Fact Controlled
for Special Learners

Busman's Holiday
How It Came Out
by Steve Wood
April 13, 1999
updated June 24, 1999



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This column is the fourth and last in a sad series about a defective refurbished monitor I purchased with my own funds for use in my classroom. I purchased a refurbished Apple Multiple Scan 720 Display from the Apple Store in December. The display arrived at the beginning of our Christmas vacation, so I really didn't have an opportunity to test it for a week or so. The Apple Store has a 7-day limit for returns of defective refurbished products.

When I discovered the display was extremely dim and would not hold its geometry settings, I fiddled with it, thinking my 90 day warranty would allow a return if I couldn't get the thing to work. After several weeks, I called Apple and was informed that repair was the only option available to me. I called and wrote everyone at Apple I could, trying to get someone to reverse Apple's silly decision. It was to no avail. During my attempts, I saw Apple's Customer Relations at their very worst. The Apple Store had a policy on returns and even though I didn't get to use the monitor until after the return period, the policy was being enforced.

I resorted to posting the three previous columns to apply some needed pressure and publicity to Apple about their horrendous service in this situation. Apple didn't budge.

I finally gave up and sent the defective product to the Apple Authorized Service Center that does our school's work. I talked to a very astute technician there and was assured the monitor would be made to work. When the monitor came back, it was still somewhat dim, probably just within acceptable specs to Apple. The color had a terrible purple cast despite my best efforts to correct it with Apple's software.

A later trip to a non-authorized Apple repair station produced better results. The monitor worked acceptably upon its return, but the technition there told me the CRT was "nearly shot." Apparently, or at least in my case, Apple doesn't mind selling worn-out products as "refurbished," and then not making them right.

The worn out monitor cost $371.70 from Apple. I always thought a "refurbished" product should at least start out as good as a new product. Obviously, Apple has a different view. In contrast, a new Sony CPD-200ES that cost $359.95 has taken the place of the defective monitor, which has been moved to a "lesser machine." The Sony monitor has won me over with its crisp, bright picture.

I suspect that I have purchased my last Apple display--new or used.

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©1999 Steven L. Wood

reposted to the new MATH DITTOS 2 site 6/5/2000