Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mac Woes or What's a Girl to do?

May 18, 2007:
I buy a cute black 13-inch Mac notebook. Several people persuaded me to make the switch to Mac. I was tired of PC viruses. I wanted a laptop. It was light, a little over two pounds. I can't remember the exact price, but, say, roughly $1500.00. So, uh, pricey.

July 13, 2008:
I turn on my Mac. Grey screen. Nothing but a sad grey screen. And an arthymic clicking noise. Mac is FOURTEEN months old. Not even a toddler.

July 14, 2008:
I phone Apple Care who don't really want to talk to me because I don't have an extended warranty. However, we try some simple, but useless, maneuvers over the phone. I call my local Apple store. The have no appointments for about a week and suggest I call the local Apple specialist store. I jot down the number.

July 14, 2008, 12:07:50:
I leave sick Mac with local Apple specialist store along with $94.39 which buys us an hour of bench-repair time. I get a depressing phone call later that afternoon to report Mac is very ill with a crashed Toshiba hard drive. In fact, he's so ill, he doesn't even realize he has a hard drive. At this point, Mac would have trouble recognizing his own mother.

July 14, 2008:
Around suppertime, transplant completed, Mac returns home with a state-of-the-art Hitachi hard drive.

October 3, 2008:
I turn on my Mac. Grey screen. Nothing but a sad grey screen. And an arthymic clicking noise. Ack.

October 3, 2008, 15:15:21:
DH handcarries sick Mac to Apple specialist store while I pace the floors at home. Unbeknownst to me, DH pays Apple specialist store $104.99 for an hour of bench-repair time. Inflation. I call Apple specfialist store and talk with Dan. Diagnosis: Hitachi hard drive has crashed. But, it is under warranty (because young hard drive is not yet 3 months old). Mac will be ready to come home October 6 (Apple specialist store doesn't perform surgery (repairs) over the weekend. I argue against labor costs. After all, I already paid for the defective hard drive transplant. Apple Specialist Dan won't budge on reducing or dropping labor costs.

October 6, 10:00:00:
I call Apple specialist store to learn Mac pick-up time. Apparently, Dan didn't leave any notes or any kind of record he'd talked to me and promised a healthy Mac by October 6. Mac will not sleep in his own bed tonight.

I talk with Ron, Apple Specialist Manager. He explains that Mac's diseased hard drive must be returned to Hitachi. They will either refurbish it (very likely scenario) or send a new Hitachi hard drive. Mac will be in-patient for two weeks! Ack. Ron promised to call Dan, although it's Dan's day off, to find out why Dan promised healthy Mac for today and not for two weeks down the road. Ron is, apparently, unable to get hold of Dan. I proffer my opinion that I should not be paying labor costs again. This falls on deaf ears.

Ron suggests I call Apple Care. His concern is that, with two hard drive crashes already under his belt, Mac may be more ill than we realize. Perhaps Apple will replace Mac's insides.

I phone Apple Care who don't really want to talk to me because I don't have an extended warranty. However, I talk with a friendly guy named Jeremy who has a yummy Brit accent and keeps placing me on hold while he researches the situation. He may just be going for coffee breaks.

Anyway, the long and short of it is, Apple MAY get involved if the hard drive crashes for a third time. Then again, they may not. Jeremy is appalled that Apple specialist store is charging me labor yet again when they sold me a defective hard drive. He's also appalled that Mac may wind up with a REFURBISHED hard drive.

All in all, Jeremy is not helpful, although he is easy on the ears.

October 7, 2008:
Radio silence from the Apple specialist store.

October 8, 10:00:00:
I will have to hound Apple specialist store to find out when Mac is coming home (today or in two weeks).

So, what's a girl to do?

(And please do not say things like: "Next time will you purchase the extended warranty?"...or..."You backed everything up, right?" I am married and have already been subjected to such questions.)

Should I return to a, brace yourself for a four-letter word, DELL? (Or another PC laptop?) Anyone else out there with Mac woes? What's your laptop? Are you happy? Seriously. Input please.

This is not actually me. But it could've been.

On a much funner note, it's Ellen Booraem's launch week for The Unnambeables. Go to the Class of 2k8's blog to learn about this debut middle-grade writer who so thinks outside the box.

p.s. Sorry for the long whiney post. I'm just incredibly annoyed. In case you hadn't noticed.


Sue said...

Wouldn't touch Dell, personally. We have two Hewlett Packards and I use a Samsung in our laptop family, and all are functioning well, admittedly all are less than a year old but DH is impressed by my Samsung as it seems very sturdy.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Dearest Barrie, so sad for you! Computer problems are horrible. That's why I married a techno geek ;-)

I started life on a Mac (the very first one!), moved over to PC because that's what "they" use in the "business world". Recently, I've toyed around with going back to a Mac, but I am not sure my live-in tech support guy, aka the geek I married, will have the patience or know-how to fix it when I go crying.

That being said, I have a small Sony Vaio notebook, nearly 5 years old. Still works great even though I've dropped it a thousand times. Okay, maybe 20. I have had to replace the hard drive once and the power cord once. Oh, Santa maxed out my RAM last year (hmmm, that sounds a little funny.). The Y key is gone (dog pried it off, don't ask) and a corner of the case came off after the last tumble. But I won't be replacing it unless it dies all the way (or maybe next year if my husband has his way). I love it!

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

oh barrie, it is always a sad day when your HD crashes. i have been on a mac my entire career, all the way back to when i was an itty bitty art student. in the long run they are less troubling and easier to use.

i think every mac owner has a HD crash at one time. The thing is, the stores are so independent from apple cares. they are going to be resistant to a refund for that second repair, but you definitely deserve it.

they should have tested that laptop thoroughly before returning it to you. seeing as how they haven't been able to prove they keep records. i would call and ask for the manager again let him know you have been steaming about this situation.

go right at him that they should have verified the laptop was working properly and if so, how many times did they boot it up and shut it down completely to be sure. i would hope at least a handful of times, that would have been thorough, considering they were to 'repair' it.

and if it is the mac itself, if they would have booted it up a sufficient number of times (oh say one more, right) they would have discovered that on their own and earned their first fee.

i would also demand a detailed explanation as to the price difference between the first hour and the second hour. demand, do not ask for a refund for the second charge. if he will not budge, ask for the name and number of his regional manager. no reg mgr, as for the name and number of the store owner and who he reports too and so on..

be relentless, it's exhausting and annoying, but as long as you cave in they will not budge....and the fact of the matter is, it's not your responsibility that their employee took it upon himself to give you false information.

if they absolutely refuse. tell them you are reporting them to the better business bureau if they do not refund the second charge....and if they don't. report them.

it's called consumer rights. this was unfair and an obviously disorganized's not like you brought the computer home and had it for a month. be strong, don't cave,.

my husband is so good at this stuff, he always has the people thinking they are his best friend by the time he is done, they give him whatever he asks for. he also is great at sales.

Sheri said...

Funny you should post about such a thing. I just posted about computer woes yesterday! I have a... yes, the four-lettered word... DELL. And I was wondering if I should have just paid the pricier price for a MAC.

Once upon a time I was a MAC girl. Raised by an artist, MACs have always been more artist friendly... And most schools (in those early computer days with external disks to save your work on...) only had MACs, so I was a MAC girl.

But one day, this MAC girl met a PC boy. She's Jewish. He's half. They fall in love despite these many obstacles and debate upon raising children and computer purchases.... Long story short, our kids are Jewish and our computers are PC.s *sigh*

I suppose, no matter the brand name on your PC's skin, beauty's skin deep, even for computers. Their insides still break down and frustrate us and, at times, make our lives miserable, no matter MAC or PC.

My lap top is also a dell btw. It still works, even though it is an artifact by today's speed of tech advances. Although I must keep everything on a zip and no more Internet because it just can not handle such things for it's frail age of 8. It also weighs about 20 lbs!

So underneath, I suppose we're all the same - even computers.

Sarakastic said...

I have an hp. After much careful research I bought it 2-3 years ago because it was the cheapest one at the store. It has never had to go to the doctor or talk to anyone named Dan who makes us false promises. Granted, I don't know how fast it would work for serious gaming, but it does what I need it to.

Bina said...

Dang girl!

Okay, I would NEVER say such stupid things to someone who obviously knows.... well, what I will say is this,

March in to the store and demand your labor back. Make sure you ask for a manager, and make sure there are OTHER customers around, tell the manager exactly what happened, that you were talked in to buying a Mac because of this or that, and how dissapointed you are.

He'll give your money back. I promise he will.

The noisey wheel gets the grease and all that good stuff, right?

Never had a Mac. Have never seen one. I've had my Dell laptop almost two years and the only thing wrong with it is the key board, and that's because I spilled coke all over it.

Charles Gramlich said...

A friend of mine recently bought a Mac and is really unhappy with it. Refers to it as a parasite basically. Maybe they're spending all their money on advertising these days.

Amy said...

My sympathies go to your Mac :( I used to own a four-letter-word and it gave me nothing but problems. It crashed twice, and after finally getting repaired, it ended up being so slow I could knit a sweater in the time it took for a program to load. I ended up degragmenting (I don't know what that even means haha!) the entire thing, which wiped out all my stuff (after I backed it up) and I sold the stupid sucker. I made a little cash from ebay and with some help from my student loan, I purchased a MacBook Pro. This MacBook has been the greatest investment I've ever made and so far I do not have any problems. I also bought mine around the same time you bought your Mac. I would personally never go back to a PC, and if your Mac keeps giving you the deathly grey screen, then perhaps you may need to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro? Apple is so expensive, though! It is definitely a tough call :-/ Good luck and let us know what happens to your Mac!

Amy said...

oopsie I meant to type "deFragmenting". And I still don't really know what it means, lol

Anonymous said...


Do you know if works on macs? My parents had one of their guys come out, and they said he was wonderful. (Probably not cheap, but they loved him). You might want to go get that laptop back from the twits and call these guys?

I am so sorry.

Travis Erwin said...

Mine is a Dell and has been problem free. Is it wrong I laughed at your misery with Mac?

~Virginia~ said...

sorry about the computer glitches! i have a gateway which i like fairly well. only downside is that it has Vista installed on it. hope things get back up and running soon!

brian_ohio said...

It may be time to put the Mac down. With a sledge hammer.

I have a HP and love it. I've had it for six years now. No problems. I've added some memory to keep up with today's software. That's pretty much it.

Sorry you're suffering.

Patti said...

i will never have a mac (although i kinda pine for one) because boy is an IT dude. he is my salvation for computer woes.

hope you get it a good whatever you choose.

Beth said...

Sister loves her Dell. DH will only by HP. Me? Whatever has the best keyboard, it's all about the keyboard. Sorry for your Mac woes. Hope he gets better soon and for good!

alex keto said...

Holy Tamolly,
I though Mac were supposed to be good.
Guess not.
Thanks for the warning

Larramie said...

There's something wrong with that Mac, though I'll never trust the geek squad again either. HP is supposed to be the lesser of two evils -- the ultimate: DELL!

Much luck, Barrie.

Vivian said...

Oh, boy. There are some great suggestions here, Barrie. I hope you get your Mac back soon!

I have a MacBook. I love it!

David Cranmer said...

That's just wrong that they're making you pay twice for labor... I hope you get your money back on that issue. I have an HP that I was incredibly happy with, that is until I let the antivirus subscription lapse (my bad!) and had to bring it to Best Buy for help. It's never been the same since, but overall I'm still happy with the HP.

laughingwolf said...

rats... really bad luck!

i have five, yes 5, apple computers, 4 are macs, one is a pre-mac... all work, without exception... always have, and i expect, always will

i also have 2 older win machines and a relatively new one, all of those work, too....

Jason said...

Youch. I'm really sorry about your woes. Personally, I'd rant and make a fuss until those jerks gave me my money back. They obviousy weren't doing their job or it wouldn't have crashed a second time.

I have a Dell, and with the exception of needing to download some new updates to fix a graphics card problem and my disc drive going out once, it works fine. It's pretty quick, probably not the quickest, but it doesn't lag either. I'm pretty happy with it, although I would love to get a Mac someday. I'm more of an artist than a math dude, and they sound awesome -- with the exception of your woes, of course.

Barrie said...

Uh, Travis, yes, it is wrong that you laughed at my misery. I will remember... Ha!

Maureen McGowan said...

This is horrible and terrifying and as one of the people who recommended a Mac to you (bought mine a year earlier than you did) it not only makes me feel guilty, but also adds to my terror. Mine's a year older, and so far no problems... But yikes.

Sadly, as far as possible crashes and getting things fixed satisfactorily and on a timely basis, I don't think any type of computer is much better...

Barrie said...

Maureen: Eek! Ack! Don't feel guilty. Well....maybe guilty enough to meet me again for coffee the next time I'm in T.O.!

Mary said...

There is nothing more frustrating!

Two years ago, my troubled iBook died just one month after the extended warranty expired. I splashed out on a shiny, first generation MacBook Pro (for the supposed reliability), with which I’ve had problems ever since. For example, the S Drive has been replaced twice but it still won’t read a disc it did not write itself.

I’ve used Macs for more than ten years, but I’m no longer sure the reliability is there.

An option could be to buy a PC and install a Mac OS.

Barbara Martin said...

I touched wood after reading your horror story. My computer is a Toshiba Satellite A200 (some people seem to think this laptop is bad), and I have not had any real trouble with it.

When I first had it the keyboard would get a bit hot, and then I began using the battery regularly. The hot keyboard situation stopped and hasn't returned.

The battery is only now showing signs it will need to be replaced soon as it only last a little over an hour. In the beginning it worked for five hours straight.

Because of the battery I just learned Toshiba has discontinued this brand of laptop. Since I have had no problems with the one I have, I would purchase another Toshiba laptop.

I wish you well, Barrie, on your MAC fix-it journey.

Mary Ann said...

I have a Dell, have had it for a few years, and it's wonderful. It's provided by my employer so if something goes wrong, I don't have to worry about it. If I'd bought it on my own, it might know that I was vulnerable and crash on me. Ok, I know that's not logical...


I had this with a washing machine from ARGOS - Almost pulled my hair out in frustration.