For the last few months, I’ve been battling a debilitating issue with my Apple G4 laptop. It has narcolepsy. The trackpad in many G4 laptops contains a faulty temperature sensor. It normally reads -16 to 4 C (which is wrong), but the operating system monitors it. From time to time (and for me all the time), the sensor will register -150 C to +260 C.
When this happens, the OS puts the computer into emergency sleep. There is no way to turn this behavior off.
This has not been the only battle with faulty hardware. My laptop lost half its memory shortly after I acquired it, and this required a new logic board to remedy. But not before Apple tried replacing all the RAM several times. In the end, it took Apple four or so weeks to get a new logic board. Luckily, I could struggle through with half my memory. Imagine if it was dead.
Well, that’s where we are today. My laptop puts itself asleep almost continuously now. I can barely get 10-20 seconds out of the laptop. For all intents and purposes, it’s a $3600 silver hunk of crap.
Apple in their infinite wisdom, must *see* the laptop fail. There are no Apple dealerships near me. I cannot easily take time off work. The Apple dealers which are open late do not have any service staff on after hours. You get the picture. I have the logs dating from January. I have the Apple support article. I know the part number. I can show the temperate sensor readings and the obvious places it goes crazy. Apple will not believe me because they haven’t seen it fail. Well, I finally managed to find some time to go take it to Apple in late March when it was totally driving me nuts. It’s now nearly 12 days later, and I still have a faulty computer.
Compare this to the last Dell I had (I’ve had three). One morning, my hard drive crapped out. I rang them at 9 am to report the issue. The tech was there at 11 am, and I was using the recovery CD at 11.15 am. Or the HP workstation I bought in the mid-90’s after my last Mac, a Quadra 650. About two years into its three year warranty, the monitor developed a fault and I rang in to get it looked at thinking I might need to drop it off somewhere. No – HP sent out a courier the same day with a brand spanking new monitor and the courier waited for me to unpack the monitor and repack the faulty monitor. Now that’s service.
Apple wants me to pay $530 for AppleCare to continue my warranty for another two years as my warranty runs out on Tuesday. It’s obvious that I need it with this pile of steaming feces – it’s a lemon. But why should I pay for such crappy service? As far as I’m concerned as a customer, if I tell you something is not right, you just tell me when I can bring the damn thing in and you will fix it right there and then.
But no – Apple can’t currently tell me when the required part (a new “top” unit, which includes the temperature sensor for the trackpad) will arrive, so I’m forced to wait. They don’t provide me an alternative laptop in the meantime.
Apple – I was considering a nice new MacBook Pro. Your truly awful customer service has turned me off your products. If you can’t be bothered to stand behind your $3600 products, when Dell stands behind their $1500 products so much better, I can’t honestly justify the additional $1100 to buy your crap.
I’m not going to buy the $530 AppleCare. I’m going to save up for a nice new shiny Dell and end my switching experience permanently. This sucks.