What Kind of Schmuck Does Apple Think I Am? {With Update!}

In 2007, upon the advice of my friend, Laslo, a multiple award-winning graphic artist, I purchased my first Mac, a 20" desktop. Right from the beginning I had problems. The damn thing crashed during installation.

"What the hell are you doing to it?" he cried at me. "You're breaking it!"

"I'm not breaking a thing," I stated, "there's something wrong with it."

He gave me an indignant stare. From that moment on, the damn thing consistently crashed, yet Laslo insisted it was my fault. As did Apple.

In two years, I purchased the black Macbook, Time Capsule, another wireless remote, wireless mice and keyboard, a B&W commercial printer as well as a color one. Not including all the iPods and iPhones (I kept losing them), warranties as well as software. I shelled out over $10,000 in two years.

During the summer of 2009, I installed a new Mac operating system, one I paid for. The desktop crashed with the disk wedged inside. Wisps of smoke curled over the computer. I rapidly dialed Apple Support.

"You'll have to bring ALL your equipment to the closest Apple Store," they informed me. At the time, I lived in Astoria where there weren't any escalators or elevators to gain access to the overhead subways, four stories up. Not only that, there was no immediate access to hail a gypsy cab. I couldn't use the subway or hail a cab, dragging my 20" iMac with routers and external hard drives because I still recuperated from the 3rd round of my ankle being broken to pieces. The $60 round-trip cab fare got to me as well.

"Listen," I said, "I gotta big problem here. My first novel's stuck inside the desktop." I then described why I couldn't go to NYC to the Apple Store. Not only that, I took the Time Capsule and attached it to my laptop. Over the course of two years, not a single file was saved. Out of my mind, I screamed, "Are you people out to destroy me?"

It took three weeks of arguing with Apple until finally they sent someone to my place. The guy took apart my computer. I peeked inside at the charred remnants of my hard drive. "Another defective product," he sniffed, and said, "This is why I've a job. Most of their stuff is crap."

I asked why the Time Capsule didn't perform.

"With a defective hard drive, of course not," he sniffed again, "the computer may've indicated it saved your work on the external drive, but it didn't."

I wailed, "What should I do? That's ten years' worth of work!"

He said, "Let this be our little secret," and pulled out a machine that extracted all the information from my hard drive. "I just saved you $1,000." He spent the entire day at my place, updating my new hard drive and replacing the information within the new hard drive. I lost many articles anyhow.

I moved upstate NY. I noticed that the computer didn't work once more. This was in 2010. I made a special 2 hour journey to drag it into the 5th Avenue Apple Store. They told me to return to the store in a few days to pick it up. "No can do," I stated. "Ship it back to me."

"No can do," they said and gave me grief. I left the store and while driving 2 hours home, called Apple Corporate headquarters.

A week later, they shipped the computer back without any protection outside of the flimsy cardboard box I placed it in. I took pictures of the dented box, smashed in places. And, sure enough, the damn computer was broken with MORE problems.

I lost my mind. "Are you people out to ruin me?" I shrieked. In return, they sent me a 27" desktop and I paid the $500 difference between the 20" and 27". This was their way to appease me from the fact that they fucked up royally too many times to count.

Then the Time Capsule died. I shipped it back and they finally returned it. I never use it as an external hard drive, though. Once burnt, I learned. This was followed up with a spate of problems with my Macbook. So, that was in and out of repair for the past 3 years.

Which brings me to the story at hand. {Bring out the Java. This is gonna take more time.}

I purchased 1/2/11 the Macbook Air under the impression I'd shortly be rejoining the executive workforce. I had a whole series of interviews booked up. Imagine my surprise a little over a month later when I had a seizure during a job interview. Flash forward a year or so later: I'm still recuperating and adjusting to this weird deafness. My executive career days are over. In essence, I treasure that Macbook Air as the last of my frivolous expenses.

Actually, I live on that computer. Because, since I became neurologically deaf, I rely on the internet for interactions with people, news, work and entertainment. I fell in love with the Macbook Air: the speed, the ease and its lightweightness. All of my work is conducted on the machine. I've written 3 manuscripts, 6 ebooks, scores of articles and short stories and my blog on this machine. That's a lot of work since 1/2/11. I've gotten several writing jobs as well.

Until a month ago.

In the middle of working, my Macbook Air crashed. I phoned Apple Support and we went through hours of adjustments until finally the guy helped me restart the computer to get my work out. Something I had to do fast because the hard drive collapsed. I emailed hundreds of files to myself, even though several were on iCloud. And then the thing collapsed.

Apple informed me that the hard drive was defective from the git go. AGAIN? WHAT THE FUCK? Does Apple make ANY products that aren't defective?

I don't want to get into laborious detail to ship in a repair, but it entailed: (1) Getting a box shipped from Apple and delivered by FedEx; (2) Getting FedEx to pick up the box with my Macbook Air inside to return to Apple.

A week later, FedEx returned my Macbook Air. Unfortunately, I couldn't use it, because the Apple geniuses broke the keyboard while replacing the hard drive. Infuriated, I phoned Executive Customer Service in Cupertino, Ca. That's when the real fun and games started.

Let's put it like this: it's a month out & I still don't have my Macbook Air and won't see it for another week or two. Apple adamantly refuses to replace the old with a new one. After the weekend I spent because of Apple, I couldn't even talk to this Executive Customer Service Operator and sent her the following email instead:

Dear XXX -

I have to applaud you on your customer service training. I remember going through the EST training as well. Let's see: let them talk themselves raw & then do nothing. Yes, I've done the mind-f**king to my clients, so let's dispense with the niceties. I'm reeling, livid and disgusted with what has been going on & what has occurred the past several days.

First off, I've been polite to you, allowing you to believe that I believe in your concern. What kind of asshole do you take me for? Your job is to coddle me while not giving an inch. You act as if honoring the warranty, something I PAID FOR, is a grand deed for Apple. And, I really appreciate your education of a life cycle of a product. Darling, I made 6 figures on Wall Street for 30 years as a financial analyst specializing in company and product life cycles. Really appreciate the tutorial, for what the hell do I know? Yes, life changes and yes, now I'm a poor struggling artist. But that knowledge never goes away.  

BTW - thanks for informing me that your non-Apple products have a life that exceeds Apple ones. That slip didn't go un-noticed. And thank you for letting me know that you guys operate on a case by case basis. So, am I that selected case that you'd honor? Or is that another carrot stick method to coddle me, thinking I'd succumb to more empty innuendos.

Which gets me back to the topic at hand.

Your company sold me a defective product (once again). I like to say that Apple sold me another lemon. Your company's 'kind' enough to honor the warranty, something I paid for. But, to receive the product back BROKEN, damn. That's 2 strikes. The fact that I, now disabled with a rare, incurable and untreatable neurological deafness, do not want to imperil myself and travel a few hours to an Apple store for a repair, have to rely on FedEX shipments back and forth back and forth exasperates me further. I don't care what you tell me about boxes undergoing tests. I ain't no fool.

XXX, after what I went through the past several days, I'm beyond disgust with Apple. To recap: during the initial crash which occurred now a few weeks ago, your Apple Care Support guy gave me a virtual bandaid to get my work outta the computer before the hard drive totally crashed. I emailed to myself hundreds of documents as I'm a prolific writer. Well, the plot gets thicker.

I spent a miserable couple of days,14 hours a day, digitizing my latest ebook comedy for publication.That first day I found my file was corrupted. I went back to the emails and got sick. All were corrupted. Hundreds of them. I've 3 manuscripts totaling over a 1,000 pgs, 3 more of the comedy ebook series, and tons of articles. Not only that, I checked my docs on iCloud. The ones I updated that last day prior to the crash were corrupt as well. I'm thoroughly screwed. This just put me back almost a year. 

I spent the past 3 days, 14 hours a day to work on my new comedy ebook. I had to strip it out of all formatting and reformat it. Then, I had to digitalize it. It may not seem too bad to an outsider except for the fact that each distributor uses different formatting guides. This was punishment enough, but I did all this work 2 months ago!

I add this to my litany of woes. Not only all the infractions your company committed from the very first because I received a defective product; the fact that I'm behind the 8 ball waiting to earn a living while your geniuses broke my Macbook and now take their time. Most of all, it's the lack of respect from your company. Evidently, my time, my work, who I am doesn't count to Apple - you already got my money.

What kind of schmuck do you think I am? 

What kind of schmuck does Apple think I am?

# # #

PS: It took nearly a month in toto and I received my Macbook Air. With hiccups. I spoke at great length with their technical support. It took 2 phone calls and almost 3 hours, but we ironed out 2 out of the 3 issues. The last one, though, requires that I physically go to their store. The battery dies out in 1 hour. Even Apple agreed that all this back & forth through FedEx is killing the product.

I try to avoid going into NYC for the most part, but have no other recourse. I'll lump my Apple Store visit in with doctors' appointments in 8 weeks or so. And, by the way, I spoke with a top guy at technical support. He informed me that one more crash will qualify me for a new replacement Macbook Air. That's something to look forward to.

This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Austin said...

Sounds like a real pain in the ass time. Which I have to say is very uncharacteristic of my experiences with Apple. But I have had the time capsule issue that you spoke about. Thinking my work was backed up only to find out it was not. Since then I have had to do another version of KISS. Multiple versions everywhere. I use CrashPlan to backup my work remotely and then I have a local external hard drive that I clone every week. I hope you get some resolution and are able to get back to work

maura stone said...

Thanks so much, Austin. Since the Macbook Air's still somewhere and yet to make its voyage to me, I've resorted to my 4yo Macbook, unaccustomed to the high level of usage. While reformatting my latest ebook comedy, the Macbook shuddered a few times and froze. Just my luck, right?