Friday, November 2, 2007

Buyer Beware, or, Apple Done Me Wrong (UPDATED: Apple Done Me Right)

UPDATED (see bottom of post)

I have an iPod nano, 4 gigs (Red). I got it in January of this year. About 6 months in, it stopped working. The Tukwila, Southcenter Apple Store here in Washington replaced it under warranty. Great!

Today, the replacement stopped working. The unit was still under the original iPod's year warranty. No problem I thought. But as I learned at the Apple Store today from Josh the manager, the warranty doesn't cover 'corrosion.' He pointed at the slot in the bottom of the iPod and said, "You must have got it wet--see, corrosion. We don't cover it."

Since Josh the manager was the 2nd guy up the chain I talked to at the store, I realized I was out of luck.

I've never dunked the iPod in water, nor do I use it around liquid; I carry this thing around in my jeans pants pocket day in and day out. If it's corroded, it is through normal usage. The fact that the warranty conveniently doesn't cover the issue mostly likely to be the culprit in causing this model to go on the fritz strikes me as slimy business.

Apple, you've let me down. This after I've been such a loyal customer, buying your computers, your web service, and your iPods. I had even been toying with getting an iPhone. Well, f___ that. I'll wait for the gPhone now. I'll pull my old 3rd generation hard-drive based iPod out of storage and replace it's battery.

What I won't do is buy another piece of corrosion-prone crap from you.

Oh yeah, and I'll tell everyone about my experience with your so called 'one year warranty.'

UPDATE: So, I went home, got out a can of pressurized air, and blew out the connection slot on the bottom of my iPod. All the 'corrosion' immediately dispersed; it was pocket lint! Like I said, this thing lives in my pocket. Unlike my old 3rd generation iPod, the slot is on the top, and apparently acts like a collection bowl for stray lint.

So I went back to the Tukwila Apple store, hoping there was not some sort of 'lint exclusion' in the warranty.

Jake, the original tech, and Josh the manager weren't on premises anymore. So I related my story to a new Apple employee. He was taken aback, but didn't have time to check it right then. So I made an appointment for the following morning (this morning). I showed up, and a new tech, Mark, checked out my iPod. He immediately ordered me a new one, paid for by my warranty.

So, I've learned that it wasn't the faceless Apple the corporation that did me wrong. I apologize, Apple, for being so quick to anger.

It was Jake and Josh who did me wrong.

Of course, Jake and Josh are still you're employees, so you're not completely off the hook, Apple, but I'm mollified. Thankfully I decided not to take their refusal as my final answer, and to investigate the 'corrosion' claim on my own. And, thanks to Mark for following through and honoring the warranty my $200 purchase was due.

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