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And here I thought Mac's NEVER broke...

Anyone who knows me understands how attached I am to my laptop. It’s pretty much like another appendage. So needless to say, if said appendage were to ever break, it’d be like putting my entire left arm in a cast. Semi-pathetic, I know, but it’s really true. Most everything I do is on a computer, so it’s essentially a necessity.

I’ve always been a computer kid, but when I got to use one of my ex’s Mac Books for a couple weeks I fell in love. I loved the sleek interface, the speed that it always seemed to have no matter how many applications I had running, and the organizational ability. I had to have one.

Eventually I got one of my own, and I was like a kid in a candy shop. My laptop and I did EVERYTHING together. We played games, we listened to music, we watched movies, and TV shows, we wrote stories and blog entries…we were practically inseparable for over a year.

Then, one day, I opened up my laptop and pressed the power button, and all I got was a small spinning “gear” looking graphic, and a gray screen. And that’s it. I panicked. I tried everything. I tried rebooting it, hard booting it, looking through everything I could possibly come up with in my feeble, wannabe techie brain. Eventually I gave up, defeated. I couldn’t get my laptop to boot up.

I decided that the best course of action was taking it to the Mac Store. I was a bit disheartened, because I didn’t have enough money to replace a hard-drive, which is what I figured it was going to be. And, I didn’t get the Apple Care Warranty on my computer either, so I feared the worst.

I walked into the Mac Store at the Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley San Diego, and was greeted instantly by one of the employees who noticed that I was carrying my laptop. He helped me make an appointment at the Genius bar. After that, I paced around the store looking at various programs that were way out of my price range, ogling all the shiny new laptops, and desktops, IPods and iPhones, coveting each and every little morsel of electronic bliss. Eventually, my name was called and I walked up to Jason, the genius who was going to help me.

I gave him my laptop, and he plugged it into a few different things, and eventually diagnosed exactly what I’d feared. My hard-drive was fried.

My heart sank. I didn’t have the money to replace a hard-drive. He asked what I’d like to do, and I told him I really didn’t have any other option than to just wait until I could afford it. I’m not really sure if he could see something in my countenance, but he held up his finger and told me to wait for a moment. He walked into the back for a few minutes, then came out and told me that he’d just go ahead and “pretend” I had the warranty on my computer, and replace it for free, and even told me he would replace the crack in the keyboard that I got months previous from setting it down a little bit too hard.

I stared at him for a minute, and asked why he was going to do it all for free for me. His reply:

“You look like you’ve had a shitty day, so, I figured I’d try and help out.”

I gave him my broken laptop, and a couple hours later, it was returned to my possession, 100% functional. Sure, I had to get all my programs back again, but honestly I was just happy to have gotten it fixed for free. Jason pretty much saved my ass. All this entire experience did for me was reinforce my loyalty to Apple. He didn’t have to fix it for me, he could have just turned me away because I didn’t have a way to pay, but he didn’t.

I grew up with a father who taught me to always, always, always appreciate good customer service. To the point of driving five miles further down the road past an establishment with the exact same name, just because we know we’d be treated better at the one further away.

I’d drive to San Diego if my laptop broke again.

Bravo Apple. Bravo.

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38 comments to And here I thought Macs NEVER broke…

  • Mike

    Human nature at it's best.

  • AshleyO

    I remember when this happened. I was "kinda" there. You were a wreck and a half and it was as if the like of your life just told you she never wanted to talk to you again. Sad days. And then I was "kinda" there when you got it fixed. (Damn Disney audition) I got screwed but I was happy for you and your computer.

    Thank goodness for excellent customer service. That's a way to keep a loyal customer.

    Now it's just my turn to get a computer. Ugh SML

  • nicoleisbetter

    So, I have a story that's awesome and ends with Apple giving me a free laptop and my mom buying me a giant margarita. Actually, the middle part of the story kind of sucks and the whole point is that I got a) a free laptop and b) a giant margarita.

    The end.

  • Molly

    In my case, the girl at the Genius Bar was the one having a bad day. She replaced the cracked wrist area and keyboard as if I were still under warranty, and it was actually completely free! I was pleasantly surprised.

  • Dan Sackett

    Good work Mikey, quality post. I'm not an Apple guy (mostly due to my programs being all Windows based) but I figured that they were pretty safe and savvy as well. People can be wrong though. You got yourself a jewel from that genius and you're damn lucky to have too. Still, great news man. I figured that you'd end up using these ten cents toward a new machine ;)

    Cheerio ho

  • peldkostomi

    You are a very smart person!

  • Nikki Reynolds

    And there was I thinking MACs were indestructible, gonna take really good care of my beautiful Macbook Pro now.

    Great story of human kindness : )

    • 10CentsWorth

      Yea. Apparently ALL electronics are prone to accidents, and breaking. Be gentle with her. She's strong, but only so strong.

      *sigh* Like all of us.

      Yes, I just compared humans to computers. FTW!

      • Nikki Reynolds

        I often wondered if my laptops had an inbuilt timebomb of when they'd screw up to make me shell out for a new one or have to pay for a repair service. My Toshiba satellite back in 2006 self-destructed, then (what I call) my MiniMac had troubles in 2008, 2010 could be the time Snufflewhirl snuffs it (she has a bit of a dodgy fan and whirls but I think it builds character). Have to be so delicate!

        Ha, well I sometimes feel on autopilot, maybe not to far away from turning into a computer.

  • Michael Burns

    What a great story of good news for the recipient.
    Great piece of public relations propaganda for Apple. Terrific, even.
    It seems someone at that store might've been refreshing themselves with Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels book "Winning Hearts and Minds, for Dummies"

    On the very day a malnourished, "Genius" reeking of patchouli and marijuana, looked at me with eyes glazed, informed me that my "cracked iPhone screen is not covered under warranty and will cost 199$ to replace". Then he chuckled to himself and said "Yeah man, bad day man, huh?"

    You have to be kidding me, right?

    What? Wait? You mean the phone I ONLY paid 99 dollars for?… The one with a touchscreen that shares the durability of wet tissue paper?. That one?

    Sure, Sign me right up for that. I can't wait.

    I'd rather hug Magic Johnson and go tumbling down a hill of barbed wire, than ever purchase another Apple product.
    I'd rather listen to the screams of my mother getting murdered than hear someone tout the greatness, or compassion of Apple.
    And perhaps, worst of all… I'd rather switch to another Windows Mobile device.

    Good job, Apple.
    You certainly have committed yourselves to maintaining my brand loyalty. It just happens to be a different brand.
    By the way, when is the next gadget coming out with a half decade of pre-planned obsolescence ahead of it?

    Your doing fantastic, loves.

  • Magen Rindal

    thanks !! very helpful post!

  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by AndrewAllsop: i…

  • Duh

    Well, hope you didn't get this guy fired by posting his name and where he works, since he probably stole a hard drive.

    • Matt

      Exactly. As a tech, I'd be fearful for my job right now if I were the one who had done this. Hell, I'd be scared if you'd even mentioned the store location I was in. Not cool man, I know you want to recognize him for his good deed, but you're probably putting him in a world of trouble. You can be sure he won't do anything like that again should the hammer come down because of this post.

  • Duh Too

    So an employee "pretends" its on warranty. You know he meant for you to keep it a secret right?

    So a guy helps you and you get him fired. Great going.

  • “Bad Day” Encourages Out Of Warranty Repair on Macbook - Apple, Macbook, Repairs - Tweak OSX

    [...] Michael, from the blog found that his hard drive had taken a dump on his Macbook, he also found out that his machine [...]

  • Sheila Scheele

    Great advice, here we learn about very well features. Thanks

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  • Melodee Hibert

    Great advice, i dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Can’t wait to see what you write about. Go for it!

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  • mitboi

    i wish apple store TORONTO would be as nice as them. got turned away for requesting a fix for my macbook that cracked due to apple's design flaw…

  • Halina Stuart

    I’m agree with you, this article is just great, especially for beginners. I should just give up and take lessons from you

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  • Danilo Stueve

    Thanks for saying so, lots of useful information. I never comment on those blogs, even when the content is great

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  • Toon

    That is one of my favorite Apple stores; just hope this post doesn't get anyone in trouble!

  • 10CentsWorth

    Alright, seriously? No one is going to get in trouble from the Apple Store. I'd be very surprised if this post even MADE it to them. And the guys name was changed, so.

    Not to mention, the way that Apple works, I'm sure he checked with his manager first in the back, THEN went through with it. Apple prides itself on customer service, because look….I'm getting a bunch of people seeing the Apple brand.


  • Bruce McDonald

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing

  • James

    Someone did a nice thing for you and this is how you repay him? by publishing his name and the store he works in? This story is now all over the internet. Thanks to you, that employee will certainly loose his job.

  • John P. McDaniel

    Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

  • online classifieds

    Good stuff. I like this blog. I will subscribe to it.

  • Tim from Radio Clash

    pretty sure they can do that, I think the manager of the Apple store can decide to fix out of warranty…part of protecting the brand.

    Sadly they don't always do this and it's rare…or even as in my case fix stuff in warranty. AppleDon'tCare got that name for a reason…but glad you got good service at least. Nice story…wish other places/stores/corporates were as human. Well worth promoting the behaviour though, the good stuff because maybe the others will learn?

  • Sugga

    There's no reason a MAC harddrive should be so expensive in the first place. Go PC!

  • Blowwow review

    Good job Mike I have been on your site a few times and I always leave with a gem. I only thought its fair to deposit my comment as a way of showing gratitude. I do hope you didn't get your good Samaritan fired…

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