Apple: Ruler of the Tech Universe or Big Bad Bully?


I don’t usually use this blog as a platform for anything negative but this post unfortunately has a rather harumphy tone to it. I feel disillusioned. By many big things from time to time – but by something rather small and inconsequential today. This is truly nothing more than a short rant about my disappointment with Apple’s customer service system so please do take it all with a grain of salt.

The backstory – about a year and a half ago our laptop died and we bought a new one. Nothing too fancy, just your run of the mill Macbook Pro for about $1500. (I usually don’t think “run-of-the-mill” and $1500 go together but in the tech world I am starting to realize there is a skewed perception of what rational pricing is. Alright, alright I know this puny little metal box allows me to contact people around the world and search for obscure facts about every topic known to man, but still $1500 is a lot of money!) Our last laptop had crapped out after 3 years of use and I was petrified that everything I hadn’t moved to an external hard drive in the 6 months prior would be lost… Thankfully our writing, photos, and music was saved in the end and after many hours spent at the Apple store (God how I love and hate the Apple store.) I was pretty bummed to have multiple people tell me that 2-5 years is the average lifespan of these very expensive technological toys. Ugh.


When all was said and done I had a new laptop and I vowed to treat it with extreme care and respect – willing it to eke out a 5 year career for me. To date the laptop has been great and has served many a new purpose (HE-LLO Photoshop!) since I launched the blog and videography business. My laptop and I are an awkward little team, nestled into a small section of our family room where I have a miniature desk. It was all going swimmingly until last January when one of the little black round “feet” on the bottom of the laptop fell off and disappeared into the deep dark hole that claims quarters, earrings backings, single solitary socks, and gum wrappers in our home. I couldn’t find the piece and the laptop felt a little lopsided without it so I headed to the Apple store for help. I waited the usual 20-30 minutes for my “walk-in” appointment and then was told by the Apple employee that I would have to pay $10 for a replacement part and it would take 15 minutes for them to glue it in place. Huh. $10 seemed steep for a small plastic disk the size of a nickel but I was paying for labor too so I felt I had no choice. I paid, waited, and reclaimed my laptop with it’s fourth “foot” back in place.

Fast forward 6 months and that darn little circular “foot” fell off again. This time we found it under the laptop on the counter and I decided I would take it back to the Apple store for a re-glue. And that’s where the rant begins. This morning I was told that since the “foot” was glued back on more than 90 days ago (the warranty period for all things Apple) I would have to pay $10 again to have it re-glued. Say what?!? As the Apple attendant explained their policies I felt myself getting a little hot under the collar. (It’s not about the $10 people – it’s the principle!) It really felt a little unacceptable that this $1,500 piece of merchandise with the faulty “foot” would potentially continue to have issues. The more I thought about it – the more I was getting downright angry. I explained to my Apple attendant that I would just have to glue it myself because I couldn’t foresee myself coming in and paying $10 every 6 months when the “foot” fell off again. He glibly informed me that that would be a very bad decision because I would have to unscrew the whole back cover (thus exposing the computer’s fragile insides) when I glued it lest I risk getting glue inside the hole under the “foot” which could then stick to the battery and cause a slew of other issues. Good Lord! This was getting stickier by the minute… I told him I would figure it out and snatched my laptop and that annoying little black “foot” and left the store immediately. As I shuffled to my car (shuffling is what one does when they are 6.5 months pregnant and pissed off) and imagined the letter I planned to write to the head of Apple addressing my complaints.

By the time I got home I was way too tired to write that letter so this little post was the next best thing I could come up with. So you tell me. How do you all feel about Apple’s customer service?  The thing is – even though I am pissed I feel beholden to the brand. I have an Apple laptop, an iPhone, my husband owns an iPad, and we were given Apple TV a few years back as a gift. I generally do like the product but even if I didn’t I feel like it I would HAVE to stick with the brand because it is everywhere. Sticking with Apple means all my tech stuff is compatible… And yet I somehow feel like I am selling out to the man by not trying something new from time to time. Am I being bullied? Is Apple eventually going to take over the Universe? It sure does feel that way sometimes.

In conclusion I didn’t risk getting glue on the internal mechanics of my pricey laptop but rather took a lame piece of clear packing tape and used it to secure the little black foot to the base of my laptop. It’s there to remind me that Apple doesn’t in fact own the universe and they aren’t perfect and someday I might even build an even bigger better brand with really really good customer service that will knock Apple off its smug little touchas. (I can see my husband now. Rolling his eyes and under his breath saying, “God these pregnancy hormones are making her nutty.) And my answer to that  – $10 each time they fix it??? Good grief.

Laptop Repair on The Sentimentalist


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  1. Kathy Altomaro says:

    You go girl! Why is so much of our time,energy & effort spent on things that are inferior, customer service employees that hate serving the public, expensive items with a short “shelf life”, etc.,etc.. They know that you will complain but we all get worn down. I’m trying to “buy American” to see if it makes a difference. Enjoy the last days of vaca! Xo

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