Why I've lost respect for Apple

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by PDE, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I understand the constraints Apple places on their geniuses. They're caught between their employer, who much like a Leninist party enforces strict discipline and a unified rhetoric throughout the ranks, and their desire to genuinely help customers any way they can. However, it's also hard to respect people and companies that consistently and knowingly lie to you to make you think you’re alone in the world with your problem. It’s not just disrespectful to me as a high-paying customer experiencing problems that are no fault of my own, but it’s quite sinister psychologically to try to reinforce the existing power hierarchy between genius (expert) and help-seeking customer by making feel insecure.

    Without fail, each time I've brought a macbook pro with a common problem to the genius bar, the genius will look at me and proclaim that , honestly (!Surprise!), they’ve never ever seen the problem before. Last time I was there (2 days ago), the genius even went so far as to tell me that they’ve had almost no returns on this particular macbook pro (I wonder if he was literally referring to MY macbook pro?) And yet, I've returned quite a few and I know several others who have too, not to mention all the cases online in forums like this. Also, looking around the genius bar and you'll see MBPs everywhere! Inconsistent backlighting and shadowing are extremely common and have been for several years on the MBP. A few weeks ago when I took my previous MBP with those horrid vertical beams of light to the genius bar, they said exactly the same thing. Either this genius started his job yesterday, or he's not telling the truth. To me, it makes no difference because as soon as they tell me that they've never seen the problem before (when I know it's a widespred issue that they MUST have seen many times), I lose respect for them and start feeling agitated as I prepare psychologically for a battle. In fact, nowadays I feel incredibly tense going into the Apple Store because I know I might get one of these guys who is blind, deaf and tells me that everything is within spec.

    I’ve lost respect for Apple and I’m really tired of the corporate attitudes and policies it has developed over the past 10 years. Denial of problems, calling everything ‘within spec’, nickel and diming customers, poor quality control and what not …don’t like it at all. I had to use a thinkpad T40 a few summers ago and while I hate windows OS, I had great experience with support calling in the middle of the night and getting the feeling that they genuinely respected that I needed the computer to work at all times, gave me confidence in them. Apple, in contrast, seems to live in a world where being without a computer for a week is fine and something they don’t need to apologize for…. followed by a sales pitch for Applecare when they give your computer back. It always infuriates me when a computer has gone in for repair the first month of ownership and they try to sell me applecare by telling me how much that repair would have cost if I hadn’t been under warranty! As if the warranty is some kind of free, generous gift to their customers.

    That’s my rant. Maybe I'm being too harsh for the sake of making my point, but I wish Apple could grow up and start taking responsibility.

    Now flame me!
  2. amusiccale macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    OP, I sympathize with your disillusionment, but my experiences with the Geniuses have only been good so far, including their replacing my MBP display for a subtle flicker only visible in Windows/OS install screens. But then I had other computers I could rely on while it was away in Repairland.
  3. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    while i understand your frustration let me also point out that the message board population is a small fraction of the customer base, furthermore people only go to a message board when they need help for the most part. So what maybe a small isolated problem may seem blown up and widespread on a message board, but you have to take into a account that members of a forum are a very small percentage of the overall customer base. So its possible that a given genius may not have seen this problem before.

    That being said i am certainly not defending apple i know its a corporation and its in the business of making as much profit as possible, trust me i'm not one to drink the koolaid and defend apple to the death. I love their products but it doesnt mean i'm going to bow down to the people who run it.
  4. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    Unfortunately you are dealing with varying levels of expertise. This is widespread in the computer industry itself, not just apple.

    The companies can only provide formal training to a point. The rest is acquired thru experience. I know because I have been in the field since 1983. No one knows it all.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I have had several dealings with the Apple Store and the Genius Bar as well, ranging from iPod to MBP, and all have been positive

    I'm sorry your experience has not been the same, but I have no complaints

    Not a fanboy, but just a satisfied Apple customer since 1987

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  6. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I should clarify and say that I've also had good experiences without any hassle. However, if there is a problem that has to do with things like display evenness or dark shadows, I've had to fight to get what I want. The other day, the genius was fine, even though he said he'd never seen this before...
  7. paola105 macrumors 6502


    Jun 21, 2007
    I had several bad experiences with the geniuses. They gave me a defective screen twice and the 2nd time not only did they give me a bad screen, but also a deep 3 inch scratch on the lid. I dread having an appointment with them. Not satisfied with their service so far. I'm still an Apple fan though.
  8. Elven macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I did notice this when I took my Macbook in due to it getting a tad hot and the fans not cutting in, the immediate attitude was one to protect the reputation of Apple.

    I can understand why they do this, but they dealt with my issue and gave me a satisfactory response to my question.
  9. Satori macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
    I definitely recognise the fake 'never seen this one before' attitude, but in my experience they have simply replaced any product which I am not entirely happy with. Sorry you haven't found the same.

    I would imagine different stores provide different levels of support/service. Have you thought about sending your experiences of your service from geniuses as feedback to apple?
  10. Elven macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I feel it is worth pointing out without wanting to sound like a devoted fanboy here, but compared to other companies I have yet to have a bad issue with Apple where they have not happily replaced/repaired a defective product.
  11. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I think at some point, you need to be the one to take responsibility and realize that Apple's probably never going to meet your standards and that your money would be better spent elsewhere. :(

    I don't have the time right now at work, but I think (from having seen your forum posts over the last several years) that if someone went back and counted all of the Macs that you've returned, most forum members here would be amazed that you continue to stick with Apple. How many machines would you say you've returned?

    To be clear, I'm not faulting you in any way for expecting perfection, but at the end of the day, it comes down to you consistently getting bad machines from Apple...

    ... and since you have no control over Apple, the only real option I see if you for to stop buying from a company that doesn't meet your needs.

    How does it go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me? Well, twice might be a little hard, but after five or six returns, I think you've got to be the responsible one. Why continue to put yourself through this misery?!?!?!?!
  12. The Menacer macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2007
    I believe it goes "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
  13. tmm4264 macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2002
  14. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    Because, as I've pointed out before, I've had apple products since 1992 and up until the latest intel versions have been reasonably happy with quality. I use apple for a lot of different things and do not want to change to windows under any circumstances. You're right that I've returned a lot of computers and, believe it or not, each one had faults that I considered unacceptable (and many others agree) - otherwise Apple wouldn't have taken them back without a restocking fee (a few I had to pay, but generally Apple acknowledged that there was a problem...after a lot of haggling).

    As for me being responsible - for what? For shipping products that have poor displays? Like I said, up until the last generation of powerbooks my displays were wonderful, consistent and not unevenly illuminated. They were not as bright, but the current ones at their max settings are much too bright for photo work anyway. In other words, this is a very recent problem and one that is affecting primarily the 15" displays. My history with Apple goes way back and unless things get much worse, I think I'll stick around.

    I never understand the mentality that complaining is somehow a negative thing. On the contrary, it's because I generally love Apple's OS and hardware that I'm complaining that QC is so poor. It's not that I can't use the computers, but I'm disappointed that the screens on the 15" have had so many issues - and it's the screen size that makes me buy the 15" models as opposed to the macbooks. The more we complain, the more we send a message to Apple. As you may have noticed, I'm not the only one with issues: yellowing, shadows, vertical beams are some of the most recent ones, but before that there was that awful graininess, horizontal lines (on the last PBs) etc. Since the last Powerbook G4s, Apple has had a record of problems with its displays and also a record of denying the issues altogether.

    Anyway....it's all been said before.

    PS. I've stopped counting how many machines I've returned, but since the intel transition I've had a continuous stream of macbook pros with problems. Believe or not. The latest three computers: totally inverted display colors that happened when I moved the screen (I posted pics), the vertical beams of light from the bottom (I posted pics) and most recently the terribly backlight bleeding together with some shadows at the bottom (posted pics). Am I too blame for these issues??
  15. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008

    Looks like the MacBook Pro is the most problematic mac ever released. Does Apple do proper testing with the MacBook Pros? I am not saying all MacBook Pros have problems but this seems like it's a lot.
  16. Elven macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Given it is one of the best selling Apple computers of all time, then I would expect more problems, also the Apple store near me uses MBP's for their staff computers.
  17. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Sorry you feel that way, I've not had the problem.

    But if ThinkPads were good to you, perhaps Ubuntu on a thinkpad would sever you well, and you can try a Mac out again at another time, if you ever had the desire.
  18. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    The thinkpad was a temporary thing forced on me because I had tendonities and needed to use Dragon Naturallyspeaking for input. Nowadays I can do it on my mac through windows.

    I don't know why it's so hard for people to have a more nuanced view of the situation. I'm quite happy with Leopard and even with the hardware in general. However, I'm really tired of the display gamble and constantly having to worry about whether a new mac I get will have a problematic display. The display has been the most frustrating problem I've had and one that hasn't been addressed yet properly. I've seen GOOD displays, but many more bad ones.

    to sum up:

    I love apple products, but I hate that they are so inconsistent in their quality and that Apple has a policy of always denying issues for as long as possible, causing a lot of trouble for their customers.
  19. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm not sure how I could have been any more clear that I don't have a problem with anyone returning a product that doesn't meet their expectations. I don't blame you for anything?!

    All I'm saying is that it's been 3.5 years since Apple stopped shipping 15" notebooks with screens that pleased you. At some point, you've got to wonder if what you're doing really has an affect on Apple and their QC, no??

    It's just when I see these occasional "Apple QC" rants from you, I wonder why you keep putting yourself through this?

    But then again, I'm lactose intolerant and still love milk enough to keep drinking it. so maybe I shouldn't spend too much time trying to figure this all out. :)
  20. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    And I eat scallops despite being allergic because I love them. When I do eat them there's a 70% chance, or so, that I'll be sick and vomit, but I do it anyway sometimes. Stupid? Yes. Similar with the Apple stuff: there seems to be about a 70% chance of ME getting a display that isn't up to snuff, yet there's also a 30% chance that I'll get a good one.....

    Truth is, my rant was not about my computers, but about the way Apple seems to deny issues that are very clearly real, genuine issues. While I won't get them to change, I can still express my frustration with it. I can be a U.S. citizen and express anger with our current government policies. without wanting to move to another country. You can like something and still be extremely critical and you can like something and still need to rant. Being critical means caring enough to bother getting involved.

    Many people just dismiss lying as being 'the way corporations are', but I think we should hold them to a higher standard than that.
  21. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    Apple behaving dishonestly is not something new to me, misleading ads, secretive updates, false claims, double standard testing method, exaggerating the benefit of the products. Denying flaws or defects of the products.

    However, It helps when people treat apple just like they treat any other companies. Rather than fall into that 15th century authoritarian trap and think its some sort of saint or god.
  22. Bwilky macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    A company is never 100% perfect. But when they start telling obvious lies then theres a problem. I think that genius needs a new processor.
  23. scotts13 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2000
    Frankly, it sounds as though you've simply had terrible luck with your Apple purchases. I've done Apple tech support for 25 years now, either for Apple, an Apple retailer, or in my own consulting business; and 99.99% of the installed base has much better experiences than yours.

    I WILL partially agree with your perceived "denying known problems" thing. While many of the Genius personnel may not have the experience to know which items are problematic, the more experienced ones have learned to be VERY cautious about making public statements about them.

    "Oh, yeah, a lot of them are like that" exposes the company to a huge liability both financially and in PR. The former simply because once acknowledged in any fashion, EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER who owns the cited product comes out of the woodwork demanding compensation - whether they experienced the "known problem" or not.

    Believe me - in all these years, I've almost never seen anything experienced by a large number of customers not be addressed by a Service Extension program. The few exceptions are usually covered on a case by case basis. An example would be the G5s with liquid cooling. There have been somewhat more failures than anticipated; a surprising number of people have been given free repairs or even new computers, WITHOUT being covered by warranty or a Service Extension.
  24. Bwilky macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    I totally agree. They might tell a few white lies, but they ALWAYS fix the problem for you with great service.
  25. HammerofTruth macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    Here's what I do

    Sorry to hear about your problems with Apple, but you are not alone. I have had numerous issues with the "Geniuses", most of them I saw were salespeople who were promoted and promoted quickly. Those people are taught that if there is something that may be rectified by them by telling you that the product has no issues then they should do it. The real "Geniuses" that I had good relations with often clashed with the higher ups especially when they knew the problems were real but kept quiet.

    The secret is to play Applecare against the Applestore. I have done it many times and usually a product specialist over the phone will overrule any decisions made at the store.

    1st rule. NEVER take your product to the store BEFORE you call Apple and get a case id. This way there is some credit to your story and they don't see you as someone who is making up the problems you are having.

    2nd rule. If you have issues with the Genius, call Apple back. Don't talk to the store manager as they are clueless when it comes to technical issues and will back the Genius EVERY time.

    3rd rule. When you speak to Apple ALWAYS take notes on who you talked to . Most of the time when you get an APS, they will give you their direct number so that if there is any problems you can call them.

    4th rule. NEVER give up if you are getting nowhere. Keep calling Apple back and use the same case number over and over, most of the time they will finally replace your machine. It's happened to me about 4 times for my personal machines and clients of mine (especially the new iMacs).

    I hope this helps you and anybody else who has bought an Apple product that has a genuine problem with it and is getting swept under the rug.

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