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Who's Whining?

An Apple computer is supposed to be a high quality product; it's expected to have a life time of at least ten years.


An Apple computer is supposed to be a high quality product; it's expected to have a life time of at least ten years. For some people this is true. Some people have 1984 Macs that run perfectly - over twenty years later.

Even Michael Dell used to make high quality machines.

But of late people have noted a change in policy at Apple: what comes off the production line is often flawed; what Apple support have to say is often baffling; and fixes - to the extent they come at all - can take not days or weeks or even months but years.

All the while customers are without their property functioning properly, often unable to invest in further equipment - even if they knew what they'd dare to purchase.

Apple used to be on the 'good guys' list at Consumer Affairs Online. A number of things changed that. One was the 'bait and switch iTools campaign'. For years Apple customers could automatically get a mac.com address for free; Steve Jobs even went on record to say this would always be free; yet years later Apple suddenly pulled the switch - iTools was now .Mac and it cost $100 to keep those mail addresses - per year.

Post a complaint about this at the Apple forums and see the posts disappear. Posters are not allowed to criticise Apple policy, not even in the most innocent terms. Posters are not allowed to feel hurt and betrayed. It's verboten.

L Ron Hubbard has nothing over these people. Welcome to the Hotel Cupertino.

The Intel Mac laptops are more expensive than ever - and underdimensioned to boot. Even though everyone runs into a backwater motel sooner or later, modems are now both external and $50 extra. Drives are not of the same quality and don't have the same capabilities either. All models come with an annoying camera which makes the boxes directly unsuitable for use in most business offices. And above all the danged things overheat and whine.

Apple's official policy is to deny everything that hasn't yet leaked out. If you have an issue and call Apple support, you won't get a sympathetic ear unless everyone already knows about it. Feeling all fuzzy inside now?

It's difficult to choose Apple when you know odds are good enough you'll get a lemon and they'll leave you hanging. They're aware there are issues; they know a certain percentage of their customers will get tricked; they just don't give a damn.

It would be another matter if Apple didn't have to be so blasted trendy all the time. As soon as Apple get the kinks out of one production line they have to make a new one. Nothing gets perfected, and when it almost does it's gone and another imperfect design takes its place. Many companies renew their design on a regular basis but no company as frenetically as Apple.

Apple's image is that they are the ultimate cool and to maintain that image they have to continually redefine cool. The catch is that every time they do this, their customers suffer.

It's one thing to bring a crappy Dell to your door for only $299 after mail-in rebate; it's quite another to spend ten times that much on a machine just as useless.

At least when you buy a Dell you know you're getting a Ford; when you buy an Apple these days you're told you're getting a BMW but you're only getting the same as the Dell customer.

Except you just forked over ten times the money.

So who's whining? Those who were suckered by Apple are whining. Of course they are. And the rest are looking on and telling themselves they'll never make such a stupid mistake again.

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