Mac Update: The Saga Continues

So much for Apple offering the “Perfect End-User Experience”. I just got off of a 40 minute call with two different CSR’s at AppleCare. The reason for my call was because my PowerBook was now listed as “Case Closed, Returning to Customer” and I was curious to see how it went. For those of you that don’t remember, I had a wobble, a non-flush sitting battery, an excessive amount of heat, and a heat-related crash. When I spoke to the first CSR – his job is to report the status of computer repairs – he told me that “They tested it, but couldnt find a problem. They put the PowerBook to sleep for an hour and let it charge, but it didnt get hot. When I exclaimed, Thats not why I sent it in! and the CSR replied, Yes it was! I then requested a manager, because this needed to be escalated.

I sat on hold for 10 minutes while the first CSR got me a CSR manager on the line. When she picked up, she asked me what the trouble was. I explained to her my problems, and she followed it along well enough – I thought was getting through to some finally! When she was had taken in all of the information, I then told her that it was reported as being sent back to me, but they couldnt reproduce the problem. Which problem, though? The heat? The wobble? The gap of the battery? I went on to tell her that they misdiagnosed the problem, because I never said I had a sleep related heat generating problem – I had heat generated whenever I used the AC adapter or used the pBook at full CPU power. I concluded with the fact that it got so hot that I noticed that it started to melt the CoolPad I usually used it on – the originally rounded gumdrop stand bumpers were beginning to get a bit flat and there were now little white spots being left on the bottom of the PowerBook from it when I took it off of it.

She put me on hold for another 15 minutes, as she spoke to some engineers. When she returned, she told me that the engineers said they tested it thoroughly but there didnt seem to be anything wrong. She also wanted to know how bad the wobble was – was it only like a piece of paper could go under it or was it bad? I told her that you needed two credit cards to balance it, so it made it a pain to type on it. [I mean what the hell is this about? It wobbles! I have to quantify it because I spent all this money on the thing and I like sending it in for repair???] She then told me that when I got it back, I should take it to a service center, so that a local technician could look at it and take care of it. [Whoa. Wait a minute.] Im paying $249 for the next three years so that I’m covered by AppleCare and now I’m told I have to schlep myself to the Apple store, which is 40 miles away at Westfarms Mall? She told me that if I could bring the unit there, the managers had the ability to replace it. When I told her that I spoke to them, before sending it in to AppleCare, they told me that since I didnt buy it from the Apple store, they could swap it out. She said that they had the ability to expedite a repair. I reminded her that I had just sent it into be expedited on my own so why would I have to get extra help? They didnt diagnose it with the right problem – either because the original CSR’s screwed up or they didn’t follow the CSR’s directions, I don’t know – and it was being sent back to me, unfixed, but now I had to go and find a repair center?

She was about to say something else but I stopped her; I had had enough. Tis was no longer just about the heat – this was now about how badly I was being jerked around by CS and I’m pretty pissed about it. I told her that I have a serious problem now. Now, I’m being seriously inconvenienced and I’m an unsatisfied customer. Ive been without the machine for a week now. Im using a backup old Sony to get my work done. Im a programmer, an author and a part time professor [granted Im not teaching this semester, but still I should be in the fall again] and I needed my notebook back and I definately need it to not melt any of the plastic stuff I keep near it while lying level on a table top. I was being extremely inconvenienced now and I need this problem fix because I didnt spend $2500 for a refurbished machine, which is what I was ending up with. She gave me a rather vague, Oh, this was an educational purchase? I told her that CompUSA sold it to me as a retail purchase, but yes, I got an educational discount from them, because I taught at an affiliated university. She said, Oh! Let me go talk to the educational people. If youre a professor, I need to talk to them. Let me call you back, and she scooted off the phone.

Why is it that my feet now itch from the upcoming chaos that I see on the horizon? I just want my damned PowerBook back!


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