Apple Hardware Should Be Called Brokenware.

At work, I use a 20in iMac. It’s a very nice machine and until about 10 weeks ago, I was extremely happy with Apple’s customer service, support and hardware. Then the unexpected happened. The iMac started shutting down randomly, mostly when I was in the middle of something important. Now, I usually save pretty often, which is definitely a good idea on any system, but I’m also a fairly quick typist. As a result, a lot can get done between saves.

When the iMac shutdown the first few times, it was obvious that something was wrong. Less than a year old, I decided that hardware was probably not an issue so, I took the disk permissions route. Blackness. Right in the middle of repairing. “OK,” I said, “it’s about time for a reinstall anyway.” One reinstall later. Still blackness. Could it be bad memory? Hardware diagnostic tools run ……………… blackness. Right in the middle of the memory test.

Ahh. Relief. Surely it’s memory related. After finding some memory we knew was good, blackness. Time for Apple to intervene.

What we didn’t know and definitely didn’t expect was horribly crappy service. We take it to a local Apple store. “Without an appointment for drop off, we can’t do anything.” “Well, when we called Apple support, they told us to drop it off at an Apple store.” “We don’t have any room to store it.” Fine.

A few busy weeks go by and we try again. This time with an appointment. Ok great. One week later, our System Administrator goes to pick it up. Now, let me give you a number, $1,000. This number is what we would have been charged, had it been taken 2 weeks later (if the computer were not still under warranty). We didn’t get AppleCare for it. Why should we assume Apple will give us shoddy hardware? Does Dell? Does IBM? Does Sun Microsystems? What is Apple doing here?

Best yet, after replacing the logic board and power supply, they failed to put back (or replace) the AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth modules. Some “Geniuses.” Oh, and even better yet, another system (20in iMac) started doing the same thing…. I love it when stories write themselves.

— 2006-07-19