On the first week of October, 2008, I purchased a 24″ iMac, configured with a nVIDIA GeForce 8800 graphics chipset. An AppleCare plan was purchased, as well.
During three years I was the happiest of Apple’s customers. My machine was above my own original expectations, useful and elegant. However, around October the 15th, 2011 (that is: one week after my AppleCare plan was over), my computer’s display started to freeze, suddenly and without notice, rendering it useless, although it was accessible via ssh.
I took the machine to an authorised retailer (where I bought it). They were very kind, but told me they weren’t able to reproduce the problem; so they asked for a procedure they could follow precisely. I took the machine back home, and found a secure way to produce the failure: a graphics-intensive OpenGL screen saver, running for less than an hour would do the trick.
Before returning to them, I opened a case in expresslane.apple.com (case 266549332). When I spoke with Apple’s personnel in Spain, I told them I would like to ask for an exception in my AppleCare policy: I asked them to apply the insurance policy to my case, even though the first failure occurred some ten days after the original policy was over. They answered me that in order to study that possibility, first thing to do was taking the machine back to the store, and have them determine that the problem was, in fact, of hardware nature.
So I took my machine, once again, to the store. And I gave them the expresslane case ID. They told me they were going to deal with Apple and, that if an exception was possible, they would let me know.
What they did let me know, several days later, was that such exception was not bestowed. And that the repair would cost me about 900€, plus labour costs.
Obviously, I asked them to reconsider their decision, on the following basis:
- The machine failed only ten days after a three-years insurance policy had ended.
- Heat-related problems with that chipset, after more or less that amount of time, is documented in Apple’s very user forums (a foremost example being http://bit.ly/uXz8Gk).
- I just can’t have the machine repaired by my own means. Sadly, should you decide not to bestow the exception I’m asking for, the machine will simple be packaged and put to catch dust for the years to come.
Today, in the morning, they expressed their last resolution: they are not going to make an exception. If I want the machine repaired, I’ll have to pay (a lot of money).
Where is the legendary Apple customer service? Where are the top-of-notch quality computers? How come a 2400€+ machine fails after only three years? How come a repair can cost more than 1000€?
To be honest, I feel like I’ve been defrauded. But I’m only a customer, and it’s clear that Apple no longer give a shit for their customers.