Apple Whisks Defective iPad Away, Leaving Me Without One

The problem with having the latest, shiniest, newest gadgets is that when something goes wrong and that shiny gadget sells out, there aren’t any others to exchange it for. That seems to be what happened to Nicholas, who bought an iPad 2 at Target, and shipped it off to Apple after had screen problems after only a few hours of use.

I bought an iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi (Black) from a Target near me on Monday, March 21. I enjoyed using it that night, but then the next morning I noticed two problems with my iPad. There was a dead pixel in the center of the screen, causing an annoying black spot to be visible whenever viewing anything white/brightly colored. In addition, when watching a Netflix movie on the device I noticed that the backlight bled on the top and bottom of the display where the black bars were; this was in normal room lighting under default brightness. Clearly, screen problems on a $499 device that is all about the screen are not okay.

I then called Target that morning, Tuesday, March 22, hoping that I could get it swapped out. The person at Target told me that they didn’t have any more in and it could be weeks before they got new ones in. I would have then just gone to an Apple Store and swapped the iPad out for a new one, but there are no Apple Stores at all in Arkansas. I ended up having to call Apple and explain the problem with the iPad. The lady had told me that I could send it in and they would either fix it or replace it, even with free shipping both ways. I agreed, and she told me that it would take about 5 business days after they receive it to send a new one.

I sent in the iPad that day, March 22, and Apple received it on Wednesday, March 23. That evening I checked the online repair status and it had already been updated to “Product replacement pending.” Well, today, Wednesday, April 6, it is still stuck on pending! I called them and they said it could take another week or even longer. I was told 5 business days at most, but clearly that didn’t happen. So, I’ve been without an iPad, which I had only used for a few hours, for two full weeks and counting. No one has been able to help me; I can’t believe it’s taking this long. I guess paying so much for the product still doesn’t mean you get great support…

Poor, gadgetless Nick isn’t the only one whose iPad 2 has display issues: the site Cult of Mac went as far as to warn readers not to return units with the issue until Apple fixes it and stops producing as many defective iPads.