Here’s a reason not to buy a Mac: Apple’s service, at least how I’ve just experienced it.
On Friday afternoon, I closed my MacBook Pro and went out to run errands. When I got home and opened the computer’s cover, I found that it had not gone to sleep, and that, while it was still running, the screen was dark. That is, as we say, not good. I connected an external display, and nothing appeared there either.
Since the computer was still running, I connected the backup drive and gave Time Machine the time to take another backup. Then I forced a power down. When I powered it back up, I got the “happy chord”, and the computer appeared to start (judging from the sound of the disk drive), but still no video, either on the laptop’s screen or on the external display. Sigh.
On Saturday I made a Monday appointment with the Genius desk at the local Apple store.
My experience at the Apple store was a good one; it was very busy, of course, given the time of year, and I got there early and waited. They thought they might get me in early, and that didn’t happen, but someone was available to see me just a few minutes after my appointment time. Nice. That isn’t the problem — and I’ll stress that the folks at the store were all great.
The technician ran a test or two, and decided, as I expected, that the computer needed to be sent back for a logic-board replacement. It would be $300 — not bad, I thought — but it would take seven to ten business days. I’ll have to be without a computer for two weeks. No loaners nor rentals available. And, they might wipe the hard drive, even though that has nothing to do with the problem. (I have a backup, as I said, but it’ll still be inconvenient to have to use it, and there’s always the danger of problems with the backup. Of course, most likely they’re just covering themselves, and that the disk will not actually be messed with. But see below.)
I appear to have no better option, so I went with it. They’ll ship it back to the store or directly back to me, but they’ll use FedEx for the latter, so, given the problems I’ve had with FedEx delivery, I had them send it back to the store.
With IBM (now Lenovo) systems, I had much better service, with two options:
- They would express a refurbished replacement machine to me, without memory or hard drive. I would move the memory and hard drive from my broken machine into the replacement, put the old machine into the same box, and return it, using the pre-paid label they included. Perfect, and I’d get the box the day after I called, if I called in the morning. Almost no down time.
- For less expense, I could remove the hard drive from my laptop and express it to them. They’d repair or replace it, at their option (in the latter case, with a refurbished machine), and express it back, with a turnaround of three to five business days — twice as fast as Apple is offering.
And in both cases, the hard drive never leaves my hands, so it can’t be damaged, erased... or copied.
When you depend on a computer, as I do, the difference is significant, and will certainly matter when I’m looking for my next laptop.