Think you own your Apple computer? Think again…

Last week I brought my dead MacBook Air laptop into an “authorized Apple dealer” for repair. Before I get too far into today’s rambling, let me say that Ultimac Technologies in Duncan are nice guys. They are caught in the middle here…

They called me back in a day to inform me that my hard drive was dead. They could only get a new one directly from Apple, due to some proprietary connector that only Apple has. Of course( hear the sarcasm…). Damn you Apple.

Anyhow, a new hard drive was almost $250 with tax. That’s for a puny 80Gb. Double damn you Apple! I envision Steve Jobs rubbing his hands together laughing like Dr. Evil every time I come into contact with his products. Mwehahahahaha. One Meeeellion Dollars…

I authorized the repair (as I was well past the warranty period) and waited for the call back from the repair guy to let me know when it was ready.

Conveniently my fiancee ( who is the user of said MacBook Air) was in town and could pick it up. So I called Ultimac to see if it was ready. The repair guy said he was just trying to transfer the data from the old drive to the new one,  then “would be sending the dead hard drive back to Apple”…

Hold on. What did you say? Send my hard drive back to Apple? Why?

I was then told that Apple makes their authorized dealers return all the parts back to them when they complete a repair. I asked if they were sending it back to get repaired? No. They didn’t know what Apple did with the hard drive, or any other part they send back for that matter. This didn’t sit well with me…

I thought it was an Authorized Apple Dealer? Why can’t Apple trust that the dealer is buying the wholesale part without the need to present the old broken part? Does Apple not trust it’s authorized dealers?

Back to my beef. Let me set the record straight. Apple doesn’t own my computer! Or the parts inside the computer! I do. I bought the thing. Didn’t I?

I could tell the conversation was a bit uncomfortable for the staff member when I told him he was not authorized to give away one of my belongings. I got the repair ticket number and called Apple.

Even though the post is a rant at Apple, I will give them credit on their repair phone line. I only waited a few minutes to get a real live person. Once I determined that they couldn’t help me, I was offered a senior advisor to discuss this with. “Chris” listened as I discussed my concern with Apple asking for what I rightfully owned. He was friendly about it. He did say that Apple does in some cases authorize hard drives to be given back to clients because they may contain personal information. He authorized for me to keep my hard drive, which was fine and dandy. I wasn’t going to lose it on friendly employees over the phone. They truly helped me out.

They just didn’t address my real concern here, which is that I don’t own my Macbook Air. I lease the components. If I ever need to replace those pieces, all (except the hard drive when requested), are sent back to Apple. I am not suggesting that everyone be forced to keep their junkie computer parts. I am just suggesting that as a consumer, I should be given the choice whether I want to keep the part, or if the authorized repair shop send it back to Apple for R&D.



4 Replies to “Think you own your Apple computer? Think again…”

  1. I don’t understand why Apple would want your old hard drive. I just had my Macbook’s hard drive upgraded and I ended up with my old hard drive. The first time I upgraded my hard drive I ended up with the original, and I was leasing the computer at that time.
    I wonder if it is depends on the shop. (I used Soho in Victoria the first time and My Mac Dealer in Edmonton the last time. – long story).

    1. haha. There are lots of Apple fanatics for sure! Show them this post to see if they have had the same experiences. I at least switched over to Linux last year. Apple makes good hardware, but their policies are a bit locked down. I’m wondering if other computer companies have the same policies around components or if this is a special Apple thing?

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