Bad Experience with AppleCare

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”.

11 thoughts on “Bad Experience with AppleCare

  1. Just post his name and address here and im sure we can fuck him up real good. no one should be treated by corporate pigs like that.

  2. I’ll wait and see what they say tomorrow. If they try to blame the display problem on “tar buildup” (funny, none of the other LCDs in the house have that problem) I’ll start going up the food chain.

    My main gripe is that he’d made up his mind before he even looked at the machine.

  3. Ive never heard of any such thing as tar buildup on a display even around smokers. sounds like a load of crap. Another reason i never go into a store without my loaded handgun. These people think they can screw anyone but one of these days ill show them just what regular Americans can do to corporate scum.

    not even looking at your box is just beyond insulting. he would have at least been punched in the face several times for trying that with me or my wife in attendance.

  4. Well, assaulting a tech is one way to definitely NOT get warranty coverage, and get arrested too. I’m not a violent person, I just want the backlight issue and the SuperDrive fixed. I don’t think that’s being too picky, especially since I’m still under the one-year warranty AND the extended AppleCare coverage.

  5. all corporations exist to screw the consumer and customers. apple only does it worse at every turn.

    im sorry your just finding this out now. apple really hates consumers

  6. There are times when I believe that Bill Hicks was right. Especially with the warranty whining you get fom the alleged ‘genius bar’ these days,

    If he was still alive, there would be an overrider – The Genius Bar proudly contributes to Bill Hicks’s material.

    You (or Amy’s) right to smoke cannot be excluded by Apple’s warranty? If i is, then….where did anyones’s basic rights go?

    They have to be pulling your chain.

  7. Waaaayyyyy cool excuse. Really. It’s GOT to get on the BOFH excuse calendar, right next to “bad ether in the cables”.

  8. Some of the fundamental commentary here is surprising to me.

    Those of you who feel wronged by present day apple must have forgotten the Gil Amelio era, PReP, and 7/8/9.x. At least now you can get hardware and software that is somewhat decent, or worthy of something other than a class action suit.

    Would you rather have a freindly, helpful, knowldgeable overpaid service person at your apple service store who you have no choice but to give your money to, because you bought their lousy crap, or would you rather they put their money into developing products that will bring lots of people and sustain the business? This is reality folks.

    And to Bill, I’ve just come to expect awful retail service everywhere, I think its an epidemic. I’m now more shocked when I *dont* get this kind of reception….

  9. I used to be a Mac Genius and just so you all know, computers DO get messed up by smokers. We had at least two iMacs come in that were yellow. When we opened them, all the components were brown on the inside, the fans were failing, and it was absolutely disgusting and reeked of smoke, so it is possible.

    Secondly though, I find it hard to belive that anyone would say tar is not covered before even opening the box and then blaming it on that. I think you’re holding back part of the story here because no one in their right mind would believe that. Unless you reeked of smoke yourself and looked like you live on the street causing him to make judgement first.

  10. It’s certainly possible that systems can be messed up by someone chain-smoking on front of them (I’ve seen a few examples) but the iMac in this case was nowhere near that.

  11. I’ve always had good luck with them in the past. Replacing iPods with no questions asked type stuff. I think you may have hit a rabid anti-smoker. Was it Rob Reiner? 🙂

Comments are closed.