted to save $300."

    He asked if I thought about PCs and I said "well, i'm not going to let my stupidity on one issue sour my opinion on Apple. I didn't buy the care, I pay the price"

    You should realize that you're in the same boat. And even with some service plan on a PC, I highly doubt they'd replaced it. So good luck when you get that Sony or Toshiba you're eyeing to replace the ibook. :)

    Hopefully, you've learned a lesson from this situation, and sadly, that's about all you're going to "get".

    No free ibook. No replacement. Nothing. No applecare? They don't care. And that's frankly within their rights. If they replaced every person's ibook who's had difficultly, we wouldn't have Apple.

    Sure, companies these days are lame on certain policies. Apple is 'bout the best of the bunch, and surely, they're good within their applecare policies. I mean, hell, Applecare just fixed a faulty SECOND PARTY (maxtor) hard drive on my G5. Go Apple! ;)
  20. bug macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    ...I did buy Apple care....

    But have still not been able to enroll it. Long story, I posted my complaint already. Basically I bought my powerbook from the apple store and after calling them 4 times (and an epic of emails) they still haven't sorted my situation out and I am still unable to enroll (first they didn't believe my postal code was correct, then they didn't believe I bought the monitor with the computer - even though it was purchased from their store and I have all the order numbers to prove it, etc, etc - I don't feel like typing out my whole story again).

    Anyway, it would be very hard to convince me that Apple support doesn't completely suck. Yes, I've seen the numbers, no need to post the stats to show me why I'm wrong.

    ...in contrast, I had dust in my BenQ projector (that's right, just some dust) and they sent me a new projector NO QUESTIONS ASKED - they offered to do that immediately when I was just asking them if there was some way I could clean it. They didn't even demand that I send mine back until I received the new one - so I didn't even go for an hour without a projector. That is customer service.

    Apple reps have been rude with me, and I have had more trouble with their products needing service than any other company (and I have had lots of PCs). Yes, again, I've seen the stats, I have bad luck - doesn't make me feel any better about them.

    I just can't kick the addiction though - their stuff is too good (when it works) - so now I only buy their products from stores locally that will deal with Apple on my behalf. Works out so far....
  21. calyxman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    I still stand by my view about the iBook: avoid it like the plague. Even though I have a G3 and knock on wood no logic board issues have popped up, I would never own another iBook. It's just too much trouble.
  22. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    I heard about all the problems people had with the G3 iBook, and was concerned that the G4s don't look much different on the outside. But I haven't heard about any chronic problems with the G4 iBooks, and I think they are a great deal for what you get. I'm kinda thinking about buying one to do audio recording on location (and all the other portable computing stuff).

    Is there something I don't know about the G4 iBooks?

  23. calyxman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    The logic board designs are similar for the G3 and G4. You also still run into the problem with the backlight wire running through the hinge in a way that will cause it to wear out fast. The HD as always sits right on top of the logic board.

    And taking apart the iBook is a painstaking process. I don't mind the overall design and aesthetics, but when so much versatility is sacrificed for that design then I begin to lose interest. I went through a lot of trouble with my 'book. I don't plan on going through the same thing again.

    G4 i Book logic board failures have occurred, just do a search on google, and Apple doesn't cover the G4's under the extended warranty program.

    I wanted to get a new Powerbook on my last notebook purchase, but I refused to pay $2000 for a 15" notebook. That's why I got an HP.
  24. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    I bought my PB G4 1GHz at an Apple Store. As I was checking out, the guy tried to sell me Apple Care, I said "no, not right now" he said "well, how about I sell it to you now for $199.00?" OK, sold.

    I felt like a sucker for the past year and a half, until this week. My DC board needed to be replaced. The cost for me was free, but the bill would have been $350.00 w/o AppleCare.

    The only thing I'm kind of unhappy with is the bad DC board made my battery go from 90% to 20% in one week and they didn't replace my battery. So now I must shell out $120 for a new battery.

    BTW, I was really impressed that I brought my PB in on Tues. morning for repair, and it arrived fixed at my house on thursday!
  25. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004

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