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Mac service outrage

by jhracing / November 11, 2006 1:12 AM PST

My PowerBook G4 was getting really slow to boot, so I treked 30 minutes to my local Apple store where it was diagnosed with a failing hard drive, which I asked them to go ahead and replace.

Picking it up a couple days and $250 later, I asked for the old hard drive back since, like most people's hard drive, it had all my financial info in Quicken, some work data, lots of passwords, etc. I was told that Apple always kept old parts and it couldn't be returned, even for non-warantee repairs.

After pushing my mouth closed with my hand, I asked for the store manager, who pointed out the fine print on the back of the service order which stated that by letting Apple replace my hard drive I was giving them permission to not only keep the old drive, but to also resell it as they see fit.

According to my math, I've purchased two drives but now only have one. By signing the service order I appear to have allowed Apple to steal my hard drive and all the data on it.

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Not Uncommon, Dell, Sony, Best Buy have similiar policies
by Skeeteron_mypeter / November 11, 2006 1:33 AM PST
In reply to: Mac service outrage

Sorry this happened to you but this practice is not uncommon. Many repair centers for retail brick-n-mortar stores as well as online stores indicate in the return / repair policies similiar language. Most reserve the right to retain, replace or use re-conditioned parts involving the repair of a consumer device. Usually this also means that they reserve the right to keep the replaced part. It is a tough lesson to experience.

It has been mentioned on the Buzz Out Loud podcasts many times..."never never leave personal data on a device if you return it, sale it or replace it". They have also stated on many Buzz Out Loud podcasts as well "to always back up your hard drive".

I am really sorry this happened to you but perhaps your experience will be a lesson that can be passed on to others in the forum. Sad

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Re: Not Uncommon...
by jhracing / November 11, 2006 6:28 AM PST

Yup, I certainly would have wiped it myself if I knew going in that the hard drive was being replaced, but I didn't really expect that to be the fix for a slow boot process. Combined with the 60 min. car trip to go home and return to the store, and the expectation that any place would return your drive on request, I let it slide.

Frankly, I'm really surprised repair places do this with hard drives. It seems like they are really setting themselves up for liability issues if personal customer data later surfaces someplace it shouldn't.

It's funny because most states REQUIRE auto repair shops to return your parts to avoid fraud. The Apple policy says that if this is the case in your state, you must pay Apple for your own parts. I'm sorry, but this is just crazy.

I did sign the form, so I have no excuse, but in my opinion this is still "theft." I have paid for two drives and am currently in possession of only one. At the very least they should tell you when you leave equipment that anything they take out magically become theirs to keep.

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