Another reason my current mac will be the last Apple product I buy...
So, I finally decided, during my downtime between employment, that it was time to upgrade my OS. I'm still running ancient 10.6.8.
So, I checked the specs and all, and according to their website, my machine should more than be able to handle the current OS.
Naturally, life is not that easy.
I tried to get the update through the Apple Store, and it told me it cannot be installed on my machine.
So, I figure, maybe I'm limited to an earlier version.
Now here's where I went wrong. Instead of searching online, I called AppleCare's upgrade people, and asked them what version I needed to use.
After a lot of time on the phone, I got someone on the line who told me that I could upgrade to 10.8. All I'd have to do is visit the apple website and purchase it (new OS is free, old OS costs money). Then, apparently using technologies and methods from the early nineties, instead of being able to directly download or install my new(er) OS, at time of purchse (like pretty much any modern software) I would have to wait 1-3 days for them to send me an email with a code to redeem in the Apple Store.
So, after a day or so, first I get an email with a PDF that has a password, and then later, an email with the password to open the PDF, which contains the code, to take to the Apple Store.
This is already a little byzantine (and pure security theater), in my opinion, but hey, what the hell.
So, I get the code, type it into the "redeem" box in the App Store, and get a message that says "That software will not install on this computer," after which the one-time code, is, of course, disabled.
So, I do some checking, and discover that my particular model cannot be upgraded (at least through normal Apple channels - see later) to 10.8. The latest OS it can handle is 10.7.5.
No problem, I figure - I'll just call them back, get a refund on the wrong OS, and download the similarly-priced correct OS.
Ha! Ha ha ha! Ha haaaaa!
I called AppleCare back, and explained the problem. They reviewed the notes, and agreed that indeed, the person who told me to purchase 10.8 had steered me wrong.
I then proceeded to get transferred to about five other people, all of whom seemed genuinely apologetic about the obvious (and documented on their end) mistake. All of them insisted that they understood, and that I should get a refund.
However, apparently Apple runs OS stuff through their licensing department, not their sales department or customer service. The licensing people
A: Do not speak to customers
B: Do not give refunds for purchased OS's, because pirates or something.
B, despite the fact that I have never actually come into possession of the software (because the Apple Store wouldn't even let me download it, since it was the wrong version).
This is an important distinction here. I never got the software. If they'd mailed me a DVD, I could sort of see them being iffy about a refund. After all, I could have copied the DVD, then demanded a refund, if I were a criminal. But I never came into possession of the software at all. Even the download key code is one-time-use only, so it's not like I could go "Nyah ha ha" and download it onto a different computer.
So, basically, I paid for software I was instructed to download by Apple. It's the wrong software, and doesn't install on my machine. Even though I can't use it, and never received it, they don't want to give me a refund.
Now, this has wasted hours of my life. But not only that - it's wasted 2-3 hours of the time of various support, customer service, technical support people, and supervisors who were trying to help me. So even if all those people are making minimum wage (and I assume at least some of them make a little more than that), they've already lost more than $19.
Have I mentioned this purchase is for $19?
So the current state of things is that the nice supervisor lady I spoke to is going to "advocate on my behalf," and "make a case for why I should have an exception made," and I'll hear back in 1-3 days about whether I get my $19 back.
Now, my plan was to use that $19 in order to turn around and buy the software that's actually correct. But you know, not only am I having cold feet - because I'm now concerned that if I buy that it'll turn out it can't be installed either - but also I'm thinking that I don't want to give one thin dime to a company that has policies that are this stupid, aggravating, time-wasting, and unfair.
I've been an Apple customer since 1983. I'm pretty sure I've been an Apple customer longer than a couple of the people I spoke to on the phone have been alive.
If there was any chance I'd even consider buying another Apple product it's gone now (and that was already pretty slim - just based on how they treat their employees, and workers in their manufacturing centers, they've been on my shit list for a while).
So, during my investigations, here's the icing on the cake:
My machine is perfectly capable of running the newer OS's. Not in an Apple-supported way, but it's physically capable of doing so. How do I know? Because there's hackers who have discovered that all that's needed is to replace one single bootloader file in the installer, and they can install 10.8, 10.9, and 10.10 on the same exact machine I have.
The only reason I can't install a modern OS on this machine through normal channels, is, apparently, because Apple wants to force people to buy new expensive stuff.
Okay. I guess that's their prerogative.
It's also my prerogative to switch to linux (I'd say Windows, but... ha!).
And to no longer recommend Apple products or services.
I still think OS X is the best overall operating system out there. I love the interface, I love the security, I love the features. I even like my hardware (despite knowing it cost way more than the exact same hardware would for any other PC). So it's not the product. It's not even the employees I've dealt with (who have all been great, even if one of them made a mistake on recommending an OS).
It's the company and it's policies that have made me decide to no longer be an Apple customer.
They have a product I like, that I was willing to pay money for. I've been a customer, like I say, for over thirty years (and yes, I bought my first Apple computer when I was a teenager, with my own funds).
And somehow, they've still managed to be lousy enough that they've lost my future business.
I would put my experiences nearly on par with dealing with AT&T and Wells Fargo (although nobody's as bad as those two).
I don't do business with AT&T or Wells Fargo, because of their general business practices, and because of how I was treated personally.
I will do the same with Apple.