Friday, November 28, 2008

Why I Love Apple

I love my MacBook. Between blogging, news gathering, ongoing research projects, fantasy leagues and my screenplay project, my computer gets intensive use -- at least 10 hours a day every day.

I take reasonably good care of it (OK. When I get overly fired up I do tend to bang the keys a little harder than necessary). My only complaint is a largely cosmetic one -- my MacBook was part of the cracking plastic case batch. Other than that I've never had a problem with it.

A year and a half of constant wear and tear on my MacBook resulted in a broken hinge. This never happened to me before with any laptop. Oh, and one of the shift keys cracked two weeks previously. Fortunately, I had invested in AppleCare. Unlike most extended warranties, AppleCare is worth every penny.

So I call Apple. Less than 24 hours later the pre-paid pre-addressed next-day shipping box arrives. (Is there no limit to the number of hyphens I can cram into a sentence?). This past Monday I pack it up and ship it off to Apple.

AppleGuy calls Tuesday afternoon with bad news. My hinge repair is not covered by AppleCare. I have three distinctly distasteful options:

  1. Apple repairs my MacBook to factory standards for $500.
  2. They ship it back to me. I trek to TekServe to see how much they'll nick me knowing full well it may be neither cheaper nor faster than Apple. (Natch).
  3. I hit an unauthorized service dealer and void the 16 months left on my AppleCare warranty.
Cue the pregnant pause that always accompanies this kind of downer AKA the **Gulp**. There's no way we Forester's can scrape up 500 bucks to fix a laptop that is probably worth like $850. Fuck me. I am now officially and totally screwed.

I lay a few facts on AppleGuy. I typically spend most of my day writing and doing research so my computer use is unusually high. Any "damage" occurred through normal use. For real. I never had this problem with my G4 or other iBooks* I had owned. I said all of four short sentences.

AppleGuy: "You sound like a truthful person. And you're obviously a MacFan. I'll tell you what, we're going to take care of it."

I was like, "Excuse me?"

AppleGuy: "Apple will cover the cost of the repair."

Me: "Thank you."

Despite the holiday, my computer showed up today. It's better than new. Looks like Apple swapped out my old hard drive and put it in an entirely new case. New hinge. New disc drive. New Screen. New keyboard. New track pad. New everything. Nice!

Compare my Apple experience to how Dell still handles their customers or how spend $150,000 and still suck. Not one of those folks, their friends or their families will ever buy another Dell.** It's simply not enough to make affordable computers, Mike.

Apple fosters their famously fierce buyer loyalty by coupling fantastic, frequently cutting edge gear with superior customer service. Add Mac's intuitive, often effortless operation and I'm convinced I'll never buy another brand's computer.

Yep, I'm a MacFan and a MacMan.***


*iBooks did have a nasty tendency to blow logic boards. Apple always fixed 'em.
**My mom has a Dell -- Absent the hell they put her through, I'd nonetheless think they're total crap.
***With no apology whatsoever to the late Harry Carey.