We consider Apple to be a differentiated company. It is undeniable that its products are of quality but, in my view, one of the areas that the company most differentiates itself from the competition is after-sales / customer support. You will hardly find another company on the market as willing to solve your problem as the Apple. Did your iPhone break? Here is a new one! Is your Mac having a problem? Just go to an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Center and everything will be resolved in the best possible way. And, usually (overwhelmingly), the client is 100% satisfied with the outcome of the case. This is one of the biggest reasons I have been an Apple customer / user since 2005.
On the other hand, we know that companies are susceptible to failure. We usually post here on the site only the most serious ones, which cover a certain number of people (such as the case of iPhones 6s that are oxidizing / peeling). This does not mean that we do not disclose “individual” problems, such as what Rafael had with a simple key on the MacBook Pro and that, in order to be fixed, requires the exchange of the entire top case of the notebook (a broken key will make you pay R $ 2,100, forcing you to buy several pieces that you don’t need).
Whenever we publish a controversial article involving a problem with Apple products, we receive dozens of emails and contacts from readers with similar stories. The idea, however, is not to transform the MacMagazine in a “wailing wall” and go publicizing it all. As I said, we know that companies – including Apple – are susceptible to failure. It is up to the customer to know when he is right and, even if he doesn’t get the support he needs, to go for it. But what happened to the reader Rodrigo Menezes really impressed us to the point of making its history public.
The story is so impressive that we prefer to replicate it in its entirety, below:
I recently read the May story in which Rafael Fischmann reported having spent over R $ 2,100 to fix a single key on his MacBook Pro. Then I remembered my own experience, very similar, and which you may be interested in publishing.
I am 18 years old and I live in Rio de Janeiro. I work as a software developer freelancer. I have been passionate about information technology since I was 8 years old, when I won a programming book about Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and for information security since I was around 13 – the same time when I participated as a fellow in a certification course, the Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.6, in São Paulo, at A Interface.
I don’t remember exactly when I became a fan and started following Apple, but I know it was in 2011 that I got a 13-inch MacBook Pro purchased by my grandmother at iTown at BarraShopping. That same, the first Apple Premium Reseller (APR) in Rio de Janeiro. At the time, we were not offered AppleCare, but an extended warranty from Cardif, which we accepted.
With this MacBook and my iPhone 4s, which was also acquired with a lot of effort from my family, I even developed an iOS app for a healthcare company and, with the payment, I acquired an ASUS notebook so that I wouldn’t be harmed in my work in case there was any problem with the Apple computer. I certainly would have preferred to buy another Mac, but at the time, prices had already risen enough to make it unviable.
Well, the MacBook remained as my main machine until mid-2015, when, near the end of the extended warranty period, it had problems with the SD card reader, the optical drive and the keyboard. A specific key, the “E”, began to disengage frequently while typing.
I resorted to iTown technical support. They corrected the defect of the SD reader and the optical drive, replacing the logic board of the MacBook, but refused to provide the solution for the defective key, claiming that it would be an “aesthetic problem”. The case was brought to justice and the judge ruled that the key be repaired or that the insurer offer a new [Mac]. Promising the repair, Cardif sent technicians to remove the computer from my house. [Ele] would be returned by October 22, 2015, a promise that has not been kept.
On October 26, 2015, I participated in an event at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) to present a software project that I had developed. Fortunately, I managed to improvise with the ASUS notebook and conduct the presentation, but with a lot of inconvenience, as I was counting on the return of the MacBook Pro on the scheduled date.
Shortly afterwards, Cardif finally announced its intentions: it would not return the computer and would pay for it the same amount for which it was sold to us in 2011, R $ 3,500, contrary to the court decision. I don’t even need to mention that, today, similar MacBook Pro prices are way above that and that if I accepted the price, it wouldn’t be enough to buy another one. Therefore, I would continue without a Mac to study and work. I ordered the computer back without repair, which would be even better. They refused to comply [enviar a máquina]. The new facts were added to the lawsuit that still runs in court against the insurer.
In short, what happened in my case was not losing R $ 2,100 due to a keystroke, but the entire MacBook Pro, being forced to remain outside the Apple world and missing countless opportunities as an information technology professional. Certainly, Cardif is the biggest villain in the case, but neither can it be denied the participation of iTown and, by table, Apple Brazil itself.
How does the company offer the amount paid in 2011 for a machine? And how do you refuse to return the computer? Simply amazing – even more so for a case that is already in court.
As I mentioned above, at the beginning of the article, our idea is not to disclose any problems that customers have with Apple products, but this story undoubtedly surpassed any common sense limit …
Update · Oct 20, 2016 at 16:31
Rodrigo got in touch this week to tell how the outcome of the case happened.
According to him, Cardif complied with the judicial decision to pay the indemnity for the keyboard defect and, after much insistence, finally agreed to return the computer (which was received by Rodrigo on Tuesday, 10/18). The notebook, unfortunately, is not in the same condition as it was delivered to the assistance contracted by the insurance company (which removed it a year ago), showing a defect in the trackpad that until then was non-existent. Rodrigo thinks that the problem may be linked to a kind of wood dust that was found on the screen and on the keyboard – this residue may also have entered the trackpad, but there is no way of knowing for sure.
Life goes on.