Friday, February 3, 2012

Has Apple lost more than just Steve Jobs?

 My husband and I are Mac supporters.  He a true apple guy from the start, and me an honest convert who left her HP days and accepted Mac into her life.  A change that came with marriage and years of dating.. and until most recently, has been accepted with open arms and eagerness to learn more.

See, my husband has been focused on his career and goals, and at age 27, can say he has spent every last year of his life furthering his education.  A journey that we have both embraced and struggled with for years.  This may alarm you, but the average unemployed American makes more money than a school provides most pHD students.  In other words, our future is hanging on by the dollars lost in the cracks.

But all this is OK.  We have accepted tight budgets and cut-backs and adapted.   I took my passion for food and turned it into a blog about "Bargain Bites".  We live without most furniture commodities and find pleasure in turning one man's trash into treasure.

And even though times may be tough, we don't let our passion for life and love for others change.  We still offer dinner parties, donate money and clothes to those more in need, volunteer our time when possible....  It's not a choice, but our way of life!  We don't need a fancy couch and marble counter top because someone else needs treatment research or a simple pair of shoes...

This story roots from an episode we have faced today.  See, being a pHD student my husband has been researching, collecting data, and typing up his dissertation.  Hours upon hours of him and his computer -- a computer that gets more attention that I bet a newborn does from it's parents.

This is no homework project friends, but a work to be critiqued, picked apart, slaved over, and one day published.  Studies that can help shape his field of expertise!

Which brings us to the mac...  5 months ago my husbands 7 year old computer (the one I use today) was purring and moaning like a car on it's last mile.  Data, years of school, thousands of dollars worth of research and networking all could have been lost...  But one day we came home, and a new mac was waiting for him on our porch!  His god-father so kindly bought him one to focus on his dissertation and graduation.

With hopes of his final year or two of school ahead, he seriously went to work, and I will say, he is one dedicated individual.  But today.... what a grim way for a Friday to begin.

See we didn't know it, but this computer was a (and this is how the mac support line had phrased it) "A Bad Melon".  No it wasn't rotted and oozing, but rather just died.  Dead.  The Hard drive no longer worked and it was epic.  This babied laptop that looked but a day old croaked... and so did a piece of my husband that exhaustion and complete shock must cause.

And yes backing up his data is something he does... but this past month has been a hard one, and the weeks took off.  So with all this said, his work, his 3 years of work was lost.

And the saddest part of this story is the stone cold truth.  Because we realized that sometimes even the nicest people are lost in the buzz of heartless crud.

Today we realized that Mac, a company that once prided itself on helping those in need, dedication to service and support....  A company that would go that extra mile to show even in hard times customers mean the most told my husband, would replace his computer but that they could not retrieve his data.  Data being the one thing that we needed from the computer, and the reason for panic and despair.  And ok, so if the genius bar couldn't help, I'm sure someone could... right?

And so we were referred to a company that could. . .  and the quoted price:  $800-$2000!  For some, it's pennies, for others more than their monthly income... and for us, devastation.  So my husband called begging for a light at the end of the tunnel.  And after several hours on hold he spoke to a representative with Mac... a representative who noted there was nothing else they could do, aside from replace the "bad melon".   In fact, because Mac had sent my husband to the company, the company offered a 10% off discount!

What a joke.  At least this company was willing to ship everything back and forth for free... someone still cares about customer support.

It just breaks my heart to see my husband so upset.  We can't afford this, but we will find a way.  Be it putting a family on hold, staying thousands of miles from home longer... come what may.  It just hurts because not but one week ago, Mac announced this:

“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”   (Full article)

and yet this very company can't take an extra step to help an individual who only does more for others that he does for himself?  To help correct an error that we had no part of!  An error not from physical damage, water, user error.... no.  A problem that resulted from us being the proud owners of "a bad melon".  Kinda leaves a sour and rotted flavor in your mouth... huh? 

In all, the question must be asked:  "Has Apple lost more than just Steve Jobs?"  Perhaps fortune and "products down the pipeline" have replaced good ol' service, and human compassion has been replaced by greed.

With dollar signs and the color green in their future, one must wonder, who will they screw over next?  And with that in mind, at what expense to the innocent will this company find success in error?

--written by:  Aimee Kleer-Gonzalez, BA


  1. Oh my goodness, this is just awful. I am also a doctoral student working on my dissertation and I can't even begin to imagine how awful he must feel. I've been using a crappy Dell my advisor gave me when I started working for her, but I hate it and have been considering buying a new Mac, but hearing things like this makes me wonder if I shouldn't! I can't believe they offered no help! Very disappointed in them!

    For now, I back up all my dissertation work onto a flash drive every day I work on it!

    1. Oh Stephanie! I wish I could send you a new computer! Floppy disks and dissertation should not be in the same sentence... What are you studying? My husband is studying Sport Psychology -- it's been interesting meeting professors and professionals in his fields, as well as many olympic and professional athletes.

      Ultimately he wants to teach. Job security drives us all lol. I am so happy your shared your story. As for Mac products, they have been sturdy and dependable, but also the most sensitive and fragile. For me, I learned the hard way that a Mac cannot take a beating like my old PC's, but the flip side to that is the Mac never aggravated (ok I won't say never) like my PCs did.

      I guess what I am saying is the products haven't been "bad melons" in the past, but now I just wonder what has a company that lost such a great leader sacrificed to rise to the top in profits?

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend! My mom flew out to visit us, so we are cleaning and putting our stresses on hold.

      Maybe another Mother Daughter blog post is in the near future!

  2. I'm in Developmental Psychology. I know a few people who work in Sport Psychology and it is very interesting! My expertise is with children and educational research. I will probably end up teaching as well!

    My husband and I are Mac supporters too. I have an older mac laptop that doesn't work so well anymore, but I never upgraded because we got these Dells when I started grad school, but I can't take all the issues! I would rather buy a new Mac. It is really sad that the company won't offer any help for a bad melon. It's almost like you HAVE to buy the warranty or support package they sell or you're S.O.L. if it breaks!

  3. Oh I feel for you! I am very disapointed in Apple!!! We (the food community) should start a bake sale for you to help you get the money to retrieve your data!!!
    I hope this all works out for you!

  4. Steph -- I have so many friends in developmental psychology! What a fabulous field -- I wish you all the best in your research, and let us know if you ever need help that we can help you with in compiling data! My husband is an SPSS and Stat genius!

    Chandra -- You just brought tears to my eyes! I am sitting here and that made me just want to hug you! (**e hugs**)!!!! It has been a rough few days... His computer's hard drive in enroute to California for hopefully a successful (but pricey) retrieval. It's something we will have to find a way to afford. Your comment came at such a difficult time, I am so thankful for people like you!

    I wonder if we could do some type of fundraiser.... I make a mean batch of cookies!

  5. "And yes backing up his data is something he does... but this past month has been a hard one, and the weeks took off. So with all this said, his work, his 3 years of work was lost."

    For "important" data, backup to multiple locations.

  6. You are so right and this was quite an expensive lesson, but a lesson learned none the less.

    But all backing up aside, it's depressing we are paying for a mistake in the laptop that we didn't create ourselves.


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