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31 August 2007 @ 09:59 am
Warranties: not a sucker bet  
My first experience with getting a computer serviced under AppleCare has (so far) been positive.

The background: my dearly beloved MacBook is sorely lacking in a robust document processing suite. As I do not have $600 to drop on Office for Mac and wouldn't even if I did, I thought I'd install OpenOffice. To do this on a Mac, you need to install X11. The X11 libs and install are available one of the system disks that comes with every Mac.

The situation: I inserted the appropriate disk and watched for it to mount. This, it did not do. Normally, ejecting a disk from a drive on a Mac means dragging its icon to the Trash. If the disk never mounts, this obviously cannot be done. Luckily, the MacBook has an Eject button, which I promptly pressed. Cue grinding noise. Oooookay. Follow the troubleshooting steps to eject a recalcitrant disk. Find that none of them succeed. Translation: hardware problem.

The solution: Consulted the Apple Website on setting up a repair consultation at an Apple store. The Website directed me to the most convenient of several choices for an Apple store and then helped me set up an appointment at the store's Genius Bar.

The resolution: I showed up early to find that several other appointments had been no shows, meaning I was seen early by a Mac Genius. The Genius proceeded to examine the MacBook while verbally proving that he had already read the notes I'd entered on the appointment. He tested a CD and two DVDs after managing to extract the disk and declared that he didn't like how the drive was sounding. He then checked in the MacBook for a drive replacement.

I miss my MacBook and I officially hate seeing someone walk away from me carrying it. Yes, even someone wearing an Apple Genius uniform. I should have it back in the standard 3-5 business days.

Waaah. Still, not bad, so far.
Current Mood: pining for my Mac
E. Steev Ramsdelltranscendant on August 31st, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
I think that by this point, I'm legally required to hate Macs, but that sounds like damned good customer service, and I envy you for that.

Maybe your story will remind me to call Dell tonight, like I've been needing to do for a few weeks now.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on August 31st, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
I've heard more bad than good about Dell support. Those who consider it good speak of it glowingly. Everyone else when asked on the topic will point to previous Dell support experiences as the main reasons to avoid buying a Dell ever again.

The capper for me is that I've known people who've worked with Dell support. Even they suggest staying away from Dell.

Why would you be required to hate Macs, anyway?
Ace Lightning: at computeracelightning on September 1st, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
on most PCs, it's a relatively simple matter to simply buy a new drive and swap it for the malfunctioning one. i take it that it's not that easy to perform field surgery on a Mac?

Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on September 1st, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
It's a laptop. It's under warranty. No way am I going to do it myself and risk killing the computer AND voiding that warranty.
Ace Lightning: gearheadacelightning on September 1st, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
well, as long as it's under warranty, that makes perfect sense. and replacing a drive in a laptop is a little more "fiddly" than doing so on a desktop unit.