Jun 6, 2006

Rant Warning!! This might be Loooonnng!

It seems to me that fate would always have things go wrong shortly after a warranty expires. I have had my Powerbook for a little over 3 years. Overall it is not in bad shape. A bit gluey on the frame but I can design my works, and surf the web. I can blog (when blogger will let me . . .) and overall my needs are being met. That is until the computers main components begin to break down before my very eyes!

In March, when my Mac turned 3 and my AppleCare expired I learn just how arrogant Apple is! Did you know that you can not renew your AppleCare, that from the time of expiration, 3 years after purchase, every time you call them they will charge you around $50 dollars to help you? I love this machine and how wonderful it is to work on, but the quality of minor pieces like the power source(!!!) is shabby and disappointing! Why do they assume that everyone who buys their products will be willing to, or be able to, replace their machine every 3 years??? In my world purchasing a computer is up there with buying a car or a major kitchen appliance. I don't anticipate replacing my brand new fridge in 3 years. Who does?

All this and I haven't even broached to topic yet! (I did say this might be long!)

Let me just say that I don't really take my computer anywhere. I unplug it and sit outside in my garden, or when I travel it comes with. But a majority of its life is spent on my desk. The wear and tear is pretty minimal. So when I saw that my powercord was ripping at the connection, for the second time since I have had this machine, I was a little miffed. $85.00+ after tax is a lot to pay (TWICE!) for a major component that doesn't really see that much action. I don't pull it out by the cord. I don't yank it or crush it. Worst part was that it was still lighting up, and staying green, so all of a sudden the machine just shut down. 0% battery. I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds before I realized what had happened.

I went to Apple.com (on my husbands iMac) and searched the online store for the part I needed to replace. For some reason the comments box caught my eye. If I tell you that out of 750+ comments 90% where angry consumers talking about how many times they have had to replace this piece, how the item has thrown SPARKS(!!!!!) and one even documented that their new powercord scorched their laptop, would you believe me? I would sure want to see it for myself. Click here to do just that!

Left with no way to turn on my machine I had to go to the Apple store and replace the power adapter. I asked them if there were any plans to change the design to a more sturdy and functional one. The nonchalance of these guys baffled me. They have obviously had a ton of angry people come in and don't want to have the conversation, again. They showed me the new models, with the new magnetic power adapter connection and shrug. Nothing they can do for me. And really, this kind of incompetence goes a bit higher than these two. They aren't decision makers. They are like car show models pointing at the shiny objects. So what of the people who have invested their money in the faulty machines??? Where is the recall? Where is the fix?? Who is going to rectify this problem that so many people are experiencing?? Where is Apple's responsibility??? Or do we just get to eat it? Buy a new one. Hope we dont explode with this one?

I have to stop here because I am just riling myself up, but I am curious. Has anyone else had this problem?? I might be sorry I asked. This may be like opening Pandoras Box. But I am curious . . .


ShandyKing said...

Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

May I suggest your write a letter to Apple informing them what the issue is and how this is the second time you’ve had to replace it. On the off chance someone at corporate may read it and offer you a coupon. Then again, they may do nothing.

Speaking with employees who work the sales counter at these places is useless. Try dealing with your cell phone company when they sell you on features of a phone plan only to find out later they signed you up to the wrong plan and received a 4 digit cell phone bill in the mail.

susan said...

hello michelle,
rainer has the same computer and has the fix, which doesn't involve apple. he had it happen twice as well, and before he replaced that powerbook with the newer aluminum one, a much more expensive part broke... the hinge!
our whole life (backedup of course) was on there!
the good news is that any rca stereo plug will work when soldered on. we have the configuration if you need it. it is a simple fix, annoying as hell as you have pointed out! but easy.
of course you won't get the groovy light show but you can tell when it is charged on the screen, so who cares?
we feel your pain. if i had the energy i would shoot a photo tonight to show you his dead screen, broken hinge, fine hard drive model (like yours) next to the live aluminum replacement.
the config. is easy and soldering is no biggie.
sigh, feel better! just mail me if you want the wiring. two small wires! that is all!
short side track - when he bought that one in 2002 on a thursday, it had no dvd burner. on the following monday they came out with the burner. we stomped back to the apple store and asked polietly for the newer model. it took about an hour, but the manager at the boston store gave him the new one. a designer without a dvd burner? think again. so... guess we were lucky.
(till the hinge broke!!!! they get beaucoup bucks.... for that one)

Michael Badal said...

Hi Michelle,

I stumbled onto your website when I googled "renew AppleCare" and I read your problem with them. I'm an Apple enthusiast and will never go back to PC, but what is this about AppleCare not being renewable? Is that true? Mine expires in September on my PowerMac and am prepared to pay another $250 for the warranty if they still offer it. Wouldn't it also be "false advertising" if they wouldn't? Because I remember when I bought it that AppleCare's headline was something along the lines of "Affordable. Transferable. Renewable." Or am I mistaken. Let me know any info that you may have please. Also, did you ever get the laptop fixed?

mcaplan said...

Hi Michael,
I ended up having to replace the cord, and then a few months later the hinge broke on my Powerbook rendering the screen dark as night. I have since replaced my laptop, and the new ones have a magnetic power connector, so I am hoping that Apple has fixed the problem. As far as I have been told, no, you cannot renew the Applecare warranty, but you will have to double check with them. I dont recall ever seeing "Affordable. Transferable. Renewable." as a tag line in any advertisements. I am a Mac fan too so I am really hoping the new generation MacBooks are built tougher! Good luck!