Frustration with Apple, Inc.

28 July 2009

I recently bought a brand new 3rd generation iPod shuffle. It was great! I’d been using a 2nd generation for a couple of years for running, and loved it. The addition of playlists to the 3rd generation was exactly what I’d wanted for a while, because sometimes I like to listen to podcasts, sometimes music, etc. With the 2nd generation it was always frustrating to navigate without the playlists.

One key phrase: “It was great!” Emphasis on the was. All of a sudden, it started to work less reliably. It wouldn’t connect to iTunes, or would just stop halfway through a run. (The last time was in the middle of a great episode of Radio Lab: Stochasticity.)

Anyway, I took it into the Apple Store today after a couple months of it not working. They took a look it, and told me that the warranty was voided (after 3 months!) because the water damage indicator indicated that there was water damage. The problems is, it was never submerged in water (and they assured me that sweat wouldn’t trigger it). The only option they gave me was to buy a new one at a discounted price ($49). When I asked to speak with a manager, they got one for me. The manager’s offer: an additional 10% of the price of a new iPod Shuffle (i.e., save an extra $4.90). No thanks…

I’m generally a huge fan of Apple products, and have been happy with their customer care in the past. This is frustrating though… I think that either the water damage indicator is faulty, or sweat can trigger it. Either way, it’s something Apple should be taking care of.