Bad Apple: Where’s the quality control?

Where do I start? Apple, you can kiss my ass. Steve Jobs, pucker up and let me present my right cheek to ya. I’ve commented on this blog before about problems with Apple quality control but it just seems to get worse and worse. Pull up a chair and let me explain.
I began using Macs back in 1993 when I purchased my first, a Color Classic. Since then I’ve owned many and have become something of a geek. Over the past 12 years I’ve learned the ins and the outs from System 7 to OS 10.4. I’ve delved into web development, database development and video editing. As I learned I also began recommending Macs to many folks and have probably sold over 15 in the past 5 years. Not only that but I’ve always done my best to support those folks as they learned how to use and maintain their computer, often their first. I think I’m starting to regret that I recommended Apple. Now, before I launch into the rant let me just say that I think the Mac OS is fantastic. In particular OS X 10.2 – 10.4… it just keeps getting better. Furthermore, Apple software also keeps getting better and better.
Now, lets get into the rant which is all about the hardware. Since 2001 I’ve seen so many repairs and then follow-up re-repairs of Macs that it’s become dizzying. I’ve had to send in 3 of my last 4 and have another repair waiting to be sent in so make that 4 of 5. Now, to make matters much worse 2 of those had to go straight back in because they came back with new problems. Thats correct, they broke it when they “fixed” it. My current PowerBook had to go in 3 times in the course of 40 days. My previous PowerBook was sent in for a repair to the optical drive and came back with a broken optical drive. What? What?!
Off the top of my head I can think of 9 out of 12 people that I’ve encouraged to get a Mac who have had to send in for repairs. Of those 9, 3 had to send in for multiple repairs. Peter, oh Peter, he sent his iBook in at least six (I think it may have been seven or eight) times for logic board replacement. My brother has sent his iBook in three times. This past week my sister got her 17 month old iBook back from a hard disk replacement. Wait for it… wait… badaboom… 2 days later the hard disk failed again and its going back to Apple at this very moment. This is terrible. Who does Apple have doing these repairs and what is the process used for checking the quality of repairs?
The folks at Apple should take a long hard look at the resources they have dedicated to supporting their hardware. I don’t know if it’s a matter of training, not enough workers, the use of untested, refurbished parts or all of the above but I will say that their repair process is badly broken. The company apparently has plenty of resources to develop new iPods and new products generally… but this should only happen if they can continue to adequately support and repair the products they have already sold.

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