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24 August 2005

Provocation Personal



Don't Drop Your iPod

A few weeks back I dropped my iPod. From about waist height, onto carpet.

Aside from the hold switch it seems to be mostly undamaged. It powers up, and synchronises with iTunes. Unfortunately though the hold switch does not work, and so the controls have been locked ever since that drop, effectively rendering it useless.

The good news is that my home and contents insurance has cover for accidental breakage, so I was able to claim for a new iPod. If you are ever in the same situation, be aware that this is the entire procedure you need to follow:

  1. Take the iPod to the nearest Apple reseller (call them A). Get advised that no, it cannot be repaired.
  2. Talk to insurance company. Get advised that yes, it is covered. You need to provide a quote for repair and replacement, as well as a statement of the cause of damage from the repairer.
  3. Ring up reseller A on the off chance that they can provide this information without another journey back there. You won’t get through. Leave a message on their voicemail.
  4. Two days later, leave another voicemail.
  5. More days pass, call another reseller (call them R), explain the problem. Get advised that iPods cannot be repaired cheaply.
  6. Go to reseller R in person and explain the problem. The helpful but overworked guy will indicate he will respond with the required information.
  7. A week later, no show. Nag the guy at reseller R. He will apologise and email a quote that afternoon.
  8. Send the quote to insurance company with claim form.
  9. The Insurance company mails back saying that there is no repairers report with the quote for repair/replacement.
  10. Email the guy at reseller R, explain what is needed again.
  11. A few more days pass, no response. Phone up the guy at R and nag him. Receive updated quote that afternoon. Forward to insurance company.
  12. A week later, you will get a call from another reseller (call them C). They have a cheque from the insurance company for a replacement iPod (yaay) but unfortunately they don’t have any stock (boo). ETA Two weeks.
  13. Two weeks pass.
  14. Ring up reseller C. Still no stock. ETA another week.
  15. Five days pass.
  16. Ring up reseller C again. Still no stock. No ETA this time.
  17. Call reseller A. Advised that yes, they have stock.
  18. Ring up insurance company. Advise them that reseller C are hopeless, but (at least one) other reseller has stock. Insurance company will say “we’ll send the cheque to you, and you can sort it out”.
  19. A few days later, cheque arrives.
  20. Cancel order with reseller C.
  21. Where to get new iPod from? Need hassle-free transaction with minimal effort. How about the online AppleStore? Order iPod from them.
  22. At work the next day, get email saying “we need two forms of ID faxed to us”. Even though I’ve ordered from them before with the same credit card. The acceptable forms of ID are relatively obscure and you won’t have them handy. So much for hassle-free transaction with minimal effort.
  23. Ring up AppleStore, cancel the order.
  24. Visit about 3 different stores, all out of stock.
  25. Finally purchase the last 60GB iPod in the entire country from a department store.

There, easy eh?


Posted by
Garth T Kidd
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

Ha! My similar tale of woe, which I’ll leave here rather than only my own blog, is that it took me two weeks to get a refurbished Palm T3 as they now won’t send the new one until the old one arrives.

Unfortunately, it turns out that registered mail isn’t nearly as quick as you’d think, the nominated personnel aren’t always there to receive it, and the call centre in the USA is powerless to do anything but tell it that it’s probably your fault and that you should contact Australia Post to figure out where the unit is as their own database offers some 100% magic guarantee that they can’t possibly lose it.

Fortunately, in this case, it turned out that their database was correct . Better yet, Australia Post’s support people turn out to be more friendly, more efficient, and less officious than their corporate brethren. Finally, my “refurbished” unit looks brand new to me. I can’t complain.

Posted by
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

My experience with Palm was much, much better than Garth’s. I had a Palm Pilot III (last century sometime), and dropped it from a shirt pocket onto concrete. Quite reasonably, it stopped working. However, when I contacted Palm (Australia) they didn’t want to know anything about how it had got broken, they simple agreed that it was covered by the 12 month warantee.

So they took my credit card number as security, and shipped me a new Palm Pilot, with a return box for my broken one (they told me they would only charge my CC if I didn’t send the broken one back).

I shipped the broken Palm back to them, and sure enough, there was no charge. Better still, a week later, they sent me another Palm Pilot, this time with no request for anything to be returned. My latent sense of honesty got the better of me, and I phoned up to ask what was happening, to be told that there was some cock-up, and they would appreciate it if I would return the duplicate Palm Pilot (although admitting they had no record of sending it, so if I chose to keep it, they would never know).

I remained loyal to Palm for many years as a result…

Posted by
Garth T Kidd
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

Aah, the good old days. I cracked my Palm III screen, and got the same fantastic customer service you did despite the fact that it was out of warrantee. I had to pay $150, but they shipped the refurbished unit right away with a return box for the old one. All the hassles with the new experience would have been invisible or inconsequential were it not for their new insistence that I send the old unit in at my expense before sending out the old one. I’d gladly have paid $200+ rather than $185 for them covering the postage and the amortized risk of having to send out debt collectors after the odd few people abusing the system.

Posted by
mohan from sri lanka
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

A friend of mine in USA bought an Ipod Nano 4GB last month & few days ago I dropped it lightly onto the floor by acidently & the dispaly has got damaged 75%. I tried emauiling everybody at Apple as to whether I could get it repaired or upgraded to a new ipod video. No one has bothered to reply so far. Very disappointing ! Any good ideas to resolve my problem will be much appreciated.

Mohan Mendis, Sri Lanka [email protected]

Posted by
Mohan Mendis
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

Apple authorised re-seller in Sri Lanka took my damaged Nano & got a new replacament. I only had to pay their handling charges.

Posted by
2005-08-24 14:35:07 -0500

I dropped my iPod awhile back because I was imitating the ipod commercial to make my friends laugh, and it fell from pretty high with momentum (since I was moving it around) onto cement. It’s OK, because I have a hard plastic case that protected it :) It was 40 dollars, which is expensive for a case, but it effectively saved me 300 dollars to get a new iPod.