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starrin 05-20-2004 07:58 AM

I am so disqusted at this point...
 
Okay -- so I thought I would do the honorable thing and buy my first mac as I am a software developer and I appreciate their move to OS X.

However after two calls to Apple Support a trip to the Apple Store all I get is a so called "genius" stating that it appears to work and there is nothing I can do -- because I cannot reproduce the problem.

What is the problem?

Well -- It started a couple weeks ago when I brought my powerbook out of sleep and it was frozen. So I re-booted to get a little mac icon -- i looked it up on my trustworthy Dell and it said essentially that it could not locate the OS. Well this was true because it could not see the hard drive in the disk utility when I tried that -- HECK - if I wanted to re-install the OS -- I couldn't!

So Apple Support on the phone walks me through the typical boot from ROM and try some utility -- but it yielded no error results. So we leave it at -- letting it run through a loop test over night and take it to the Apple Store in the morning. In the night the power cord much have loosened and it died in the testing -- but when I plug it back in and restart -- it all boots up just fine.

I still take it to Apple and the guy gives me some long story about how I need to spend several hundred dollars on Apple Care Protection -- NO! I want my laptop to work as ADVERTISED -- I felt like screaming -- hey 3k on a laptop is a ton of money and it should work in a flawless fashion.

So here I am -- a few weeks later now past 90 days and it happened last night coming out of sleep -- I let it sit for a while and it booted fine an hour later -- then I go to check my email one last time - boot it (not from sleep) and I get the problem icon. Currently it will not boot this morning -- I was up unitl 2 AM trying to get it to work as I have a family to feed and I need a computer to do work.

Look -- I know you guys love macs -- I like them as well -- but mine sucks. I have built dozens of PCs in my day and RARELY have had problem that I could not fix in a matter of minutes -- this thing is having significant problems -- no one can help -- Apple Support is not 24 hours -- the "Genius" people cannot do anything unless they see it.


What can I do at this point -- I would love to get my money back and get a ThinkPad. I am a thirty-something engineer with a MS in Computer Science -- I know what I am doing with computers -- this one is just a lemon and I feel hung out to dry. Not to mention my wife looks at me and cannot believe that I made such a bad purchase.

Oh Yeah -- did I mention the air conditioning in my house is 4.5 years old and needs to be replaced -- SO I am having a TERRIBLE week -- luckily it is under warranty and they will be doing it question-free today. Wish Apple would just do the same. Has anyone taken Apple to court over warranty issues -- I am not about to let this just slide.


So WAIT -- I just got done typing this and tried to boot up my powerbook -- and it magically healed itself AGAIN! So when I take it to the store -- they will not be able to reproduce the problem and so goes my Apple experience over and over.

Padawan 05-20-2004 08:06 AM

Quote:

I just got done typing this and tried to boot up my powerbook -- and it magically healed itself AGAIN! So when I take it to the store -- they will not be able to reproduce the problem and so goes my Apple experience over and over.
Your machine is still covered under warranty, so my suggestion is to get it to the store as soon as you notice the problem again. I'm not defending Apple, but it's tough to expect any manufacturer to replace or repair something if you've been unable to demonstrate the problem. I can understand how frustrating it must be. Just as a suggestion for now, since you've said its working again, I would try a complete reformat and reinstallation of the OS.

starrin 05-20-2004 08:18 AM

Hi -- and thank you for your prompt response:-)

I am passed the 90 days -- by like a week. But the hardware is still under warranty. I have a support case that goes back a month.

I am taking it to the Apple Store today.

However -- does this sound like a software issue if it intermmitently cannot locate the hard drive when it boots or comes out of Sleep?

I was just venting to my wife -- about being up until real late trying to get it to work so I could finish my career-work. We were both saying that a 3k laptop should not just work sometimes but all the time -- if taken care of (of course). This has been my experience with Dell, Gateway, IBM, and HP laptops that I all owned in the past 15 years.

I am just sooooo disappointed at this point -- I also remember the 24 hour support I got from Dell when I was unhappy with battery performance. Not only did they send me a new battery -- but a NEW laptop (over night shipping) because I was within 5 months. I spend significantly more here and I get less service and less help -- atleast this is what it feels like right now. Sorry for the bad attitude -- but this is the first piece of computer hardware I have ever bought and had problems that did not look to be configuration but actual hardware qa issues -- hard to believe if you saw my house:-)

I just want it to work :-(

trpnmonkey41 05-20-2004 10:02 AM

Aside from bringing it to the apple store I have 3 things that might help

1) go to System Preferences - Startup Disk.....And make sure you OS X folder is selected

2) go to Applications - Utilities - Disk Utility......Select your Mac HD and click repair permissions

3) Restart the computer and hold down the Apple & S keys as soon as it starts to boot. When all the Unix mumbo jumbo is done loading type in /sbin/fsck -f and hit enter. If it repairs anything run it again. Once it says the HD is OK type in reboot and hit enter

starrin 05-20-2004 10:41 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the tips -- but none of it works -- the disk utility does not see the hard drive -- it will not boot so i cannot get into the system preferences -- and holding down the apple+s key yields no results just the flashing question mark icon.

I had it actually happen over the phone while speaking to a support person. He could not get it to boot or see the hard drive in a slew of key holding and reboots. So NOW, I have to send it in for service.

This is the most expensive computer I have ever bought and the first computer I have to send in for service because we cannot even reformat the hard drive if we wanted to.

How much you want to bet that it will show up on their site and work fine...so here is what they will do...reformat everything...tell me something looked corrupted...send it back to me....to only happen within 6 weeks again.

At this point, and I don't think I am being unreasonable, I would like one of two things to happen:

1) new unit
2) money back so i can get a ThinkPad

Is anyone familiar with the odds on this actually happening? I read the warranty and they had all sorts of lingo about fixing it with refurbished parts or replacing my unit with a refurbished unit.

The other gripe I have is I cannot believe that I actually considered the Apple Protection Plan -- essentially this is what I have gotten to date and it is not acceptable in my opinion. I emailed a friend who has a business and he only buys ThinkPads due to the excellent quality of service that IBM offers. He mentioned that he had a problem with his modem - they sent him a loaner (overnight) and a box to send in his laptop -- then they reversed the process 2 days later when his modem was fixed.

Now I don't mean to rant but my PowerBook Costs like 1,000 dollars more than a good comparibly equipped ThinkPad -- so what do I get? It sure heck is not quality of service that most would agree is of the calibur of this price premium.

I am just sooooo furious right now...I really would like my money back>:-(


So I am hoping that at some point in the next 24 hours it will boot -- I will make a backup and then send it to them.

Sorry to vent -- but it seems that people should be aware (in forums such as this) what customers are going through and how they are getting their problems addressed or not addressed. I don't wish anyone to buy a laptop for thousands of dollars only to have problems with it.

I am sorry but I feel justified to say that if Apple does not do either one of my options above - that I should either be compensated in some fashion for my inconvenience OR I should just take them to Claims Court and get my money back.

Anyone out there that can console me -- this would be appreciated because I could just scream!

trpnmonkey41 05-20-2004 10:52 AM

I am sorry to hear about your displeasure with the Apple products. Unfortunately I highly doubt you will get a refund although if you argue with somebody in a store or on a phone I think it is a strong possibility that you can get a new unit. Sorry to say that you are in the clear minority when it comes to having problems with your apple computer. A majority of the members on this site and others have not had any problems with their computers and most problems are just simple software fixes. It sounds to me like you just got a bad apple in the supply of the powerbooks

rman 05-20-2004 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by starrin
What can I do at this point -- I would love to get my money back and get a ThinkPad. I am a thirty-something engineer with a MS in Computer Science -- I know what I am doing with computers -- this one is just a lemon and I feel hung out to dry. Not to mention my wife looks at me and cannot believe that I made such a bad purchase.

Starrin, I see this a little differently as per the quote above: You as a engineerng professional know that all man made products fail, no matter who makes it.

From the description you are giving, I see the internal hard drive was in the process of failing. That has happened to me on an IBM Thinkpad and I only had the system 6 months. I have 2 Apple laptops for more than three years with no problems. I am not going to complain about my problem. I am saying that to show that even IBM hardward fails. I know the many years that I have been working in the IT industry, I have see all kind of failures.

Please do not get mad while reading this. :) I know what you want is good techincal support, which I can appreciate and you are not asking a lot for it. :)

I have had problem with my car where I see and hear the problem, but when I take it in to have the dealer resolve the problem, they could not find it. One of my problem was with the rear sway bar that broke. I can hear the popping sound when I pull up in my drive way. Dealer could not find it. I had to drive the service advisor to my house to reveal the problem to him.

In your case the problem showed it ugly head while you were on the phone with Apple support.

What I am hoping for in your case, is that Apple replaces the internal hard drive for you with little to no cost to you. I say this because you have on record the problem. It was brought to Apple attention a month before the hard failure.

Please don't let this be a black eye on your experience with Apple. I am not an Apple representative. I just normally give a company two changes, before I kick them to the curb.

I do believe you have had some bad experiences with the other companys you have mentioned, but that is not the point.

I am starting to ramble now. With all that is said I want you to know that I agree with you that you want the best service that is possible, and no less.

Just a side know, I believe the Apple Genus can across wrong, in that you know he/she is also a salesman (Applecare). :p

The bottom line we the consumer must keep the big business in line.

rman 05-20-2004 11:36 AM

Starrin, I am not attacking you, that is the farest thing in my mind. I know your proble will be resolved. Just push Apple and keep them honest. :)

starrin 05-20-2004 12:44 PM

Thank you all for the advice and experience. I do consider myself lucky by way of electronics as I have never had to send back an electronics purchase - not one that I can think of -- and you should see my dedicated Home Theater:-)

However - as I type this, I have a air conditioner being replaced that is only 4.5 years old -- the whole unit! Luckily it has a 5 year warranty.

I am just a bit disappointed right now due to the level of excitement I had when I made the purchase. Not to mention that Powerbooks just are not cheap. I just would like to see Apple throw me a bone if it is in fact a hardware failure. I do realize that these things do happen -- but there is an amount of inconvenience they cause -- many other manufacturers recognize this and appropriately deal with it.

Extend my warranty
new unit
free software

Anything that makes me feel like Apple really wants the small percentage of clients that deal with these problems -- to feel appreciated for being patient.

I bought my wife a Lexus -- at the top of the list is that they were #1 in Customer satisfaction throughout a 7 year lifecycle of the car by all major publications.

When you go into an Apple Store you get/sense/spoken to/told that you receive top-notch -- or in the case of Dell -- "Award Winning" service.

When I think about it - I walked into the store -- dropped over 3k -- less than 3 months and my hd looks to be toast. Should I not get some sort of bone thrown my way. Or do I just say -- "Yup -- looks like my luck is just really bad with Apple - I best just deal with it" -- I know none of you are saying this but after 4 telephone conversations with Apple Support - 1 trip to the Store -- I just feel there is a lot of shoulder shrugging going on.

I will most definitely let them take it into their hands and analyze the issue(s). The last thing I want to hear is that they reformatted the disk and all looks good -- this tells me they didn't know what the problem was -- so how do they know they fixed it? Based on the amount of information that is given to me once fixed -- I would like to see them extend my warranty a bit longer -- just to make me feel better. If these notebooks are relatively trouble free than why not give me 6 months more -- just to make sure it is working properly? I will take this up with Customer Relations - I will also keep everyone posted as to the outcome of this -- as it may help someone in the future.

Thanks again,

Jason

jerodhusvar 05-20-2004 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by starrin
I will most definitely let them take it into their hands and analyze the issue(s). The last thing I want to hear is that they reformatted the disk and all looks good -- this tells me they didn't know what the problem was -- so how do they know they fixed it? Based on the amount of information that is given to me once fixed -- I would like to see them extend my warranty a bit longer -- just to make me feel better. If these notebooks are relatively trouble free than why not give me 6 months more -- just to make sure it is working properly? I will take this up with Customer Relations - I will also keep everyone posted as to the outcome of this -- as it may help someone in the future.

Thanks again,

Jason

Two things. If they replace a part in the machine under warranty, they will probably extend the warranty on that part.

Secondly, if you're not satisfied with the service you are getting, use www.planetfeedback.com to write a complaint letter to Apple. Most companies take complaint letters very seriously, especially those made on open, public forums on the internet.

jjh

starrin 05-20-2004 01:31 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the link -- was not aware of this resource. I will explain on a call by call basis what my dissapointment and gripe is all about. I like the fact that they offer an area where you can outline what you think the company should do:-)

Again Thank You,

Jason

starrin 05-20-2004 03:33 PM

I just got off the phone with the Apple Customer Relations group -- essentially this was a complete waste of my time. Not only was the guy rather short with me -- but all he did was try to sell the Protection Plan.

I don't get it - at this point I am just darn right ticked off. How is it that anyone who purchases a premium product such as a PowerBook and basicly gets blown off by the Customer Relations. I mean I have bought electronics used on Ebay and had companies support me completely for free even though I have bought it second-hand!

I have to voice my opinion that I think Apple is just not a good customer support/relations group. Now, I do believe once I send it to them -- the problem will be rectified (I hope). But how about my level of inconvenience. How about trying to do something in order to make me feel good about using the product again.

I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I bought something, hard drive goes out, and now I get a hard sell from the Relations dept -- to put MORE money into my problems. I have a better solution -- since the products are so trustworthy and great to use - why not give me the Protection Plan - or discount significantly?

I will point out that the technical staff is very knowledgeable and helpful from what they can do over the phone. (Maybe they should have some sort of remote desktop system that will allow them to operate your computer remotely) -- BUT, the attitude of "well we will fix it and you should happy that we will" is just not right. They are not doing anything that Joe's Computer Shack down the street wouldn't do for me. The fact of it is that they sell laptops at a premium price - they are not the largest kid on the block by any stretch - so they SHOULD be bending over backwards to win the hearts of consumer by way of loyalty.

I will be writing a letter to outline my issues to hopefully someone in Apple Corporate Management (and I will find a way for it to reach their desks) -- heck the issue at this point is not that the computer is dead as I think they will have it fixed -- it is the attitude and lack of service they provide in getting them to recognize, fix, and accomodate the fact that something slipped quality control during manufacturing thus causing me hours of lost time. I just want it to work as advertised - as everyone else says it works. Heck - send me a card - give me a 10 dollar gift certificate - bump my warranty up another 3-6 months. I would just like something to make me feel good about buying this Apple Powerbook. Send me a new unit and a box for the old one -- I can GUARANTEE you I could Dell to this if this was one of their units.

Well - when I get my letter together -- I will share it with you all and who I sent it to.

Sorry to vent but it has been a very long day -- and I feel like all that was accomplished is that I should be soooooooo happy that Apple is sending me a box so I can send my unit to them for at least a week to fix it.

Without a doubt I am soooooo not going to buy an iPod now! Well -- I could easily go broke buying protection plans - automated nightly backup systems on my local network (in case it goes dead again) -- gotta spend time getting my Pentium 3 Dell Notebook (never had a single problem) up to snuff so I can use it while my 3000 dollar Powerbook is in the shop:-(

Again thanks for the feedback -- but I am just dog-tired of this -- knowing what I know now, I would not definitely not have purchased this PowerBook -- I am hoping that this attitude changes over the coming months.

--Jason

rman 05-20-2004 04:06 PM

If you have the names of the individuals that you are having problems with, you should report them. it maybe time for those individuals to look for another field of work.

I am not sure but, I think the warranty is one year. you may want to check on that. I know that mine is long gone.

Strider 05-20-2004 06:51 PM

When someone from apple tries to sell you the protection plan, tell them that you already have protection for 1 year, and that period isn't over yet. Also tell them that if their service is good, you may consider buying the plan later on, but you're not interested in buying it until you have experienced the support they offer. Thats the kind of "IN UR FACE" attitude I take when someone tries to be pushy whilst selling something.

witeshark 05-20-2004 07:10 PM

I have heard of someone asking for a defective unit replacement getting a shipping carton from Apple via Fed Ex. Have you asked for that? Because then they will ship you a replacement I think


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