A few years ago we bought my mom an iMac G5 for her 60th birthday. She’s loved having it, but a few months ago it started ‘acting funny.’ Matt and I theorized that it was related to the capacitor problem that had plagued this generation of iMacs, and when it finally overheated and died, we suggested she take it to the Apple store, thinking that Apple would repair it for free, honoring the recall/repair program that was extended on these models.
Sadly, that didn’t happen, the Apple “Genius” claimed he had never heard of any problems and told her that it would cost $1100 to fix, so she bought a new one instead. After thinking about it a little more though it seems like the “Genius” was taking advantage of her, and I think acted unethically.
Once it was back from the Apple Store and declared dead, Matt opened the iMac to try to fix it himself. He discovered that the capacitors were indeed bad, and he called Apple and asked them to fix it – they told him that they would have, but now that it’s open, it’s too late. This is crazy, since the Apple store clearly would’ve seen the bad capacitors when they opened it themselves to come up with that $1100 estimate – so either they didn’t do an actual eval (like they were supposed to) or they were actively trying to take advantage of my mom. Either way, I think they owe her an apology and a repaired computer. Here is her letter to Steve.
Dear Mr. Jobs,
I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. I hope you could help me with a problem that I am having.
I am a retired public school teacher who first learned to love Apple computers in my role as an art teacher in the Newton Public Schools, Newton, MA. In fact I became something of a guru developing clip art files of child artwork in the Appleworks Libraries —presenting workshops around the state. I am a big fan of Apple computers and products. Recently, however, I have had a most frustrating and upsetting experience. I think you personally need to know about the situation and how it was handled.
Three years ago I was given a new iMAC g5 as a 60th birthday present. I use my computer daily but not for very heavy use. In May the screen suddenly started to look like it was weaving a plaid. The problem went from bad to worse. When I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Chestnut Hill, MA, Apple Store, I was told that the logic board would need to be replaced and that it would cost about $1100 to repair. I mentioned that I had read on line of similar problems in that generation of iMACs and was told that they had never heard such a thing. It seemed very atypical to me that a 3 year old iMAC would develop such severe problems.
Reluctantly I bought a new iMAC. My son in law asked if he could see if he could fix my old one. When he made many phone calls and did some internet research, he was told that the warranty on that generation of machines had been extended because of issues with bad capacitors but that they would not honor the warranty because the machine had been opened! The Apple Store “genius” told me no such thing —just that I should buy a new computer. My son in law had found this article about the problem http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20090314071508354
You can understand both my frustration and my lack of confidence in a company that previously had earned a great deal of support and enthusiasm. I think that Apple should honor the repair program since the machine was only opened after the Apple geniuses gave me what seems to be false information. Please help me get my computer repaired or replaced.