I’ll never look at Apple the same way again

It is pretty well known across the web that Apple definitely has its own share of negative publicity. Hardware failures when products are first launched, iPhone apps getting rejected from the App store for no apparent reason, the whole fiasco between Google and Apple, the list goes on.

I have been lucky. I have owned one iMac, one MacBook, one iPod Nano, and two iPhones – none of them have failed on me. I never ever had to send any one of them for repair, despite buying Applecare for my two Apple computers because of all the horror stories I have heard.

Without hesitation, I did not even blink when I ordered my new MacBook Pro with a matte screen when Snow Leopard was released. This new machine was to replace my old but trusty two-year old MacBook. This new Macbook Pro is not a machine that I can easily afford. It was purchased with the money I have painstakingly earned over the past two years that contained countless sleepless nights, mind-breaking stressful periods.

So when the screen of my new MacBook Pro became like this:

Defective Macbook Pro Screen

I was heartbroken. After all the anticipation and excitement of having a new machine, it was not very pleasant having to visit the service center and having to go through data migration multiple times.

Nevertheless, the machine was really new and I did not think that Apple would hesitate replacing my machine.

How wrong could I be.

I was told uncompromisingly by Apple Customer Relations that because I bought my machine from a reseller, they will not and can not replace my machine. They will only offer to repair it. "This is the law" and "I have my consumer rights" (basically I can take it to court if I want to), I was told on the phone.

This is almost amusing to me because for one, Singapore has no direct Apple retail stores and we only have resellers. Secondly, whether the machine comes from a reseller or not, it is made by Apple. I do not understand why Apple is refusing to replace machines sold by resellers.

The guy on the phone also said that if I were to buy the machine direct online, they would replace it with no issues.

If I had ****ing known this, I would not have bought from a reseller! I am very sure that less than 10% of the consumers in Singapore knows about this policy AND the one that says custom made to order machines do not have a refund policy regardless of whatever reasons.

Why is it that stock machines have a refund policy and custom made to order machines do not? Because it is more difficult to sell it off the next time? How considerate.

The very upsetting truth is, despite all these, I am very much married to Apple products. There is no way I will go back to using a PC again. It is really frustrating but I am in awe of what Steve Jobs have done to our psyche. At this moment, Apple can afford to be as unreasonable as they want regarding product replacement policies or strange App Store rejections – so? Steven Frank (panic.com) found out the hard way that a product boycott is virtually impossible.

The reseller is not helping much either (apparently Apple is not very kind to their resellers either if you do a google), except that they offered to send my machine in on their end to 'seek Apple's approval' if my machine can be considered DOA (dead on arrival). Apple considers a product DOA if it is inoperable from the box, or if it shows signs of hardware failure within 14 days. If that picture above is not enough to demonstrate hardware failure, I do not know what will.

I am feeling a huge sense of injustice but the truth is there is nothing much I can do. I don't feel that Singapore is as protective of consumer rights as compared to the West. The only thing I can do now is to hope for the best and just trust that things will fall into place the way they are meant to be.

It is definitely difficult to simply have faith at the moment in time. It is only but a machine, albeit an expensive one but it is not a life and death issue. I will live with it. Even if I have to send the machine to Applecare 50 times in its lifespan.

Just that there is no doubt that my love and confidence in Apple is shaken. I will never look at Apple the same way again. Not that they'll care – judging from the amount of grouse that can be found online.

I do not wish to point fingers at anybody or make anybody's life difficult, so no store name or employee name is mentioned, but I do feel that it is only right that people get to know about the policies regarding buying from resellers.

Next time when you buy your next Apple product, consider buying direct from the online Apple store to ensure you are fully covered in every way possible. You may want to also consider purchasing a custom made to order product vs a stock machine (and reconfigure it yourself). The reseller is also saying that the replacement process is much more complex because mine is made to order and he will probably replace it if it is a stock machine (what bullshit).

P.S. Yes I can just end my pain by agreeing to a repair but I should be entitled to a replacement because it is new and I really wouldn't want to risk having a repaired machine that may be inherently defective (there are many such cases).