UPDATE: Things are improving.
Since the day I bought it, I’ve had a slight problem with the backlight on the left-hand side of my 20″ iMac Core Duo being uneven. Lately, it’s gotten worse to the point where I notice it if I have a solid color background, so I decided to take the machine back to the Apple Store (Houston Galleria) where I purchased it to have it looked at. The machine is still under its original one-year warranty (purchased on January 19th, 2006) and I also purchased the AppleCare extended warranty.
I hauled the machine in its original box through the mall, arrived shortly before my 1:15pm appointment, and waited for my name to be called. When I was called up to the “Genius Bar”, I explained that there was a problem with either the backlight or the LCD (a “bright spot” – click the link for pictures – on the left-hand side), and that the SuperDrive would only accept around one out of four DVD-R blanks I put in it. Pre-burned discs and DVD+R blanks read fine, but it was picky about what DVD-Rs I use.
Before the “Genius” even UNPACKED THE MACHINE and powered it up to look at it, he said “oh if the display or any of the problems are caused by an external substance like tar, that’s not covered under warranty” (my wife smokes, but I do not and she does not use the machine). He had apparently made up his mind before even taking the machine out of the box or looking at the display problem.
After powering up the machine, he said “yeah thats probably tar I can see where its come in from the sides here”. I told him that I owned an iMac G5 for 2+ years and never had this problem, and none of my other LCDs in the house (including the one that my wife the smoker sits directly in front of) had this problem. His response was “different machines ventilate in different ways”.
I left the machine at the store; a tech is supposed to look at it tomorrow and call me with the diagnosis. However, from the way the work order is written up the tech (who I won’t name here just yet) had made up his mind before he even removed the machine from its box and the protective styrofoam “bag” from the display.
If I get told tomorrow that my warranty and AppleCare is worthless, I will not be happy at all. This is my fifth Macintosh system purchased in the past six years, and I don’t want to lose the faith I’ve had in the (up to this point, excellent) Apple support.
P.S. – when I had to have my iMac G5 serviced, no words were ever said about “foreign substance” buildup or anything of the sort.
P.P.S. – While I was busy trying to not visibly fume with anger at the Apple Store, my lovely wife was making snarky comments to herself about how “my Windows box never has this problem” and “Wow, such DELICATE pieces of machinery”.