I’ve had my fill of Apple customer support and AppleCare and Takedown Threats from Apple, but part of the residual tide from reporting on those uncomfortable experiences is the private feedback I get from our readers.
I have permission from our reader to publish the following letter. The author only asked we redact the real name and email address. After wrangling with Apple for a few days last week, I completely understand why this public anonymity shield is necessary. I have the original email in hand, so I am confident this letter is authentic:
Sorry to hear your problems against Apple.
First I need to be clear that it’s been more than 5 years since my last “legal” encounter v. Apple, so I can write to you about it.
I had my first Mac in ’86, so I could be call a starter shareholder and proud supporter of the Apple brand.
Skipping 15 years and I made my first mistake of buying the extended warranty, which they never named like that.
Had a problem with an iMac, requested the validation of the warranty, mail the box, under my expense to them, just to get it back 6 months later, non repaired with an explanation that as I installed non Apple branded memory, all the equipment was out of warranty.
I paid 250+ for the repair at a local mac dealer, just to not loose the 1,000 dollars investment.
Two years later the DVD drive of a new Mac Mini stop working. The same story just to receive the equipment 4 months later and a bill of 100 for labor from the local authorize repair store. Which I paid after complaining.
And the last chapter was with a Powerbook that died just after 6 months and was covered by under Apple Care.
Same story, brought it to the authorize repair store indicated by them over the phone. Briefly they confirm it wasn’t working and I made the mistake to bring everything, box, receipts, manuals, cd, cables, etc.. As I expected to get a brand new equipment.
Three months went by and then received a message from the repair store to go and pick it up. To my surprise, nothing was done, I was return the same non-working laptop without any other paper, accessory, box, cable, nothing I left before. It was written down on the delivery slip.
I contacted Apple customer service and after two phone calls with them, of three hours each. And blaming me again of the malfunction I just hired a lawyer. Before hanging up, I gently requested the names of the persons involved in the case and indicate them that I would request further legal advice.
In six weeks time, I received a new white box Macbook, the reimbursement of my original purchase, the reimbursement of all legal expenses and a large – out of the court – confidentiality agreement to sign off this problem.
I hired the most expensive lawyers office in town, but it was worth it. They filed two legal lawsuits concurrently in Canada and the USA. It wasn’t about the legal stuff, but the contacts they had in the lawyers circuit that when Apple knew about it, they just wanted to stop any disclosure of my case, as I image, I’m not alone on this one and just a fraction of people take this steps against them.
I just left all that behind.
I’m just reading, too, about the italian warranties problem and I can’t still understand how can Apple have the business ethics to sell Apple Care products that have a value of zero dollars under Italy consumer protection laws. As all the products have a 26 months implied original warranty after purchase.
Apple is crunching numbers, because there are several EU countries that have 2 years original warranty coverage for electronic equipment. So they are going to push the limit until they will just have to just stop offering any Apple Care products in the EU.
Really, until today and never saw Apple could be a twin brother of Microsoft, when it comes to ethics and customer policies.
Just a note about your case, when I receive the Mac Mini that had the drive changed, they clearly indicated that the Apple Care warranty was over, and that just a 90 days would cover any further problem. So maybe that is the reason them don’t want to switch your replaced monitor, as it would cover just 90 days.
I would recommend you to return the monitor, request the money back and buy a brand new one. Don’t think it twice. As you indicated, already it is affecting your other subscriptions because the expiration dates and any purchase made that date would turn into a 90 days extension and that is why somebody decided just to better erase them from your file instead of showing incorrectly the ending warranty dates.
By reading your blog I understand you work at an University, look for the legal department and involve them in your legal issues against Apple. No one has the right to ask you for silence. We have the right to complain (file complaints) – and be heard – and we can use any mean necessary.
If you do a Google search on “Apple Thuggery” you will get a ton of really sad and unfortunate links telling about Apple heavy-handedness when it comes to dealing with ordinary people like me and our dear reader and it makes us wonder why a company that makes such great public products privately treats its customers so unpredictably poorly and punishingly for so little Public Relations gain.