After my latest bad experience with Apple, I sent an email to MacInTouch. I’m gratified to see it posted on their report today:

I’m glad to hear that Kelvin Silburn had such a positive result, receiving a 2GHz G5 back when a 1.8GHz model was sent for repair. My experience, however, has been the opposite.

I recently sent my G3 900MHz iBook for repair under the logic board replacement scheme. In order to carry out the repair, Apple send a special padded packing box to the customer via UPS in which the machine is then shipped back for repair. Apple Europe twice failed to get the box to me due to an unexplained dispatch hiccup, so it took two weeks before the repair started. Nonetheless, once I was able to send the machine off, the turnaround was very fast, taking only three working days in total. (I live in Belgium and the repairs are conducted in the Netherlands, so the shipping time is minimal.)

I received my repaired iBook this afternoon. When I switched it on to test it, however, I was astonished and horrified to find that they had swapped out the original 900MHz board for an 800MHz one.

My iBook was built to order, and I have the original documentation stating its specification—as, I’m sure, does Apple: it was registered with them and “12.1/900/128/60G/COMBO” is printed on the original warranty. However, customer service was anything but. Although the representative was careful to say that he didn’t not trust me, he insisted on checking with the service centre in the Netherlands to verify that it was a 900MHz machine to start with. This will, apparently, take several days. I am currently waiting to hear back from Apple and am highly dissatisfied with their slow service in getting the repair started and the surly, mistrustful customer support that I’ve received in response to their mistake. [...]

Bad publicity rocks.

The latest status is this: Apple assured me that they would call me to tell me what was happening with their repair centre enquiry. Naturally, I didn’t put much faith in that, so I made a follow-up phone call today. They had received a reply from the repair centre and are prepared to restore my machine to its proper specification—but I have to send it back to them first. So it’s back to waiting for UPS again.

Assuming that everything goes perfectly from now on—and past history would suggest not—it will have taken over three weeks to have just one faulty component of my computer replaced. It’s not very impressive.