It just works (except when it doesn’t)

Oh, dear. Dwight’s new MacBook is DOA:

Obviously, this is a defective hardware issue, and I’ll need to do an exchange.

This is not the way one is supposed to be baptized as an Apple fanboy. When your unboxing photos end with a machine that doesn’t work, it’s anticlimactic. And this is not the first problem. The review unit he had before was plagued with Wi-Fi issues:

I had problems getting it to connect reliably. Once it did connect, it was more often than not maddeningly slow. … This happened with two different MacBooks — Apple sent a replacement unit when I complained about the WiFi in the first one — and Apple’s support forums are peppered with other MacBook owners suffering the same agony.

Three different machines, all with problems. So tell me again what “It just works” means?

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6 thoughts on “It just works (except when it doesn’t)

  1. Just bought a mini back in December (first Mac product) and it has had a few issues here and there. My wifi seems to not work after being on for a while. A reboot fixes it. Problems with a wireless mouse working when it’s gone to sleep too.

    It just works, when it doesn’t sleep and gets at least one reboot a day.

  2. That MacBook WiFi issue is a real pain in the rear. Search the web and you find a lot of voodoo related to it. My fix was that I had to switch the router to mixed b/g even though the MacBook was a g machine. Basically, the drivers are rubbish. Can you imagine the screams if Microsoft released such dodgy drivers?

  3. I’ll say one thing, I’ve been very impressed with the tech support. Everyone I’ve talked to has apologized profusely, and in the nicest way. Of course, I’d much rather not have to discover how nice Apple’s tech support personnel are. I’d rather just hear about it from afar.

  4. From the other side of the fence …

    Sony just released their whole package of support software and drivers for Vista for my VAIO notebook. I bought a VAIO notebook back in 2002 to replace my DOA Quantex (essentially a Dell OEM clone), and it lasted four years without a hitch. The new one is even better.

    I’ve been considering getting a Macbook as an auxiliary machine to get some Mac experience under my belt, but two things have deterred me: a) the cost and b) experiences like this.

  5. On the whole I’ve had no major problems with either of my Macs; the one I can name is a sound problem with my MacBook where the sound through the speakers becomes distorted if I’ve been using headphones for a while, however I haven’t actually noticed this one in some time so it may have been fixed somehow.

    I went with Toshiba for my previous notebook because they had a good reputation, however the hard drive suffered a physical failure 10 months after purchase. Toshiba dealt with it well and fitted a new hard drive free of charge under the warranty, although that drive has also suffered a similar fate, this time 2 years after it was fitted. I know a few Mac owning friends and only a couple have had issues with their machines, and in both cases they rated Apple’s technical support as exemplary.

    No manufacturer is perfect, whether they’re Apple, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Sony or whoever. Some are better than others, but you will always have defective machines for a whole variety of reasons.

    But, for the record, my Wifi works with no problems 🙂 .

  6. YMMV is operative in any discussion like this. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with most of the major brands over the years and I reject the notion that any company making hundreds of thousands or millions of units won’t have some quality issues.

    I’ve dealt with DOAs from Dell, HP, Sony, Gateway, and Apple and generally had a decent resolution issue with all of these companies.

    FWIW, and keeping my statement above in context, I’ve bought two Macs – a 20′ iMac and and a MacBook (both Core Duo machines) since October and have had zero issues with either.

    I’ve also purchased two identical Acer laptops (the first was stolen) for my daughter recently and have been just as trouble-free with those units.

    I’m going to go knock on some wood now…

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