A Happy Ending
As some of you know, my iBook has had logic board problems since I bought it. It was a widespread issue with the G3 iBooks, so much so that Apple created an extended repair program covering the issue. I had my logic board replaced three times under the program, and it just failed again a few days ago. Upon calling Apple Support, I discovered that the program had ended a few months ago, and so the only solution was an expensive out-of-warranty repair.
Not knowing where else to go, I sent the following email to Steve Jobs:
Dear Steve,I was expecting at most to receive an apology and maybe a iTunes gift card or something. Instead, today I received a phone call from one of Jobs' representatives who said that they reviewed my case and thought that a full replacement would be the best solution. Since the iBook is no longer produced, they're sending me a brand new 2 GHz MacBook, which should arrive by Friday.
Today the Apple technician at my university diagnosed my Apple G3 iBook (serial # UV342######) with logic board failure. This is the fourth time that my logic board has failed since I purchased it in May 2004, just over three years ago. I called technical support this afternoon only to discover that the iBook logic board repair extension program has recently ended and thus, in order to fix my computer, I would need to pay hundreds of dollars for an out-of-warranty repair.
I'm very disappointed with the way in which Apple dealt with the iBook logic board problem. Apple acknowledged from the beginning that logic board failure on this particular iBook model was widespread and recurrent, as evident in my case, and yet each time they only replaced the logic board rather than fixing the issue. As a student, it was an extreme inconvenience to repeatedly send my computer to Apple each time this occurred (the third time the repair took a month to perform) and be without my computer during the college semesters. When I called tech support the third time (April 2006) and asked if a more permanent remedy could be found, such as replacing the defective iBook with a newer model, I was told that they would repair this issue three times and then replace the iBook on the fourth occasion. Yet now, because the fourth failure occurred just a few months after the program ended, I'm stuck with a defective computer in the middle of my first semester of graduate school.
I was very impressed with the user interface of my iBook and with Apple's craftsmanship in other products (my iPod has always worked perfectly) and so I was even more surprised and disappointed that instead of recalling and replacing a defective product, in this case Apple merely used stop-gap repairs that never actually fixed the problem. Now I'm left with a defective product and no affordable solution.
I guess the moral of the story is that there are still some companies like Apple who take legitimate complaints seriously. Now I wait for my shiny new MacBook.