Looks like I’m not the only one whose Intel iMac 27″ beautiful screen is discoloured and dirty, with dark patches, stripes and bands.
I think Steve’s video is worth transcribing because what he said certainly casts a shadow over Apple’s legendary customer service.
Hello everyone… Well, my name is Steven and I used to be a proud owner of an iMac 27″
A state of the art…. their flagship computer.
And basically after 90 days they invalidated my warranty and said that they’re not gonna fix it because it’s been used in a TOXIC ENVIRONMENT.
First of all, let me just take you on a journey… I’ll bring you over here…. to the environment that my iMac is used in.
Erm… let’s see, it’s almost like any normal person’s home office. maybe much smaller of course you know… but… well…
[Here he takes us on an impromptu tour of his humble, yet well kept, and might I say, well kitted… abode.
microwave, plasma TV… iPhone and docking station…. and…. heaven forbid, he even has a Cup Noodle in to cupoard!!!!
It is during this tour that he shows us his iMac.
My iMac… My iMac… let me show you my iMac. I think you can see fairly well on the right hand side of the screen: Marks running from top to bottom. That’s actually… those seem to be getting worse. But even on a greyish background you can still see it fairly clearly. Bring it in….
Argh!… look at a that man! It’s disgusting!
But, erm… Apple have turned around an’ said I’ve been using the Mac in a TOXIC ENVIRONMENT.
YEAH. MY HOME OFFICE. YEAH. MY BLOODY HOME OFFICE!
Yeah, it might be attached to my kitchen…
[He continues the tour]
Look, my computer’s running absolutely bloody fine but…
The screen is a complete mess!
And Apple have said, “Go get stuffed, you’ve got a dirty house you’ve got a toxic bloody environment.”
And I will not accept that.
They want me to pay four hundred and seventeen frigging pounds for a new screen!
What? Because of this toxic environment? This toxic environment?
Jeezus! There’s millions upon millions of people around the world who have an office just like this…
Probably guys…. probably guys who have even small offices than this… Jeezus!
[Back on the tour]
Well. I’m afraid it’s over… You know like Apple… You know like…
Your firm… Steve Jobs….Your representative called my home a toxic environment!
And you need to get that sorted!
If you’re treating customers like this after 90 days… after 90 days… not even a year…
You are BREAKING THE LAW, sir… You are BREAKING THE LAW…
And you are breaking the covenant with he customer.
And I’ll not take…. I’ll not take it!
I sincerely hope they see their stupidity and you get your problem sorted out as rapidly as I did.
I think I’m going to send this to The Register. They always seem to know what to do with material like this!
My Aluminium iMac 24″ started to develop dark patches and black spots during the summer of 2008. It was well into it’s second year of Apple Care, so I was glad I’d purchased the extended cover.
I first sent it in for repairs a couple of days after that, as detailed here.
My initial feeling of satisfaction remained for almost a year, and the screen performed flawlessly for most of it. But as time progressed, I couldn’t help noticing that the bottom left hand corner was
was subdued by the quality of the second screen which was much lower than the original it replaced. I contacted Apple again and sent the screenshot below.
A call back from a more senior engineer suggested a further replacement screen.
So, I zeroed my drive, reinstalled tiger and sent it back with screenshots and explanations saved to the desktop.
The machine came back a couple of days later and no sooner had I powered it up than a horrible feeling came over me.
Second New Screen
The second replacement was just ghastly. After leaving it to “warm up” for an hour, I took the above screenshot. I didn’t even reinstall. I just put it straight back in the box, contacted Apple again and had the bloody thing replaced forthwith.
This time, a more senior member of staff contacted me, since this was now the third time to “fix” the problem.
She explained that the next screen would be the final screen I would be able to receive, since a screen could be replaced a maximum of three times.
So I explained to her that in actual fact, the screen would be replaced as many times as was necessary to ensure that I could do my work on it again, as I had done when I first purchased it. She seemed a little surprised by the concept.
I explained that the new screens were clearly inferior in clarity, regularity and colour balance and were clearly a different make from the originals. She would neither confirm nor deny this.
Once more she asked me to realise that this would be the last free replacement they would give, and I was once more forced to explain that this was not a favour to a mate, this was in order to fulfill the legal requirement of “fit for purpose” and obey advertising standards as on their original advert: A built-in professional grade screen perfect for editing photos and videos, and serious graphical applications, the screen was far from professional or perfect.
I asked for the screen to be fully tested and have an engineer report the fact to me before returning the machine, a demand to which she acceded graciously.
The engineer called and said that the screen had been calibrated for both colour and brightness and was found to be well within specifications.
Great! Finally, we were getting somewhere… Surely this time, the machine would have a lovely, clear screen, like the one it first came with.
The computer came back the next day.
I fired it up.
Bong. Came the chime. It was immediately and, by this point, unsurprisingly apparent that this screen was also substandard.
I contacted Apple again and this time, they put me straight back though to the lady in charge. I showed her the picture above and asked her if this was typical Apple quality.
No she admitted…
I asked her who had tested the screen and who had assured me that it was within spec. She couldn’t release the information, she said, but she would speak with him before contacting me back.
An hour later the phone rang and with an apologetic tone, the lady asked me to send the machine back in and confirmed that “some irregularities in the testing procedures had been found.”
Off it went.
The next day, a call from the chief engineer confirmed that the screen was below standard. But since there were no more screens of the original standard, the next screen might well be of the same quality or even worse. But, if I was not satisfied with the next screen, I could have the whole machine replaced.
The machine was back in my hands the next day, with another substandard screen, with almost the same patterns of distortion as the second replacement I’d received.
‘Since there are no more 24″ iMacs in stock, I’m afraid we are going to have to replace it with a different model. But we guarantee that it will be of at least the same spec or higher than your last model.”
“Whatever,” I said resignedly, as long as the screen is clear.
Two days later, the machine below arrived on my doorstep.
Now we’re talking…
Thank you Apple. It was a long and winding road, but well worth it. A machine nearly 3 years newer than the one it replaced. Although they had some quality control issues, they were constantly polite, attentive and very forthcoming with “fixes”.
Here’s another satisfied Apple customer (albeit with caveats).
Apple Stuff is breaking down all around me!
Although I’m a sucker for their style, one can’t help but wonder if they’ve just lost the plot a little. Sure, I know that other stuff apparently breaks down, too. But well, let me just show you:
It seems to me that their recent drop in prices is made up for by an effectively mandatory Applecare subscription and a lot of extra worry and hassle.
Here’s my personal list of Apple Related Hassle
Mac Mini (PPC)
I recommended my good friend Brendan to move to Apple after having some bad experiences with an imported PC. After showing him my Mac Mini I used a work, he was convinced.
- We buy the thing, take it home and it fails to boot. Straight back to Apple.
Makes me look like a right chump.
White Macbook 1st Rev (Intel)
My cousin in law sees our Mac and I suggest she buy a MacBook, since they’re easy to use and not outrageously expensive, like the MacBook Pro. She buys one.
- Two weeks later, the pristine white case is a dirty shade of yellow around the hand rests: Straight back to Apple.
- The battery then fails to charge and warps slightly, affecting the keyboard: Straight back to Apple.
- A couple of months later, the thing starts beeping on start up and fails to boot. Memory failure; Straight back to Apple.
- Now, thirteen months after purchasing it, the DVD is unrecognised: Back to Apple for a quote: $600 replacement logic board: Fuck that for a game of soldiers.
Again, I feel like an idiot recommending stuff that breaks down.
Battery of Powerbook 12″ (PPC)
Tomoko’s PowerBook 12″ Final Revision (Arguably the finest Apple Notebook ever) had a battery recall. OK, so this is a Sony issue rather than an Apple issue, but still…
- We noticed that the battery lasted only 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Battery goes back to Apple.
- Replacement battery is broken after less than six months of really light use! Lasts 30 minutes: Cheers for replacing the broken battery with an inferior part!
iMac 24″ (Intel)
Next, my Colleague’s new 24″ iMac had to go back
- With a bang, smoke billows out the back one evening when he’s playing Flight Sim X on a Windows install. Overheaded, burnt component. Straight back to Apple.
Luckily for Apple, the dude (A complete Debian Linux nut) is in love with OS X and is willing to put up with loud bang and (potentially) toxic smoke cloud.
iMac 24″ (Intel)
My own iMac is so hot one cannot touch the Aluminium frame at the top left of the screen for prolonged periods.
- Horrific heat build up, to over 80 degrees inside
- Black circles appearing one by one on the screen in random places: Straight back to Apple.
- Aluminium keyboard, Left Shift key no longer works reliably, meaning all capitals have to be typed with right Shift key. Currently awaiting replacement.
They did replace the thing over a weekend and a complete replacement was back within 3 days.
Apple TV (intel)
My Apple TV has NOT been a model of reliability, despite being the modern equivalent of a “wireless.”
- Painful to pick up, it’s so hot. Can’t see it lasting long at that temperature.
- Leave it on for a week or two and it fails to respond, requiring a reset. Warranty period over: No going straight back to Apple for this one.
Luckily I bought this thing really cheap, so I don’t care. It plays my itunes over my hifi. That’s all I needed.
- Let’s not even start this one!
Now they just have style. It quite frankly pisses me off.
My iMac has come back from repairs in record time!
I called Apple on Wednesday and they sent a man around to pick it up on Thursday morning.
Unfortunately, no one was in so we asked him to come Saturday morning when one of us was guaranteed to be in. He came and picked up the computer on Saturday morning.
On Sunday, I checked the Applecare website to see if the thing had been received. It said, “Repaired – In transit”. I was expecting a week or two, at least, but the computer was back on my desk Monday morning!
Also, the screen has been repaired and is gloriously bright and clean. I’ll upload a photo as soon as available.
They get 9/10 for handling (the computer shouldn’t have gone wrong in the first case so I can’t give them a ten on principle).