An Apple a Day

My computer crashed last Thursday night.

I am a longtime user of Apple products, beginning back in the early nineties.  I have used Macs since there were barely any applications for them.  I have been happy with their longevity, their customer service, and put up with their lack of interconnectivity over time.  That has improved dramatically.

I bought the first generation MacBook Air and used it more or less happily for three years until it began having major problems.  First the fan went, in early December, 2010.  No big deal.  I took it in to the Michigan Avenue store where I spied the new Airs.  I fondled them. They’d come out with an 11-inch model.  Lighter, smaller, faster, but with a same size keyboard.  I coveted it.  I asked the young man at the Genius bar to give me a reason, any reason, why I might need a new computer.  I depended on this, I said.  I carried it around with me.  Weight was an issue.  I’d torn a rotator cuff.  I was willing and able to buy.  Please, I said, tell me what the problems are with this old clunker.  Nothing, he said, and fixed it, lickety-split.

I made certain that I had Apple Care Protection, since this computer had my book on it, as well as all related files.  I used other computers for photos and music.  The ACP turned out to be a good idea because a soft clicking noise occurred in early September of 2011.  I rushed my Air in to the Lincoln Park store.  As it happened, the hard drive was in imminent danger of crashing, we’d caught it just in time, and they replaced the hard drive at no cost to me.  I asked, should I just replace the computer?  I heard they’d been re-engineered, improved.  NO, NO, NO, they told me.

Five months later, my computer with the brand new hard drive wouldn’t reboot.  I called, but apparently no longer had ACP and I was no longer eligible.  The call cost me ~ $50.00.  They walked me through the steps in multiple attempts to reboot.  No luck.  Take it to an Apple store, I was told.  They made an appointment for me.

The next morning, I drove to the Lincoln Park Apple store.  They took my computer into their diagnostic section.  The hard drive was dead.  It was not covered despite being five months old.  They recommended I take it to a data recovery place—they had a few they could suggest.  I had to buy a new computer.  I bought the new, re-engineered 11-inch MacBook Air I’d coveted fifteen months earlier.

I had lost all the files related to my new book.  I lost the first 90 pages I’d written.

Ordinarily, I back up my data on an external hard drive.  I regularly email files to myself as a precaution if I can’t get to the EHD.  But I hadn’t done it in a while, because I’d forgotten, been extremely busy, etc.  Because when you start a new book the files are everywhere and disorganized and you don’t know what will turn out to be important.  And because my new hard drive was only five months old.  Who would have thought that a five month old hard drive would fail?

Apple sent me an email asking if I was happy with the service I’d received at the Lincoln Park Store.  I filled it out in detail.

Never ask a question unless you want to hear the answer.  This is a general rule to follow in life.

A supervisor called me at home.  I told her that if the company knows that it has an inferior product, an outmoded product, and the customer asks specifically if she should buy a replacement because she depends on it, they should tell her the truth.  I spent $600 I did not need to spend on data recovery and a phone call plus hours of aggravation, worry, travel, etc.  I told the supervisor that when they replaced my hard drive in September, they should have said to me (after I told them I was a writer and depended on this baby), the same thing can happen to THIS hard drive that happened to your last one, and it can happen in three days, three months, or three years!  I should back up daily.   And they should have told me it wasn’t covered.

She said she was sorry.

The shine is off the Apple.