** Update** - Long Story
** Update ** It's long but has a happy ending. Apple came through for me.
My girlfriend and I went down there today to visit w/ the store mgr about what was going on and that I'd just simply like to get it fixed right so I don't have to come back again on a repair-basis.
Their "Genius" team couldn't find the problem, but heard a little bit of what I was talking about. Moreover, they saw the 'damage' that was done from when the previous Genius removed the severely over-tightened screws and the damage that was caused. The Genius team didn't want to do anything for me, period, so the asst. mgr got involved and basically left me w/ the feeling that they wanted to help.
I showed them all the repair receipts I've had and told them, "Look, I'm not looking for a new computer or anything... I'm looking to get this 'fixed' and fixed right so I don't have to keep driving down here anymore. You've very nicely replaced this computer once, but the only thing that hasn't changed is the repair depot."
They said they wanted to take one more shot at it and I said, "Sure, keep it all week and when I come back, can you guarantee me that this problem will be fixed, and that I will not have to bring it back again for another repair anytime soon?"
Their Genius said, "Uhh... we can't guarantee that." << I don't think I was asking for much except that they test the crap out of it and fix what needed to be fixed... The guy had a little bit of an attitude anyway.
"Then I'm done here and I'm selling this Powerbook.. Thx anyway." I left and headed to the cashier place to return the .Mac box and iWork I had bought last week and the asst. mgr ("Renee") stopped me and said, "Listen, I don't want you to leave unhappy. I'm really sorry that this has all happened and we want to help in any way I can."
"You're very nice but I already told you and everyone in here what I wanted; fix it and fix it right so I don't have to keep coming back here w/ more problems. I want to come here to buy stuff, not to have it fixed all the time. They damaged the bottom of it but that's not what I'm 'in your face' about; I'm 'in your face' about the fan being damaged or whatever and making a bad noise from the other night. I said to keep it all week and test it, but you didn't want to do that so that either leads me to believe you don't know or don't care what the problem is. I'm done here and tired of repeating myself."She stopped the cashier from processing the return and said, "Apple doesn't want to lose you as a customer, so if you'd be willing to give it another shot, I'd like to offer you a new MacBook."
"What's the point if I ever have to have it repaired, I'm still in the same boat again..."
"You don't have to have it repaired at the depot, we can do it here for you no problem. Just request that that it be done in the store, but you shouldn't have to have it repaired. If there's a problem, let me or a manager know." I said, "If you can guarantee me that, then we'll have a deal; otherwise, I'm just going to go buy whatever is on sale at Sam's Club and be done w/ the whole thing."
After lunch, we came back and she had everything done and processed. She even explained that the "Genius" team didn't want to approve it because it was a replacement of a replacement of a replacement, but "...I'm the manager and I make the rules... I want to make sure my customers are happy Apple customers... " Talk about a different tone from last Saturday when we were yelled at for not making an appointment. I told her about that and she said, "Ask for me or another manager... We'll take care of it".
After all was said and done, I went home w/ a brand new MacBook (bought AppleCare naturally and iWork on education discount (which I originally returned, but repurchased)). She said, "I'm giving you a 2.0Ghz one because you had a pretty good Powerbook so I want to make sure you have adequate horsepower for your stuff..."
I couldn't believe all this--my girlfriend is still dismayed w/ Apple but you know what, they could've told me to go pound sand a long while ago or let me leave the store. I wasn't dramatic, I was just ready to go and that was it but she decided to safe a customer through (i guess) 'any means necessary'. Honestly, THAT is customer service just saying that right there, I don't care where you go. My opinion of the MacBook:
Pretty damn quick... I'm a bit of an AMD buff on the PC side, but I'm surprised how quick it is out of the box and how much I can run on it at once. Intel sure did a good job w/ this little thing. Also, I happened to notice how good the battery life is--I was pretty impressed that it took me almost 2hrs to knock down the inital charge of 53% on a heavy load.
The keyboard is really nice to type on and the body doesn't get hot on my lap at all. The fan never came on until I plugged it in the wall and started running many apps at once, but it was pretty quiet. The PB fan would come on pretty regularly on battery, but this one runs really cool.
I don't like that it doesn't come w/ a modem, but I'll get over it--I rarely used the one on my PB anyway (except once at jury duty... phone drop but no WiFi).
The Airport reception is stellar and the remote is a nice touch. I was pleasantly surprised by Front Row and the iSight camera. I've never used either so it's kind of fine to poke around with.
The build quality seems to be quite good--better than the PB I think. The mgr noticed that the lid on the PB I was returning wouldn't close properly, and I retorted, "It's been like that since I got it; I never complained because I was lucky to have a new machine." Also, the seams are all even and it doesn't creak or bend. It seems pretty sturdy. If this is Apple's next avenue for portables, the Macbook is a really nice computer.
In the end, Apple seems to have wanted to keep me...a 27yr old full time college student who is studying to be a history teacher and makes little money...as a customer. I have to say, that was a real good feeling. I really hope I bought Applecare for nothing on this one, but if I do have a problem, it's never going to their Depot for anything if I can help it.
Thx guys/gals for all the feedback--I hope that 'my story' is the same story as anyone else who has had the problems I've had, and turns out good in the end. I think if all works out well for at least a year or two, I'll continue to use Apple products and purchase another one. Until then, this little Macbook is going to be my new best friend next semester.