I’m sorry, but I am disgusted with Apple’s support of my computer. Now I like Apple, I have recommended them to others and have 3 in-use Apple computers in my house (among several idle ones). But I learned the hard way that they don’t really like supporting their in-warranty product for those who aren’t a stone’s throw away from an Apple Store.
Here’s my problem: I bought a Mac mini from the newly-opened St. Louis Galleria Apple Store in January. I’ve enjoyed it since then and it has been working well until recently: it now emits a very loud grinding noise whenever I attempt to use a CD. It honestly sounds like the little mini is about to explode. Even if I try such things like burning to a CD-R, the operation always hangs the computer about halfway and unplugging the mini is the only thing that can stop it.
Well, this problem occured within the 1 year warranty. So I’m covered, right? That’s what the Apple store rep told me when I bought it 11 months ago: simply call AppleCare and they will pay shipment both ways.
So I gave them a call today. I told them my problem and they informed me I no longer had phone support and attempted to charge me for it. After I explained that this was a problem covered under warranty because it was a hardware defect, they told me I must go to an Apple store and that I was “misinformed” by the St. Louis rep. Yeah, right. Like I can just drive to St. Louis anytime I want. “But that’s okay,” chimed the Apple rep, who informed me that there was a Apple rep at a CompUSA store that was just 85 miles away. Yeah, that’s so much closer than the 100 mile distance between me and St. Louis.
So I figured I might look into getting AppleCare to get the problem fixed and protect my computer in case something else goes wrong. Ed, the Apple rep, told me that was not an option for me either. They informed me that I lived 57 miles away from the nearest Apple technician and that was outside the strict 50 mile radius of coverage.
Thanks for nothing, Ed.
Besides, I can’t even afford to send my Apple off for repair even if it was free: I just accepted a web design project and I have to use Photoshop, among other things, to finish it. Still, I think Apple is behind competitors like Dell who would gladly hand me an RMA if my computer had a problem under warranty. That kind of service is almost expected… espicially from a quality company like Apple. It’s too bad Apple couldn’t live up to those expectations in this regard.