The iPad Incident

Yesterday, I took a trip through the North Georgia mountains to get to a football tournament my son is competing in. Jessica thought it would be a good idea to bring our iPad in case the kids got bored. We actually didn’t use it once, but during the drive around the twisting roads our beloved device flung out of it’s position from one of the seats to the floor (twice). We found a better spot in the door.

When I bought the iPad 2 last year on Black Friday I did not purchase Apple Care. In fact, the only thing extra we had purchased other than Apps was the Smart Cover. There are just too many cases, and they are all so damn pricey. We think about buying a case all the time because our six year old daughter is the one who uses it most often.

ALAS! It were we, the giant clumsy grownups who accidentally screwed up our expensive iPad. Very sad.

My wife found how the nonchalant blunder was actually quite a significant bungle. The damage was a large dent directly where the volume rocker button is. Everything worked perfectly other than the volume, yet it was morbidly stuck in the down position. This caused the volume icon to display all the time on the screen. That sucks.

That sucks very bad.

We were all very upset. Our family computer has been the iPad since we bought it. We use it DAILY. Without sound it is USELESS. So I took it to our nearest Apple Store this morning.

I live about 15 minutes from the Mall of Georgia location. They open at noon on Sundays, so that is when my eldest and 13 year old daughter and I arrived. She complained that we had to go up stairs that didn’t move, I almost threw the iPad on the floor and gave up on life right there, but thought, she is almost 14 so there may still be hope for mankind yet.

The Apple Store

Upon entering it was busy as usual. Of course I was greeted promptly and I gave the lady salesperson my iPad and explained my dilemma. She asked if I had purchased Apple Care and I said no. She then said that it would probably cost me over half the price of the device to get it repaired. I coughed, gagged a little, swallowed and said “They can’t just replace the back panel? I think if they just replace the back…” she cut me off, “They won’t repair this, they will just replace the device.” She said I could make an appointment for this “repair”, and I said I needed to call my wife.

Disappointed, I walked back into the store after my conversation with the First Lady of the house of Powell. She approved the money. That is a lot of money. I made the appointment with a gentleman in the back. He assured me the cost would be $249.99 and the next appointment was at 12:20, and asked me to have a seat by the iMacs on the wall.

This is where I panic. For the next five minutes I frantically search the internet to find a solution to this problem. Nothing is comparable except a post on a blog where this kid fixes the exact same problem with a hairdrier and some toothpicks. I can do that! I called my wife again, no answer. I continue researching the post behind this giant volume icon on my iPad when the Genius frightens me, “Nathan?, Oh I am sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, how can I help you.”.

I explained everything to him while he took the serial number and asked other questions while tapping away at his own iPad. He explained the process Apple uses with repairs and why it had to be replaced. Then he told me “You are quite lucky, the damage sustained is not sufficient enough for me to charge you. Had the glass broken or something else been terribly wrong, we would have to charge you a significant amount of money to replace the device (honestly, $250 ain’t bad for my fuck up, that is why I was already there).

I was shocked. I asked “So are you telling me I won’t be charged for a new device!?” NOPE! “And we have these in stock, let me go get that and we’ll get you out of here.”

Lesson Learned

I left the Apple Store giddy as a kid on Halloween. I was totally honest with them and they were forthright in standing behind the product they produce. Looking back at my little story I can say that I was confused by how easy it was. After being told by two sales/genius/people that I would be paying for a mistake, I walked away ecstatic about a company I have purchased from, and from whom I’d never had a bad experience. This is not fucking Wal Mart or Target. This is not Sony or Google or Microsoft. This is Apple. We pay a premium for a reason: Top quality products with the greatest service ever known to humankind. Thank you Apple.

I decided that I could not go home without some sort of protection so I went to the Best Buy across the way. There I found that Apple has created a Smart Case. I bought it immediately, the Dark Gray model. A $50 purchase for the cover was not even considered a splurge. This is a must when you are trying to protect something so valuable.