However, that was the only bright spot in a tedious exercise involving
- Finding the Invoice to prove it is still in Warranty (no mean feat in itself).
- Wondering why this is necessary when the machine was registered with Apple - what is the purpose of that if you still need to produce the paper copy?
- Driving 40 minutes to the nearest "Authorised Apple Agent".
- Getting a phone call the next day to say there is no indication that it is still under warranty.
- Reminding them that they took a photocopy of the Invoice I provided.
- Grinding teeth while they looked for it, and grimly accepting their apology when they found it.
- Getting another phone call to say the key worked fine (subtext "Perhaps you are just a really stupid user?")
- Explaining that I had provided detailed notes on the service form about the fact the key only started to fail after repeated use.
- Grinding teeth again while they looked for the service form, and even more grimly accepting their apology when they found it.
- Hoping they can actually find the problem.
- Waiting, and waiting ... and still waiting. ("Estimated service time 3-10 working days.")
Meanwhile, of course, I am without my laptop. My shiny, undeniably gorgeous laptop. Above all, my expensive and new laptop. It does not seem right that through a succession of faults or errors on their part, I should be the one so inconvenienced and out of pocket.
But wait, there's more ...
Even more recently than my MacBook Air purchase, I paid Apple Store Australia a large sum of money for a new iPhone 3GS, which I bought outright to avoid the confusion of different plans. After a week or two it duly arrived, only to crush my expectations and delight by failing to pick up the wireless signal in my home, even when I stood directly in front of the modem, pointing furiously.
Another predictable sequence of events:
- Ring Apple Australia service department.
- Speak to friendly person in India who is terribly polite but completely unable to understand the problem.
- Get transferred to a succession of equally polite but unhelpful people in India.
- Finally reach someone who can actually help. Take a very deep breath and explain yet again, trying very hard indeed to be as polite as they are.
- Told to send the iPhone back to Apple, wait several weeks until more are in stock, and then receive a replacement.
- Explain that I need to have a mobile phone, so that is unacceptable.
- Ask why I can't keep this iPhone to use as a mobile phone until new stock arrives.
- Told that they will not even order a replacement until they get the broken one back, so the "only" way I can keep the phone in the meantime is to buy a second one, and when that arrives, return the first one for a refund.
- Momentarily speechless.
- Check that they actually mean for me to pay TWICE for a working phone, trusting them to refund one payment at some unspecified time in the future.
- Decide to accept this incredible "solution" rather than be without a phone for another month or more.
In both cases I have paid in advance for expensive items that I have to wait for, and then subsequently have to return at my own expense and inconvenience, due to problems entirely at Apple's end.
I've been a devoted Mac fan since the days of the old Apple II computer, and I still think they are wonderful machines, but their service seriously sux.