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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Don't buy a Mac in Latin America or the Caribbean


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Adam on Saba

 
Member Since: Sep 20, 2010
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Firstly I must say that I love my Mac. Switching over from PC's was the best thing I did.

However I made the mistake of purchasing my machine on the Island of St Martin in the Caribbean. On it's own this is not a big issue but where I went wrong was to purchase the AppleCare from the same shop.

Now at the time I thought AppleCare was just AppleCare you read about it, it looks cool. BUT the AppleCare for Latin America and the Caribbean is different, way different.

It does not include any telephone support.

If you have a problem, no matter what it is, you have to take the machine in to a local service center to be looked at. You can't just call 1800 myapple and say somethings gone funky. Try that and you get the big brush off.

What's really strange is that it costs the same even though you are not getting anywhere near the same service.

AND there is nowhere on the Apple site that says that there is no phone support. The terms and conditions for Latin America State that phone support starts after 90 days, BUT there is no one to Phone (clever huh), there is no number.

I asked them why there was no number and was told that it was because there weren't enough customers to warrant it. Hang on, in all of Central and south America and the Caribbean, there wen't enough customers, BUT there is a help line for TONGA. Come on really, are there more Mac owners in Tonga. Man I gotta go there.

So for me, my local service center is on the neighboring island which means it costs me $90 to fly the unit there, $25 for the Service center to pick it up and the same again to get it back, so $230 per problem. And the best bit is if the problem was not a hardware issue it costs me another $90 for a diagnostic fee. (you can check this out at Virtual Technology in St Marteen).

So the best thing you can do is just lie to Apple and give them an American address if you want Applecare.

Cheers Apple for the great experience.
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Adam on Saba

 
Member Since: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 9
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Sorry about the length of this lost but it is a long story of woe at the hands of Applecare.

So to start with I will layout the groundwork. I have a mid 2009 17" Macbook Pro. I live in the Caribbean on a small island called Saba. Saba is a lovely island, and pleasant to live on.

A few weeks ago I turned my laptop off for the night.

The next day I tried to turn it. But nothing happened. I tried resetting the power system but that did not work. So I got the machine to my "local" service center (see my other thread about the $230 cost). After two weeks there I was told it was working, but the operating system had needed to be re-installed. $90 charge but I was just happy to get back to work.

A few day later I turn the machine off for the night and . . . same problem again in the morning. This time I get onto 1 800 myapple to try and sort the problem. After about two hours of trying to sort out why my care was a problem even though the machine was under warranty I was told that "you have a hardware fault, take it to your nearest service center".

OK here we go again off to the service provider ($230 out of pocket) but this time a promise that I would not be charged the $90 fee. And would you believe it as soon as they look at the machine it starts working!

So I must be going mad.

After two weeks I get the machine back after it has under gone the full battery of Apple tests.

Get the machine back and it works well. But then I had to turn it off one night. The next day it is completely dead.

OK so now i have "truly gone fishing".

The the penny drops. I take the machine to an air-conditioned office, leave it there overnight and bingo. The next day it turns on straight away.

So I get hold of the "service provider" and say "hey I think it could be a humidity problem" and then I tell him what I did. In response I was told "I ran all the tests and there is nothing wrong". OK no help there.

So I get onto Apple care. Now it is very hard to condense 4 hours on the phone to just a few sentences but the gist of it goes like this. (I will not bother describing all the hassles with my Applecare contract).

1. Apple:- Take it to your service provider.
Me:- I have twice and he cant find the fault.I think that's because he works in an air-conned office and the fault only shows in a humid environment.
2. Apple:- We do not guarantee that a MacBook Pro will work in such high Humidity (this was from the engineering department)
Me:- My local humidity is about 60% a the moment. You state that it should work up to 90%
Apple:- Keep repeating what the engineers say.
Me :- Keep trying to point out the difference between 60 and 90. This goes on for over an hour and a half.
Then after being put on hold for 20 mins
Apple:- OK here's the deal. As we can't see the fault, therefore there is no fault. Go away.
me:- but, but . . .
Apple:- go away


So this was from the Senior Supervisors Department which is as high as you can go for telephone support. I tried talking to Customer relations but there is nothing they can do as they have to bow down to the engineers words.

So now I sit with a laptop that I daren't turn off. It takes so long to revive. And I have no-one to talk to. Applecare have basically said "tough" and no-one else can over rule them.

I tried leaving feedback at the "Apple support feedback" link on their contact page but just got a bounce back saying that "The group does not have any members". Real Pro.

So if anyone from Apple happens to read this check out case number 177382410 for further details, or just a good laugh. It takes about 10 mins to review, or at least it take that each time I talk to someone new.

And if anyone has a contact who I can talk to about this problem then please drop me a line.

Adam
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chscag

 
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Please do not double post. Always post back to the same thread. Your posts have been merged together.

As far as your problem is concerned, you'll have to work that out with Apple care. Elevate it up as high as you can go. And BTW, these forums are not run by Apple. The folks who post here do so as volunteers. Good luck with the repair and let us know how it went.
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Adam on Saba

 
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Cheers for the help. I only split the posts as they are on two different subjects.

I have got to the end with Applecare. The last contact was with the Senior Service Agents and the last line was a hangup.

As Apple have nowhere else to go I thought I would come out to the forums to see if anyone else has had a similar experience/advice.

Adam
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam on Saba View Post
Cheers for the help. I only split the posts as they are on two different subjects.

I have got to the end with Applecare. The last contact was with the Senior Service Agents and the last line was a hangup.

As Apple have nowhere else to go I thought I would come out to the forums to see if anyone else has had a similar experience/advice.

Adam
If high humidity is really the issue with your computer...not really a whole lot anyone can do to help out. None of us have control over the weather...so it would seem two options are available:

- only use & store this computer in an air-conditioned room where the humidity is lower
- you could move somewhere where the humidity is lower (of course a bit drastic option to get your Mac working)

My only other thought is...you cannot be the ONLY person in the Caribbean that owns a Macintosh (or your Mac's exact model). It would seem very strange if your Mac is the only non-working Macintosh in the Caribbean (due to the humidity) while everyone else's Mac in the Caribbean works fine.

Just some random thoughts,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chscag

 
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And to add to what Nick just wrote... There are many Apple computer users living in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Relative humidity on those islands are as high or higher. I would garner there is something else wrong with the machine which is why you need to be persistent with Apple care. The old saying goes something like this: "The squeaky wheel gets the oil"
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
I would garner there is something else wrong with the machine which is why you need to be persistent with Apple care. The old saying goes something like this: "The squeaky wheel gets the oil"
I couldn't agree more Chscag!

Adam on Saba: It's quite possible that the conversations you had with Apple were so dominated by the "high humidity" topic...that the true problem or other possible problems never got discussed.

Maybe try:

- calling Apple again
- describe your problem(s)
- let Apple suggest what troubleshooting steps to try, and let them make the suggestions as to what the problem(s) may be.

Even if you are a VERY knowledgeable computer user...just "play dumb", do what they say (even if you have done it before), and let the Apple representative lead the conversation.

Don't debate or argue with anything they say...and just be patient with what they suggest & have you try.

To add another old saying to the conversation..."You catch more flies with honey...than you do with vinegar!"

Good luck...and please post back often as you try to work this out with Apple.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Adam on Saba

 
Member Since: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 9
Adam on Saba is on a distinguished road

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Thanks for the replies.

I would love to carry on debating this with Applecare but it just comes back to the same problem:-

The service center can't see the fault . . . so there is no fault.

This really annoys me as I was told specifically by one service guy "you have a hardware fault, take it in for repair" I made him repeat that and send a note to the service center not to charge me $90 again.

So all I can do now is keep spending $230 a time to get to the service center. All he will do is turn the machine on in his air-conned room and run the same complete set of tests which he ran before . . . and find nothing.

They even suggested I Fedex it up to the States, but again are they going to try and fix it outside or inside their offices.

As soon as I call Applecare my case comes up with its notes, it gets kicked straight up to the senior advisers and bingo no see problem, no is problem. Remember I can't just pretend to be a "normal" mac owner. I got stuck with this crappy AppleCare agreement and they are doing me a huge favor just talking to me.

And yes you are also right about my environment. It stretches from the Southern States down to the equator, and I am sure there are a **** of a lots of Macs working fine out there. I been in New York in the Summer and I can tell you it is a lot worse there.

But I think the humidity is not the real cause of the problem, it's just that they think I am just trying to get a new machine. Well for the money I have spent so far on this I could have got a Mac Mini. For the time I've lost I could have got a nice screen as well.

For me it is just really sad. I really love my Mac. I had to get one as soon as my wife got hers. I traded out a real humming editing PC to get this machine and have been happy with my choice. I even did what most nubies do and got other people enthused about Macs as well. I know for a fact I have done about $10k in sales. But know I am a bit more jaded. Where I used think all was roses I now start to compare it to "Dell ****". And I am telling people that.

But I think the most frustrating thing is the Ceiling I have hit. There is no one to appeal to. No one to look over my case and say "well I see it doesn't fit in the tick boxes but we will see what we can do". At most companies there is always someone with a higher pay grade to talk to.
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