Apple: We Don't Have A Battery For Your 30GB iPod, So Take This 80GB iPod For Free Instead

Apple couldn’t repair Adrienne’s 30GB iPod before she planned to leave for a cross-country trip, so they decided to give her a brand new 80GB iPod. And since it was a new iPod, they also waived the $70 repair fee.

She writes:

I show up on Friday, surrounded by people with iPhone issues (dude, I’d totally be on that bandwagon if they hadn’t contracted with AT&T, but that’s another story). My personal Genius said yep, you need a new battery and OF COURSE they were completely out of stock. I state, somewhat irately (the first Genius wasn’t really that nice and blamed me for not checking on the stock on Wednesday), that it needed to be done, please call the King of Prussia store – anywhere from here to Delaware – and get me the part and an appointment. He stated that he didn’t have time to help me and grabbed the man who eventually become my Apple Store savior – Dan in the black shirt.

Thank god for black shirt Dan. After hearing my sob story about the stresses of moving across the country (I know – I’m moving to freaking paradise, finally going to grad school, and getting a dog… my life is soooooo tough), he called KOP (who OF COURSE also didn’t have the part). Sensing that I had completely given up hope (literally, head down on my Fat City Reprise purse, completely dejected, and wondering how many times I’d hear Miley Cyrus on shuffle all on my Nano), Dan vowed to figure something out. I expected, I guess, that maybe they would forward my info to the Apple Store in Boulder and hook me up or maybe let me purchase a replacement 30GB (since they no longer sell them) for the price of the repair.

I was offered neither of those options. I saw the Holy Grail of ridiculously amazing customer service.

Since there were no 30GB iPods in stock (OF COURSE!!!), I was going to be given a brand spanking new 80GB iPod for the price of the repair. Holy shit. Insane – I don’t even have enough music to fill that. I looked at Dan and tried to not cry, which freaked him out I think, because he got that “Oh Christ, please don’t freak out” look on his face. I assured him that I was thrilled, just because shit like this doesn’t ever happen to me and I had been super-stressed out. He then made it better by telling me that it would be easier if they charged me nothing. NOTHING.

Because Apple cares about their customers, I got an 80GB iPod for free.

Great work, Apple!

Steve Jobs Knows Customer Service [Randomn3ss]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Adrienne? Going cross-country? Is a Lamborghini and spandex body suits involved?

  2. randombob says:

    Apple’s big and they make mistakes like everyone else, but… This sort of thing is why – even when they do f*ck up – I and many others love the hell out of them.

  3. Wow, nice.

  4. MunkyBoi says:

    Ironically, he probably got spanked for it after the fact. Regardless, Dan in the black shirt is awesome – bravo.

  5. Hongfiately says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: Yes… Yes…! YES!!! Dean and Sammy in the Ferrari close behind. Genius.

    But seriously… Great job Apple.

  6. Leah says:

    excellent! that mirrors the wonderful service I’ve always received at my local apple story (Ann Arbor, MI). They’ve replace various parts of my macbook (power cord, top cover) for free and always on the same day.

  7. LyriCali says:

    Black shirt dan is getting a raise. He just got Apple good publicity on Consumerist.com for the price of a $249.00 iPod. Thank you Consumerist.com for this platform of praise and condemnation. Maybe other companies will follow the example of Apple.

  8. kyle4 says:

    When I bought the iPod touch from Apple.ca and I got it, it looked as if it had been factory tampered with. In fact besides the fingerprints on the screen after I had peeled the tape off was the tiniest piece of food. I called Apple right after I opened it and informed them. I sent it in, they took note, and offered me a few things I could choose from for compensation. One of them (and the one I picked) was a $115 Belkin Tunebase. I was amazed at their service then and still am, and it’s why I’ll continue buying as many Apple products as I do. Nice to see this woman had the same great service as well.

  9. scamps says:

    Wait – they call their store staff “Geniuses”? Awfully pretentious. I’m not calling their staff idiots, I’m referring to the giant ego that seems to come from Apple and many of their customers.

  10. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Dan in the black shirt just changed my feelings about Apple from “would not pee on it if it was on fire” (I just tried to use the f—ed up uninstaller for Quicktime this morning) to “maybe worth a moment’s attention”, and that’s pretty significant for me. (Given that it jumped the intermediate steps of “basically not worth bothering with”, “mostly useless”, “would not miss it if it magically disappeared”, and “just another face in the crowd”.)

  11. goodcow says:

    This isn’t that big of a deal, I’ve had a friend get her iPod replaced with a larger capacity one, no questions asked, just because it was old and the lines at the SoHo store are always long.

  12. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I wish my 30gb Ipod would have issues .. I’d love to have an 80gb!!

  13. …Wait, sorry, I think I drifted off for a second there.

    See, I thought I just read a story about an upset customer that resulted in the customer receiving service above and beyond what they expected… but that’s not possible. Let me read it again.

    Huh. Wowwwwwww! I guess I need to start investing in more Apple products.

    I should probably reserve my sarcasm, I’m not exactly the best person to talk about poor customer service… then again, given my employer many people have low expectations by now. -_-

  14. IphtashuFitz says:

    Show me one other tech company that would willingly choose to resolve a customer problem in a similar way. And if they did, then without hours of haggling, threats, phone calls, etc.

    Wow.

  15. aristan says:

    This is bordering not being above and beyond for Apple. I had a friend who bought a macbook and not a week later it slipped out of her bag and fell down stairs. she was crushed (and so was it).

    She’d bought applecare and so took it back to the apple store and they took one look at it and said there was no way to fix it. Then they asked if there was anything she needed backed up to the new macbook they were giving her as a replacement.

  16. FHJay says:

    @goodcow: I can’t think of a single other company that has done something like this for me, much less anyone else I know. No company has ever gone above and beyond. Besides that, if they do this regularly for customers, like you say, then that makes it even more notable.

  17. seamer says:

    THis is pretty much how Apple’s replacement program works. Don’t have the parts needed for your fix? Upgrade, gratis.

    What makes it different is that the upgrade came from a store – and thus a real person, and not via the snail mail delivery system from some anonymous outsourced monkey.

  18. krispykrink says:

    They’ve done this for me in Feb. with my old Nano. I had AppleCare on it and I guess when it conked out they didn’t have the parts or refurbs to replace, so they called me and asked me to pick a color, black I said. The next day a new black 8GB nano was dropped off by FedEx.

    They’ve also taken care of a fried logicboard in one of my iMac’s that was 2 months past warranty and I had no Apple Care on it. At first it was a dead fan I thought, and asked real nice over the phone and explained that this was my first ever Mac. They agreed to replace the fan, but they discovered that it was the logicboard that was faulty. They repaired it at no cost to me.

  19. drdom says:

    Back earlier in the year, my MacBook which was under warranty had problems. I took it to the Genius, who couldn’t fix it either, and it was sent out for depot servicing. I was about a week away from leaving for a business trip to London. My MacBook, which was promised to me to be back on time somehow got snagged in the system, and it looked like I wouldn’t have it back in time.

    After talking to the store manager, the only thing he could do for me was to give me a new in box MacBook. And since the models had changed since I bought mine, I got an upgrade to the newer, faster, better machine in the bargain.

    Apple is great in most occasions with customer care. But it’s also important not to rant and rave like a lunatic. I’m convinced that as much as they wanted to make things right, they also were in a better position to understand my plight and help me out because I didn’t act like the customer from hell when asking for their help.

  20. goodcow says:

    @FHJay: Personally, my first gen MacBook Pro needed about a half dozen repairs and after writing to Steve Jobs I had a brand new (as in going from a Core1Duo 1.83 to a Core2Duo 2.2) MacBook Pro within 12 hours.

  21. SharkD says:

    @aristan: I call shenanigans, since AppleCare doesn’t cover accidental damage. Doesn’t matter if it’s a week old, or approaching three years — if it’s obvious you broke it, you get charged.

  22. Cupajo says:

    Um, anecdotal evidence does not = “Because Apple cares about their customers”

  23. That’s how things SHOULD always work. I don’t know why businesses don’t get that.

    In the hotel I have authorization to spend up to $1000 to resolve any LEGITIMATE guest complaint. I have never done it but I have comped a suite for the night for a guest.

    Keeping good customers happy is good business should be the second cardinal rule of business.

    The first rule should be keeping your good employees happy because they will be the ones who take care of rule #2.

  24. aristan says:

    @sharkd: Call shenanigans all you want, they replaced it.

  25. Rachacha says:

    @IphtashuFitz: I’ll take that challenge…first there is…no, wait, they steal porn from your machine, OK, how about…wait, no, they fired all of their good sales reps, wait, I know…no, they outsourced all of their customer support overseas, hold on a second…Packard Bell!!! I have not heard a complaint about a Packard Bell PC or PB customer service for years :-)

  26. mattwolff says:

    I have lots of good experiences with Apple, here are a couple.

    Bought a G3 iBook in 2003 and had 2 years of intermittent logic board failures. Every single time my laptop was back to me fixed within 4 days of me calling. Finally it crapped out for a fifth time in the Winter of 2005 and they replaced it with a new G4 iBook, free of charge. That G4 iBook still works to this day.

    Tried to buy a refurb 4GB iPhone from the online store in December of 2007. I had two of those “sorry we dropped the price on the iPhone, early adopter. have $100 credit on us” slips from the two owners of my company who were prone to buying every new shiny gadget that came out. The price of the refurb was $299 so I added it to my cart, put in both credit numbers and then my credit card but it spat back an error saying one of the credits wasn’t valid. Long story short by the time it got straightened out the refurbed iPhone was out of stock and I lost out. By the end of this whole ordeal they offered me a brand new 8GB iPhone for the same price and I ended up getting my iPhone for $99 + tax, expedited shipping gratis.

    I’ve got plenty more, suffice it to say I’m an Apple customer for life. I just couldn’t see myself getting that level of support and service from Dell or HP.

  27. lajoan says:

    I’d like to add that in 10+ years of using Apple products almost exclusively, I have never once had any technical issues. I’ve never had to use their incredible customer service because the products are superior. And, what do my stubborn Windows using friends complain about more than Apple? How bad their computer is and how it never works right. But, will they give Apple a shot? No way, at least, not until 50.1% of the world uses Apple.

  28. FrugalFreak says:

    Awesome Apple! wait……..Know what would be even more great? Let us order and change batteries ourselves. I have yet to buy iPod’s for the fact I refuse to have repair/parts done on something a normal consumer could do with properly designed product and/or battery compartment.

  29. Norislolz says:

    @lajoan: Hackers/trolls have explained at security conventions that Apple has terrible security protocals and processes and that if anybody actually used Apple that they’d completely own them, but for now it’s not worth their time. You better hope that Apple doesn’t get any significant market share.

    Also, what makes the Mac OS easier to use also makes it more limiting. Anybody with half a brain about computers knows that Vista is pretty awesome now (making fun of it is so 2006) and that you can make a Wintel platform just as stable as an Apple product. And hey, at least you can find an upgradeable $1500 desktop Wintel machine…

  30. dropkickqueen says:

    The lovely Apple geniuses at Menlo Park Mall upgraded me to a 60GB video iPod after, no joke, 13 replacements of my 3rd generation 40GB iPod. the hard drive would die, I would get yet another refurbished one, that one would die (the record: one died on the drive home), repeat, repeat, repeat. when I tell people about this experience, they mostly seem baffled that I would stick with iPods, but I have a lot of loyalty to the company because of stories like this one and mine.

  31. PDX909 says:

    I applaud Apple for doing this, I really do. However, it should be noted for the record that the actual manufacturers cost of the new 80G Ipod, is probably in the order of $35-$50. Less than the token repair charge for the old one.

    Ironically, for those interested. the cost of smaller hard drives, such as 20, 30, and 60Gig is now so prohibitively expensive that most companies are replacing units with 80gig units. It’s called economy of scale, and as soon as the 64gig memory chips are economically feasible, we’ll see the disk drive based iPods disappear altogether.

  32. coren says:

    @PDX909: That’s fascinating – how are they producing larger drives in smaller spaces for less cost?

  33. TechnoDestructo says:

    Yr pd txs py fr sch flgrnt rdstrbtns f wlth.

  34. Cocotte says:

    Wow, what’s funny is that I just came by here to look for contact info for apple, so I can tell them why I have to stop buying iPods even though I love them – basically my beloved 80GB 5th generation iPod has been replaced twice in less than two years (always with the excellent customer service, and a new, not repaired, replacement every time). But now the latest one has died AGAIN, less than a year after purchase and with an expired warranty and I have to buy a new one….. and really, I can’t pay that much for a product that seems to have less longevity than a sack of potatoes.
    Does anyone know if there is a contact at Apple to make a complaint about something like this?

  35. t325 says:

    @coren: I think most of it is just supply and demand. Manufacturers are buying the larger capacity hard drives for use in their products, so those are being mass produced in huge numbers, whereas the smaller capacity ones aren’t, so they’re actually more expensive to produce.

    It’s the same reason why a certain replacement part for an older car is sometimes twice as much as the equivalent replacement part for a new car, even though the new one is better in every way. No one’s really making that old model of the part on a large scale anymore so prices are higher

  36. smirkette says:

    A friend of mine had an old Nano that stopped talking to her computer. She brought in her MacBook & the Nano, and was informed that her OS was so old that iTunes wouldn’t work anymore (hence, the source of her problem). So they upgraded her OS free to Tiger and taught her how to back up on her external hard drive (which she had also bought).

    …When did Microsoft, Dell, or Gateway ever upgrade my OS for free when it became obsolete. Oh, um, NEVER?!?

  37. P_Smith says:

    Similar product but unrelated company: I had a Transcend 1GB MP3 player that had a problem with its display screen and the company replaced it with a new one rather than fix it. They didn’t bend over backwards, but they did what they said they would in the time that they promised.

    There was good and bad in that: the new battery lasts longer, but the software in it would no longer play songs in order by filename – the *date* of the files superceded filenames in order of preference. How dumb is that? I ended up having to edit the dates of my entire collection (thus losing all the creation dates of when I ripped them from CD) to get them to play.

    And it still plays directories in random order, despite random being turned off. But since it’s older and I plan to replace it soon, that’s a small annoyance.

  38. P_Smith says:

    @t325: It’s the same reason why a certain replacement part for an older car is sometimes twice as much as the equivalent replacement part for a new car, even though the new one is better in every way. No one’s really making that old model of the part on a large scale anymore so prices are higher

    Yours is a good analogy except for one minor detail: One cannot go down to a computer junkyard and get a replacement part on the cheap as one can with a car junkyard.

  39. Benny Gesserit says:

    @IphtashuFitz: Or, to put it another way, show me a company that gives their employees that much power to solve those problems. If Apple’s attitude had been “give replacements when they pry it from your cold, dead hands”, we wouldn’t have had the happy ending. They obviously give their people “wiggle room” when dealing with problems.

    Adrienne also scored by staying calm (stressed but calm) and civil – especially in light of the first …uh… Genius. Smart gal – calm can often get you good service (and prezzies apparently) while strident gets nada.

    Kudos to her and good luck on the move.

  40. EdnaLegume says:

    Let me know when they stop selling the 80gb… I want an Ipod touch. :)

  41. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @FrugalFreak: I replaced an iPod mini battery with a higher capacity, and while I was in there, took out the 4GB microdrive and put in an 8GB CF card. All it took was 45 minutes and less than $40, now I have an 8GB mini with no moving parts.
    It’s not that difficult, but you do have to exercise caution.

    @Norislolz: Anyone with half a brain would know better than to make the ridiculous claim that Vista is ‘pretty awesome.’ Especially to cite Intel…[bits.blogs.nytimes.com] …I would have to think the IT people at Intel might be a bit more tech-savvy, perhaps?

  42. JN33 says:

    A few years ago,I had issues with my 15gb iPod and when I returned it for service (1-2 weeks out of warranty), they replaced the unit with a whole new 30gb Pod. I don’t think they keep old stuff around waiting for you to come in, they just replace with the next model up the food chain. I’ve had no issues with the folks manning the Genius Bar.

  43. t325 says:

    @P_Smith: Yes you can. It’s called eBay ;)

    But the analogy works if you want to replace it with a new part, because you won’t find a new part at a junkyard either

  44. woot says:

    My latest Apple experience was last week when my iPhone started acting up. Basically, whenever a keyboard was displayed the key-presses registered the wrong keys. Although it was out of warranty, the Apple Store replaced it with a brand new one, free of charge, and offered an apology for the problem (an apology costs nothing, but it’s nice to hear).

    Next to me at the store was someone that had dropped their laptop and broken it. Even though it was accidental damage, which isn’t covered by warranty or AppleCare, it was also replaced free of charge.

    Apple employees seem very empowered to RESOLVE problems in a very reasonable, person-to-person, way rather than being limited to slavishly follow the letter of the warranty.

    Every time I deal with them, they go up in my estimation. Amazing, but also smart – most of my friends and family now use more Apple products because they appreciate the above-and-beyond care they show for their customers. Despite this apparently profit-depleting policy, Apple have record results. Just shows that looking after your customers pays huge dividends. I wish more companies would learn that lesson.

  45. seismic007 says:

    Despite the often deserved press about secrecy, lack of concern for early adopters, etc., the folks at the Apple Store repeatedly put the shine back on the Apple. For those who haven’t visited a Genius Bar recently, take a field trip: Genius Bars are madhouses of activity, with most customers either frantic or frustrated. I’ve watched them multi-task across several customers at the same time, keeping their cool, and actually helping the customer. If I’m angry when i go in for a Genius Bar appointment, I’m not when I come out. Kudos to the folks who work there. I’m sure there are a few exceptions here and there, but for the most part these folks ARE the true image of Apple.

  46. tmed says:

    I had a similar experience with Apple. After sending a 60gb iPod back for warranty service because Apple had sent me a replacement with dust under the screen. Apple said don’t bother sending it back again, we’re overnighting you a new 80gb.

    There are screw-ups there, but they have someone empowered to fix things as well.

  47. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Bravo, Apple!

  48. SegamanXero says:

    although, my story was at a third party apple certified repair shop…
    I had a ibook G4, and someone broke my LCD screen on it. the guy fixed it for me no problem within a few days. in the 2 weeks I was saving up money to pick it up… he installed MS-office and upgraded me to tiger for free. talk about awesomeness!

    I guess that doesnt count though, as that was not a apple store… but a certified apple reseller and repair shop…

  49. rekoil says:

    Honestly, I think the moral of the story is “you get what you pay for”. Since Apple’s margins on their merchandise tend to be so much fatter than the competition’s, they can much more easily afford to handle support issues in ways that cost the company more, but tend to make for much more satisfactory customer experiences, which leads to repeat business, etc.

    If Apple charged $100 less for an iPod, or $500 less for their laptops, they probably would be just as tight with returns as the competition, and Apple support would resemble “Dell Hell” much more closely.

  50. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: “Well, hello there, Hotpants! Now, you wouldn’t happen to have a new 80G iPod tucked down in there, would you? “

  51. nicklogan says:

    Being from a PC background I was pleasantly surprised that apple would do such great things. I guess this is why they have such a good following. Even if their products fail they do a decent job of support/customer service, its nice to see a company actually be nice for the consumers and not the corporate fat cats.

  52. 404notfound1 says:

    I have had great experiences with Apple as well. Bought a MacBook when they first came out (the middle-tier version). Had problems with it immediately. Took it to the apple store, and they couldn’t fix it. Because they had no comparable models in stock, they gave me a high-end black version without charging me extra. Nice to see they’re continuing with such excellent customer service.

  53. cabinaero says:

    @sharkd: Aristan’s story seems out of the norm, but Apple’s also been known to fix damaged parts in the process of unrelated repairs. I had to have a hard drive replaced in a PowerBook G4 and they also swapped out a dented bottom case and replaced the palm rest because the finish was worn.

  54. dougkern says:

    What’s most shocking about this story is the fact that this girl considers Boulder, CO “freaking paradise.”

  55. Coles_Law says:

    @rekoil: Excellent point. The extra cost of Apple products pays for this kind of service. It’s clear people are willing to pay the premium for this kind of service.

  56. Sirski says:

    While I’m now a Macbook user, not many years back I had a Dell PC. I had ‘configured’ the thing with the most ass-kicking sound card and speakers Dell had available, and was using it as my main music player in my small apartment. One morning, just shy of a year into pushing it’s limits consistently, no sound. A call to Dell got me a new card in 2 days, via courier, and a talk through on replacing it. No fix. Another call, another card, same result, so they sent me a technician who spent 1.5 hours on the machine, swapping card AND motherboard. Still no fix. I was months past the the unit replacement cut-off on my warranty, but a whole new system arrived (monitor, speakers, everything) when they could not fix the problem, all within 8 days of my original call. It wasn’t an upgrade, but the whole experience was simple and satisfying and well above and beyond the written agreement I had with Dell.

  57. Cocotte says:

    Seems from many stories here that out-of-warranty issues still sometimes get great service (and replacements). There’s a brand new Apple store in my city and I guess I’ll try bringing my sack-of-potatoes iPod there and see what happens.

  58. SuperAdge says:

    I’m the Adrienne in question here… glad to hear that so many people had experiences comparable to mine! I worked in retail the past couple years, so have been on both sides of the customer service equation. I’ve learned that if you keep your cool, you can usually get what you need, if not more than that. And yes – their profit margins are already huge at Apple (so one iPod is not a huge sacrifice) but now they have a customer who will undoubtedly contribute from here on out.

    I still think it’s pretty damn cool of them to help my ass out before I leave (tonight).

    And I’m down with the spandex, but I don’t think my Acura passes for an Italian performance car :).

  59. itsgene says:

    I always see this level of service at Apple stores with iPods and iPhones — it is obviously quicker and cheaper to swap out these devices than, say, a laptop or iMac.
    This policy is paying huge dividends; customers are instantly satisfied and happy. As a previous commenter noted, Apple tends to empower its employees to make things right for the customer, unlike most companies that put strict, unfriendly policies in place and make employees stick to the letter of the law. This is a simple thing but it pays off big in customer loyalty.

  60. ugly says:

    @Cocotte: You don’t by chance live in Vancouver do you?

    It almost makes me wish one of my various iPods had broken. The closest I have to a busted iPod is my 6GB mini that now has < 1 hour of battery time. Fortunately it just stays in the dock now.

  61. camille_javal says:

    @sharkd: They’re not supposed to, but it happens. My wrist-rest on my macbook was cracked, and I was prepared to have to pay to have the case replaced – not only was I not charged, but because I dropped it off at the 5th Ave 24-hour store (late on a Sunday afternoon), it was ready the next morning.

  62. Cocotte says:

    @ugly: Nope, other side of the country. But I’m happy to say that I called 1-800-apple today and the guy was amazing; he’s made a file and will call me up tomorrow to put me in touch with customer relations who he says will almost certainly help me out, ’cause he agrees that 3 dead iPods in less than two years is crazy even if I’m out of warranty. Apple ftw yet again.

  63. flipx says:

    Clapping and fireworks. Apple is on the right track treat your customers right and they will be back and with there friends.How many people will read the article and think well maybe Apple next time as I have heard a lot of good press on them and wow they did not have to give a 80 out nice bunch.

  64. rolla says:

    dont worry…the new ipod will fail soon too.

  65. Cocotte says:

    @rolla: Meanie!

  66. David in Brasil says:

    Not a troll, but, well, my mileage varies from yours. I purchased an Apple laptop a few years ago for well over twice what a comparable Windows machine would be. It crashed more often than the Wright Bros. Right in the middle of running MS Office, I’d get total, catastrophic crashes that left just a carat ( > ) on the screen. After 6 months of this crap, I went back to Windows, as it was more stable. Too bad, as the computer hardware was beautiful. Sure, I have problems with Windows like everyone else, but I’ll never gamble thousands of $$$ again on other people’s say-so. It Just Didn’t Work.

  67. simonster says:

    I am usually a pretty big Apple fan, but I want to report my experience here so that people don’t assume that Apple’s service is always great, since it’s not.

    I sent in my PowerBook to get it fixed, because it was covered under AppleCare at the time and the HD had started acting up. They refused to repair it because, 1.5 YEARS before, I had dropped it while turned off, and they insisted that this meant that the HD failure was accidental damage not covered under warranty. The Genius said he wouldn’t do anything, despite that I knew several people who’d also had HD failures, and the high failure rates of well-used notebook drives are well-known to the people where I work (and probably part of Apple’s reason for adding the sudden motion sensor). I found it extremely disappointing that Apple’s policy seemed to be, drop your laptop once, void your 3 years of AppleCare coverage.

    Luckily, the Apple techs at my college know me, and were perfectly willing to replace the drive. Apple has these guys to thank that I’m still a customer. While I really like Apple’s products, and I wouldn’t have gotten all worked up if I actually believed the HD failure was related to the drop, paying $300 for additional warranty coverage and being refused service for a <$300 repair because my case was dented is not really acceptable.

    I now have a new MacBook Pro, but with third-party insurance. I’m never buying AppleCare again.

  68. phil28 says:

    My experience with Apple has always been excellent, particularly in their stores. They have a bias to please. One time the manager said we won’t let me leave the store until I was satisfied.

    Now as a public service for those that like to take the other side to every argument here, you can use these blogging points

    - but it was the customer’s fault. Why should they replace it? If they replace it for you then they should replace it for everyone.

    - Do you know that by replacing your iPod and others’ computers that their costs go up and everyone else will pay a higher price for new Apple products?

    - They should replace it, It’s overpriced to begin with.

  69. Petra says:

    It just goes to show you how successful a company can be when they actually care about their customers, and want to KEEP their customers as well! Bravo, Apple. Bravo.

    And @simonster, I think it’s safe to say that everyone is aware that there is no perfect company with a 100% satisfaction record. I’m sorry you had such a poor experience with Applecare (I have never had to use mine, thankfully), but glad that your local Apple guys were there to help!

  70. ninjatoddler says:

    Ah I need to buy a new iPod also.

  71. Meathamper says:

    This is a rare thing. A company that goes above and beyond. I hope more companies do this. No, wait. Then that means Consumerist will have no reason to exist.

    Crap new layout, by the way Consumerist.

  72. audemars says:

    i <3 apple. when my harddrive died on my macbook that was well out of warranty, not under apple care, all that jazz…they just charged me (relatively cheaply) for the replacement part. I was more concerned with being hit with some $80 repair fee, plus labor, plus all the other crap places like best buy tack on…nope, there was one low fee for my new (bigger) hard drive, i brought it in at the end of the day after i got off work, they called me the same night and told me it was ready for me to pick up in the morning.

    not a free ipod, but i was still quite impressed. and people mock me for being an apple fanboy, i’ll take my macbook, imac, and ipods over anything from dell, hp, toshiba, or sony any day.

  73. dumanue says:

    I wish your stories can inspire my freaking apple store…

    I need to fix my MacBook Pro, DVD drive is messed up and the laptop itself is slightly bent thanks to some retarded friend who was tossing my backpack with my laptop in it up and down, and suddenly, oopsy, backpack drops to the ground = dented laptop :(

    any chances of me getting a replacement brand spanking new MacBook Pro? /wish

  74. chirag says:

    Well, other companies do it routinely I think. So why is it a big deal if Apple does it?

    I had a Canon S1 camera (cost me USD 430 or so) which I bought in 2004 in the US. 4 years later the camera conked off. (the LCD screen went on a blink). And Canon simply replaced it in India (where I am right now) with a brand new S5

    My camera was out of warranty and had no service plan and it was replaced in a different country free of charge.
    ([chirag.patnaiks.in])

    Now, That! is customer service.

  75. SharkD says:

    @aristan: It’s not that it’s impossible, it’s just not likely, and I don’t want people have to unrealisticly high expectations. However, exceeding expectations, especially by surprise, is Apple’s modus operandi.

  76. abernie says:

    when my husband’s ipod video went tits up apple wouldn’t do anything because it a had a frownie face when you turned it on. the only thing they offered up was 20% off a new one which would have only been $20 at the time. we also had to turn in our old one to get the discount. it all seemed like a scam to us so we decided to pass. i doubt i will even buy another ipod knowing its just going to break in 2 years or less.

  77. Squints says:

    Uhm, is this good? I can’t tell. I mean, sure you got all that extra storage, but now Apple is going to charge you for the new data plan, right? So they got you to buy the higher-priced phone, and now have you using the lower-priced phone with a higher-priced data plan.

  78. Cocotte says:

    As a followup on my perpetually dying out-of-warranty iPod, I just got off the phone with my customer service rep and the customer relations rep he hooked me up with, and they are giving me free parts, repairs and shipping for the currently ailing one. Yay! And thanks to the folks here who shared stories about out-of-warranty service by Apple as I would never have thought to phone them otherwise.

  79. theBIG says:

    I have a Macbook pro that I bought – refurbished 2 years ago. I had a couple of problems with the charger, one charger went out – Apple replaced it, then I noticed some rusty looking stuff on the receptacle on the actual machine. Apple replaced the part – for free out of warranty (by like 3 months). Then it stopped charging again (this time it is out of warranty by a full year). I called Apple, and they sent me a kick ass new MBP – no charge and a HUGE upgrade from core duo to core2 duo, from and 80gb hard drive to a 200gb hard drive, etc…

    I couldnt be happier with my experiences with Apple. Serious. Customer. Service.

  80. .Trenchant. says:

    Apple wants $364 to “repair” my 30GB iPod Photo. FANTASTIC customer service.

  81. WoodwardWorm says:

    This is NOTHING. My friend had an apple g4 tower that broke a ram slot, and since it was vintage but still under full warranty they couldn’t fix it and instead replaced it with a TOP OF THE LINE MAC PRO. I’m not talking the basic model, I’m talking dual quad core xeon processors, the best graphics card option, 4gb of ram, and 1.5 TB of hard drive space. He didn’t even ASK for it, they just decided to give him over 4000 dollars of hardware in exchange for his old tower he was using for an itunes server. It’s true that you pay a premium for apple products, but their warranties are worth the weight of the computer in gold and they will always take care of you.