I Love (Hate) Apple

I’m a huge fan of the Macintosh, the iPod and Apple’s incredible design sensibilities and well-integrated products. I’ve probably owned at least a dozen macs in my life, starting in 1989 with a 512K Mac SE with a 20 meg hard drive. In general I appreciate Apple’s products almost as much as Mark Morford at SF Gate, who somehow manages to fit the word vulva into his review of the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo.

The day the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro was announced, I bought one. My old 17″ Powerbook G4 had been on its last legs for months (dropping it in the airport security line that one time didn’t help), and in an unusual act of gadget-lust self control, I had managed to wait until the long-rumored Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro was announced.

This is where my love story turns into a hate story.

Upon unboxing the machine (maxed out with 3GB RAM and a 200GB hard drive) and booting it up, instead of hearing the mellifluous and familiar Mac startup chime, I heard loud and nasty static. Any time the mac tried to produce sound, it instead produced static. The headphone jack worked fine, but the speakers were kaput. So I took it to the Apple Store and they informed me that I could not simply exchange it for a new one since I got the build-to-order option. That will teach me to buy a top-of-the-line machine from Apple.

So I made my appointment at the Genius Bar and used my Apple ProCare membership to get an appointment the next day. After some time at the counter, they determined they could not fixed it locally and had to send it out. Since I am a ProCare member, I was entitled to “priority” service.

Guess what? I handed over my lovely new MacBook Pro to the Apple Store on Saturday, November 4th. Today it is November 17th. And my new laptop still has not been returned. So much for the “value” that Apple ProCare offers. Lucky for me, my old PB G4 17″ is still working so I’m not totally out of commission, but this is incredibly frustrating.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Apple is squandering a ton of good will by not offering customer support that matches the excellence of their products.

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