AppleCare Woes

I’ve been having some bad luck with Apple lately. First the hard drive in my iMac died. I did of course have a back-up so was able to boot from an external drive and continue working and I also had AppleCare cover on it so thought that getting it repaired would be easy.

I gave AppleCare a call and was given two options. Send it off for reapir which would be a 7-10 day round trip affair by the time it was collected, repaired and returned to me. Or, take it to an Apple Store where it could be repaired ‘while I waited’. The nearest Apple Store is quite a drive from here but in the end I decided that this would be the best option as it would lead to less downtime. I arranged an appointment with a ‘Genius’ at the Cribbs Causeway Apple Store in Bristol for 9am on Saturday morning. I double checked with the AppleCare representative that they would indeed be able to replace the Hard Drive on the same day, explained to him that it was a 3.5 hour journey each way to the store and that I would need to be able to take it away with me on the same day. He assured me that all would be OK and that the Hard Drive swap would take about an hour…. You can see where this is going.

So, we drove down to Bristol on Friday evening and arranged an overnight stay so that we could be outside the Cribbs Causeway AppleStore when the doors opened at 9am on Saturday. We met with the Apple Genius as arranged and after a few diagnostics on the machine he confirmed what I already knew. The Hard Drive had failed and it needed to be replaced. No problem, I had AppleCare so the repair would be free of charge. However, he then told me that it would take 4-5 days for them to do it!

I explained to him what had been said by the AppleCare representative, that we had made a 3.5 hour drive and overnight stay to get to the AppleStore and that I had been promised it would be repaired today. He said there was nothing they could do as AppleCare don’t tell them what is wrong with the machines or any details about the issue. The store therefore don’t know what the appointment is about until I walk through the doors at 9am. This meant that they didn’t have the necessary spare parts in stock and couldn’t carry out the repair until they did. I left the machine with them and they were to call back later in the day once they had checked if they had the necessary parts.

I received a phone call at around 4pm only to find that they didn’t have the parts and the repair was going to take a week for them to do.

So, I now had the option of leaving it with them to repair it and then make another long and expensive trip to Bristol to collect it, or take it back with me un-repaired to arrange the collection and delivery repair that I could have had in the first place. I couldn’t afford another trip to Bristol and didn’t have the time to do it anyway so had to go for the latter. I did ask if they could keep it, repair it and then send it back to me once it was repaired, so as to save me another expensive and time-consuimg trip to Bristol,  but apparently they couldn’t. I had no other option. I drove back to to the Cribbs Causeway Store, collected the un-repaired iMac and made the 3.5 hour drive back home.

I was promised a same day repair at the Cribbs Causeway AppleStore by AppleCare, but apparently there is no communication between AppleCare and the AppleStore. This meant that I had made a time-consuming, expensive trip to Bristol for no reason at all. Apple were unable to keep the promises they had made and I had to leave disappointed and empty handed and was left to pay the costs.

Staff at AppleCare and the Apple Store in Cribbs Causeway have all been very apologetic, and have agreed that Apple were in the wrong and that this shouldn’t have happened. Apologies are all well and good, but they don’t help. I still have a broken iMac and have so far spent lots of time and money trying to get it fixed but there has been no mention of any compensation or it seems anyway to complain about such things to Apple.

I’m now in the process of getting the iMac collected so that it can go off for repair. It will mean yet another week that I’m unable to do any work, but hopefully by the end of it I’ll have a fully working iMac again.

On top of this, after returning from Bristol my iPad has decided that it can no longer connect to my home network. It can see it, but can’t join it for some reason. The network seems OK as other devices are connecting fine and the iPad has always connected in the past – but that’s another story for another day.

3 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear this 🙁 Feel like they should have compensated you for the expense of the journey.

  2. Alan says:

    My iMac is back at last, but with the wrong OS on it. OS 10.6.3 not OS 10.6.8 as it had. Downloading all of the updates is going to take hours.

    On the plus side though I’ve been on the phone complaining to AppleCare about the service I’ve had as a whole and after much negotiating and apologies from them they’re going to send me a free iPod Nano as a goodwill gesture.


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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