More Thoughts on the Apple Store

Almost two months ago, my MacBook Pro started exhibiting weird behavior. When I opened the lid, I would see a brief screen of garbled artifacts, similar to when a TV channel was having technical difficulties. I didn’t think much of it until my computer started freezing and wouldn’t recover unless I did a hard restart. This escalated until I wasn’t able to make it past the log in screen without my computer rebooting.

Screen artifacts

The first thing I did was make an appointment at the Apple Store. I described the symptoms and they did the usual and ran some diagnostics. They could not find anything hardware related so they suggested that if I ran into issues again, that I reinstall the OS. And since I was 4 days out of warranty, any hardware repairs would be paid out of pocket. I took their advice and did a clean install. Once I did that, I thought I was in the clear as I was able to make it past the log in screen and started to reinstall some apps. I didn’t get far though as my computer shut down unexpectedly.

I made another appointment at the Apple Store.

This time, another genius had me downgrade to the OS my computer originally came with, Mac OS Sierra. She said that there seems to be a bug with High Sierra that was causing these random reboots. So she downgraded my computer and I left to set up my computer on Mac OS Sierra.

Same thing happened again. Random reboot and I was unable to make it past the log in screen.

At this point, I didn’t want to make another trip to the Apple Store so I called Apple Care. At this point, I was ready to pay whatever it took to repair my laptop. I again described my symptoms to the tech on the phone. Within a few days, a box showed up at my apartment and I sent off my computer.

Almost a week later I received my laptop and was surprised to find out that Apple covered my repair costs even though my computer was technically out of warranty. I could not be more surprised.

A few thoughts:

Apple Stores get a bad rap for being crowded and a terrible experience, which is true. But when I first brought in my computer, I was watching the Genius who was helping me out multitask while he was running tests on my computer. Whatever app they use on their iPads to track and triage their customers is pretty slick. I can’t imagine what it’s like to work Apple Retail nowadays but we had nothing even close to what they use to track customers.

Apple Stores are convenient if you have an issue with your Apple device (if you live near one). But if you want to avoid the mall and the crowds at the Apple Store, call in. The Apple support over the phone is top notch. I don’t think they outsource overseas since they seem to operate around US time zones, although the last guy who helped me had a Scottish accent. Either way, the phone support is excellent and even though I described the exact same symptoms to the Apple Genius at the mall, he said my computer would be covered if any repairs had to be made. He had my model and serial and he would have been able to see that I was technically out of warranty. But I was surprised and delighted to know that the repairs to my computer were covered.

I was afraid I’d be out a couple hundred dollars to repair this computer, but I’m happily typing this on my newly repaired MacBook Pro.