Can You Accuse A Mac Genius Of Malpractice?

Ryan writes that an Apple retail store’s Genius declared his MacBook Pro dead: the required logic board replacement would have cost more than a new computer. So Ryan moved on, and sold his old MacBook for parts. Only it turned out that the Genius misdiagnosed Ryan’s computer. The logic board was fine, and the real cause of his computer’s failure was an inexpensive-to-replace bad stick of RAM. Ryan dropped two grand on a new computer for no reason.

A few weeks ago I woke up to find my Macbook Pro dead, wouldn’t turn on. I did what I normally do, made an appointment at a retail store, and brought it in. The genius who helped me diagnosed the problem brought the computer in the back to see what was up. He brought it back saying that the the error indicated a problem with the RAM, but the RAM checked out fine, indicating my logic board was dead. Even though I had AppleCare, the logic board repair would not be covered because of a small dent on the edge of the computer (this dent happened almost a year ago). Knowing full well Apple’s policy about physical damage, and accepting my fate, I asked … what next. He informed me the logic board repair would be in the $1,500 range, and that I was better off selling it to a repair place for parts, as the computer was “totaled” for all intents and purposes. He said I could get decent money for the working parts, and put that towards a new computer.

This is where things get interesting. I sold my computer for decent money at a repair shop, and put the money towards a new computer. I got a call a short time later informing me that my Logic Board was fine, and that the only problem was a bad stick of RAM. This blew me away, the only thing that was wrong was the one thing that Apple had “checked out” and told me working properly. I had taken the Genius’ advice and sold my “broken” computer to help pay for a new one. I couldn’t get my computer back, the repair shop was only telling me so I could maybe talk to Apple.

After explaining my situation to AppleCare ad nauseum, every person I talked to admitted that I was given faulty information, but that all that they can do for me is offer me a 10% coupon. This is completely unacceptable to me. The woman I talked to (for HOURS) said her hands were tied, and thats all that can be done. I’m not asking Apple to write cut me a check, I’m just asking for some kind of compensation for what ended up being a $2,000 mistake on their part. I am hesitant to go into the store and raise hell, I don’t have any ill feelings towards the genius, it was probably a simple mistake, and getting him in trouble doesn’t help my situation any.

Try at least calling the manager of the Apple Store where this happened: you don’t want to get the Genius in trouble, but the store should know that they have either malfunctioning diagnostic equipment or an employee in need of more training. The Consumerist company directory gives you handy contact information for people at Apple who are higher up in the company and might be able to help. People have had good luck e-mailing Steve Jobs (sjobs@apple.com). Who knows…maybe he might take a break from answering iPhone antenna complaints and answer your message himself.