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My rant against Apple Computer

February 08, 2006

My power adapter just failed on my iBook G4.

This has really pissed me off because I am stuck with paying $85.00 to replace a product I know is going to fail again. It failed rather suddenly in the exact same spot a good portion of my other Apple PowerBook power adapters have failed. They either fail where the adapter plugs into the computer or at the base of the adapter.

I went to the Web site to see what the price was for the new adapter and wouldn't you know it, right below the product description is a list of what other customers have said about the product. 452 customers give the power adapter 1.5 out of 5 stars. That's a pretty shitty product rating for a company that is supposed to have outstanding products.

I also have to replace my keyboard for the second time because the paint is peeling off the keys, so you can no longer tell what the keys are. What really pisses me off is that I have had my iBook G4 for 13 months. It's just out of the warranty period and as far as Apple is concerned, tough titties. They simply don't give a shit.

This is the 7th Apple portable computer I have owned over the years. What annoys me is that the problems I had with my Power Book 140, 520, 520c, G3/233, G3/400, iBook G3 and my iBook G4 is that ALL of the power adapters continually fail in the exact same places! The company has been marketing PowerBooks since 1992. In that time you would think they might get their act together. I'm already going to buy the product, but I find it really galling that instead of making the best computer they can, they skimp on things like the power adapter. There is no reason for it!

On the off-chance they might just replace the power adapter, I attempted to book an appointment at the Genius Bar through the Web site which is the only way you can talk to a repair person. Naturally, the appointments were booked for the day. If I purchased Apple Pro-Care, I could then get an appointment in the future, but I didn't purchase AppleCare. In fact, this is the first time I have not purchased AppleCare. The main reason why is that I have come to terms with the fact that Apple's shoddy quality standards are here to stay. So in an effort to get around them, I have decided to purchase a new Apple computer every year. Apple thwarted this plan by not releasing a new model in over a year! I could buy the exact same computer I have right now, but if I wanted one with new features, I have to wait until at least March, 2006 when the MacBook Pro ships and the new iBook replacement is announced. How is that for a fine fuck-you? I am attempting to upgrade every year and they still find a way to fuck me!

So I went into the Apple Store in University Village to get a new adapter and I can't find one. After a few minutes, I finally captured the attention of one of the sales guys who pointed out where the adapters were. I explained how pissed off I was that I have to pay $85 for a product that is going to fail in the exact same way the last one failed and he re-assured me that this one would not fail because they boosted the wattage to 65. I asked him how boosting the wattage was going to fix the problem of the cable failing and he just stared at me like he was stoned. I waved my hand in front of his face and he told me how insulting that was and he went to get a manager. Seeing how it was unlikely he was going to tell me about any special Apple recalls for their crappy power adapters, I got in line at the cashier which was so long I had to leave the store so I could get in the line to pay for the product. I'm not joking! I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the store with the adapter I hadn't paid for so I could then go into the store and pay for it!

Meanwhile, the manager was looking for this asshole who annoyed his employee and I stood there waving at him so he could come up and yell at me, throw me out of the store, whatever it was he thought was the right course of action. He asked me if I was the person with the power adapter problem. Seeing how I was the only one in line with a power adapter, I was the guy the salesman was pointing at, I acknowledged it was me. I explained that I was really pissed off that my adapter had failed and that I was buying another power adapter which was exactly the same as the last one, which is the one which customers are ranting about on Apple's Web site and I was very angry that I would be facing the exact same problem again!

He calmly explained that in all of his years of selling Apple computers, he never heard of a power adapter failing. Which was funny because thats the same thing I told customers back when I was selling Apple computers many years ago. I tried to explain that I have owned 6 other Apple PowerBooks and that this is a pretty common problem. He asked me if I had AppleCare and said no, I did not. "You've owned other Apple computers and you don't have AppleCare?"

Wow, that's a really glowing endorsement of a product!

Instead of going into my planned obsoleteness speech, I just laid into him about the fact that power adapters DO fail, that customers on the Apple Web site are all ranting against this same adapter. He explained that people who liked products generally do not ever comment about the products, so I was getting a fairly slanted point of view regarding the adapter. He then mentioned casually his experience with LaCie. Other people complain LaCie products fail and that he only buys LaCie products. I explained that every LaCie device I have ever owned has failed which is why I no longer buy LaCie products.

He then handed me his business card and said that if this power adapter failed to give him a call.

So if any of you out there in Internet land have a failed Apple power adapter, please give Jason Merrill, the assistant store manager of the University Village Apple Store a call at (206) 524-8100. You can also e-mail him at I have his card on file because unless I upgrade in a month or so to the new Apple mid-range notebook, this adapter will fail. It's just a matter of time.

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