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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Apple repairs in Western Australia


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Chris Gillham

 
Member Since: Jun 05, 2011
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I think it's worth relating my experience with a HDD hardware crash on my 27" iMac last week here in Perth, Western Australia. I took the unit to an Apple-authorised repairer, one that's been around for almost 20 years, and was quoted about $300 to replace the crashed drive with a 2 terabyte Seagate HDD, plus transfer of everything from my Time Machine backup to save me the trouble. My iMac is about 18 months old and out of warranty.

They installed the HDD but the iMac sensed the temperature was too high and the fans would have been on most of the time. The repairer then conceded that Apple only provided replacement HDD drives to machines in warranty, but the Seagate HDD is, of course, exactly the same drive that Apple uses. The repairer was frustrated that it was impossible to contact Apple for advice and they suggested there is a firmware setting causing the overheating. They had to uninstall the drive and suggested I go to the Apple Centre in Perth. Before doing so I contacted another major third party retailer/repairer in Perth, explained the problem, and they agreed that they couldn't help and I had to go to the Apple Centre since I'm out of warranty.

Apple doesn't provide a phone number for the Perth store in our telephone books but provides it on their website, which is pretty ridiculous for people whose Macs have crashed and can't access the web. However, I was able to track down a Mac helper by phone in America, I think, who gave me the number. I made a booking at the Apple Centre in Perth, lugged my iMac in there and the Genius Bar also told me that overheating would happen to drives not provided directly by Apple.

The replacement 1 terabyte HDD installed by Apple Centre cost just under $600 - half the drive for twice the price compared to what the third party repairer had unsuccessfully installed. And unlike the third party repairer, there's no way the Apple Centre was willing to do the Time Machine transfer for me. It took about 16 hours to repair and when I went in to pick it up I debated the absurdity of it all to the guy taking my money. He argued vehemently that third party repairers can install Seagate HDDs not provided directly by Apple for machines out of warranty, and said he used to work for a third party repairer that did it. That place was the second repairer I'd contacted who had told me they couldn't take my business because it's out of warranty and the HDD might have problems.

So I have two repairers not wanting the hundreds of dollars I'm offering as a customer, plus the Genius Bar, saying that a Seagate HDD will overheat if it's not provided by Apple. In fact the Genius Bar told me the extra 4 gig of RAM I'd had my initial repairer instal the day before might cause problems because it wasn't provided directly by Apple.

My iMac is now back where it should be, I've transferred from TM myself, the extra 4 gig of RAM is working fine, and I'm patching up the damage to my business caused by the extra couple of days I was without a computer because of the repair shambles.

I'm relating this story because my experience and the advice from three sources, including the Genius Bar, is that if you live in Western Australia and your out-of-warranty iMac has a HDD hardware failure, there is only one place you can take it for repairs that work - the Apple Centre at 790 Hay St, Perth. Western Australia covers 2.5 million square kilometres and that's quite a challenge if you don't live in the capital city.

In light of trade practice and consumer law, I'm puzzled as to why there are third party repairers in the first place licensed by Apple and brandishing the Apple logo. If they can't repair the heart of the computer using a HDD produced by Apple's same manufacturer (according to my experience and three out of four contacts including the Genius Bar), how/why is the Apple Centre getting away with a monopolistic repair service that charges twice the price and is very inconvenient for Mac users?
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chscag

 
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Welcome to the Mac Forums.

Sorry to hear about your ordeal, however, it would be the same here in Texas as the late model iMac machines use a proprietary hard drive with unique firmware. That unique firmware is designed to allow the hard drive heat sensor to maintain proper control of the cooling fan.

A replacement hard drive unless supplied by Apple will cause the hard drive cooling fan to run at maximum speed creating a loud noise. I'm quite surprised that the authorized Apple dealer you took the machine to was not aware of this. Apple routinely sends out maintenance updates and procedures. You probably have some legal recourse to obtain a refund from that dealer who changed out the drive.
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Chris Gillham

 
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chscag - no need for a refund because the repairer uninstalled the HDD and put back the original without charging me.

Are there a lot of Apple Centres in Texas? From what you're telling me, the advice from the two repairers and the Genius Bar is correct - that is, non-warranty HDD replacements can only come from Seagate via Apple, not directly from Seagate, and firmware is the cause.

I'm not being sarcastic about the number of Apple Centres in Texas. Your state covers 690,000 square kilometres and if there's only one Apple Centre where HDD repairs or replacements can be carried out, it must be a pain. To my knowledge, there's only one Apple Centre in the entire 2.5 million square kilometres of Western Australia!

I've been a Mac fanatic for 20 years and they've made plenty of moolah from me, but if I lived outside our capital of Perth I'd be pretty nervous about running a business on an out-of-warranty iMac, no matter how good my backup. I asked the money-taker at our Apple Centre (the one arguing that third party repairers can change the HDD) what protection I might get for the $290 they charge for three years of Apple Care. Lower repair bill? Quicker repairs? A compatible HDD sent to an authorised third party repairer if I was the customer? Anything that might save me having to come to the only repair centre in WA? None of those benefits, apparently, so I passed on Apple Care and thank goodness I only live a couple of kilometres instead of 2000 kilometres from their store - even if I do have to pay top price for any future repairs to my HDD.

It might capture the long-term repair market for them, but I don't understand Apple's marketing strategy if they want to reassure potential customers, and I don't understand how consumer laws allow consumers to be cornered in this way for long-term repairs on an out-of-warranty product.
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TattooedMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gillham View Post
To my knowledge, there's only one Apple Centre in the entire 2.5 million square kilometres of Western Australia!

I've been a Mac fanatic for 20 years and they've made plenty of moolah from me, but if I lived outside our capital of Perth I'd be pretty nervous about running a business on an out-of-warranty iMac, no matter how good my backup. I asked the money-taker at our Apple Centre (the one arguing that third party repairers can change the HDD) what protection I might get for the $290 they charge for three years of Apple Care. Lower repair bill? Quicker repairs? A compatible HDD sent to an authorised third party repairer if I was the customer? Anything that might save me having to come to the only repair centre in WA? None of those benefits, apparently, so I passed on Apple Care and thank goodness I only live a couple of kilometres instead of 2000 kilometres from their store - even if I do have to pay top price for any future repairs to my HDD.
.
That is true my friend. I know how you feel, being a boy from Katanning lol
In all fairness being that far away from a  store i would have forked out for the care, just having that knowledge if it does break then it is covered. As you have seen you would have made that $ back by now.
I say this bc there has been stories here in the forum of members after talking on the phone to Apple, have sent by courier there Mac to get fixed . . . . And i do believe Apple payed shipping (dont quote me)

Anyways been a while since i have been home. Hope the West hasnt changed a great deal . . . .
Thanks for sharing mate

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6string

 
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A little rambling from me, but .....
iMacs are a beauty of a machine, and when something goes wrong with them, other than RAM, it is a pain in the butt!
This I guess is the price we pay to have such a beast in such a streamlined package.

I'd love it if they'd design it so the HD was accessible and user upgradable just like the RAM is via a little slot.
If the need be to have the Apple supplied HD due to the design, to have the option for a DIY priced spare HD when you purchase, or any time after purchase for that matter.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Are there a lot of Apple Centres in Texas? From what you're telling me, the advice from the two repairers and the Genius Bar is correct - that is, non-warranty HDD replacements can only come from Seagate via Apple, not directly from Seagate, and firmware is the cause.

I'm not being sarcastic about the number of Apple Centres in Texas. Your state covers 690,000 square kilometres and if there's only one Apple Centre where HDD repairs or replacements can be carried out, it must be a pain. To my knowledge, there's only one Apple Centre in the entire 2.5 million square kilometres of Western Australia!
The advice you received is correct. MacWorld Magazine ran an article about that the very thing, and "Other World Computing" likewise have commented on it.

Fortunately here in Texas we have many Apple Centers (Apple Stores) where we can obtain service. The Fort Worth and Dallas area where I live has 4 such centers. One being about 5 miles from my home.

And my good friends from Australia who replied to this thread are right about Apple Care and how much of a pain it is to do any work on an iMac.
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