Sad Apple Logo Frown

My 27-Inch Nightmare: How Apple Refused to Fix My Dangerously Defective iMac

Posted in Apps, Mac, News on 20/03/2013 by J. Glenn Künzler

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The unfortunate tale you are about to read is a true story . Nobody wishes more than me that that wasn’t the case. It is the story about how one man, yours truly, purchased a defective iMac, and was betrayed, harassed, insulted, and bullied by a company he has been loyal to for many years as a result – all because of the actions of a single unpleasant Apple engineer.

2012 Sad Mac iMac Finder

I debated with myself for weeks over whether I should even write about my nightmarish experience – after all, Apple has been good to me for years, and my story (at least, I sincerely hope) is but a particularly unsavory exception to the general rule that Apple offers excellent, understanding, and considerate customer service. Exception though it may be, however, the events discussed in this report actually happened – and despite not wanting to cause trouble for Apple, and especially the one exceptional Apple employee who helped to right this wrong, I cannot help but feel that the truth must be told publicly, and without reservation.

But first, allow me to begin by providing a little bit of background.


Background

I’ve owned a lot of Apple computers over the years, starting with an Apple II/e in the early 90s that I experimented with when I was still in elementary school. At some point, I took a break from Apple, and spent about a decade and a half mastering Microsoft Windows until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Then came the college years. Apple knocked me off my socks when they released the MacBook Pro – an Intel Mac that could run both Windows and OS X! I saved some money and bought one, and my pilgrimage back to Apple’s fold began the very moment I turned it on and heard that satisfying chime. I never even ended up installing Windows on it.

design_gal05_20080226

Ever since I began using that MacBook Pro, which I think of as the first Apple computer that I could truly call my own, I have gained a great deal of respect for Apple, their hardware, and OS X. Recently, however, my enchantment with Apple has faded as I found myself increasingly concerned with Apple’s design ideals. The real turning point for me – the point at which I realized Apple was no longer the magical company that I once thought they were – was the release of the MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Inside that thin, shiny package, I saw a glaring beacon of anti-consumer thought – a MacBook Pro that could not be upgraded or repaired without Apple’s explicit approval, requiring users to choose Apple’s own high-priced hardware upgrades over more reasonably-priced third-party alternatives. Forcing the user to “future-proof” their purchase by spending extra money, simply because they could not upgrade them later (such as the RAM in the Retina MacBook Pro) – and to come crawling with their wallets back to Apple or an authorized service provider any time they wanted to perform previously user-accessible upgrades, such as upgrading the storage in their Mac. And all of this for the sake of making the machine slightly (unnecessarily, in my view) thinner. Form over function at its worst.

Shiny New iMacs

After the Retina MacBook Pro came Apple’s ultra-thin 2012 iMacs, and once again, I took issue with many of their design decisions – making the RAM in the 21.5-inch model inaccessible to the user, and sealing the case with a special foam tape rather than using magnets and metal clips, as with the previous generation iMacs. The initial lack of VESA mounting options also came as a disappointment to me, as I use a pair of monitor arms with my Mac setup. I was annoyed. I had considering an iMac, and waited for Apple to release new models to purchase one – but as soon as those new models arrived, I was immediately repulsed at their lack of upgradability, repairability, and hardware accessibility.

21.5iMac_27iMac_34R_GrnVlly_Flower_PRINT_1_620x543_610x534

This was a pivotal moment in time for me. There I was, using a mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement, hooked up to a Thunderbolt display for added screen real estate. I had the disheartening thought that my MacBook may very well be the last Mac truly designed with consumer’s interests at heart- the ability to choose your own storage and memory upgrades or to try out new drives or SSDs, the ability to replace a faulty RAM stick or hard drive without taking your computer to Apple and waiting a week or more for a repair. This is especially painful for individuals like me who depend on their expensive computer to do their job.

Just as I felt that my mid-2012 MacBook Pro represented the death of an important era for the Mac , I also realized that eventually, it would become obsolete. I couldn’t use it forever – and as much as I disliked Apple’s design directions, I disliked the idea of moving back to Windows even more. Eventually I would have to embrace this new era of Mac design, or suffer regressing back to my Windows days. I couldn’t let that happen. It was at this moment that I decided I should give Apple’s ultra-thin new 27-inch iMac a try – step away from my current ideas and feelings, and really try to love the beautiful new machine despite its perceived faults.

This is where my nightmare began.

The Nightmare

Apple’s new 2012 iMacs weren’t very easy to obtain at first. I didn’t place my order as soon as the new iMacs were available to order online. It took me a couple of weeks to decide that this was what I really wanted to do – give Apple a chance to show me that their new iMacs really were as great as they said, and that I wouldn’t miss not being able to upgrade my hard drive, or replace it with a third-party SSD. Finally, about one week into December, I placed my order, and prepared to wait until January (when Apple estimated my order would be delivered).

Just over two weeks later, I caught a stroke of luck – the local university bookstore had been keeping an eye out for me, and promised to let me know when the new 27-inch iMacs arrived at their campus store. That moment arrived on December 27, 2012. Needless to say, I was very excited. I hopped in my car, drove an hour in the snow to the campus bookstore, and purchased my shiny new iMac for $2000. I began setting it up as soon as I got home. I transferred my apps and settings from my MacBook Pro to the new iMac, and began my day’s work.

Three hours later, as I was happily typing away, something happened – something that would lead me into a nightmarish spiral of battling AppleCare representatives, spending hours on the telephone arguing with Apple engineers and customer service representatives, and unleashing every instinct I had to protect myself (and my rights as a consumer) from a mistake that I did not make. That something was this: My screen fell off of my iMac.

IMG_4187 IMG_4188

You read that right. After just a few hours of use, the beautiful screen on my brand new $2000 27-inch iMac simply fell off.   It fell forward, and I had to catch it with my hands to prevent it from hitting me right smack on the noggin. I pushed the display back into the iMac’s case, and tilted the display backward so it would hold – but the damage was done. When the display fell forward, the cable connecting it to the logic board got damaged, and a permanent grey stripe appeared on the display. I was disappointed, to say the least. The above photos were hastily taken at the request of an Apple Senior Advisor – I apologize in advance for their poor quality.

Apple Store Antics

In response, I did what most anyone in my position would do in the face of such a disaster: I called AppleCare with the faith that they would understand my problem, and do everything in their power to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. I spoke to a very understanding AppleCare representative who was shocked when I told him what had happened. He advised me to go to an Apple Retail Store. Unfortunately for me, the closest Apple Store is about an hour and a half away. To make matters worse, it was winter in Utah, and the roads were covered with ice and snow. I explained my situation, and was transferred to a senior AppleCare specialist, who told me he could send an Apple tech to my house to repair my iMac. He filed a service request, and told me I would receive a phone call in a couple of hours to set up a day and time for the repair.

I was happy with that response – I felt that Apple had lived up to their reputation of exceptional customer service. Unfortunately, little did I know that my troubles were only beginning. About two hours later, I received a phone call from the manager of Apple’s off-site repair program. He informed me that an in-house repair would not be possible, as he did not yet have access to the necessary parts to send someone to fix my iMac. He explained that the new iMacs were so new that Apple did not have any replacement displays yet. He told me he would make a few phone calls and see what he could do.

When he called back that evening, he told me that my only option was to take my iMac into the Apple Store, which again, was over an hour away, over slippery, icy, dangerous road conditions. He explained that once I took it to the Apple Store, they would request the part, and Apple would send that part as soon as it was available. I waited two days for the roads to clear, and I followed his instructions – I took my iMac to the Apple Store, and explained everything yet again to the man behind the Genius Bar. The Apple Genius told me they did not have access to replacement parts yet, but that he would happily replace the entire iMac. He also agreed to compensate me for my trouble with $250 in credit at the Apple Online Store (which I ultimately never received). I quickly agreed, hoping that my disaster was finally almost over.

Genius Bar 1

To my disappointment, it turned out that the City Creek Center Apple Store in Salt Lake City, Utah did not have any 27-inch iMacs in stock – but they told me that if I left my iMac with them, they would call me as soon as they got a replacement in their store, and would ship it to my home since I lived over an hour away, and the winter road conditions in the area were a force to be reckoned with. He handed me a business card, and told me that I would hear from him in no more than 3-5 days.

Five days came and went, and I still hadn’t heard back from the Apple Store. I waited a few more days in the name of patience. 8 days into my 3-5 day return call period, I called back in myself to ask how things were going with my replacement. The person I spoke to in the beginning wasn’t available, so I was directed to a store manager instead. Once again, the news that the store manager offered me was grim. He explained that they had sent my iMac back to Apple’s engineering department, as they needed to investigate what might have been wrong with it. That’s where my nightmare took a turn for the worse yet again.

The Trouble With “Tampering”, and The Unpleasant Apple Engineer

The engineer who worked on my case was convinced that I had tampered with my iMac. I listened to an Apple Store manager tell me that within a few short hours of turning on the machine, I had somehow managed to completely remove the display myself. I apparently did this without damaging the display, and apparently without altering any of the parts inside the case. I also did this without access to many of the tools that are required to perform such a task, and while somehow still managing to complete a full day’s work on my MacBook Pro, which I was now using as a backup until my iMac was fixed.

Not only did I not have the tools or knowledge necessary to remove the display on a new 27-inch iMac (which are now held on entirely with adhesive tape rather than magnets, screws, or anything sensible) – I also hadn’t had the iMac in my office for long enough to perform such a process. This engineer’s claim was not only ridiculous – it was insulting, and absolutely offensive. Rather than attempting to figure out what went wrong, this engineer decided to simply blame the customer – a customer who had spent $2000 dollars on a product which he expected to work, who had driven several hours in the snow to obtain that product, and who had nearly been smacked square on the head by a dangerously defective iMac.

At this point, the 14-day return period from the university bookstore had expired – so not only could I not get my iMac repaired by Apple under warranty, I also could not return it for a refund.

Image credit: Apple Repair London

Image credit: Apple Repair London

As a result of Apple’s “tampering” claim, my warranty was voided, leaving me with a $2000 iMac that I could not use, and that I could be forced to repair at my own out-of-pocket expense. I wasn’t about to just sit back and let this happen, however. I immediately called back into AppleCare’s support line, and was greeted by the first truly helpful person I had encountered in this situation so far. The representative, Kent H., could hardly believe what he was hearing, saying (and this is a direct quote): “It’s obvious at this point that there was no tampering”. He immediately went to work in my defense, and granted me an AppleCare “exception” for the repair, and informed me that my warranty would be back in effect once that repair was complete.

Interestingly, the representative also noted that  the AppleCare exception would not be recognized at Apple Stores – instead, they’re only recognized at Apple Authorized Service Providers. I called the Apple Store to arrange to pick up my machine and bring it to an authorized service provider. I once again spoke to a manager – but this time, I was surprised to hear him offer to fix my machine at the Apple Store. Thinking it would save me time over taking it to another repair provider, I told him to go ahead.

Three days later, I got a call from the Apple Store telling me that my computer was ready to be picked up. I asked the representative what had been done to repair the machine, and was disappointed to find out that in fact my iMac had NOT been repaired. Instead, he told me that they had merely reattached the glass, but that the display was still broken. I wasted three days, and my iMac wasn’t fixed at all! I asked why it hadn’t been repaired, and he informed me that it was because my warranty was no longer valid.

After explaining to him that an Apple Store manager told me the store would take care of the repair, he raised his voice, told me he didn’t believe me, and that all I could do at this point was pick up the iMac from the Apple Store. So, that’s exactly what I did. I drove back to Salt Lake, picked up my iMac, and headed home.

The next day, I dropped my iMac off at an Apple Authorized Service Provider, who sympathized with the experience I had endured so far, and recognized the service exception. Finally, on January 22, 2012, 5 days after dropping my iMac off at the service provider (and a full 25 days after first reporting the defect), my repair was finally complete – it worked perfectly, and the warranty had been restored. Finally! At last!

 Wrapping it Up

Fortunately, my story has a happy ending. My iMac was repaired under warranty, and I was finally able to use the iMac I had looked forward to using for so long. Even though the story ended well, however, I can’t help but feel betrayed. After all, I was accused of lying and intentionally damaging my iMac, had spent more hours than I wish to count on the phone with Apple, and had wasted several tanks of gas and many, many hours of my time in the process of fighting Apple in defense of my consumer rights.

The entire situation could have been avoided if Apple had taken responsibility in the first place. The issue also would have been resolved much more quickly if Apple had the parts available to repair my iMac when they initially offered to send a technician to my home. They’re inability to stock repair parts after the release of the new iMac is what ultimately caused the situation to begin spiraling out of control.

Of course, the situation also would have gone much smoother if the Apple Store staff had been more friendly and supportive, and if Apple’s engineering team hadn’t tried to blame the customer for a defect rather than simply take care of it, and if the management of that Apple Store hadn’t decided I was some sort of villain after hearing back from the engineering team. Maybe I should have sought legal advice at the first sign that the situation was beginning to turn against me. But in the end, the point is that the situation should have never escalated to the point where I even considered that.

From the defect itself, to the poor customer service at the Apple Store, poor planning on Apple’s part when it came to having repair parts in stock, and the fact that Apple decided it was better to blame the customer than fix the problem, the whole situation has left a bad taste in my mouth. It caused me to lose a lot of trust in Apple and the expectation that they should do the right thing, and treat their customers with respect.

Even though I never wanted to cause trouble for Apple in the first place, and despite the fact that Apple’s customer service is usually very, very good, the fact of the matter is that this whole incident actually happened – and it happened to me. My initial desire not to cause any trouble for Apple has transformed into a stronger feeling that consumers should be aware that situations like this do happen. It’s the truth – and truth is stronger than any desire I have towards respecting a company that fundamentally changed the way I think about technology.

On the upside, it also made me realize just how incredible some of Apple’s employees truly are. Kent H. was perhaps the best customer service representative and consumer advocate I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He went above and beyond the call of duty to right this wrong – and I was left impressed, astonished, and extremely grateful. If it wasn’t for Kent H., I’d likely still have a useless pile of metal and glass, and a hefty bill if I decided to repair it on my own.

Just as one fantastic employee can really make a difference in the customer service experience, it’s equally true that one “bad Apple” can spoil the whole bunch, as in the case of the engineer who accused me of tampering.

Hopefully this article will be of help to someone, somewhere who encounters a situation like mine, or will relate to someone who has already dealt with such an ordeal. If nothing else, I hope it offers some food for thought.



  • Mr. Macintosh

    Are you dumb???

    When the display fell off you should have immediatly taken it to the store where you bought it for a replacement or refund.

    And letting the 14 day period expire??? You’re crazy.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      That’s the trouble – they had already run out of iMacs, as the 27-inch models were extremely scarce at the time. I didn’t want to wait several more weeks for a replacement.

      • Stupefied

        So, you should have just returned it for a refund. You knew they were in short supply, right? Apple treated you bad but you could have avoided all this whining!

        • John

          Or you could simply not post to a board and whine yourself! Jesus. I hate to imagine if something expensive you purchased failed on you and you were expecting it to work. People like you probably go balistic if Starbucks ever run out of creame for your coffee. Just shut up. He detailed an experienced he had. He doesn’t need your bullshit input. Asshole.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810765636 Melba Searcy

      No… He did the right thing calling apple care.

      • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

        Thank you.

      • Sam Sproul

        if you didn’t buy it from the store, you shouldn’t immediately go to AppleCare.

    • Macalouscious

      None of this would have happened if he just kept the plastic wrapper on that’s what I did.

  • http://twitter.com/RoninM MRonin ⚜

    That’s really horrendous. I have to say that in twenty-something years of dealing with Macs for a living, this is by far the worse experience I’ve heard of. Every company has it’s off employees and we’ve all gotten the eye roll and/or short answer from an Apple care rep or service person. Having dealt in the past with C level execs in Apples warranty departments all the way down to Apple Care reps on the phone, I can tell you that your experience isn’t in line with what the company tries to instill in it’s employees. I’m glad it worked out for you and hopefully this the last time you get this poor level of service from Apple.

    As an aside, I’m curious as why the Apple store wouldn’t recognize the exception. Perhaps it’s a California law thing, but Apple made the same exception for my girls iPhone 5 when the screen went tits up less than a week after buying it. The rep on the phone spoke to the Apple store manager and we had the phone swapped out right away.

    • Eric Morgan

      Why would your girls’ iPhone have needed an exception. Why were they saying the warranty was void?

  • Jajayja

    I’m really sorry to read about your experience because, I, like you, have been a very loyal Apple customer for a very long time.

    What surprises me is that they wouldn’t have looked at your purchase history (many years of buying Apple products) and seen that you are not likely someone to tamper with the equipment or lie. By writing this, I am not suggesting that they should have done anything other than practice good customer service and handled the problem for what it was, a poorly assembled product. I can’t imagine that Messrs. Cook, Ive, etc. would have wanted this matter addressed any less quickly than you, the affronted customer.

    But, I come back to the question of buyer loyalty. When someone calls into Apple Care, do the Apple employees on the receiving end of the call have any idea how much business a caller has done with Apple over the years? If they don’t, they should.

    • Eric Morgan

      But he is guy likely to tamper with it. Always whining about upgrading. Which they are. Despite what he says. Is it as easy? No. But they are.

      • quietguy

        You have hit the nail on the head – I mean I am not convinced he tried to remove the screen and stuffed it up. After all while he talks about needing special tools etc the only thing you need to get inside the iMac is a guitar pic, though a pair of vaccum handles to hold onto the screen is useful. Instructions are on youtube for anyone to follow.

        So I dont know what happened, but am suspicious

        However, I think Apple could have fixed it as a good will gesture without hassles.

        • AJ Longstreet

          That information wasn’t known back then. Use your head…

    • Sam Sproul

      using that logic, iFixit should be their most valued customer.

  • http://twitter.com/robogobo rob nienburg

    Bad experience but there are a few things you did wrong that could have saved you lots of trouble. You really should have just returned it for a refund and waited for a new one. You shouldn’t mix dealing with retail and apple care. One or the other. They have completely different approaches to these matters. The engineer was probably suspicious because a) it’s highly unlikely that the display would fall of on its own and b) you brought it in for repair instead of replacement. It was his opinion, which is his job.

    In the end, your headline is misleading and sensationalist. You had to keep asking but Apple did the right thing. The guy who didn’t believe you at the Apple store had reason not to, since he probably knew they couldn’t do the repair there. He was right.

    Not news worthy.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      While it’s true that mixing a retail return policy with Apple Support is generally ill-advised, I only did what I did based on Apple’s specific advice.

  • glue

    Sue their asses?

    • HERRO

      I was going to comment saying the same thing in the middle of the article

  • Sudo

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that you did tamper with the iMac. This will probably be censored.

    At the beginning of your article you couldn’t stop talking about the modular capabilities you were leaving behind when buying the new iMac. I could see an inexperienced ‘garage technician’ used to upgrading his own machine being curious after reading some online articles. Ultimately, if the engineer that designed the product says something, that is because it is probably true. I highly doubt there wasn’t extensive testing done on the iMac for adhesive strength in all realistic climate and use conditions.

    While I believe it is ultimately possible that the display fell out of the casing, I don’t believe based on your language in this article that this is what happened.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      Of course we don’t censor comments, unless they’re inappropriate. First, this engineer is not the man who designed this iMac. He’s part of a team, like basically anyone else at Apple.

      Second, you’re free to believe what you want – but you’re wrong. I didn’t enjoy writing this, but I did feel that it need to be said, because its true, and it highlights some concerning problems at Apple and they’re lack of preparedness to deal with defective iMacs.

    • frankelee

      This guy made me laugh. Imagine him in real life.

  • m13

    I hope this is a lesson learned for everyone. My bias is to return all Apple products and repurchase a new one (wait if necessary) if it is still within the return period. Reason being you don’t want a refurb and you want to renew the return period in case the next item is defective as well. It is a hassle and unfortunately only you can help yourself to avoid getting a lemon. (Pun intended.)

  • Shola Onifade

    I wish you had sued their arrogant unappreciative mind to the end of time not for the money sake but for their uncaring attitude after all US is a litigious nation and by right as a costumer who spent his hard earned money to make such a company very rich with several billion dollars holdings. They should know better how to appreciate their loyal customers…. I am completely on your side. Good I do not leave in the US. :D

    Be blessed.

    • Macalisious

      Here’s a hint never and I MEAN NEVER sue appe it would be a waste of time and the chances of winning are 1 out of a 1000000.

  • Mr. X

    You are dumb, WTH AppleCare would’ve done for you? Its not a technical issue, its a manufacture defect. You should’ve taken it to the store immediately and they would’ve replaced it for you. You spent $2000 on this, you should’ve done a better job to protect your investment. You just got lazy and expected Apple to ben there policy that everyone knows just for you. Bad mind set.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      You apparently didn’t read the whole article. The store I purchased this from did not have a replacement available.

  • Disco Larry

    Very interesting story. I have been a Windows user since Win 3.0, but I am seriously considering moving to the 27″ iMac if they refresh the hardware this fall. The lack of upgradability is what may determine whether I go with the iMac or Hackintosh.

    I do agree with others that you should have just returned it. I understand the desire not to wait, but sometimes you just gotta wait. Any issues since?

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      Thanks. And I’m thrilled to say that I haven’t had a single problem with this iMac ever since.

  • Rotten Apples

    Interesting,

    These machines come from china no..? Is it not possible that it was tampered with before you received it? I think people would be surprised how much funny business goes on at factories in china and other parts of the world.

    Apple is increasingly treating customers poorly. After owning a 2010 17″ imac for one year the machine started to shut off on its own. I had replaced the RAM on my own and less than two months later the problem started. After inspecting the machine apple techs concluded that I needed a new Logic Board which would cost upwards of $900.00. I was not under applecare so I got screwed pretty hard for a machine that was only one year old.

    I learned my lesson. If its an apple machine do not tamper with it at all!
    Although I do not think the RAM replacement was the cause of the issue, they treated it as though that must have been the reason for the continuous power downs. But a little research shows that many people experience this without tampering with the machine. Furthermore several diagnostic tests show that there is no logic board failure detected, so I am curious how they came to that conclusion.

    They used to offer a policy where they would repair your machine for a flat fee of $300 (atleast for a macbook pro) regardless of what the issue was. Not the case for this imac. Apple will not even install Ram for your anymore on a machine under warranty.

    I have used both Windows and Mac OS X and other apple products for over two decades, but lately i’ve been getting cozy with windows 8 and PC’s again. Apples cost is just too high and in my failed logic board case, RISKY!

    the innovation is lacking lately too ;)

  • reluttr

    I have had a similar experience, I bought a Late 2011 27″ iMac in November 2011.

    Well needless to say the computer ran fine until February the following year when the graphics card failed and ultimately shorted out the logic board.

    This is when my personal hell with apple began. I called tech support and was more or less told that if I did not buy extended apple care on the spot then they would not help me over the phone. I ended up buying said service and calling support again afterwards, who suddenly became very helpful and sympathetic Well until we got into the details of getting the iMac repaired.

    The only way to have my imac serviced was to take it to the closest certified repair center or Apple store. Which is 4 hours away from my location.

    Which would had been fine, I could had made a trip of the excursion, drop it off, and simply have apple ship it to me when they got done. I mean how many times can a mac break in a year… right? Well they do NOT offer such a service. My only option was to drive it up, wait a few weeks, and then make another trip to pick it up.

    After talking with the agent for another 45 minutes, they finally suggested I call and talk to one of the numerous certified repair centers “which were also in St.Louis” and schedule a ship in repair.

    Well here is when the fun begins, the repair center did offer such a service, but I would have to ship it to them at my expense in the retail box for the mac. But return shipping would be covered by them. They also only took shipments via UPS.

    Well needless to say I took my mac to the UPS store the following day and shipped it, which ended up costing 70 bucks. But thats cool, cheaper than driving up there, plus the agent said they would cover return shipping.

    Well a week passes and I eventually get a email from the technician that worked on my computer and he basically explained that the graphics card had actually shorted out the logic bored and had burned up. The email ended with a note that they would be calling me shortly to arrange payment for return shipping… Well wait a second, I was told they was covering it? Well according to the person that called me, “who happened to be the same one that told me the shipping was covered”, they never stated such, and they then needed me to give them my card number and 3 digit security code over the phone. The shipping was 90 dollars.

    Well I eventually get my mac back, I managed to reinstall the OS “which had been deleted for some reason”, and get a whole 3 days of use out of it before it quits working again, same problem as before.

    So I call and complain to the tech and explain that I cant afford to keep sending my mac in for repairs. This time they promise to cover the return shipping. So I trudge my mac back to UPS again and pay another 70 to ship it back to the repair center.

    Another week passes and I just get the mac back in the mail, no emails from support or anything. I also am gifted with the surprise of another 90 dollar charge on my card. Anyways knock on wood, the Mac has been running alright since, so it was actually fixed the second time around.

    Needless to say, before you buy ANY of the larger mac’s you better check to make sure you have a repair center close, or you will pay for it… literally. I probably wont buy another mac, unless a repair center opens up closer than the current selection.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      Thanks very much for sharing your story.

  • Daniela R.

    Ah..i had a similar experience. Apple got a recall for their hard drives on the ’10 imacs, so i brought it in to get replaced, and mentioned that for some reason my screen was pixely and had weird lines in it. When they fixed the hard drive issue, they never looked into the screen issue, since they said it was “fine” which it was not.(the apple store i had to go to was about 1h away as well) About 8 months later, my screenturned black while the machine still worked and i had to shut the computer down and turn it back on for it to work again, about 20 min or so after that it would black out again. So i take it in to the store i bought it to get fixed.When i took it in their rep said for sure there was a problem with the screen which was VERY noticeable (hadn’t changed from when i brought it into apple, other than now it shut off when the computer got hot). It was out for 3-4 days the first time, and one month the second..Im so MAD that Apple didnt care enough to look into it further and now i had to deal with it twice.
    Definitely will think twice before buying apple again next time.

  • DiGiS

    I have a MacBook Pro that Apple (with Applecare coverage) has refused to fix. I have two months left on the Applecare coverage… but they say they have fixed it enough. I have had issues with the hard drives stopping…. goes to file with question mark and won’t boot… repeatedly!!! Pretty upset….

  • guest

    Sorry about what happened…
    but re: inability to upgrade ram, hard drive, etc

    This is because nowadays to save space and weight and to make everything as thin as possible, they’re all soldered directly onto the board.
    It’s not just apple; all other PC manufacturers are doing it as well (i.e. ultrabook PCs).

    Also, I thought it would be more reasonable to quickly just take the machine back to the bookstore that u bought it from. Yes I understand that you didn’t want to wait too long for a replacement, but wouldn’t getting a repair take time as well?

  • ChangeIsWhatYouNeed

    If you thought your first MBP was a “glaring beacon of anti-consumer thought” and the 2012 iMacs were repulsive, obsolete, painful, full of “perceived faults” and “a disappointment to me” — those are all YOUR words — WHY KEEP BUYING THEM? Just so you could bad-mouth them on the web and play the wounded party? Please. Passive-aggressive attention-seeker much?

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      I don’t “keep buying them.” The 27-inch iMac was the first such product I bought after they started making those sorts of design changes. And this experience shows that I probably shouldn’t have.

  • Trey

    I’m sorry to hear about your ordeal, and I understand why you’re still sticking with Apple despite their overpriced computers. With each computer hardware announcement, I get more and more disappointed with their releases. I am still sticking with Macs for the great OS environment over Windows any day. I hate it that it’s getting so expensive now, and you can’t even change the ram yourself.

    I live in Singapore here, and there isn’t the Apple Store here. There are only authorised shops and authorised service providers here
    I’m currently running a late 2009 21.5″ iMac, coming to 4 years this coming April. I decided to get AppleCare 11 months into my iMac and I’m so thankful that I did – my iMac’s screen and logic board died on me the following month. It got fixed by Apple immediately was delivered back to me for free (picked up at my place for a charge of $20). Following that, it failed on me another four more times after that, once for HDD failure and thrice for display failure.

    Now that my AppleCare is over, I would just wait for it to die before replacing it with a Hackintosh.

  • Que

    Be careful some of Apple’s employes are dishonest. They are trained in the deceptive vernacular to confuse you with lies and half truths. I’m still looking for the cooperate number to make a formal complaint. Also be aware, IOS7 may destroy you IPad 2. Thank you apple, I deserved more! I will let everyone know how you mix the truth with the lies. :)

  • andrew

    Totally unacceptable apple truly suck you should have received a new imac not a repair.These cheap skates hold the screen on with glue! yes that’s right a strip of adhesive going around the entire display.Gone are the magnets which held the display perfectly to the machine.They charge a premium price for this rubbish and people fall for it because of the way it looks.Well i will tell you apple you have lost a customer here anyway for life.It’s not only your crumby imacs i have had problems with my speaker on my early 2011 macbook pro actually melted due to overheating and i have been told by an apple tech i am lucky it did not cause a fire!!!

  • Jo

    Seriously, i would of beat up the store manager.
    Good thing you stayed calm.

  • asulliv2

    I truly find it hard to believe that 8 screws & magnets just gave out and let ure glass,LCD fall out!!I do believe u got nosey & opened up the iMac & pulled out the Wire to the Logic Board & LCD,u got lucky cause it cost around $750.00 to fix what u broke!!Because of dishonest people like u Apple has to charge a higher price to Honest people like me!!Thanks Alot

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      There are no screws or magnets holding the screen on in the new models. Just foam tape.

  • ikkemittvalg

    can you get into the new imacs to clean the inside of a screen ? I know I could with my 2009, but I havent dared trying on my new thin one, after reading this im sending it off to apple to fix .. no way im even gonna try to remove the dust/smoky smudges that already have been built up in both lower corners .. well the fan is making noise, so its most likely broken as well, that might be my savior for them to fix both issues, it might even be because of the broken fan the build up ha presented itself .. exciting times ahead for me and the apple experience, wish me luck ;)

  • Man

    any solution till now?

  • fox bahamas

    well i had the same issue i jus was lucky i caught the screen quick enough.. i have not tampered with my screen at all i always repair my stuff at apple store. i bought a brand new 21 inch imac n only like a month after the screen fell off. the store didn tamper with it for upgrade i didn tamper with it i think they really shudda stuck with the old design cause my 27 inch older model never ever had an issue n i even got it upgraded a few times byt the store.. i dont think this guy tampered with his becus i didn n mines fell off also

  • M. Arce

    I can’t believe the comments I’m reading here. I am going through a similar situation without the happy ending so I understand everything that fue surgir has written about. The people defending Apple here will continue to do so until it happens to them. Bought an iMac on a sale where they were closing the shop. I bought a 21.5 iMac and esa told it would be under warranty. Seven days later, no audio. Called Apple and esa left one and a half hours talking from rep to rep only to be told that the computer was previously owned and they couldn’t help me. Irony is that the computer was never sold and previous owner was the store owner. I was the first person to purchase the computer. Now I’m stuck with an audioless computer with a damaged logicboard. Apple will never see another dollar from me.

  • Michael

    I reckon it was a store return that the university sold to you. So effectively, someone definitely did tamper with it, just not you. There are key things that Apple techs look for to prove something has been tampered with. They don’t make those claims lightly. It’s a multi-billion dollar business. If it was a fault from factory, they’d replace it AND issue a recall. No question. They would have known without doubt that that thing was popped open between factory and delivery to you. You should have gone in there knowing full well that they would accuse you of doing it yourself. Your insecurities have gotten the better of you I’m afraid. Things could slip thought for sure, they always do, but Apple quality control is second to none and those computers go through rigorous testing (think dropping from a desk ect.) and the screens do not just fall off. That’s just absurd to think the design of them with the felt tape is the reason it fell off. If you have watched someone prize that screen off on youtube they are stuck down and are not going anywhere.

    Anyway, enough counter ranting. Something did happen to my wife with a “brand new” Macbook pro she purchased from a retail store. When she turned it on, it booted straight up to a login, not the usual startup for a new mac and it was buggy. The battery was a bit shift and a few other glitches presented. We took it back for a refund the next day and went to an Apple store (not retailer) instead. Crisis averted. This is what you should do next time! Glad to hear it has been right ever since. I am looking down the barrel of getting one now that my 2006 Macbook Pro has given up the ghost finally after 8 years of hardcore editing/rendering/3D designing, you name it, it handled it beautifully, and I think I managed to crash it all of about 3 times in its life.

  • Grant Logan

    I don’t really like the apple stores anyway, I think that apple’s customer service and authorized service providers are better able to handle problems like this one. Honestly, I don’t even like shopping at the apple store, I think the employees are jerks. And it makes sense really, the hiring process for an apple store is not as strict as that of their customer service centres. I’m guessing that this “engineer” was an in house technician.

  • KingLouie253

    I cant believe that I read that article in its entirety. Bad luck man but cmon, ive never heard so much whining while trying to tell a story. You made the snow sound like it was a flood or something and your life was at stake. Maybe you did try to tamper with it? How are they supposed to know, you stated earlier that you were upset about the ability to upgrade so your obviously familiar with hardware. For all they know, you could be some jackass doing a youtube video. Also, why would you expect them to have replacement screens when they are on backorder? Im sure every screen they have at the time was going towards filling orders. Regardless, you should of immediately took it to the store you bought it from and swapped it out there or waited and bought it directly from apple. Im not trying to defend apple but you made your own mistakes during your self confessed doubtful impulse purchase

  • StrongOak

    What you don’t know is because of the lack of easy upgrade options many of the new iMacs were being opened by people and Apple was being flooded with the same stories of it came apart, quit working, case seems loose etc.

    Usually a tech will notice tool marks, especially when an improper tool was used. You must understand they have to protect themselves as well and this was a VERY VERY common thing occurring when they first released the newer thinner model. If this tech had received 20 iMacs that week all obviously tampered he is a human and will be frustrated knowing all these people did the damage themselves and unfortunately lash out. As for the store manager your tone can set the entire sequence of events in motion, regardless of what company it is. These are people, not iRobots and their mood definitely affects their decision making.

    My Tips to anyone:
    1> Never start off negative, no matter how frustrated you are taking it out in any manner on the person answering the phone does NOT help your cause
    2> Never mention any disappointment in the design of the device, take care of the issue and move on.
    3> Try to start the conversation off light with something like “So you ready to be my hero Robert?”
    4> DO NOT act like your entitled or deserve service regardless if you know you are in the right. Remember their are plenty of dishonest people out their lying their butt off to get their Mac exchanged so keep that in mind.
    5> Be patient, say thank you when you should, even if they are just sending you to someone else to help you
    6> Never tell them how much trouble its going to be for you to reach their store, ship the item or do without it regardless of weather, conditions etc. Of course it is a hassle, no reason to push it in their face. Remember if there is any question you might have done it yourself complaining about other things outside their control only turns them off.
    7> Be persistent but polite, remember Susan who answered your call this time didn’t force Joe or Kevin to be rude or upset with you. Susan might be your hero.
    8> Dont point fingers how one person told you this, rather than “Well AppleCare said an authorized dealer can do an exception for me”. Instead go vague with “The AppleCare rep advised me to pick up my iMac and they are going to take care of it for me since they have the needed parts available”
    9> To quote the Coneheads “Maintain Low Tones”, raising your force puts the other person in a defensive stance and guess how good that works when you’re the squirrel and they are the bear.
    10> If your end result is a good one, regardless of your effort be happy and try and learn if how you handled it may have caused your own delays.

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.