I had a bad feeling about the loud clickity fan noises coming from my MacBookPro. With the heat this laptops put out, loosing its cooling mechanism would be big bad karma for my work machine.
Since the laptop was still under warranty, I trundled off to the Apple Store in Phoenix, knowing it would likely need a week plus stay, possible shipped off somewhere for repair. I do enjoy the vibe of the Apple Store, but this was a work day, and not a fun browse day. It did not look too crowded at the “Genius Bar”, where from past experiences I know you have to check in via a browser. Previously I had waited perhaps 15-25 minutes to drop off a machine for repair.
This was odd- it was 2:00 PM in the afternoon, and the time slots coming up when I could talk to someone about a machine with a warranty related issues was 7:30 PM! Like I was going to wait 5 hours, or in this era of high fuel costs, make another trip home and back?? And I can overhear the kinds of issues being dealt with down the counter, “You can use this great free e-mail called ‘Thunderbird’ that does everything like Outlook. Here, let’s go download and ….” or “To do this right, we’re going to have to reset your iPod, reformat it for PC and…'”.
Not to put my problems ahead of others (of course my problems are most important… to me), but why do people with service requests to Apple have to be in the same queue as people needing some hand holding with Mac OS? Why is there no plain old repair desk like I can find at other computer stores? Oh, I can pay another $99 a year for a “Pro” status to give me some priority?? No way. They genius told me there were 50 people ahead of me. Now I have no training in business or management, but would guess that if you have that much of a demand, you put more staff on the issue, you do not stuff them into a long line– putting customers off creates bad karma.
To their credit, when I asked a staff member at the front of a store where else I could go to get a warranty repair, they mentioned a shop that was in fact closer to my home that could take care of a warranty covered repair. When I walked into Re-Mac there was no line, I got my machine in, and they can likely repair it without shipping it out.
Done deal, I am done going to the Apple Store for getting service. If they really do not want to deal with repair issues, they ought to make that more clear.
Now I am without a modern machine for at least a week, trying tog et by on my 4 year old personal 700 MhZ iBook, which I still use for my own PhotoShop, web programming work etc, but it is slow. And while I ran complete backups of my main machine, just the process of setting up has been hours- Mail, FTP, web (forgot to save my bookmarks, but getting the same extensions in Firefox), setting my local copy of Apache for web site testing, cannot run Second Life on the G3 CPU… The upside is next week I spend in Dallas for an NMC workshop, so the crimp in CPU should not be severe.
When writing this experience, I have to put out my disclaimers, as saying something less than glowing about Apple puts some zealots into auto attack mode writing me and saying “Why Do you Hate Apple?”. I love my Macs but it does not mean it is blind love, offered without criticism… I have lived, breathed, and done all my essential professional and computer work since 1987 on Apple OS, and it will be that death grip that remains firmly held onto my Macs.