Another Trip To The Apple Store

Last modified on January 10th, 2010

It seems like I spend a lot of time at the Apple store trying to get things fixed. My current laptop has had the LCD replaced, and the main board twice now. My previous laptop also spent a few visits behind closed doors there as well. Truth be told, in the shower today I was trying to think of any other devices I’ve ever owned that have been in for repair as often, and I can’t think of any. I’ve had each of my cameras in once to the shop, once to repair a cracked LCD (I dropped it), and once for a cleaning. So other than when I drop things or get them dirty, not many of my devices crap out on their own.

While in North Carolina, the power button on my iPhone mysteriously went missing. Looking at what’s left, it appears it’s just glued in with a bit of glue, and that if that glue fails it falls out and goes bye-bye. I talked to John Biehler last night, and he knows of three people who had a similar problem, and the Apple store simply replaced their phones on the spot. So last night I made a genius bar appointment, expecting to walk out with a new phone.

The first problem that occurred was that when the Apple store employee put in my serial number, it came up as a “iPhone 8GB Black” phone. I didn’t notice at first, but it also showed my warranty was up. I took notice when she said it would be a couple hundred dollars to fix the power button on my phone though, to which I replied no way. Anyways, it turns out the serial number on the plastic SIM tray was wrong, so she used the one as reported from the device itself, and that was right.

Anyways, eventually she agreed to warranty the phone and get me a new one. Unfortunately, they are currently out of stock of the iPhone 3GS in my colour and size (like seriously, it’s not like the device just came out and there’s a huge demand — order some more stock so you don’t run out), which means I need to make yet another trip into Vancouver at some point and get a new phone. I’m disappointed that there isn’t a better system for doing this — I offered to have a courier pick it up or something to that effect, but they weren’t willing to budge. It’s obviously a pretty big pain for me to head into the city, especially during any part of the day when there’s traffic on the highway.

Hopefully in about a week I’ll have a brand new iPhone. But truthfully I’m a little tired of spending time in the Apple store, or having them take my computer away for a week or more at a time to fix problems.

9 responses to “Another Trip To The Apple Store”

  1. Dale Mugford says:

    You’re a little rougher than most people on your hardware though, admit it!! (well, at least rougher than I). Apple’s got some delicate stuff, that’s why the 3rd party case/bag accessory companies are a multi-billion dollar a year industry.

    Fair trade I say: a little inconvenience for an $800 replacement. Like to see other companies do that. They didn’t have stock because they won’t give you a ‘new’ one. It’ll be a ‘refreshed’ one, afaik.

  2. Dale Mugford says:

    Addendum: it’s hard to find ‘rugged’ with sleek + stylish anywhere, let alone the electronics world.

  3. Duane Storey says:

    I don’t really agree. It’s not like I dropped the iPhone and the button fell off — it fell off on it’s own because of (most likely) bad manufacturing. That three of John’s friends have suffered the same problem makes me think it’s a problem in the design/manufacturing of the product. It’s at least a three hour round trip for me to the city, which I’ve made once. By the time this is over I will have spent six hours of my time, plus gas and mileage on my car, to ultimately get a replacement for a device that was defective. Sure, I’m glad I’ll get a new device, but I don’t look at it like they’re doing me a favour — they’re just giving a replacement for a device that shouldn’t have fallen apart in the first place.

  4. Duane Storey says:

    Although I do agree I’m a bit harder than most on my gear 🙂

  5. Dale says:

    You’re soooo right that Apple should be reticent and grateful you don’t write a tell-all book on it’s build-quality issues, seriously. They walk a fine class-action line with quite a few products it seems.

    Moving to a more rural area and then complaining about driving into the big city: my friend, you are officially a canadian bumpkin.

  6. Duane Storey says:

    Let me contrast the experience with that of fixing my Canon EOS 40D (which is a $1,500 product, still shy of a $2,500 laptop).

    1) Call the repair centre in Vancouver in the morning
    2) Get a authorization number
    3) Courier package out, same day
    4) Next morning get a call telling me what’s wrong, and get my ok to fix it
    5) End of day product is back with courier, on its way to me
    6) Next day I have my product again

    I’m disappointed that so much of Apple’s system relies on the Apple store, and that they’re completely unwilling to make compromises for the sake of customer happiness. Or, that they take two weeks to repair a business class laptop (the Macbook Pro), and don’t have any loaners around for people. Or that the Vancouver Apple store doesn’t have any stock of iPhones, despite it being one of their most popular products. But hey, if those things are my fault for being in the country, then let me get back to eating oreos and writing my tell all book here.

  7. Kimm says:

    They don’t make things like they use to.

  8. Henrik says:

    Sure thing – Apple could be better at customer service.
    But I’ve had my MacBook Pro for 2 years now, and use it for about 8-10 hours each weekday, and at least 4 hours each weekend. I even dropped it on a hard tiled floor some day. It got a minor dent in one corner. But it has always worked like a charm. No hardware failure, not a single software re-install. Coming from Windows that is huge!

    I have 2 mac minis at home – not a single problem. Ever.

    I’ve had 2 iPhones (3G and 3GS). I use it all day long. I even accidentally left one of them out in the rain once. Not a single issue. Ever.

    Maybe your just plain unlucky?

    But it would be nice if Apple had repair services like i.e. Canon (or Dell for that matter).

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