The Poison Apple
The Poison Apple
My computer is like a bad boyfriend.
I could also title this post “Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid at the Genius Bar”.
I was never a fan of Apple. I have always thought they were proprietary, expensive and snooty. Back in the 1980s, if you were an artist, you needed a Mac. Once Microsoft caught up with their graphics, PCs always seemed the more cost-effective choice.
It was the very thing I disliked about Apple, their proprietary nature, that finally led me to buy in. I wanted to be able to FaceTime with my clients and go live on Facebook, so, when it was time for a new phone, I got an iPhone.
I don’t regret this decision. I do many readings by FaceTime. An added perk is that I love Apple Music. The iPhone camera is terrific.
I love my Apple Watch. I have a Series 3. When Series 5 comes out, I will be first in line for the upgrade.
When it was time for a new laptop, I decided to bite the bullet and get a MacBook Pro. My iMac and iPad quickly followed. When I’m in, I’m in. I love my iPad unabashedly.
The iMac and MacBook Pro are a different story. They are both sleek and sexy, and fun to work on. Yet, they can be temperamental and slow.
Oh, and the rumor that Apples don’t get viruses? That is just a rumor. I know this because of the catastrophic and traumatic iPhone death I suffered due to a virus early on.
All of this leads up to the story that may well have me purchasing a Surface next time around. I had a terrible time with the Geniuses at the Apple Store at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. Every time I go to the Apple Store, I tell myself that I will sign up for the free classes there; one of the perks of being a Mac owner that I never seem to find time to take advantage of.
The “N” key on my MacBook Pro wasn’t working reliably. Some research confirmed that MacBooks have a known keyboard problem. A phone session with Apple Support confirmed that I would need to bring my laptop to the Geniuses.
I followed the detailed emailed instructions to prepare my laptop for its trip to the Gardens. I use my laptop every day. I can limp by with my iMac and iPad. Still, giving up my laptop felt a bit disconcerting. The tech hours for my IT department to secure the laptop for service and then reinstall everything after the fact caused a delay on other projects. Given the price of the MacBook Pro, and that the keyboard malfunction is a known issue, all this felt like a rip-off.
I trudged off to the Gardens Mall, ready to console myself with a nice salad in the food court.
I was pleased that the Geniuses were able to keep my appointment time for service. The email I had received from Apple Support told me to bring the computer and its original accessories. The only thing that came with the laptop was its power cord and supply, so I brought that.
The Genius that worked with me had me plug the power cord into the table. When it was clear that the computer would need new parts, he took the power cord in with the computer.
The expected completion date was just a few days away, so I was happy with my visit to the Apple Store.
The expected completion date came and went with no contact from Apple. I called the store to inquire and was told that in the process of fixing the keyboard the Geniuses had broken the display. Now they had to wait for new parts, and I should have my computer back and good as new by the end of the week. I was incredulous, but gracious. Mistakes happen.
Finally, a day later than expected, I received notice that my MacBook Pro was ready for pick up. Joyfully off to the Gardens Mall I went to get my ‘puter and another food court dinner.
Again, I did not have to wait long to get seen by the Genius. However, the Genius brought it back to me without the power cord. When I told her that I needed my power cord, she looked at me like I had two heads. Then she said, “I will see if I can find it,” as if returning it to me was somehow optional.
That’s when I first got testy. “Oh, you will find it”. I said. It’s not as if my computer has any value without the ability to charge it.
She came back with what looked like a used supply and a new cord. That was fine, until I got back to the office and discovered that she had replaced my six-foot cord with a three-foot cord.
I called the Apple Store the next day to explain the problem. I spoke with the administrator who admitted being the one who had given her that new cord. He apologized, saying he hadn’t realized he had given me the wrong cord. He was happy to agree to mail me the right length cord and let me keep the three-footer. Again, I was fine with that. Accidents happen.
I was fine until I read my receipt from the Apple Store which clearly mentioned the three-foot cord. Either the Administrator had openly lied to me and deliberately given me a short cord, or they had scanned it in and paid absolutely no attention to what they were doing.
That wasn’t the worst part, though. In my conversation with him, he tried to place the blame on me by saying that typically, people did not bring their power cords when they brought their laptops for service. I explained that the email said I should, and that the genius took the cord in, when he could have given it back to me and told me to hang on to it. That’s not on me, dude!
My computer is back and functional. The Administrator shipped my cable overnight. That went a long way to make me feel better.
Yet, the entire comedy of errors, from the known shoddy keyboard to the inept repair which caused additional damage, to the power cord switcheroo and the attempt to shift blame might have felt okay for a $500 Walmart computer, but not for one for which I paid three times that.
We pay more for Apple because we are told we are buying excellent quality and superior service. My experience proves neither of these are true all the time.
Yet, that keyboard feels so good under my fingertips. Would a Surface feel as good? The integration between my iPhone, Apple Watch and MacBook is seamless and delightful. Would a PC work as well?
My iMac is unforgiving. One mistake slows it to a snail’s pace, while my tech guy zings along speedily on his $300 PC. Yet the iMac is so cool-looking in its all-in-one silver shiny glory, sitting proudly on its desk.
My Apple computers are like the impossibly good-looking boyfriend who makes your heart pound and melts you with a glance, who forgets to call you and is lousy in bed. All your girlfriends want him, you are the only one who knows the truth of his callousness and ineptitude. Yet, it’s painful to think about giving him up.