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My experience with Apple: Snow White and Kafka.

Here is my experience with Apple due to a problem arising from an update. I think my particular story exemplifies an increasingly common situation of consumer impotence versus the dominant position of global companies. It also questions whether they comply with national legislation and whether consumer defense services have real capacity of arbitrage.

Three months ago my computer suddenly stopped working. After several tests, reinstallations and queries to specialists, I concluded that it was a consequence of a security update of the operating system (coincidence in time, revision of log files, inspection of board, etc). Even Apple on its website recognizes that this update may cause that some computers become unusable and issued a patch. So I decided to complain to Apple.

The first surprise was that Apple try to directed me to their support services, contact and customer service. Basically it's like there's no service for complaints. After much insistence I was given a postal address in Ireland, without the postal code, and they assured me that there was no email, web or telephone for these purposes. After completing the address, I appealed for a free repair. I received a phone call in which I was told that Apple declines any liability for its software and I agreed to take my computer to an Apple Store in order to make a diagnosis. I provided them all the technical documents that substantiated my complaint (log files, screenshots, technical details of Apple's own website, etc.).

In less than 24 hours they called and told me that Apple's policy is not to respond in writing. Basically they told me that their technicians had checked the equipment, that it was a hardware failure and that my equipment was not under warranty. Their solution was to replace the logic board and this meant that for 500 euros they install a logic board that could be second hand and they would retain the old one. In case of wanting to keep the property of my old logic board, the cost raised to 1000 euros. What's more, the new installation logic board would be engraved with the same serial number as the one removed, so it will be almost impossible to know if the replacement has really been carried out.

What most surprise and impotence causes me are the following facts. After picking up the equipment, I checked that during the time the computer was in the Apple Store it was not even turned on. I suppose the same diligence allowed them to examine the log file of 225 thousand lines in less than 24 hours. At no time, and despite my request, they provide any explanation or detail of the tests or diagnoses made to the equipment as well as they did not show any argument that would refute those provided by me.

I have constantly reminded Apple that I have never claimed or claimed for the hardware nor did I claim that the warranty would cover the damage. Bringing the debate to that point, as Apple tries to do continuously, is certainly malicious. What I have asked is for a "lack of conformity", to use the legal jargon of the conditions of the Apple software since it seems that Apple puts its own norms above the Spanish legislation. Any expert attorney in consumer protection, will have appreciated throughout the story several situations that collide, not to say infringe, with Spanish legislation on consumers and users.

In summary, I continue to fight for a coherent explanation of the facts and I have wanted to make clear how certain multinationals obviate national legislation.

Sometimes the apples are those of Snow White and the experiences are those of Kafka.