Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Tale of One Costly Accident

The first time iPad2 has been made available locally - that was last year - my husband cajoled me to heavens (or was it hell?) to get one. I was hesitant, particularly because Mac in general, in my opinion, is not as flexible as other OS, and that everything costs something - well, anything that is useful and has point. Okay, that opinion may have slightly changed overtime as I found some really great apps for free, and, let's all admit, it has made computing life a little more convenient especially if you have wifi set up at home. So I gave in to the pressure and got us a 64gb, 30k+ price tag at that time (I wasn't planning to go all the way but I was left with no choice at all since it was the only one left at the store at that time, and my hubby was practically on his knees, begging me to get it)

Then the unthinkable happened. A week after the purchase, the ever precious iPad slipped out of its neoprene sleeves and landed on its corner, the corner where you stick your earphones. There was a HUGE dent but thankfully the screen was not cracked and the earphone jack was still working. NOTE 1, if you do physical damage to your iPad, the warranty is automatically rendered null and void - meaning you can't get it fixed for FREE anymore (Please take note of this, you'll find this reference important later)

We decided to bring it to an Apple service center to get some advice on what to do. NOTE 2, iPad was still working properly at that time, every jack was responding the way they should be, the unit was only dented in one corner. The only advice we got was to go wait until something abnormal happens and pray for that day to not come at all. I was like, "huh?! that's it? you're weird" *mumbling*

Anyway, as we got past the 11-month mark and nothing untoward happened, we got really comfortable. I was impressed, believing it was hard stuff, not to be swayed by a waist-level drop. Until that night I forgot to pray for "the day that shouldn't come".

The day started as usual, the baby harvested his Snoopy Fair coins and my daughter checked out some music videos, then they charged the iPad. After charging, it was my husband's turn to use, only the iPad decided not to wake up from its sleeping state.

There was panic everywhere. and lots of blaming going around. I was left in the middle, thinking of what to do. I did the usual troubleshooting, sticking it to the desktop computer, reset combo, cartwheeling to amuse the iPad - nada. It was dead. Just like that.

If some of you are curious about what exactly happened, let's just say that my beloved iPad went blind - or perhaps got a bad case of glaucoma. The buttons were faintly detectable, and they were still responsive to touch but the screen was too dark, I had to squint to really see the buttons.

Examining the warranty card, we found out that we were days away from expiration. As any normal person would do, we brought it back to where we bought it:  SWITCH - ATC

It got assessed, fondled, caressed, felt all over. I got interrogated, blamed, not given a vote of confidence. We said goodbye to the iPad as it was going to the iPad hospital. We left the store defeated and a little lost.

Long story short, a call came a week later, it was SWITCH and the verdict was in. We were informed that the only way out was to pay the "exchange price" of 16kPhp and in return, we will get a "new" iPad. I was not really delighted with this news. With a very heavy heart, I paid the exchange price, got the "new" iPad wrapped in a bubble wrap, and asked for a paper bag, as I felt they, at SWITCH, didn't have any intention of wrapping up my purchase - they just casually handed the "new" iPad to me without any further ado. They gave me a paper bag made out of scrap magazine. At least it was a glossy mag and I get to keep the bubble wrap - oh, you know, for popping when stressed? I was stressed alright.

Now that we know how fragile - and pricey - an iPad could get, I got really nervous carrying it around inside my bag without anything to protect it but the bubble wrap and that nice, glossy mag-slash-paper bag. I was all "ninja", ready to attack, to anyone walking really close to me. I even had a heart attack when some kid bumped the side of my bag while trying to pass by me.

Then we passed by an OtterBox stall and decided to "Otterize"  our "new" iPad to protect it from any kind of damage. Their iPad's Defender series looks and sounds really nice as it is, according to website and their saleslady, drop-proof and scratch-proof. The catch? Of course, there's a catch! what were you thinking?! iPad Defender is 5kPhp and after fitting the Defender on our "new" iPad, it now has the size and weight of a full-size laptop - okay, that was exaggerating things, a notebook computer would be more apt. A far cry from  what a tablet should be. As for the claims, we have yet to find out. The only guarantee they could offer is that if the case cracks, they will replace it. I thought it would be the iPad they would replace if I get their case cracked but, uhm, no. At least the saleslady was nice and accommodating.

Play hide and seek with the "new" iPad!

Now it's time to pull out your calculators and do the math then tell me why my title is such and why this mom is pissed and ranting on her blog.

So, kids, for today, Teacher Gie will point out a thing or two you should have learned from this story:

  • Buy your bumpers, protective gears, gas masks, whatever, BEFORE you even think of buying an iPad. Hell - buy finger gloves, if there's such a thing!
  • iPads are very delicate beings. They don't like being dropped, bumped and ironically, TOUCHED.
  • Scratches, dents and cracks are the only excuses Mac has, to impose their "exchange" program. Don't expect them to explain further why your iPad died on you. 
  • When they say it's "new" iPad, that doesn't mean it will come in a box and a proper paper bag especially if you bought it from SWITCH-ATC.
  • Not all Apple Service centers provide excellent service and sound advice especially if you are from the Philippines. Dream on.
  • Don't buy 64gb, you don't need that many storage space on your iPad anyway. and if you do, better buy yourself a proper device aka USB or hard drive instead. That way, even if your iPad dies on you, you still have copies of your docs and they can be revived. 
  • Apple doesn't do repairs. Either they troubleshoot or they "exchange" so it's basically, for free or for half the original price of your unit. No other way around, José. This is what I was told.
  • Your "new" iPad from the exchange program comes with a 3-month warranty. Just. 3. Months.
  • Bubble wraps are a great stress reliever.
and if I may, I would like to make this suggestion to Apple: please go an extra mile -or a baby step, if a mile is too much - and include a protective gear with EVERY unit that comes out of your store? so that we don't have to buy it separately and end up with a not-so-fitting one. so when your customers buy them, they will be protected right from the very start and will not look like a costly accident waiting to happen. If this proves to be very costly on your part - providing protective gear with every unit - at the very least, improve your design and make it sturdier? so when we drop it, which is pretty much unavoidable considering how you designed your units, it won't dent so easily? I don't think this is a very unreasonable demand coming from your consumer, we're paying a not-so-cheap price anyway.

and please, please, better training for your service staff? it's quite annoying to be treated like that when I was the one shelling out half-month's worth of salary.

While  Apple-Mac programs are good and indeed their products, innovative, I hate to say this but I'm half a fan now. I think i'll just stick to their MP3s from now on and nothing more than 15kPhp. This way, I won't be hurt and heartbroken and broke when it dies. It's just too pricey of a risk to take. 



Czjai Reyes-Ocampo said...

And this is why, I've become a Samsung girl all the way.

I swear, after experiencing the Galaxy Note first-hand, I'm never everrrrrr gearing towards an iPhone again. Unless of course, it's given to me for free. LOL.

I am gie said...

korek. it's not worth it, tbh. Samsung is definitely getting there kaya kung hindi aayos ang Apple-Mac and their employees, might as well magbalot balot na sila. Mahihiya si Steve Jobs sa kanila (sumalangitnawa)galit tlaga ako. lumalabas pa nga lang ako sa store, sabi ko sa sarili ko, "amft, ibblog ko kayo, ibblog ko kayoooooooo" lol :D

Dave Pascht said...

I really like your blog!!

Chic Sassy Mom said...

Oh Sis, so sad! Super Apple fan girl panaman ako. This is a tragedy! Our iPad was over a year old na, and my mac almost two years na. Except for the pin wheel, so far so good. But it's bothersome naman, to think cellphones, at least my Samsung Cellphone, got dropped and dented several times na, buhay parin! Haay! We got a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for Chase, for his e-Book at La Salle, I like, except may lags lang talaga when working on blogger, etc. :(

Great job for sharing this. Bloggers rule! LOL*

I am gie said...

mommy des! that pinwheel is sensitive! but I found a way to access the home button without using the pinwheel by activating the accessibility feature ;) I can vouch for Playbook's physical tibay as its back is rubberized but OS can be bothersome sometimes. :(

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