November 5th my PowerMac G4 died spectacularly. I walked through tech support with Apple who diagnosed it as having hardware problems and sent me off to take it to Comp USA. Today, 33 days later, I have a working desktop computer again. Nevermore will I take a Mac to Comp USA.
Wednesday, after hanging up with Apple. I call CompUSA Me (On phone): … It dies on boot to a grey prohibitory sign. It won’t even boot off of the system restore disks, or the panther or jaguar install CDs … The hard drive is fine, I can boot the computer up as a firewire hard drive… CompUSA: …Okay bring it in… Me: Do you need me to bring the CD’s that came with the computer, and the panther CD’s? CompUSA: No, just bring the machine itself. Don’t bring the CD’s or the monitor.
I make the 30 minute drive to CompUSA and drop it off, again explaining every detail of what it is doing, and what we have done so far to try to get it working. Friday night, voicemail:
CompUSA: I have seen this problem once before. You almost certainly have a broken hard drive. We can’t work on your computer without the CD’s. You should have brought in the CD’s. Frankly I am surprised you did not do a system restore before you brought it in. You should have done a system restore.
Now I am filled with confidence. I bring the CD’s in Sunday afternoon. Then wait for them to call back saying it is fixed. Friday or Saturday, I give up waiting.
Me: I calling to check on the status of my PowerMac. Service number blaa blaa. CompUSA: Let me check…… We need you to bring in the CD’s so that we can fix the system… Me: I brought in the CDs last Sunday. CompUSA: Let me go look…… Oh, you did.
So I wait, and wait, and wait some more. Two or three weeks later while out of town, I get a voicemail:
CompUSA: We found the problem, it’s bad motherboard. But we can’t find proof that this computer has AppleCare, so a repair would be out of warrantee. The cost for the new motherboard is $650 plus a $99 dollar labor charge.
I return a few days later from out of town. I call apple to make sure it is under warrentee.
Me: CompUSA says my computer is not under warrantee. Is it? Apple: …It’s covered under AppleCare until blaa blaa 2004. They should fix it.
I call CompUSA:
Me: …. It is under AppleCare, I just talked to apple… CompUSA: … we can’t find that it is under applecare… Do you want to pay for repairs?
I call Apple
Me: …CompUSA won’t listen to me… What can I do? Apple: I will create a case number with all your warrantee and serial number information. They can look that up.
I call CompUSA
Me: … Just look up case number blaaa blaaa blaaa … CompUSA: No. I told you we can’t see that this computer is covered under applecare. To get it repaired you will need to pay for the repairs, or bring in your original proof of purchase.
I don’t have my original proof of purchase anymore, it having vanished to who knows where. Next day (I think) I make the 30 minute drive to CompUSA.
Me: I’m Daniel Von Fange. CompUSA.(Air gets frigid) Oh. The one with the powermac. Me: Yeah, that’s me. CompUSA: (looooong pause and icy stare.) CompUSA: … $650 for the motherboard …. or bring original proof of purchase and maybe we can we can do something…. Me: I don’t have my proof of purchase. Call Apple. They know it is under warrantee. I’ve talked to them several times. CompUSA: I told you before. … pay for repairs…. or original proof of purchase. Me: Can I have my computer back then? CompUSA: I’ll go get it.
So they gave me the computer back. And it had ugly white stickers on it, that will take a lot of work to peal the residue of off so that my PowerMac case looks beautiful again.
I took the computer to a different store in Charlotte, The Computer Room. It’s only a fifty minute drive to get there. The Computer Room took care of me. I at last have a working computer.
In the interest of full disclosure, I found out that the AppleCare registration for my computer is off by a digit of my computer’s serial number. Data entry problem somewhere, I guess. The computer room gracefully handled this, CompUSA did not. Nor did CompUSA ever seem to hear a word I said the entire time.