Thursday, September 06, 2007

Apple Service Rant

So, most of you know im a die hard apple fanboy. Love all my mac/apple products, but this shit cannot go untold.

When i got my mac pro, i wanted to make sure i got the best they had to offer(that i could understandably afford). I sprung for the ATI x1900 upgrade kit, since for some asinine reason, it would take an extra 1-2 weeks to get it installed if i did build to order. I got the card, installed it myself(which is not hard, a moronic chimp could pull out a video card, install a new one and connect a power lead) and then went on my merry way.

Fast forward a few months to now, and the GPU in this card is slowly cooking itself. I first noticed it within WoW, graphical tearing and artifacting. I didnt know if this was WoW issue or a software thing, so i did my normal anal research, trying to find anything i could that could explain this. Was it a V-synch issue? Was it a refresh problem? Multisampling? Well, i found out that MANY Mac users with x1900s that play WoW have the same problem. The issue? Bad video card batch. I guess these x 1900s didnt have the correct cooling thresholds, so if you use them for a long period of time, they wont cool properly and melt down. Ok. No biggie. Hardware warranty, should get it easily replaced.

I call applecare. Explain the issue, explain what i did to troubleshoot, all the research i did, etc. Ironically, the phone technician had the SAME PROBLEM with his mac playing WoW, so it was a quick and dirty call. He gave me an applecare case number, but said i had to take the system into an apple store to have them verify the issue before they could replace it. I wasnt too thrilled about lugging that beast of a machine in to an apple store, but fine, whatever. I just want it fixed. I ask if i need to set up an appointment, he said that since i had an applecare case number, i could bring it in and they should test it, swap in a new board and i would be in and out lickity split. Ha.

Now its saturday. I get up, go in to the apple store around noon. Its a frigging zoo in there. I carry this machine, which probably weighs more than small children, and head to the genius bar. A very nice girl offered to help me, and i explained my issue. She was shocked to hear that the applecare person said i didnt need an appointment, and said i had to set one up to even talk to they were the frigging pope or something. OK, fine. Next appointment was at 130. I didnt feel like staying at the mall, didnt feel like driving home again...but i figured id go home and play some madden. Drove home...played some madden for about 20 minutes, then drove back up. The geniuses were running a good 30-45 minutes late. so around 215-220 i get to speak to them, and tell them the case number and they take off the case and hook the system up to power. This is where it gets fun.

He boots the machine up, lets it run for about 90 seconds....THEN TOUCHES THE VIDEO CARD. Says "Yep, its running hot." At that stunned out of my mind. I went through all of this for THE TOUCH TEST? The guy put his fingers on it, and apparently felt some supreme connection with the tech support gods, and was able to accurately tell that the video card was running at non-optimal temperatures. I asked what was next, and as would be expected by the kings of irony...they didnt have any replacement cards in stock. Since it was a holiday weekend, they would order the card on tuesday, and would call me to let me know when it was in. I made sure to verify that when i brought it in, it would be a quick swap in/swap out. The genius said it would be, and not to worry. Needless to say, i still worried.

Now it is wednesday. I got a call at work saying my video card was in. Hooray! This idiocy might be over! I set up ANOTHER appointment for 615 to meet with them to get it installed. I am now practically giddy to get this finished. I race home, change and unplug my system from everything and load it up into my car. Race to oak brook, get there at 610...and find out they are running 30 min behind...again. 645 rolls around, and i finally get to talk to someone. Put my system on the bench, said that they had a video card to install and was ready for them to crack the case open and go to town.

"When can you pick it up tomorrow", Said the unshaven and somewhat smelly genius.
"...what?" I replied in a somewhat stunned manner.

Apparently their ONLY nighttime tech guy was sent to the hospital an hour earlier, and noone...i repeat NOONE had the 5 minutes it would take to swap this video card in and out. This genius was already on my shit list.

"Well, at least i dont have to waste time troubleshooting it." He said.

I thought to myself, "Does this clown have ANY idea how prissy he sounds?" For petes sake, this is a customer service operation. Acting like working with someone to fix an issue is THEIR JOB. I didnt have the time or energy to deal with this guy, so i said fine, i would pick it up the next day after work.

I can only imagine today when i go in to pick it up, im SURE that there is going to be some other kind of mind boggling snag that will require more annoying BS.

Cmon apple. I bought this video card as an upgrade kit. I installed it myself. Let me install the replacement, and i wont feel the need to slaughter innocent women and children because of your "geniuses" lack of communication skills.

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