Mac Enthusiasts Becoming Less Enthusiastic

Photo by Nathan Makan.

Reader Tom sends us an extremely verbose and highly detailed account of his various difficulties with Apple computers. We shudder at the thought of posting this, fearing that Mac Enthusiasts will descend upon Consumerist headquarters with machetes and white firewire cables with little apples on them that they will use to garrote us as we sit typing away. Alas, dissent will not be silenced, and it seems as if Tom has had a hell of a time. Potentially machete-wielding Mac Enthusiasts themselves, Tom and his girlfriend have spent

4,800 in the 4 years since their conversation from PC… on machines that constantly break. Bad luck, or the darker side of Apple? Read Tom’s lament inside.

I came across the site via the iPod story. As a card carrying mac- zealot I’m always in for some Apple gossip andnews. But all my love for Apple design and Apple’s wonderful programs aren’t enough these days to keep ma rage under control.Almost 4 years ago I switched from PC to Mac. It was a joyous day, that kinda compared to the firsttime you madelove to a beautiful lady (without the awkwardness of actually not knowing wat to do). I love my first iBookG3! Icarried it around in a special bag, made sure it was kept clean and all the things. Imagine my surprise when one night my screen goes black. Panic set in! Luckily we have an Apple reseller and authorised repair servicenearby. I bring in the unit and it turns out to be a broken motherboard. It’s replaced under warranty and a few months later I find that I’m not alone ( after I think 3 to 4 weeks the unit comes back during mid terms and just refuses to go to sleep. I bring it in between cramming for Anatomy and Physics and after convincing the sales rep that it’s NOT software related he agrees to take it back in. After 2 weeks I was proven right, the sleep sensor or something was damaged during the repair. They wanna foot me the bill but after some haggling they agree that it’s not my cost to bare.

Now some would think this was the end of it. New MoBo all is fine in Apple town. In it’s medium long life (3 years) it will have 2 other MoBo replacements and a hard drive crash.

About 1,5 – 2 years after getting the iBook G3 I sold it to a friend and got me a shiny new iBook G4. Because it’s new and an Apple it shouldn’t give me any hardware problems, cos the first one was a fluke! it had to be.

Wrong… 4 months in it’s use I get an urgent letter saying I quickly need to replace my battery because it might overhead (this is still pre-Sony times people). I’m thinking FREE battery, so I don’t complain. 1 month after it’s birthday the HD crashes. Now I know laptop HD’s are sensitive and crash prone, but at home we have had
nothing BUT laptops for almost the past 10 years (3 white labels and 3 Sony Vaio’s) and NONE of those laptops EVER had a HD crash and they ware abused instead of the sweet friendly used Apple. Actually all but one still work to this day. One months before finals I run for a repair, costs me

240 and the loss of all my notes (learn to back up folks!)

No when I say I’m a mac zealot I really mean it. During my G3 problems I convinced a roommate to get a freshly released G4. He finds the G4 to be allergic to the inner linings of the slot-drive that sticks out a little bit more every time he ejects a CD. After the replacements, he finds out the “new” drive has a taste for expensive DVD movies and scratches them up really nicely. Brings it in again, gets it back, same problem. Only after 3 destroyed DVD’s and promising he’ll pay for the next repair do they agree to take it back in. Another convinced friend receives his powerbook 12″ with broken display and dead within 12 months mother board. Still my love can’t be stopped and I convince my girl friend to squander all her savings on a Powerbook G4 15″. As I type this the powerbook is
celebrating it’s first birthday in the Apple repair shop after being away from home for 5 weeks and counting for it’s SECOND motherboard replacement due to a faulty power connector. This means that for every week of use, my girlfriends laptop has spent 1 days in repair.

Being well, PO’d and because my girlfriend is bigger then me. I take up the phone to Apple Belgium, who connect me to Apple support in The Netherlands who say they can’t do anything but take note of my complaint. I ask what I can do to actually voice my complaint and get some form of satisfaction. I’m suggested to write via registered mail
to Apple’s International headquarters in Cork Ireland. I collect my best English (I’m a native Dutch/Flemish speaker) and start writing. After 3 weeks no reply (now Ireland isn’t THAT far) so I write a
second letter. Last Friday I finally receive a letter back from Cork in FRENCH?! saying that (and I’m not translating liberally here). “It’s nice to have received your complaint. We are sorry we couldn’t respond sooner to your letter because we actually don’t respond to letters and only handle complaints via phone. So here is your case number and please call us in Ireland so we can see if. Now I’m a student and the 3 calls I made to Apple were pretty pricey enough but I don’t think I can even call internationally on my pre-pay cell
phone card.

Anyway the moral of this pretty long story is that in 4 years, I and my girlfriend bought 3 Apple laptops for a total of

4,800). All died (some even multiple times) almost within a year of use, with lengthy repairs (luckely most in warranty but still these things shouldn’t happen to –frankly– more expensive hardware) and a whole lot of
discomfort. Only to have Apple send me on my marry way in debt at the post office, telecom company and worst of all my mother!

I know this probably doesn’t constitute a story but it sure feels good to voice it somewhere!

Thanks for listening