OH MY GOD... What to do?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by andrewfee, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Long rant ahead:

    I switched to Macs back in (I think) September when the new iMac G5s came out.

    The machine was delayed a few weeks. When it finally arrived I was happy.

    I loved OSX. I loved the machine. Then I started having problems.

    Long story short, the iMac had a replacement midplane. Then a replacement hard drive. I was having fan noise issues, and other problems, so had it sent into AMSYS (local service centre) to get it looked at.
    They kept the machine for two weeks, said it had no problems and sent it back to me.
    On recieving the iMac it had a damaged screen (dark lines all across the panel) and later that night, the second hard drive died.

    After having so many problems with the iMac I didn't want it anymore. I fought with Apple and eventually got them to replace the machine with a 17" Powerbook, with the person telling me he'd send me an extra stick of 512mb ram when I emailed him my serial number, as they can't send out BTO systems. I offered to pay for it, but it was charged to the company.

    After two weeks of waiting without a computer, the Powerbook arrived. It had a small scratch on the case, but other than that I happy. Still no word on the RAM.

    Three days later I started having problems. I had two kernel panics when waking from sleep, and with fluctuating, or high cpu usage, it was making high-pitched whines/beeps from the top-right corner.

    I called Apple and they said AMSYS would have to look at it again before I could get a new machine.

    The machine was picked up on (I think) Wednesday. I called AMSYS the next day; they said they had found the fault, and gave me the option of either a replacement system, or getting the machine fixed. Naturally I wanted a replacement machine, as Apple said it should only take a week, but they told me it was backordered and would take a minimum of a month. The person said that they would be able to get a replacement logic board in the next day, and I would have the machine by Tuesday.

    Tuesday arrived, the Powerbook didn't. I called up and they said they were expecting the part in that afternoon. I call up on Thursday "yeah, it's due in with the other parts we have coming in today."
    On Friday, I'm starting to get annoyed. I called up Apple to see about some kind of compensation. I had been without a machine for at least 8 weeks by this point.

    I had picked up the iMac as I wanted to start doing some web design for local companies. At this point I have been set back by data-loss. (I do back up most nights) I have had to delay jobs as I don't have the tools on my old PC that I did on my Mac (and can't afford them) have had to turn down jobs, have had one person look elsewhere to get the job done, and haven't even been able to work on my own site as I've been trying to get others done in time. This has brought bad word-of-mouth, and has cost me (potentially) thousands of pounds.

    I asked to see about some sort of compensation for this, and after the person sounding positive, they came back saying there was nothing they could do, as the Powerbook had been my compensation. Great. A £200 upgrade is apparently compensation for losing thousands of pounds, countless hours of stress, and being over eight weeks without my own computer.

    As much as I hated to do it, I was just tired of the situation and said ok and hung up. Getting back a fully working Powerbook would be enough.

    So today, at around 11am I finally get my Powerbook back.

    I open it up, hmm it's covered in fingerprints; not something I'm too pleased with, but I can clean it up.

    I boot up the machine, open up iMovie HD as it was consistently reproducing the problem, and preview a title. It still makes a chirping noise from the top-right hand corner!
    At this point I'm raging, I go to shutdown the Powerbook, and the light hits the left speaker grille. It's dented!

    I close up the Powerbook, and I notice something else; there are now two new chips/scratches in the surface of the lid in addition to the one it came with! I turn it over, and there's one on the bottom too!

    I'm now physically shaking with rage, trying to decide what to do. As much as I love OSX, I am fed up with their hardware.

    So what should I do? I'm going to demand something gets done, and that I get some kind of compensation, but what?

    As I need a laptop, there's not much else I cand get other than a Powerbook from Apple, but right now, as much as I love OSX, I'm tempted to demand a refund and just go out and buy a Windows machine, which will be at least twice as fast performance-wise. (if not as usable)
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    What to do?

    Stay calm, get in touch with Apple straight away, be firm, don't take no for an answer, take photos of the damage, keep records of every conversation & correspondence, insist on a replacement.

    Honestly, you've been very unlucky. Bought tons of Macs for myself, work and friends over the years... never a problem.

    Do not get a PC. :)
  3. andrewfee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    I'm definitely going to ask for more than just a working replacement, this is beyond a joke now.

    I just booted it up again, and found that they've installed a game on the Powerbook called "bubblegym"

    "the first tilt-sensitive game for notebook computers"

    It uses the sensor that detects a sudden drop to protect the hard drive as control for the game. A nice idea, but I don't like the idea of them shaking my Powerbook about for fun. :mad:

    Not only that, but I can't seem to enable AirPort, it's greyed out.

    Edit: Just noticed that the "end" key is sticking up higher than the others and it doesn't close properly now.
  4. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    It actually sounds like alot of your fustration is being caused by the service center you have to take it too. I'd definatily report all those issues to Apple and insist that you not take your machine back to them for repair. Apple actually keeps tabs on all their service centers, and customer satisfaction is part of how apple determins how much they reimburse a service center for warranty repairs.
  5. andrewfee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    It's the only one close to me apparently, and the one they keep setting up to sort out my machines.

    Hadn't been able to post an update eariler today: I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Apple this afternoon:

    First I went through to technical support, surprisingly without having to wait on hold, explained the whole situation, and the person escalated the issue right away. They then took a note of what was wrong with the machine but said that all they (tech support) could do was get the machine sent out to AMSYS to get checked out again. Of course after such bad experiences with them, I said I didn't want that, and I wanted a new machine outright; so I was passed onto customer relations.

    Explained my story to this person, saying that I wanted a new machine, and the guy there said "well, it's really more of a tech support issue, I'll put you through to them to see about getting it repaired, or you should contact your point-of-sale"
    Luckily I had bought it from the Apple Store, so I was transferred through to them.

    Explained my story once again to the person at the Apple Store, and that was the first person that actually said "I'm really sorry you've been having all these issues." They explained that this is supposed to be more of a customer relations issue, and I told them that I had just been on the phone with someone there, and was transferred to the store. They said this shouldn't have happened, so they put me on hold and spoke to the customer relations person they got through to before transferring me.

    Finally I got somewhere! This time the person at customer relations understood just how much stress these systems have caused me, and got started on resolving this right away.

    I'm now going to be getting a brand new, maxed out, machine in 7-10 working days, and someone should call in the next week or so about getting my old Powerbook picked up. I would normally prefer not to be without the machine, but Airport Extreme doesn't even work on it, and I'd rather leave it in the same state it was in when it got to me.

    I would normally be a lot more excited about this, but I've lost faith in Apple's Hardware. If I get one that actually works properly out of the box, then I will be happy though.
  6. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I hope it does work out this time!

    Glad you stayed with "us" :)

    With these sort of issues it sometimes seems that the quality of support comes down to a tech guy somewhere in the background fixing the Mac by hand....
  7. Candyfingered macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Take it down to London and visit the Apple store there. I never deal with phone support for ANY computer. Speaking to people is the only way to get things done. Show them the damage done by the depot (they'll believe it cause depot apparently has been fouling up lately as they did to my G5 tower). They'll set you up with a replacement.
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I will keep my fingers crossed that your new PB is OK. I do think you've been unlucky up to now - particularly in your local repair centre!

    The 'end' key and lack of airport sounds like they've removed your keyboard - and not reinserted the antennae properly on the Airport card. Definitely shoddy workmanship - but you probably could slot it back in quite easily and get your wireless access back.
  9. andrewfee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    A lot easier said than done. I'm up in Glasgow, and as much as these 0870 calls are costing me, it's going to be a lot less than a trip down to London. ;)

    I've got it sorted out now though. :)

    I know I've been unlucky; I always am with regards to computers, which is funny because I'm the most knowledgable person I know with regards to them, yet I always seem to have the most hardware problems.

    I could easily sort out the keyboard, but I'm not sure about the Airport card. It's showing up as being connected to the Powerbook (I thought it might've not been inserted properly) but doesn't let me turn it on. It's not that it can't find a signal.

    If I wasn't able to get anywhere with the machine, I might've sorted it out myself, but I'd rather they see it in just what sort of state I recieved it in. I've already boxed it up, so that I don't change anything on it.

    So I'm back being stuck on an old, PINK, 333Mhz iMac G3 with 32mb RAM until the new one arrives, lmao.

    During the day I can usually get on one of the other PCs in the house, and while I don't like Windows much, it's better than OS8.6 on this machine. It takes literally more than five minutes to load some pages, and is constantly caching to the hard drive.
  10. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hopefully your new Mac will work out fine anyway. But if you add some RAM to that G3 iMac, it can actually run OSX decently. It would make for a decent backup machine since you can then install the same apps on it as your G5 iMac.
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004

    The Airport Extreme cards, IIRC, don't go under the keyboard on AlBooks. They go above the battery, or to the side of it. So if they removed the keyboard, they were really desperate/bored or more likely, inept.

    Glad to hear you got your problem fixed! Apple takes care of its customers-- after going though what you did, they'll get it right for you.
  12. andrewfee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    I did have plans on doing that, but it's the last G3 model of iMac that takes SO-Dimms instead of regular PC-133 RAM, and right now I don't have the money for any. (it's a lot more expensive than DDR etc)

    Due to not having the machine for so long, I'm just going to be completing this current website I've been working on, and then I'm not going to take on any more jobs. It's just put me off the idea entirely, and most of the places I had targeted have now gone elsewhere.
  13. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    I had a problem with my 15" powerbook that got repaired for a defective lcd. It came back with many scratches on the lid, and I was not happy at all. After calling customer relations multiple times, they gave me the same option, a free 256mb ram upgrade (worthless), or they could repair it again. Since I was a student and was worried that they would mess it up worse, I had to take the ram. I guess I'll live with the scratches, but I'm still not happy. This is far from being the first time this exact thing has happened with apple service. Good luck.
  14. AndrewMT macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    NOVA, or Northern Virginia to the lay person.
    Okay, your first problem is that you live in England where customer support for everything is sub par. Second, I would never take my computer to a service center. They charge too much, take to long, and usually do a horrible job fixing the problem. Whenever I have a hardware problem with my Mac, I call Apple up, they send me a form-fitted box the next day, and I send it to them. I usually get my computer back within a week in perfect working order.
  15. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Hmm, pity you live a continent and an ocean away. I have two 128MB 144 pin SODIMMs that are absolutely no use to me, and hardly worth putting up for auction on eBay. They were for an old Thinkpad 600e so I'm not even sure if they would work on a G3 iMac (although they appear to be similar specs).

    Even sending them for the cost of shipping would be a bummer if they didn't work.
  16. andrewfee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Scotland. ;)

    I didn't take it to the service centre, rather, I called up Apple, and they asked if I still had the original box or if I'd need them to send one out. I had the original box, so someone came by to collect the machine the next day.

    I don't know if it just goes to the Apple stores or something in USA, but Apple have been sending my machines to AMSYS.

    I have a severe dislike for all service centres, but it seems that over here they only way of getting your machine fixed is to send it to one. If I had known this beforehand, I probably wouldn't have even purchased an iMac in the first place. I've never had a good experience with one.

    As for the RAM to put in the G3 iMac; I'm currently trying to scrape together cash to buy one of those 24" Dell screens. I have a quote for one at £540 with a 3yr warranty (retail price is £860) but it's only valid until Friday. If I can't get that cash (and it's looking unlikely :() then I could probably pay you for the shipping on Wednesday? (I have some money due in then)
  17. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I seem to remember reading something last month about some central service centre for Apple portables in Europe going into receivership which meant Apple were have having to push repairs out to more local service centres. It seemed to tie in with Apple's recent push to make people take thing to local places rather than mailing out boxes like they used to (or did in your case). Perhaps that had something to do with it?
  18. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Well I have had one horrible experience with Apple Support phonecalls. I had a small, almost trivial, problem when I got my iBook G4 and was just mildly irritated when I sat down to ring them. the problem was that one of the speakers didn't work properly, just emitting static noise...

    Now, one problem with Apple support in Scandinavia is that Norway, Sweden and Denmark is treated as one area, and people from the different countries all work there. And though Norwegian, Swedish and Danish is reguarded as one language by all (non-scandinavians) there are still quite a large language barrier, specially some Swedes may often be difficult to communicate with (both for Norwegians and Danes).

    So after the usual runaround where you have to tell your entire story to each new person you talk to I was connected to a more than arrogant Swede. (I have to emphesise, at this point, that I have no problems with Swedes, generally, and most I've met are just as nice as the next man (or woman).) At this point my mild irritation had evolved into a light anger, but when I started going throug the problem, again, he didn't (or didn't want to) understand a word I was saying.

    At this point I had talked to one Norwegian (a "Trønder" who is worse to understand than any Swede or Dane :D), two Danes and another Swede, without any real language problem.

    After a couple of minutes, repeting all my problems, even trying Swedish and English he still didn't understand me, I was beginnig to be rally pi**ed and, consequently, raised my voice. That was a mistake. He just hung up. After almost 45 miutes and talking to 5 people all I got was a "Good Day"...

    I counted quietly to 10 (ok, I did might have uttered some other phrases while counting) than rang again. Calm but firm I explained the situation, and my previous experience and that I did not accept a new runaround, generally, or being put over to that Swede, specially, to the Norwegian who answered initially (a bit of luck there). He heard me out, asked a couple of contol questions and then appologised for my recent experience and asked me to wait just a little while and put me on hold. For a while...

    It took over 15 minutes, then he came back and said he was gonna put me through to a person who would fix everything. At this point I almost gave up, expecting another runaround. But than a nice Dane took over, didn't even want to hear my story again(!), just wanted to know if I had the original box that the iBook came in and when it was best time for me to have TNT pick it up, and they would ship a new one from Taiwan immediately.

    One week later TNT picked up my iBook, and two days later a new one arrived. Flawless. :D

    Moral of the story: Next time I call Apple Support I'm gonna speak english from the start. :p
  19. Eastend macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2004
    Nara, Japan
    Since Blue Velvet was the first to say it, I go along with what she said. My wife and I started a company 7 years ago, we've bought maybe a dozen Macs in that time, for work and play. I've only sent one back to Apple and they had a brand new replacement here within 1 week and it was a hard to get item at the time. So in conclusion, you are not the most unlucky person I have ever seen, but pretty close.
    Just talk calmly to them and try to get the right person to talk to about the problem, remain firm in your postion at all times. If you have to write everything down and go into detail, precise detail about your situation.

  20. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I sent you a private message.

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