iBook G4 Repair and Apple Store Frustration

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by smmsanders, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. smmsanders macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Before you read this post, I should say that I just want to vent my frustration. I'm not asking for advice. I just want to hear from posters with similar complaints.

    So, I recently made a boneheaded mistake. I left my iBook G4 plugged into the power adapter while carrying it in my backpack. This stupid move left me with a broken DC-In board and power adapter. Since I had recently upgraded the HDD, I knew how easy the repair would be. As I live in Brooklyn, I naively decided to go to the Apple store in Manhattan.

    I went to the Genius Bar and they told me that the part would cost $15, but the labor would run me over $100. I told the sales rep that I only needed the part. Silly me, right? I guess I didn't realize that Apple doesn't sell parts directly to customers. The sales rep suggested I go to Techserve.

    Great, I thought. I'll run over to Techserve and fix my computer before dinner. Nope. Techserve told me that Apple forbids them from selling parts directly to customers. The Techserve rep also made this really condescending comment. Looking at me like I was a fool, he said, "the DC-In board is connected to the logic board." I guess his comment was supposed to convince me to shell out $150 to Techserve.

    Eventually, I ordered the part online so no harm done, but I have to say that Apple's controlling attitude really annoyed me. That's all. I just wanted to let off steam.
  2. Kim Philby macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    G4's are going end-of-life. It's going to be harder and harder to find replacement parts. You might consider upgrading to a MacBook.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  4. sdmf1984 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    I know exactly what you mean. I needed a new sata hard drive cable for a 2008 Macbook Pro and two Apple stores refused to sell me the cable or to even fix the computer because I had already opened it. What angered me was that they said they had a box of the cables in the back room.

    I opened it because it was out of warranty and wouldn't work because of the bad hard drive cable. I wasn't going to have it repaired by anyone because I need the computer for work and couldn't wait. I just wanted to buy the part. The genius bar said the part wasn't user replaceable so they wouldn't sell it to me.

    I use this machine to make a living, I can't really wait too long for a replacement. I went to powerbookmedic and overnighted a new cable for $50.00. I was forced to "work" on a G3 emac for one day... one very long day.

    Good luck with your repair.
  5. smmsanders thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009

    So I got the part and it took me less than an hour to replace. The repair was quite easy, but still more complicated than my previous thinkpad laptop.

    Re: $150 poster.
    I agree. $150 isn't much but with an iBook G4 PPC, I didn't want to spend much more money on it. It's also annoying to pay $150 and wait 1 week for a repair that cost me $20 and took less than 1 hour.

    Re: Computer dependent worker
    I was in the same situation. I just wanted the part so I could work.

    Pseudo-philosophical note
    I tried out Apple after using Linux on my old Thinkpad. I really liked IBM's DIY design and Linux DIY software. I realize that Apple is known for user-friendly software and intuitive design. I guess I expected user-friendly design to foster DIY-friendly attitudes.

    Now I think I'll buy a new computer and keep the iBook as a backup.
  6. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    The older iBooks are notoriously difficult to self-service with even HDD replacement requiring virtually a complete tear down. The newer Apple MacBooks/MacBook Pro models are easier to service for some parts (HDD, RAM) but others are quite difficult to service (AirPort card being behind the LCD).

    I did what you're thinking of doing...kind of. I have an older 800mhz G4 iBook that I replaced the HDD in a couple years ago. I bought a Unibody MacBook (first release in 10/2008) but I keep the iBook as a backup/loaner/take on trips where I don't want to take my MacBook type of computer.

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