The Apple Experience

June 22, 2006 life 4 min read

At the end of March, I paid $2499 plus tax to became one of Apple's beta-testers. In exchange, I got a first-generation MacBook Pro.

This is my first Mac, and while I'm hooked on Apple software, it has not been a good experience with their hardware and support. Within the first hour of opening up my expensive new beta product I noticed the annoying whine when the CPU was idle and the excessive heat. Over the past few weeks, I've had a few more unpleasant surprises. The finish on the palm-rest has slowly started flaking off. At first I though it was just dirt, but then I realized that it was indentations, and rubbing it with my hand made it worst. Not long after, a rattling noise began coming from one of the fans. Annoying, but not consistent or too loud, I decided to put up with it—mainly because I didn't want to go without a laptop notebook for 10 days.

The latest trick my expensive beta product performed is that with about 40% battery left, it just shuts off (unfortunately, I discovered this after working on a design in Photoshop for an hour and a half without saving it).

So this week I finally called Apple support, and after explaining all my problems to two different people—and two hours later—their conclusion was to just take it to the Apple store where I purchased it. Thanks, you could have told me that in the first 15 minutes.

So last night I went in to the Apple store (40 minutes away) and told them of my troubles. The Mac genius recommended that we send it in for repair and it would be back as soon as next Friday. That's what I expected, but that sucks! I asked if there were any other options and told him that some of the blog posts that I read that said that some of the Apple stores where just doing exchanges for these problematic MacBook Pros. He said he couldn't do that and that they don't even have the a matching configuration.

So, as he was filling out the stuff to send my computer in for repair, I pulled out the trump card. I started telling him about how this is my first Mac and it hasn't been a great experience. I told him about Dell's support and how whenever I called or emailed them with a problem, they would show up at my house the next day with the replacement parts and fix it for me. A few minutes later, he asked me to wait and he'd be right back.

After being gone for about 10 minutes, the genius came back out and informed me that Apple really wants to make sure that I have a good experience, so they're going to exchange my faulty laptop with a new one. And since they don't have the same configuration, I get bumped up from the 2.0GHz model to 2.16GHz. Sweet!

So, even though Apple's support sucks, the story still might have a happy ending. I'm going to pick up my new MacBook Pro when the store opens this morning.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.