Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Apple

I'm not that guy who writes whiny letters to companies, trying to get free stuff (though I've always kind of wanted to be). But this situation really pissed me off, and I figured I could practice my writing skills, put something amusing on my blog --and maybe get some free stuff. So, here is a letter I plan to send to Apple Computer:

Dear Apple,

I'm a loyal consumer of Apple products. In the past five years alone, I've owned six iPods, three Macs, one iPhone and 27 pair of ear buds (the things just multiply -- they're like Gremlins). But something happened recently that caused me to question my loyalty.

My exuberant dog, Chester, knocked over a glass of water with his tail and spilled about two ounces of water onto my one-year-old MacBook. The laptop was closed, and it was barely a splash, so I wasn't overly concerned. But after waiting a while to make sure the laptop was dry, I hit the power button, and nothing happened.

I took the MacBook into the Apple Store, where the guy at the Genius Bar told me I'd have to send my laptop off for a "Tier 4 repair." Sounded ominous, but I wasn't too worried. Then he told me the repair would cost $755, plus tax. Still, I remained calm. After all, I'd purchased the AppleCare Protection Plan.
Then he told me that water damage is not covered.

I wasn't sure what to do about the repair, but I knew I had to get the data off my hard drive. I'm a writer, and I stupidly hadn't backed up the last few versions of my novel. So I went home to lick my wounds and figure out how to salvage my data. I started taking apart my MacMini Desktop so I could plug my hard drive into it and rescue my manuscript. Kudos to the Apple engineers, because they somehow managed to pack the entire Apollo 13 Lunar Module into that little white box. It took me 30 minutes just to get the cover off. The instructional video I found online involved a razor blade and a putty knife. A putty knife.
Two hours later, I'd completely destroyed my MacMini, only to find that its hard drive uses a different connector than the MacBook's drive. And now I was down two computers.

I called the Genius Bar guy, and he said, no problem, the Tier 4 repair people could transfer the data off my old hard drive -- for an additional $150 fee. Now I was looking at $905, plus tax.
While I was pondering this, the Genius Bar guy was nice enough to point out that a new MacBook is about a grand, and they'd transfer my data to the new computer -- for free. What's more, my AppleCare Protection Plan would transfer to the new laptop. This was very reassuring, considering how helpful the plan had been with my last computer.

Now maybe it's just me, but I can't help but think that this whole pricing policy is designed to push me into a new laptop. But what it's more likely to do is push me into a PC. It's hard for me to stomach paying nearly $1000 to get my old MacBook back, when I could get a brand new Dell for $500. In the past, I paid the premium because Apple products work well and look cool, and because I figured Apple would take care of me. Now, I just feel disappointed.

Before I make any rash decisions about the equipment I'll be using for the remainder of my long and illustrious writing career, I wanted to ask if you could: cover my repair costs under the AppleCare plan; or, give me a discount on a new MacBook.

I'll be posting this letter (and your response) on my blog: http://theleafblower.blogspot.com/
Thank you for your consideration.
Brian Crawford
***Post-blog note***

I contacted Apple today to get the mailing address. I ended up explaining my situation, and they agreed to cover the cost of the repair – including the hard drive transfer. Nice job, Apple, you’re back in my good graces!


  1. So sorry to hear about your computer. I'm a recent Apple convert and I - along with my 3-year-old- am loving my MacBook. I'm anxious to hear the outcome of your request and learn more about Apple customer support. Good luck!

  2. I contacted Apple today to get the mailing address. I ended up explaining my situation, and they agreed to cover the cost of the repair – including the hard drive transfer. Nice job, Apple, you’re back in my good graces!

  3. This is awesome news! Go Peep and Go Apple!

  4. Wow. That is amazing that you were able to get Apple to cover your repair cost! Good job!

  5. pretty sweet brian, Apple computers and products really are great and cost that much for a reason. I'll have to show you my garage band songs, scott would be proud, see you soon!