Thank you very much, Apple

Remember how I promised that I wouldn’t rant any more about my iPod? I lied.

For those of you not following along at home, here’s a quick recap:
– My really good friends bought me an iPod. Unfortunately it arrived acting extremely flakey, and died after three days. I sent it back.
– Apple claimed they’d sent me a replacement, but it never came. After a month or more of waiting, Apple admitted that they’d lost the replacement order, and so they send me a new one.
– A year and a couple of months after getting the new one, the hard drive fell to pieces (you could hear bits rattling around inside) while it was in my pocket (ie not the result of dropping it or anything). Since it was out of warranty, Apple charged me $270 to fix it, and attempted to charge me $49 for a day of telephone support because their web site wouldn’t accept my serial number.
– The “fixed” iPod arrived, and had a different serial number, so I assume it’s a replacment. However, it was acting intermittently flakey. I sent it back, along with a full page of documentation of exactly how to reproduce the problem, and the many different symptoms that you see when the problem occurs. One of those was spontaneous reboots that reset the date and time.

Latest update:
The same iPod came back. The battery was so depleted that when I plugged it in it didn’t show anything on the screen, so I initially thought it was totally dead. However, leaving it plugged in for an hour or so and it showed up on my Powerbook’s desktop. However, I left it plugged in overnight and started testing it. Guess what – it’s doing EXACTLY the same things it was doing before I sent it back, except now when it spontaneously reboots, it resets everything – date, time, time zone, repeat settings, contrast, everything.


If I ever get this fixed, I’m seriously considering selling it on eBay and getting an Archos or iRiver.

4 thoughts on “Thank you very much, Apple”

  1. Sounds a harsh tale and I empathise, and I am probably tempting fate here, so I will touch wood. They have there quirks for sure – I’ve just never been bit that bad.

    I had an original iPod, and after a year of so of constant use travel, plus flaky firmware updates it died. Partly due to sand from the beach jamming a button and attempted home surgery. But the battery was flaking out (and this is when they had a 90 day warranty). So I wrote it off as I was on the road (it worked out about 70p a day cost for it’s use).

    Once bitten three months later in Bangkok with no portable tunes – I bought a 3rd gen version – again bad firmware to kick off with and a flaky unit which eventually died 4 months in. A year’s warranty this time – the replacement is still with me, and going good. The facia buttons are flaky sometimes when the remote is in – and I’m not a real heavy user so the battery is okay . However almost like a tax I feel obliged to go for the Applecare option – because I’m sure the battery will crap out. Tax as it maybe – it has proved the smartest investment I ever made with the PowerBook I lugged around the world. But that’s another story…

  2. Sorry to hear about the iPod problems. My wife and I each have an iPod and we’ve had absolutely no problems with them. Her’s is an original iPod bought a couple years ago and mine is a new one purchased this past October. We use them both for music AND data exchange at client sites.

  3. I would go and talk to your local consumer protection group – a friend of mine has a G3 iBook that’s had 4 or 5 logic board replacements for several different problems, and his most recent board now flickers to blue and back (as though it’s changing display mode) fairly often. He wrote a letter to Fair Trading as well as haranguing Apple support, and he’s now getting a brand new iBook G4. Complain long and hard and you might get a new model iPod for your troubles.

  4. I went through exactly the same situation.

    Bought a first generation which died one year later. Then bought a third generation, who died in three days. As I was leaving abroad for a year in a fscking country with no Apple support, I just rushed and harassed the support.

    When you are tough enough, they just cave in and give you a new one. Reputation is more valuable than money in those circumstances.

    You should just call, if you have enough spare time, like 10 times a day for 3 days. Then they generally understand.

    But sure enough, Apple has bad quality devices, despite what everyone says (a friend of mine just had to spend 2 months to get his brand-new G4 laptop repaired, which is quite a pain in the ass when you paid roughly 4000 € to get it). And bad bad support.

    Give them the change.


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