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Apple mac after sales service and my year in review

my experience with apple mac ibooks

     
6:02 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
This post is prompted by emotion more than anything else so some readers may find it a little boring, for those who do not read on.

I purchased and ibook for reasons of traveling to Cambodia and found it to be a great little computer.
About 2 years ago I met the girl of my dreams here in Cambodia, she was so innocent and had a life of hell before her including being sold by her mother and beaten by her parents to the point of having deep visible scars even today at the age of 27. Something about her life and innocence made me fall for her and life was getting really good - we were so compatable and have agreat time together.

About a year ago I propposed to her and she accepted and life was really looking good for the both of us - I started to build a home here in Cambodia and we took trips together to Thailand and went snorkling etc etc etc.
Anyway my finances atsrted to become drained and it became obvious I would need to get more web work to survive. I took on a charity website and thats when the ibook decide to pack it in.
I took it to the only authorised apple mac guy here in Phnom penh and was told its was ok as apple mac ibook of a certain model have a design flaw with the motherboard and that there was an extended service plan for my particular model but I would have to take it to Australia or bangkok to have the work done. I contacted my mother by email asking her to inform apple mac that I was in Cambodia and could not get back until a time that was after the extended service period. She promptly did so and was told it would be no problem given the overseas predicament and that they would honour the repair as they had been informed well within the time period.

Anyway a few months later I made it to australia and took it to north sydney for repair and was told they would not repair without am authorisation number from apple mac so home I returned again. My mum telephoned apple mac and they gave her a number for repair so off to noth sydney I went again only to be told that this was a customer number and not a repair number so home I went again. This time my mother was told that there was no record of her phone call while I was in Cambodia and that they would not be honouring it - this had my mother in tears as she is an upright citizen ( a retired, well respected school teacher on the northern beaches of sydney) The ereason my mother was in tears was not only because it was insinuated that she was a lyer and that no phone call had taken place (despite the fact its on record of her phone bill) but she was also crying because I had just found out my fiance was diagnosed with HIV and she knew how upset I would be at apples handling of the situation as the computer was vital to my survival.

After a couple of days I decided I could not afford the seven hundred dollars that apple wanted to repair their admitted design flaw and that I would take it to apple in Bangkok and have it repaired cheaper there.

I returned to Cambodia and decided I would take my fiance who was now starting to respond to meds and getting her health back to Phuket for a holiday while waiting for the computer to be repaired in bangkok. I called uficon (an apple agent in pantip plaza bangkok) from phuket after about 2 weeks and was told it was ready and could be picked up so off to bangkok we flew. On arrival at uficon to pick it up I was told "sorry we were incorrect - your computer is not ready" ok , well I am getting used to this by now and said I would leave it with them and return to bangkok in a few months to pick it up and please stay in touch by email so I know when it is ready.

A couple of months passed and finally I got the email that all was ok and I could pick it up so I flew to bangkok and went to the panthip to uficon to pick it up, I was actually happy to be finally getting it back so I could resume work. Anyway I turn it on and to my surprise it does work and also has a crack in the housing around the screen ( why you would even do anyhting to the csreen for motherboard replacement has me baffled) anyway - their big compensation after a call to apple was that I could keep the new motherboard - gee thanks guys it does not work and needs another one. This whole episode cost me a fortune in flights departure taxes etc etc etc and still I have no laptop that works. My faith in the honour of large companies has been tested and I am disgusted in Apples handling of the situation -

I could win this in a court of law as I have phone call receipts and the original guy at apple centre would confirm the date I brought it to his attention and the discussion that took place. I am not going to fight thisd in court as I am now a broken man and do not have the strenght.

I got married to my fiancee 2 weeks ago for 2 reasons.
firstly I love her unquestionably and number two I am a man of my word.

Thanks apple for your handling of this matter - I could wright more on my thoughts on apple management and which way share prices will head in the near future but I could not be bothered.

10:07 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry about my sloppy grammar, am using net cafes now due to no computer and did not have time to correct them due to time limit.
"Anyway I turn it on and to my surprise it does work"
should have read "Anyway I turn it on and to my surprise it does not work".

I have lost half my work as the thing does not even boot up anymore with its new fantastic free motherboard - at least before it booted and there was no display but still possibility of retrieving my work. Its now also got a nice big crack in the housing and is just a useless piece of plastic and metal that has almost sent me to an assylum.

I would love to hear from any apple employee in these forums with an explanation of how it is you think you can treat people like this and continue to attract customers.

I originally decided on an apple mac due to large scale of the company and figured that size would be a good indicator of customer service. How wrong I was and what a disgraceful response to my predicament.

3:43 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I have lost half my work as the thing does not even boot up anymore ..."

so you don't back up your work and this is Apple's fault?

get a Dell and see what kind of out of warranty service you get from them in Cambodia or Thailand when it conks out.

5:39 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear about your fiancÚ. Also, I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with your computer.

Nothing anyone says can change your recent life difficulties. However, some things to keep in mind for future computer decisions...

This whole episode cost me a fortune in flights departure taxes etc etc etc and still I have no laptop that works

Probably would have been much cheaper to just buy a new laptop. At some point, a cost analysis of your attempts to fix the problem probably would have revealed that you should just buy a new laptop (whatever brand).

I understand the desire to force a company to do what you think is the right thing. However, sometimes it's more important to go for the cheap fix when one has more important things to focus on.

decided on an apple mac due to large scale of the company

That's an interesting metric to judge computer quality. I can't say I agree with it, but if you want to continue using it, be aware that Dell is four times the size of Apple Computer [businessweek.com]. So, I'm sorry you thought Apple was largest.

My faith in the honour of large companies has been tested

I think you will have trouble buying a quality laptop without the involvement of a large company. There just aren't many "garage laptop makers" around.

6:35 am on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't it be good if we all had the benefit of hindsight - well I live in the real world and things go wrong.

microcars - Of Course I back up my work and my vital things are safe. Are you telling me if your harddrive crashed this very minute you would not lose anything at all? In the real world of backups you still lose things and I am not blaming apple for that - what I said was that before apple made their pathetic attempt at a paid repair job that I could have still retrieved things and afterwards could not - yes that is their fault - I expected to get back a computer that was fully functioning given it was only a simple motherboard exchange.

Whatsmore I cannot understand how you could be defending them - they went back on their word and in my eyes that is nothing short of criminal.
I researched things best I could and chose apple for the fact I could run web developement software and unix server at same time without the need for extra box. I was unaware unfortunately that ibooks are a total lemon and that apple is dishonourable.

The service I received tells me apple is under poor management who are chasing sales now to get bonuses rather than consider the future of the company through consumer confidence. Give it one year and review this thread (if current management and practices remain place)and lets see which direction apple shares have headed.

Anyway - I posted this as my experience with apple, I am not going to debate and get the thread side tracked through irrelevent details - the fact is they went back on their word, insinuated my mother was a liar, could not even get it right twice when I was forced to pay and apple ibooks are a total lemon with an apple admitted design flaw in the motherboard which unfortunately at time of purchase I was unaware of

The warranty was tested not only in Cambodia and thailand but Australia also - what other country do you suggest I try?

whoisgregg - I actually chose the ibook for its capabilitys rather than size of company but always viewed apple as the honest underdog of microsoft, dell, ibm etc etc. I was unaware they were dishonourable. I have had numerous computers throughout my life of all types and makes and models and everyone of them has honoured warrantys with a smile and done the right thing - maybe I have just been lucky in the past.
Its also no secret amongst the press lately how apple ipods are getting similar problems with design flaws, warranty dishonoured etc etc.

3:01 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I appreciate your interest in sharing your story. You describe a quite poor customer service experience.

I have no interest in debating you stevenjm. Debating won't change your negative experience.

But, let's not turn a single instance into an indictment. If anyone takes a single person's experience as representative of an entire company, then there would be no one left from whom to buy. Every business will eventually make some customers unhappy.

I have lots of good stories about Apple (a couple just for the iBook) -- but I won't get into a competition with you.

Thank you for sharing your story.