Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rotten apple

We’ve been pretty distracted by our iMac troubles over here, even though the computer is working ok now. (The burnt plastic smell diminishes a little each day). To calm ourselves down and bring an end to this unfortunate chapter of our mac-lives, we’ve issued the following complaint to the Better Business Bureau: On March 26, 2005 my 5-month-old computer began to smell of burnt plastic and eventually emitted smoke. I unplugged it, called Apple and eventually spoke with Brandon who acknowledged the gravity of the problem and, after running through a legal questionnaire, referred me to local repair centers. I dropped off the computer the following Monday. A week later, I learned that they were waiting on a power supply from Apple with “no estimated ship date.” During this time, I was without a computer that I depend on greatly. I called AppleCare on April 6th for more information on the power supply. I waited on hold numerous times, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes each time, speaking to several employees. Each one said that there was "no ship date" for the part. By the time I spoke with Andrew Creswell, I was frustrated. Mr. Creswell made it all worse. He was argumentative and did not sympathize with me at all, as though the problem were perfectly normal. He compared my broken computer to a broken automobile. After 10 minutes with Mr. Creswell, I asked to speak with his manager. He replied that call center managers handle “day-to-day” affairs and do not speak with customers. This must be the company's policy, since he was clearly reading from a script. I asked to file a complaint about him, and he claimed to do so, giving me the reference number 47153395. I continued to request some kind of compensation. A defective computer that overheats and smokes, less than half way through its one year warranty, merits a warranty extension to cover other potentially scorched parts. He offered to sell me this extension at the normal rate, and nothing else. April 11th, my computer was finally ready for pickup. I'm sure that the hour I endured on the phone with Apple shortened this time, but I am not at all satisfied with the treatment I received, nor the outcome. My attempts to complain further with the company have been thwarted: the company has no complaint or customer service form on their Web site.