Apple, love you long time

I have long been a fan of Apple and their computers. It isn’t until recently that I realized what great customer service they offer and how they really stand behind their products. I have owned several Apple laptops dating back to a 12 inch PowerBook G4. Every single one of them has been great. Then I bought an Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro in late 2007.

If you search the interwebs for those models you will realize that they are not without their problems. This laptop has performed well for me but has needed several repairs recently. The first repair was a couple of months ago when my video card failed. Just to remind you, I purchased my laptop in November of 2007 and I decided at the time that getting the Apple Care was not worth the money. I had purchased it on every other laptop and never had to use it. iPods are a different story. So I searched the interwebs and sure enough there were several hundred posts on threads about failing video cards in my laptop. There were varying reports about what it cost to replace ($900-$1400) but all of the posts agreed that it was part of the main logic board and you had to replace the board in order to replace the card. So I took my laptop to the Apple Genius bar and told them what the problem was.

They tested it and agreed that the main logic board needed to be replaced because the video card was faulty. After 4 days they called me and told me that it was ready to be picked up. This was great because they had quoted me 7 to 10 days depending whether or not the part was in stock. When I went to pick it up they handed me the bill. At the top the bill it read $1348.00. At the bottom the bill it read $0.00. They comped me a $1300.00 repair out of warranty because they said it was their manufacturing defect that caused it. (It was actually NVIDIAs defect that caused it but what can you do when the video card is soldered to the logic board?)

I was shocked. How many other companies would have done that for me? I don’t even think Canon would do that. It just goes to show why apple was rated highest in consumer opinions about customer service. Did they have to do that for me? Absolutely not.

A couple of months after having my main logic board replaced, I started having problems with my laptop randomly shutting down. I realized that when my battery power got down to around 80% capacity it would shutdown as if the power cord had been pulled. Great, what good is a laptop that has to be plugged in all the time? I originally thought that I would need to replace the battery. At $129.00 they aren’t exactly cheap. So off to the apple store I went to seek a professional opinion.

At the the Genius Bar I told them what was happening and they hooked my laptop up to an iPod Nano that was labeled “Battery Tester”. The screen on my laptop turned bright red and the “Genius” said “Yep,” and wandered off to the back room. He emerged with a brown box and some paper work. He said “gotta love those Sony batteries,” and it would be replaced. I signed the work order, he swapped the battery, told me how to calibrate it and said that was all I needed. Once again my bill came to $0.00. Apparently I had somehow managed to get one of the awful Sony batteries that caused so many problems last year. I also managed to somehow not get the service advisory that told me to bring it in to be replaced. The recall had long been closed but instead of telling me I needed to buy another one they replaced it for free. It was my fault for not getting it swapped but Apple has decided that they would rather have a happy customer instead of my $129.00. I wish more companies saw the value in this style of service.

I only replace my laptops every 3 to 5 years or when I can afford to do it. Because of Apple’s commitment to the user experience, when it comes time to buy another laptop I know where it will come from.

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2 thoughts on “Apple, love you long time

  1. This almost sounds like a PR blog for Apple. 😉

    I’ve only had one “ok” encounter with Apple support. I will say their sales experience is top-notch, but I think they’ve lost the edge that made them great–it just working. Which it does, except when it doesn’t, and then it doesn’t in a big way. My iPhone is a nightmare of instability and poor performance. I will probably get a Nano and a new cell phone on Verizon when my AT&T contract expires. My Power Mac just died and the power supply is almost impossible to replace. And I had to argue with the Geniuses about replacing my battery that was bulging and wouldn’t hold a charge. They wouldn’t do anything about an Apple patch that killed my (and thousands of others) Super Drive.

    I’d say you found a decent store, but not a great company overall. If I going to get jerked around, have bad customer service and tech support, and have to deal with problematic software and hardware, I’m going to switch back to Windows and Dell. At least I’ll save a ton of money.

    1. I’ll agree with you on most of your points about the iPhone. I work in the front range mountains of Colorado and have awful cell coverage. As far as PR is concerned I write about products that help me do my job better, faster or more easily. My Apple laptops fit all of those with a few exceptions. Quality has definitely taken a downturn at apple. My PowerBook G4s were bullet proof. My MacBook Pro, not so much. At least for me, Apple has admitted when they were in the wrong and made it right. As for your PowerMac (G4 desktop?), you might try to find a non-apple, mac store. There are several in Colorado and they fix a lot that Apple will not anymore. Or you could buy a new Quadcore MacPro. I have one at work and it SCREAMS. As far as my experience with DELL, HP, Sony or other PC makers, I find that the money I saved goes into fixing or replacing them more often than anything I have purchased from Apple.

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