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[tech|personal] grumbling about repairs

Just a grumble, feel free to ignore.

I’m a big fan of Apple hardware, and a moderate fan of Apple software. (And no, I don’t like their walled garden ecosystem either, but I choose to put up with it for the slick, highly convenience of the devices, the incredibly low maintenance load on me, and the intra-Apple cross-platform integration.) I’m also generally a fan of Apple’s customer service and repair policies. I’ve had a couple of questionable experiences over the years since my first Apple Macintosh 512K in 1985, both of which were eventually resolved favorably.

(The obvious exception to the above is the Google Maps/Apple Maps fiasco in iOS6, but I don’t want to rant about that here. That’s not the point of this post. But as long as I’m on the subject, hey, Apple, give us back our God damned Google Maps.)

Over the weekend, [info]the_child‘s 3+-year-old MacBook Pro had a total hard drive failure. 99%+ of her data has been recovered, due to good backup hygiene and me being able to image the failing disk before it went completely kerflooie, so this is a significant inconvenience rather than a major disaster. Team E— was kind enough to take the laptop into the Pioneer Place Apple Store here in Portland on Monday.

Diagnosis: Hard drive failure. (Yeah, I knew that.)

Repair: About $250.

I don’t have a big issue with a nearly four-year-old machine losing a hard drive. And yes, it’s out of warranty, even with extended AppleCare. What I do have an issue with is that the same hard drive was replaced less than a year ago, near the expiration of the computer’s AppleCare contract. I asked if a less than one-year-old hard drive could reasonably be expected to fail, and if the part was warranteed separately based on its installation date.

Well, no, and no. Repair parts are warranteed for ninety days from installation.

Really, Apple?

I mean, too bad for me. I’m not going to start writing complaint letters to customer service or anything. But new-in-box hardware from Apple comes with a one-year warranty. I would expect the same from OEM replacement parts installed by Apple.

It is a rare disappointment for me from a company that I’ve always equated with both admirable hard quality and excellent customer service.

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