This iMac Pro repair is a disasterclass in end user support

We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve had a device (probably by our own hand) smash. Sometimes there’s an easy fix with a shop that’ll sort it out in an hour, other times it’s a little bit more complicated and occasionally the process can be downright impossible. 

Prevalent YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips discovered the latter situation in a recent video entitled ‘Apple REFUSED to Fix our iMac Pro‘ where the team simply tried to get Apple to repair their smashed desktop. But the real kicker here is that Apple wouldn’t fix the computer, even when the group said they’d pay for it.

Now this is where things start to get interesting.

"We’re not even talking warranty service; we understood that we had to pay – we wanted to pay and they outright refused to fix it", said enraged presenter Linus Sebastian. 

Following due course, Anthony Young, writer, benchmarker and iMac Pro breaker at Linus Media Group, contacted Apple who said that they’d assist, but would’t guarantee any fix. A tech support person named Andrea told Young that she’d go over options, but added that "If a Mac is taken apart by someone other than an authorized technician, we can typically no longer service the Mac."

After dropping the Mac off, Young was several days later contacted by Apple with what should have been the receipt of parts. Instead, what he received was this:

The justification provided by Apple was that it was unable to attain the parts. "We thought there must’ve been some kind of misunderstanding. But the Apple store confirmed that they were unable to fix it because HQ wouldn’t send them the parts they ordered. Our only option was to come and get it back untouched," Sebastian added. "We asked if Apple themselves can’t fix our computer who can and we got told that the only option was to bring it to a third party – an Apple Authorised Service Provider."

The next hurdle they then discovered was that while a local Apple Authorised Service Provider was able to order in the part, in order to approve the sale the provider needed Apple Pro certification – certification that doesn’t even exist yet. What’s more, if the provider was to order the parts and then just give them to the group, they would lose their Apple Authorised Service Provider certification.

"What Apple’s done here," Sebastian summarises, "is to release a brand new platform that they are unwilling and/or unable to provide support for."

Linus goes on to compare the situation to buying a new car, driving it into a lamppost straight off the lot and then both the dealer and your insurers saying they can’t fix it.

"As far as we can tell right now, they expect us to roll over and accept that our workstation is essentially just a collection of pretty rocks for some indeterminate amount of time because they released the product without the training or support structure necessary to actually support it," he concludes in a condemnatory fashion. "They’ve thrown their support staff under the bus, they’ve thrown their Authorised Service Providers under the bus and most damningly of all they’ve thrown the customer – because I bought this thing – under the bus. 

"Despite Apple’s careful design, accidents do happen and if a former repair technician can screw up from time to time then the end user will too."

What we have here is a tale in complicated bureaucracy getting in the way of consumer support. None of Apple’s employees acted with any sort of hostility, but the structure of the organisation has shown flaws in how it cares for its end users – and a definite example of what not to do. 

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