Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apple Computer's Piece of Shinola


CAUTION: The following entry contains language that will offend just about everyone.

Dear Apple Computers,

I have a complaint, along with several hundred other people, about your lameass power cords for the MacBook Pro. 

But first, the backstory. In May of 2009, I went to one of your sleek Apple Stores and spent almost $3000 on what turned out to be a 2008 MacBook Pro. Stupid me for thinking that in 2009 a computer I purchased from you -- at full retail -- would be made in 2009. Not an old model, sitting on the shelf since 2008.

Unlike every marketer in the world, it turns out you sell your soon-to-expire products without any discounts, ever. Right up to the day before the new models are introduced. Assholes. 

Your geniuses couldn’t give me a clue that something was in the pipeline, so I could wait a month and get the upgrades already built in? You couldn't knock off several hundred dollars at least, as a gesture of goodwill to a loyal customer for taking your ratty old stock off your hands? No. You’d rather let me spend even more money down the road because I had to play catch up.

Seriously, you people are dicks.

But that’s not my real bitch. Nope. My real bitch is that crap power cord I mentioned earlier. The one that came with the obsolete computer you sold me. It is now 2012, three years later, and I’m on my FOURTH power cord. That’s more than one cord a year.  

Each time the power cord breaks in the very same place. One would think that this might qualify as a design flaw. And have one’s engineers fix the problem. But not Apple Computer. No. They’d rather have you think it’s your fault, because Apple’s engineers are geniuses and geniuses don’t make mistakes.

When my first power cord snapped and shorted out, I was covered by Apple Care, the $300-ish insurance coverage I tacked onto my already expensive and obsolete machine when I bought it.

After checking the rules of engagement, I took the broken cord into an Apple Store to exchange it. I suggested to the young man who waited on me that the cord probably had a design flaw. Otherwise why would it break down after such a short time?

He, in turn, suggested that I had abused the cord somehow. What a condescending little twerp he was. He even noted on the exchange receipt that the cord was in poor condition.  

Of course the cord was in poor condition – it was broken.

The second power cord broke in the exact same spot. So it was rinse and repeat. Apple Care covered that one, too. But once again, the geniuses at Apple didn’t think there was a design flaw. Instead they insinuated that the break was my fault again, because of how I stored the cord -- even though I had gone out of my way to prevent stress on the area that broke down the first time.

Two weeks ago, a couple of months after my 3-year, non-renewable Apple Care warranty coverage had expired, the third cord snapped. I nursed it along with electrical tape for a couple of weeks, but it finally quit for good. This time I had to pay actual money for power cord numero cuatro.  

Before exchanging the third cord, I did something I hadn’t done before. I checked to see if there were any comments about the MacBook Pro 85 power cord at Apple.com.

Voila. There are hundreds. 688 of them at the time. Now many more, I'm sure. They ranged from lots of extremely negative remarks to a few that were very ecstatic -- no doubt relatives of Apple engineers. But the proof is in the pudding. Out of five stars, the MacBook Pro power cord averaged a rating of two. 

The most recent comment I saw gave the power cord one star:

Piece of s---
This should be rated zero stars. As many of the other reviewers have said, the wire frays and breaks inside the magnetic jack. After all this hype of great engineering, Apple can't make a proper power 
chord? What a rip off! I won't be buying Apple products again.

Here are a few more comments -- with one star ratings:

They need a bundle of engineering!
I have now gone through no less than a half dozen of these power supplies in the last year. Why they fail isn't really beyond me, as I am an electrical engineer. So, I would have to say some re-engineering is very necessary. These power supplies were just for one computer as well!

Not bad for a one year charger 
I use my MacBook Pro for everything. It served me well through my undergrad program. And the first charger worked great from 2007-2010 when the plastic around the plug into the laptop started disintegrating, leaving exposed wire. I got a replacement, and didn't think much about the price, because it was a 3-year old charging cable and was travelled with quite extensively. After a year of having the new charger, the same thing happened! I went back to the Apple store, and after much conversation, I was able to get it replaced free of charge. Now, barely a year later, having the outside plastic near the plug to disintegrate again!! I'm not looking forward to replacing this again, and for every following year. Apple products are amazing - no doubt. But how about some more research on how to make a better charger instead of rolling out new iPhones every year or so.

Not up to Apple standards 
We now have a basket of Mac power adaptors that don't work because the wires break where they meet the Magsafe plug. There seems to be to a lot of people with this issue for quite some time (Years?), yet Apple doesn't fix the problem. I love all my Apple products, and everything is trouble free except this part. I am only writing this neg review in hopes that the problem gets noticed and fixed. 

Another bad part for a great computer
Like most of the other comments here, my cord has split next to the magnetic end and is in need of being replaced. I'm not a fan of the way these cords are made. If I'm going to pay this much for a computer, I don't want to have to buy a new cord every year to make sure it keeps charging and/or doesn't burn my house down!


And on and on. The most recent [did I mention FOURTH?] cord I bought has a one year warranty. We'll see just how long it lasts. Any bets it's toast within ten months?


The third cord [may it rest it peace] limped along for a couple of weeks after it snapped, thanks to a boatload of electrical tape. But, alas, it too, died. Below is the only known photo.


1 comment:

Donna said...

I love my Mac mini, but the only apple product I might possibly purchase from here on is the iPad. They have overpriced themselves out of my budget.