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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Warranty beef - PowerBook

Warranty beef - PowerBook
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Tommy Peters
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Dec 21, 2006, 07:53 AM
 
Folks, I found this in the letters' column - not a discussion page - of an online portal in a Malaysia, written by a doctor who appears to have a serious beef with Apple. The appendix is complete save for the identity of the writer.

As my passion for Apple is growing and not likely to wane, I look forward to an analysis as to how this will play out and / or how it began in the first place.



"I bought a Mac Powerbook G4 15" laptop in October 2005. It is December 2006 now. In this period of about 14 months, I had practically no access or use of this expensive laptop from July 2006 i.e. about six months.

It has a ‘sleep’ problem - it would just go to sleep any time not when it is only inactive for a specified time. This could happen in the middle of some serious work one is doing. Sometime it boots up and sometime it does not.

I was told that the unit was sent to Singapore for repair. I was further informed that the problem I had was a result of a ‘manufacturing defect’ and that Mac had a special programme to help those with this problem (Warranty Extension Program - Memory Slot - Logic Board Extension Programme). I wonder why a replacement policy for the defective machines was not in place.

I understand that Mac likes to present itself superior to the PC platform. But in my case, I would Apple Computer Inc to consider the following:

* Selling of a defective Powerbook G4 15" puts a question on the standard and quality of a supposedly superior and expensive product by a big corporation.

* No replacement policy, just a repair policy for problems occurring within the warranty period. I submitted my unit for repair two times within the warranty period. This ‘no substitution’ policy for repairs that take a long time leave customers completely helpless. My whole work schedule in relation to the purchase of this high-end Mac laptop was upset. In the end, I could not produce my video report for which this was really bought.

The default one-year warranty period is not clear. I bought the unit on Oct 6, 2005. I would expect the warranty to be over only on Oct 6, 2006. That is one year. But I am told that is not the case and I need to pay for repair and service. A double injustice and unethical practice - selling me a defective product and making me further pay for it.

I hope Apple Computer Inc knows that they need a better way to handle this kind of problems.

As of November this year, the unit is still not repaired. And as of today, I still do not have my Powerbook. Imagine this for a moment - within a period of about 14 months from the date of purchase, I had practically no access to my Powerbook for about six months.

Talk about quality of products, services and ethical practices by a leading computer manufacturer and those who work for it. It is certainly disappointing.

I also like all interested authorities to examine the quality of products and services offered by big corporations such as Apple to unsuspecting consumers. I also like to draw people’s attention to the ethical practices of such corporations and those who carry out business in their name.

Apple’s response policy and practice to purchases by unsuspecting consumers of defective products is most disappointing and unjust. In my case, Mac seem to say: ‘You purchased one of our defective products. Too bad’".
     
mad cow disease
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Dec 21, 2006, 08:24 AM
 
Do a search on these forums and you will find a number of cases where people were not pleased with the service they got from Apple. The vast majority of people, however, I believe are pleased with the service they receive.

The only thing I can say is that when you are dealing with a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds of thousands, if not tens of millions of customers, you won't be able to make everybody happy no matter how hard you try. Some people will fall between the cracks. This isn't a problem with the company per se, just a problem of becoming too big and hulking to be able to make precise, surgical moves.

Sounds like this guy is simply complaining on an online forum instead of complaining to Apple, which is what he should be doing. I wouldn't be able to comment of the specifics without knowing whether he actually tried to contact them. In my experience, most "displeased customers" do nothing and expect the matter to be fixed by itself.

Edit: reading more closely, it seems he didn't try to contact them at all. He says "I hope Apple Computer knows..." if you want to get a company's attention, writing to a BBS isn't the best way to do it.
     
Tommy Peters  (op)
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Dec 21, 2006, 10:14 AM
 
MCD, thank you. Although I'm a little outside to comment at this point, I share your sentiments - but due to the nature of the portal I was unable to parry real-time with the complainant to get a feel of the issue and even if I did, technical matters such as 'kernel panic' for instance, would be greek to me.

Rotten Apple a bad byte - is the link to the letter - [email protected] - is the email to the letters' column. Would you or more experienced forum members crystallize an appropriate response for the benefit of apple users or rather diehards in Malaysia and Singapore ?
     
KidKit
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Dec 25, 2006, 06:41 PM
 
I think there are 2 parts to the good doctor's problems:

Firstly, there is the very real hardware problem with his powerbook. that is unfortunate indeed, but you do get a few lemons, no matter which computer brand you buy. without re-iterating MCD too much, most apple hardware users are pleased with what they get. Can Apple's replacement and recall policies be improved? definitely. During the recent flaming batteries recall, the pains of mac users in asia and countries without apple stores serve to highlight the point. If he is having beef with the poilicies he's facing, he should contact Apple Malaysia (or Singapore if the former doesn't exist)

Related to the above, I believe Apple is only represented by authorised resellers in Malaysia. While I can't speak to the quality of the Malaysian resellers, I've seen the Singapore "Apple Center" in the shopping district (also a reseller). While it is very nice compared to the typical "computer shop" in the region, it is a far cry from the real Apple store experience. I suspect that part of the his woes stem from the return and service policy of the reseller that he is dealing with. After sales support is unfortunately not a strong point with many computer retailers in south east asia. This might be another path he should be chasing down, but it sounds like he has equated both his reseller and hardware experience with Apple.
mavafyipdq
     
ghporter
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Dec 25, 2006, 07:13 PM
 
Apple deals with people of every level of computer expertise. In fact it seems that the least expert are the most likely to come up with some REALLY odd "diagnosis" for their computer's malady. Because of this (and it's true for EVERY technical support issue on EVERY brand in EVERY kind of product), Apple technicians have to do two things.

They first have to do their own tests to determine what's working and not working. This goes by a checklist that Apple sets out in most cases, so even if a tech gets some flash of inspiration, it's usually not used because he has to PROVE his hunch is correct. And the technician cannot do anything beyond what the problem that PRESENTS ON THE BENCH indicates.

The second thing is to research that particular computer. Is the problem it's been brought in for a common one? Has it been brought in for this before? For something else that's related? Just about every customer wants a NEW computer when he or she sees something out of the ordinary, but that's not only not economically feasible, it's not warranted either.

Now, if Apple had KNOWN that YOUR PowerBook was defective before they sold it, they would NOT have sold it. That would be pretty stupid, right? Second, once they found out about a systemic problem with that particular model, they DID come up with a fix-replacing the logic board is replacing the actual works of the computer. Why give you a new computer when only the logic board is bad? It takes a while to install the board, but once it's in, it should work just fine. Further, Apple has a history of doing "the right thing," though some customers think that it takes them an awful long time to figure out what that "right thing" is. There are numerous accounts here of people who had repeat problems with their iBooks, PowerBooks, etc. and once Apple figured out that multiple fixes weren't working, they GAVE THE CUSTOMER A BRAND NEW, CURRENTLY AVAILABLE REPLACEMENT, which means the iBook customer got a MacBook and the PB customer got a MacBook Pro. All due to Apple's intent to keep their products working and their customers satisfied.

So it takes a while. Sorry about that. But they WILL do the right thing by you if you give them the opportunity and don't treat one of the most aggressively pro-customer companies like some bargain basement, stupid, anti-consumer hack shop.

Of course these are my own personal views.

Now, if you stay on top of the people who you gave your malfunctioning computer to so that they stay on top of "the Apple repair system" in your part of the world, you should get current status of what's going on and maybe some extra consideration (they sometimes fix some minor issue or upgrade other stuff when they have to take the machine apart that far) if you are POLITE, CONTROLLED, CONSISTENT AND (very important) PERSISTENT.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
HarriganC
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Dec 26, 2006, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Apple deals with people of every level of computer expertise. In fact it seems that the least expert are the most likely to come up with some REALLY odd "diagnosis" for their computer's malady. Because of this (and it's true for EVERY technical support issue on EVERY brand in EVERY kind of product), Apple technicians have to do two things.

They first have to do their own tests to determine what's working and not working. This goes by a checklist that Apple sets out in most cases, so even if a tech gets some flash of inspiration, it's usually not used because he has to PROVE his hunch is correct. And the technician cannot do anything beyond what the problem that PRESENTS ON THE BENCH indicates.

The second thing is to research that particular computer. Is the problem it's been brought in for a common one? Has it been brought in for this before? For something else that's related? Just about every customer wants a NEW computer when he or she sees something out of the ordinary, but that's not only not economically feasible, it's not warranted either.

Now, if Apple had KNOWN that YOUR PowerBook was defective before they sold it, they would NOT have sold it. That would be pretty stupid, right? Second, once they found out about a systemic problem with that particular model, they DID come up with a fix-replacing the logic board is replacing the actual works of the computer. Why give you a new computer when only the logic board is bad? It takes a while to install the board, but once it's in, it should work just fine. Further, Apple has a history of doing "the right thing," though some customers think that it takes them an awful long time to figure out what that "right thing" is. There are numerous accounts here of people who had repeat problems with their iBooks, PowerBooks, etc. and once Apple figured out that multiple fixes weren't working, they GAVE THE CUSTOMER A BRAND NEW, CURRENTLY AVAILABLE REPLACEMENT, which means the iBook customer got a MacBook and the PB customer got a MacBook Pro. All due to Apple's intent to keep their products working and their customers satisfied.

So it takes a while. Sorry about that. But they WILL do the right thing by you if you give them the opportunity and don't treat one of the most aggressively pro-customer companies like some bargain basement, stupid, anti-consumer hack shop.

Of course these are my own personal views.

Now, if you stay on top of the people who you gave your malfunctioning computer to so that they stay on top of "the Apple repair system" in your part of the world, you should get current status of what's going on and maybe some extra consideration (they sometimes fix some minor issue or upgrade other stuff when they have to take the machine apart that far) if you are POLITE, CONTROLLED, CONSISTENT AND (very important) PERSISTENT.
Even some replaced across product lines.. I had a macbook that had extensive problems and unresolved repairs and replaced it with a brand new MBP after 6mos. of problems.
     
Tommy Peters  (op)
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Jan 3, 2007, 11:23 AM
 
Thank you guys for your insight. Not being able to parry real-time with the complainant in the letters' column of Malaysiakini, I intend to pen an invitation to him to get on board the forum to exchange views, if relevant. Cheers
     
   
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