A terrible tale about an iMac Pro and Apple support
I bought an iMac Pro in December 2017. The first day I booted up my iMac Pro it restarted on its own, I chalked it up to a freak thing and forgot about it, until it happened again a few months later at which point I called Apple support to let them know, they made a note and I kept using the machine, until one day while exporting a video in Final Cut Pro the machine kept restarting — it wouldn’t finish the export. I called up Apple support, they had me run some diagnostics which I sent to them and they had Apple engineering take a look. After analyzing the diagnostic reports, Apple engineering determined there was an issue with my iMac Pro’s RAM and they made me a Genius Bar appointment to take the iMac Pro in for repair.
Now, keep in mind, I live in NYC and don’t have a car so bringing a 21 pound computer into an Apple Store isn’t the simplest of tasks (but we’ll get back to this later). So anyway, I bring the machine into the Apple Store in Downtown Brooklyn on June 13.
I was told that repairing the machine would be a priority, especially since I made it clear that I used it for work and really couldn’t afford to be without it for too long. I received a call on June 19th informing me that my repair had been complete and that I could come pick up my computer. Now five (5) days doesn’t seem too bad, except that if the store was more capable it could have been done much faster. Here’s why: they ordered new RAM but didn’t order the special bonding material for the display at the same time which resulted in me having to wait a couple extra days for them to receive the special bonding material for the iMac Pro displays after already having replaced the RAM. I guess I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t order both at the same time, especially since, you know, you have to remove the display in order to replace the RAM.
Nonetheless, on June 19 I rushed over to the Apple Store in Downtown Brooklyn to pick up the computer, they turned it on and showed me that it was working. Very good. I had them pack it up in the ridiculous amount of bubble wrap that I bought to transport the computer safely to and from my apartment and went home with it in an Uber (I’m not bringing a $7,000+ computer on the subway).
Before we move on with the story, I need to say that on June 15th two days after I brought my iMac Pro in for repair, I had LASIK. Why is this relevant? Because after I brought home my computer I noticed this starburst/glow-y effect in the middle of the display. I thought it might be related to my LASIK procedure but after a few days I noticed it wasn’t going away, I asked Mandy if she saw the glow too—she did. At this point, you can imagine my frustration, the person who repaired my computer clearly broke my display when putting it back on after replacing the RAM. I called the Apple Store in Downtown Brooklyn and got them to order me a new display (without me having to bring in the computer again).
On June 23, I received word that my replacement display had arrived at the Apple Store, but since I needed the machine for work, I had to push off taking it back to the Apple Store until later that week. So later that week, on June 27th, I wrapped up the iMac Pro in the ridiculous amount of bubble wrap and padding that I bought, called an Uber, and schlepped it down to the store to have them replace the display that they broke.
I get a call a day later from the Apple Store telling me they replaced the display but it’s still having the same starburst/glow-y issue and that at this point they want to order me a CRU (otherwise known as a Complete Replacement Unit) but that I could come down to the store again and pick up my computer to use until the new machine arrives, which they add, could take up to two weeks. Great.
So like a ping pong ball, I’m going back to the Apple Store to pick up my [still broken] iMac Pro. I get the machine, pack it up nicely again, and call an Uber to go home.
Now at this point I’ve spent at least $60 on Uber trips to go back and forth to the Apple Store with my iMac Pro. It’s a tad ridiculous. I mentioned it to one of the store managers and he said that he would brainstorm and see if they could find a way to make it right to me, and that, when I come back to get the new computer, he would let me know what could be done.
Fair enough, I guess.
I take the computer home and a few days later I noticed the bottom left side of the display coming apart from the enclosure. So now, not only did they break my computer after replacing the RAM, they completely botched the display replacement by clearly not using enough bonding material in that area.
I call the store and let them know, they noted it and said I could once again bring the machine back to the store (YAY more Uber trips) and they would reapply the display (again, keep in mind, I’m still waiting for my replacement machine). I told them that’s okay, I’ll just use it as is for now (thinking I would have the new machine with a few days). Additionally, I decide to call Apple customer service and let them know about what’s going on as well.
Anyway, fast forward two weeks later to Friday July 13th—I’m still without a computer. I call the store and I’m told that they don’t really have an update at this time, they see that the CRU team is supposedly working on it. Sigh, okay.
At this point in time I made contact with senior Apple support specialist who has been very nice and he makes an effort to find out what’s going on by getting in touch with the store for me. His luck isn’t much better. They tell him it will be a few more days, possibly later in the week (meaning the week of July 16th).
Friday July 20th rolls around and I’m hopeful the day after my birthday will prove fruitful. No go. In fact, now I’ve been told by the store that the CRU system is down or something—I never really got a straight or clear answer and that it will now be two weeks from today (meaning another two weeks from July 20th) which would be August 3rd.
I’m really at a loss for words with how badly this whole situation has gone. I’m a long-time Apple customer who has bought pretty much every Apple product that’s been out in the past decade. I’m beyond frustrated. I just want the new machine that I deserve. This entire debacle has been going on now for more than a month and there’s currently no resolution in sight.
To add insult to injury, I called the store today to see if they would make good on their offer of giving me something for all the trouble they’ve put me through. Keep in mind, I was told to go on the Apple website and pick something–nobody once mentioned a price ceiling. I asked for a HomePod and the store manager on the other end of line pretty much just laughed at me and said I can give you AirPods, to which I replied, I already own AirPods and they don’t fit in my ears anyway. He then proceeded to offer me a 50 percent discount on a HomePod and reiterated that they were giving me a new computer… are you freaking serious?! YOU GUYS BROKE MY COMPUTER. THAT’S WHY YOU’RE REPLACING IT.
It’s just embarrassing at this point. I’m really frustrated. All I want is 100% functioning, non-defective iMac Pro.
Thanks for listening to me rant. I’ll keep you posted with how things ultimately play out.
UPDATE: While exporting the video above on my iMac Pro, it restarted. I tried to export it three times, all three times the export didn’t finish and the computer restarted. So… it appears we’re back to square one. I ended up having to use my old MacBook Pro to get the video exported from Final Cut Pro.
UPDATE 2–8/3/18: After more than a month of dealing with this ongoing ordeal I finally got the new iMac Pro last night. A few things to note though:
When I arrived at the Apple Store with the old machine, I was told that I needed to hand it over to them and they would perform the data migration. I told them I wanted to accompany the machine while the data migration was taking place, they said I couldn’t. After explaining that they have literally not done one thing right across the board throughout this whole situation and that I didn’t trust them, a manager came over and said I could set up shop in the genius bar area and perform the data migration. Ok, perfect.
They brought out the new machine and helped me set it up with my old one to do the actual data migration which took a few hours (as I expected it would) and everything was fine. Once the data migration was completed we wiped my old machine and that’s when things got interesting again. I was told I couldn’t have the iMac Pro box that the brand new machine (which was sitting right in front of me ready for me to take home) was shipped to them in.
Why you ask? Because they needed the box to ship the old machine back in. WHAT?!
At this point I was infuriated and once again ran through every mistake and misstep they made along the way while dealing with me. The person helping me was literally looking at me and was basically saying, “Sorry dude, you can’t have the box because we need it to ship back the old machine.” To which I replied, “You’re APPLE, you can get another box,” only to be shrugged at. After a couple minutes he called over one of the store managers to whom I explained I want the box because I don’t want to transport a brand new $7k+ machine back home in bubble wrap and a giant Ikea bag (keep in mind I live in NYC). I was then asked by the store manager where my existing box was (which really isn’t relevant, nonetheless), I explained it’s at my parents house on Long Island and asked if they were suggesting I go all the way to my parents house to get a box. At that point, the store manager gave in and said I could have the box.
We then put the new iMac Pro back inside the box it came to the store in and I asked if they had any tape so we can ensure the box is secure. They said they had stickers, fine, whatever I thought, I just wanted to get home. One of the Genius’s took four stickers and placed them on the table for me to apply to the box, “You’re not going to help me?” I said to him. He then helped me apply these stickers to the box. “We’re going to need more stickers,” I said to the Genius to which I’m sure he begrudgingly pulled more stickers out of the drawer and put them on the box.
And then I left. Never got anything for all the trouble I went through (no HomePod or anything). I did get a replacement iMac Pro but I have to be honest I’m not happy with Apple right now. This isn’t how a $1 TRILLION company should treat their best customers.
UPDATE 3–8/15/18: Today I received a HomePod from Apple completely free of charge. I have to thank the senior AppleCare support representative that stood by my side during the entire ordeal with the Downtown Brooklyn Apple Store for getting the HomePod for me. So thank you Justin, for being extremely helpful and understanding with me over the month we dealt with this situation. To be honest, had it not be for Justin I’d have a much worse taste in my mouth right now.
Anyway, I’m glad this is now behind me. Also, the new iMac Pro is running wonderfully, it seems to be outperforming the old one in many ways–so it definitely seems there was something wrong with my original iMac Pro.