PowerBook Woes

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Around June, the audio in my 17" PowerBook G4/1GHz went bad. It stopped coming out of the sound card, either headphones or speakers. USB devices still worked.

I figured this might be a larger problem than just a sound card, but I left it alone for a little while, being busy, since I have an iMic and that can give me audio on the road, with some small headphones. And at home, I plug into speakers.

But soon it was beyond just no audio, and I was getting bad audio I could not shut off: high-pitched squealing that could only be addressed by plugging in some headphones. Muting, using external audio device, didn't matter. I had a pair of such I was about to throw away anyway, so I cut off its plug and inserted that into the jack.

I called up Apple and set up a repair. I sent it in a couple of weeks later, when I had a few weeks where I could be without it. They got it the next and promptly put it on Hold because of a needed part. Two weeks passed, and finally, last Tuesday, they started repairing it. Except it went back into Hold. I called and asked what was up, they said, oh, we are waiting for a logic board.

Long story short, I am going to OSCON next week and need it back. They said you still have to pay for shipping and labor (it's out of warranty). I said, no, I don't: you didn't actually do the work, and it has been too long. The next day I called back to say "this is the day, send it back now," and that guy was nicer: no charge required.

I get it back today, and the sound card is working. They replaced part 630-4691 PCBA,MLB,PB17". My account shows no charges. I don't know if they finished the job, or if they found a problem with the logic board after fixing the sound problem, and it still needs to be fixed. (Note: they did not clean the screen or fix the rubber feet, as they usually do before returning laptops, which could have been because they didn't finish the job, or because they wanted to rush it out to me after finishing the job. There was also a round yellow sticker on the inside of the case.)

I could call and ask if it still needs to be repaired, but then I risk them saying, "oh no, we finished it, and ... oh, we still haven't charged you yet. We'll take care of that RIGHT NOW!"

Anyway, over the last few years, I am increasingly dissatisfied both with Apple hardware quality, and with their customer support. Both are woefully inadequate. slashdot.org

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