As of today, the iMac I’m writing this on is 1 year old. At least to me as that’s when I bought it. Anyone who has purchased Apple kit will know that you get a 1 year warranty with new Macs. I’ve used this once previously to get the Superdrive in my iMac G4 replaced just before it ran out some seven years ago.
My second experiance with Apple repairs came with my current iMac. I had been noticing some dark spots on my display in the past month or so and they started to get worse. A look on the Apple discussion site showed that lots of people were having this same problem and getting the displays replaced. I thought I better get on that before my 1 year passes by.
I called Apple and got an appointment booked for very early last Saturday morning to drop my machine off at the Apple Store in Westfield Stratford (no, I’m not going to call it ‘Stratford City’). Now I had to work out the logistics of getting it there. I brought my iMac home last year during a Tube strike. I was just that determined to have it for the weekend. It took some time for my arms to forgive me for that.
Not wanting a repeat of the arm pain and headache of lugging around a large box, I picked up a wheelie hand cart and some bungie ropes. This time I was going pro. It paid off. The trip to drop off the iMac was a breeze!
The gal at the Genius Bar booted it up off the network to run some diagnostics on it (I always reckoned that used some NetBoot stuff at the Stores), had a look at the screen and marked it down for replacement. Nice! And the staff were impressed with my pro setup to transport it. All in a usual day’s job for me.
I got the call a few days ago that the work was all done and it was ready to collect. I didn’t have the time to pick it up until Sunday afternoon and/or evening. There’s no way it was going to be as quiet at that behemoth temple to shopping at that time of day. I braced myself and headed out today at 4pm, empty box and hand cart in tow.
The bus ride and tube journey were fine. However, Westfield itself was teeming with people. People not watching where they are going. People walking into the box I’m trying to politely wheel about. Then there was the queues for the lifts. Oh lord. You’d think people never used a lift before. The one going up would fill up, and people would keep pushing the up call button, which of course then just made the doors open of the one that’s already full. I snapped and said ‘someone has to stop pushing the call button’. The message got through.
The service at the Apple Store wasn’t as top notch as last week. Too many 19-year-olds manning the Genius Bar. And by manning I mean, standing behind the bar talking amongst themselves, giving me and the large box beside me the odd glance and ignoring my ‘hello’s. I finally got served by a guy just passing who went and got my iMac and tested it for me. Huzah! But bless him, he had no idea how to lift one back into the box. I showed him a better way to do it. He said ‘wow you must do this a lot’. Yes, yes I do.
Right! Back through the masses to Stratford station to get on the Jubilee line. But what’s this? The platform gates are being shut and guarded by British Transport Police. Arse. A power failure meant Jubilee line trains weren’t going anywhere. Decision time: do I hang about and see if it will get sorted soon or chance wheeling my cargo to the DLR to Greenwich and then on an overland train home. I figured I’d give the DLR a go. No trains to Lewisham. Arse. Canary Wharf and a change of trains it was. When we got to Canary Wharf there was an announcement that the Jubilee Line was running again. D’oh!
All in all, I got home a couple of hours later. It was a hassle, but to get a £299 screen replacement for £0 I think it was worth it. Here’s to many more years of reliable service from my favourite lil’ iMac.