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iSight

In October 2010 we bought a 27" iMac. +Rosie Reid wanted a larger screen for editing pictures and as we didn't have a desktop machine it seemed like a reasonable solution as she was converting to Apple. In early Jaunary Rosie realised that the iSight camera wasn't working. She searched for solutions and ran all the tests she could, but still it didn't work. I did the same and so the probability shifted to it being a hardware problem. This seemed odd as the machine has not been moved around much, hasn't been pushed too hard and spends most of it's life on standby.

Looking for contact details the first few options all told me that I'd need to pay money just to talk to someone about the problem! Eventually I just called them anyways and after being asked to do the same software resets as the various web pages suggested we were told to take it to an Apple store or pay for other options. For a laptop I can see how this is a sensible option, but for a 27" iMac it seems crazy. However, having no other option, off we trotted to Glasgow (the closest Apple store).

We waited a short while (the store was the quietest Apple store I've ever been in despite the fact it was lunchtime) and someone took it away to have a quick look. He confirmed the problem and told us it was probably just the cable or camera, but then mentioned it could be the logic board but he didn't want to contemplate that. Sure enough, 24 hours later it turns out changing the cable and camera didn't fix it, so it's the logic board. The almost £600 logic board. His advice was to simply ignore the problem and use an external webcam. He also asked us to collect the machine.

I've been left slightly disappointed by the service from Apple and am very disappointed by the fact that such a problem exists on hardware that isn't really old. The fact that the logic board has a fault is bad enough, but is this just the start of further issues? Experience of similar issues on other hardware suggests it is, so I wonder how much longer the machine will be usable?

Friends who have raved about the customer service from Apple have probably done the company a disservice by creating an unachievable level of performance so I should probably be less surprised by the experience than I am.

A month or so ago I was starting to contemplate moving to a MacBook Pro, but this experience has killed such thoughts stone cold.
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Toby Atkin-Wright's profile photodavid reid's profile photoIan Rycroft's profile photo
3 comments
 
Years ago I was told by an AppleCentre that a dead Mac needed a new logic board. After further investigation, it turned out that replacing the PRAM battery brought it back to life. (I’m not suggesting that a new battery would solve your problem, but rather that their default solution to an unknown problem is to replace the logic board, which is pretty expensive guess work!)

I have a spare old external iSight camera, if you’d like it.
 
Sorry to hear that David, not the result you would expect. I am surprised though as my last Macbook Pro had to have the logic board replaced twice, the second time well outside warranty but as they could see the machine had been looked after it was repaired free of charge again.
 
To be fair to the people in the store they have their rules. The small amount of flexibility they are provided is only an "illusion of control" and so their hands were tied. That said the unintended humour was wonderful...

The following are direct quotes from the manager we talked to

When talking about how long the machine had worked well
"You were lucky it lasted 12 months"

When asked if he would have been upset if it had been his machine
"It should last a wee bit longer than 16 months"

When offering alternatives to repair
"You could buy a new machine"

A salesman to the end...
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