Hello everyone, I am in serious need of advice/support (and not trying to denigrate apple so please do not censor my post). I am simply trying to contact apple directlyt by phone, trying to get repair and trying not to void my warranty, I also need fast repair so that I may get back to work using a reliable computer.
I am currently traveling in Cambodia for an extended period of time, in need of computer repair and have no means of directly reaching anyone from apple because there is no callback service to my location, even though I am a paying applecare subscriber. If anyone can help or provide suggestions, I would sincerely appreciate it!
Anyway, this is my story and I will *try* to keep it short, even though it' not an easy tak . Basically, This is my 4th macbook, I've always been happy in the past and have found your computers reliable and worth the extra price, so you could say that I was a hardcore apple fan. Unfortunately, I now believe that the computer purchase I have purchased is a lemon. So if you'll bear with me for a couple of minutes, this is my sad computer's story which I post on the apple community, not knowing where else to post it and as I believe it contains important information for other travellers such as myself:
- I travel a lot, and tend to buy new computers with each travel as they get lighter. I am usually happy with them, so applecare seemed like a good and logical idea despite the price.
- Very early on, the USB port broke on the new computer, but the logic board was replaced quickly and at no charge.OK, it happens!
- A weeks later, the delete key was not working properly, so the logic board was replaced again (???) and keyboard as well. This repair took longer and I had to borrow a friend's computer, but OK, I was confident it would not happen again.
- I then travelled for a month and my hard drive died, making it impossible to finish some of the work I was doing. Luckily, I had backed up most of my data, but still lost a lot of information, work and time. Back home, the apples store replaced the drive after a couple of days, so I was pretty much back to square one. My enthusiasm had gone down, but I was still confident that this was the right computer for me and willing to take it with me to Asia. I figured I had been through enough bad luck anyway!
- So that's the background which occurred in the few months before I started to traveland I now come the current traveling. During my flight from China to Phnom Pehn, the screen on my computer cracked after going an airport security check. I am not 100% sure what happened as I was going through the screening process, and I am the first to admit that it is hard to blame apple for a screen that mysteriously broke, but still it seems extremely odd (and even dangerous) that a screen would break (about 80% of the surface is cracked) even if a bag was placed over the laptop and even if it contained bricks.. I also know from looking at the x-raymachine to check on the computer that it was NOT dropped. Some pressure does seem to have been applied to it though, but I till find it hard to believe that this would have cracked the screen. Anyway, I am not a professional so I will stop making theories,but how does one prove any such thing when no one is there to help or answer questions?
I should mention that I am aways super careful, carry the computer it in a separate case and never cram in between a bunch of stuff. Anyway, without trying to be a bore, this is not my first plane ride but this is my first serious screen problem issue which leads me to believe that the screen was previously flawed.
- Once I finally got to Asia, I was naturally shocked to see the problem and wanted to address the issue. Apparently however, Cambodia is not listed in the applecare page so there is no direct way to contact anyone from Apple here, something I was not told at time of purchase. After online searches, I discovered some far away obscure shops ran by uncaring people in areas you kind of have to find yourself without knowing if Apple will void your warranty or not. Not sure what to do, I decided to go to one of those 'authorized' addresses which I found on line (and spent one ENTIRE day looking for a shop). I got there, was told it was the wrong shop and to go further down the same street. Ok. Go further, find store with same name and am told the exact same think by giggling employees. I smile and try to remain calm, it is Cambodia afer all, different rules,
Finally reach third store, guy opens computer up (without powering it on to see of it works or not--it does), says 'not our problem since glass is broken and not covered by apple'. Then adding, "Deal with apple if not happy. They will give you a service number and we can fix for free. Well, this pretty much summed up our conversations . Basically, this was a repair store where talking was not a possibility, regardless of the problem.
For anyone who has been to Phnom Pehn, I should mention that this occurred after several hours of online searches, motorbike bargaining/driving/praying getting lost and lots of honking. Once again, this is not apple store, but I'm merely pointing out the difference between finding mysterious places with no support and going into an aircon applestore. I then asked the pleasant man at the store how much it would cost f I paid out of pocket for the fix as I need my computer for work and can not spend weeks trying to resolve this issues. He said 570$ if I wanted to kept the broken screen glass (!!!) and about 400$ if I did not. These numbers seemed to be estimates and simply pop out of his head and I am still trying to figure that one out. Does apple reuse glass parts when fixing computer? What exactly does one do with over 100$ of broken glass? Please excuse de digression.
- trying not to despair, I later literally spent hours trying to deal with apple care, but their site offers no direct email, chat possibility or ayway to return calls to Cambodia.Very frustrating and extremely time-consuming.
- As a last resort, I finallly decided to just throw money out the window and run and call Canada service directly which I should have done in the first place (this is where I bought the computer originally). I was transferred to several places, and ended up talking with super friendly guy named Andrew who gave me another possble Cambodian address where it may be possible to address the issue. It was also hard to find and we got lost several times, but eventually found it.
Unfortunately, the place turned out to be worse than the original one and the guy did not want to bother looking at the problem or any possible cause. Basically, unlike in an apple store, Cambodian employees can say whatever they want when its time to sell a product, but if it breaks down or if you need support, tough luck! The most incredible part though was that when I mentioned that the caps lock key did not light up and that the mousepad was not responding as well as before, iso could he please examine those parts, he added once more that this was not his problem and that I should call apple for a repair number!!! So basically, if I understand correctly, Apple (and AppleCare) will not fix either the top part of a computer screen (glass and screen) NOR the keyboard which is a one piece unit. This leads me to the purpose of the overly long message which is: WHAT EXACTLY IS APPLE CARE FOR? It is just for talking to people on the phone or do the actually do anything?
As a last alternative, I tried calling Andrew from Canada for advice again, but did not get a call back (in fairness, Andrew had informed me that they are not allowed to make international calls and that all his calls for directly to voice mail, so how does one handle such a situation? I cannot reach him and he will not call me).
What do I do? Who do I call? How do I not void the warranty? Should I just demand an applecare refund and toss the computer I have?
Thanks for any help/suggestions
P.S. I have also experienced several other minor problems, but will stick to the major issues for now.