Apple Urges You To "Take At Least Some Responsibility" For Your Defective iBook

Awhile back we posted a letter from a guy whose claim on a defective iBook G3 Logic Board repair was “9 months too late” and was denied by Apple. He wrote Steve Jobs and the Apple Executive Support team agreed to repair the defective unit under the “Extended iBook Logic Board Repair Program.”

Our reader was really happy and so were we. Sadly, it turns out that Apple has stopped repairing these defective computers—even if you write Steve Jobs. Reader Mark has the same problem as our previous reader, but was told by Apple Executive Customer Support that they would not fix his defective computer because: “It was covered, but now is not covered, because at some point, the consumer has to take at least some responsibility.”

We were under the impression that Apple was repairing these defective computers because people were resorting to lighting them on fire to fix them. Yes, really.

Mark writes:

Hello! My name is Mark, and I’ve been an avid Consumerist reader for quite some time. It’s helped me through many a customer service crisis. Now I’m kinda hoping you guys might be able to help me pull one off.

Basically, my story is the same as this guy. Same exact model G3. Everything. I called/emailed Steve Jobs and Executive Customer Service and got my call back today. Hoping to hear angels singing as they made all my problems go away, I was shot down. “No,” they said. “It was covered, but now is not covered, because at some point, the consumer has to take at least some responsibility.” “I’m not seeing any previous related issues with this serial, so I can’t help you.” I attempted to explain to him that’s because it you know, worked, before. But to no avail. He did give me his direct contact info so I could call him back.

So now I’m at a bit of a brick wall. I have his contact info, but I’m not sure what else. I think I have a case of the Jerk Rep on this one, but It’s not as easy as hanging up and calling again at this point, ya know. I mentioned the consumerist story, that I was having the exact same issue, but he said there is no way he can verify that or that that machine hadn’t had another issue.

He also attached his original letter to Steve Jobs.

Extension Request: Logic Board Malfunction on iBook G3

Dear Mr. Jobs,

Hello! My name is Mark [redacted] and my wife and I have been proud owners of an iBook G3 for some years now. One of our favorite things to do is check blogs in bed, her on her little G3, and I on my computer. Last night, though, was a different story. I came home late from my job at 11pm like usual, hugged my wife, sat down to talk about our day, you know, the usual. That’s when she opened up her Mac and noticed the strange lines and flickering occurring on-screen. We tried rebooting, to no avail. We did if however that if you tap on the left side of the case, it would make the blank screen go away and show the lines again. This to me screamed video card issue, or something like it.

So today (Sept 19, 2007) I had my wife go to the Apple Store at Rockingham Mall in Salem, NH and have a Genius take a look. Said Genius told her that it was a bad logic board, and that it would be 600 dollars to replace it. Now, we’re newly married, and 600 dollars is more than both our cars cost, and is also nearly one months rent. So she said we couldn’t and we both thought that was the end.

But while on lunch break at work, I did a little research. Apparently, there was a big iBook G3 recall/program a few years a back ( http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/ ). Sure enough, my serial (UV3228GXPS1) fell in the range of affected machines. I gave Apple Customer Service a call, having heard only good things. The first time I was told to call back with a serial number and I would be helped. The second time I was told that there was nothing Apple could do for me. I didn’t have Apple Care, so I didn’t really matter. Keep in mind none of these reps even told me about the existence, past or present, of any “program.” It wasn’t until my 3rd try that I found out about that little tidbit of information. A fourth call later on, newly armed with details of the logic board replacement progam, didn’t help a lot more. I was told by the CSR that I needed to find an Authorizes Apple Service Center, not an Apple Store, and have them do it. Which is not free, and thusly not really an option.Finally, I found a glimmer of hope in a story I found where someone had the same issue I did, and had it resolved, via this e-mail address ( https://consumerist.com/consumer/apple/apple-executive-customer-support-fills-you-with-joy-273709.php). I can only hope this will do the same for me. My event ID for what I assume is for all of those calls is [redacted].

What I would like you to help with is simple. I’d like to be able to get my logic board replaced, free of charge. It’s an existing hardware issue that is widely known of and not something I caused, and paying 600 dollars is just too much. I know that the “program” just ended, but it would seem that that deadline has been waived for many others. If you could do the same for me, I would be very grateful.

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Apple Executive Customer Support Fills You With Joy
(Photo:Amy Adoyzie)