I told you again more than six months ago [how much I loved my ibook](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunny/82650099/). Ever since [my ibook moved in with me](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/04/04/ibooked/), I’ve become such an enthusiastic Apple user that my dad makes fun of me. I’ve turned my back on over a decade of faithful Windows use and even started [recommending you to my friends](http://steph.wordpress.com/2006/01/05/get-an-ibook/). Over the last two years, a whole bunch of them have bought ibooks — or are now buying MacBooks.
A bit over a year ago the first cloud interrupted my honeymoon with my ibook. The [motherboard died and I spent 6 weeks without it while it got repaired](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/05/19/my-ibook-is-back/). I was glad I had given in and paid the “Apple Tax” (also known as “AppleCare”), because the motherboard died just about a year after I had bought my shiny new ibook.
Even though this had taken a long time, and there [wasn’t any French speech recognition software for OSX](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/08/08/reconnaissance-vocale-pour-osx/), my ibook was pretty, and I still loved it, so I was not shy to [let myself be photographed with it to illustrate interviews I gave](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunny/tags/ibook/).
Six months later I had to [replace my power cable](http://steph.wordpress.com/2005/11/24/six-down-one-to-go/). But I still loved OSX and my ibook was still pretty, so my dad had many an occasion to continue making fun of me because I was loyal to you. 🙂
This year, though, all hell has broken loose. If I’ve told you the beginning of my story, Apple dear, it’s because I want you to know how enthusiastic a switcher I have been, and that I understand nobody’s perfect and can also forgive that.
[In February my beloved ibook started freezing.](http://steph.wordpress.com/2006/02/16/done/) OK, maybe the hard drive was a bit full. Sometime durin gthe month of March the frightening “failing motherboard” symptoms reappeared, so I gave my [favourite Apple retailer](http://www.memoirevive.ch/) my ibook for a transplant. A couple of weeks later, my ibook was back home, but it didn’t take long for [things to go really really wrong](http://steph.wordpress.com/2006/04/09/broken-ibook/).
At that point, my darling ibook had worked it’s way through at least 3 motherboards, and the hard drive was going belly-up too. The shop took it back in for repairs, and at the same time I tried to see if I could get an exchange.
Well, things haven’t gone too bad: my ibook was repaired (after you sent the repair shop a defective hard drive, if my memory serves me right), but then there was a problem with the wifi card connection. Around that time it seemed like you were going to accept to replace my broken ibook, even though you would only give me the bottom-line product instead of a customized equivalent to the setup I had.
When you [surprised us with the MacBook](http://www.apple.com/macbook/), the shop agreed that if I ordered one, they would take back the new ibook I would have received and charge me the difference. Seemed like pretty good deal. On May 22nd, I finally ordered my shiny new MacBook through the shop.
Things already seemed to be moving slowly back then, but looking back, the worst was yet to come.
First, one of your representatives finally got in touch to organise the pick-up of my old ibook for the exchange. She insisted that they could only pick up my ibook at my home, during office hours. Excuse me? Apple, I know I’m a teacher (well, I was back then) and that teachers are at home all the time, but I do lead a busy life. Plus, the ibook was still at the shop (had been there for over 6 weeks), so I would have had to go to town during the shop opening hours, pick up my ibook, and then stay at home (?) one day for you to pick it up. Sorry, Apple, but do you really expect your customers to be at home during office hours? Somebody needs to review this exchange process.
Lucky for me, I have a good relationship with the store manager (given the number of hours we spent discussing my ibook problems, it was kind of inevitable). He managed to arrange for the pickup to take place at the shop. Then we lost a week (?) or so because for some reason, nobody came to pick up the ibook once everything had been arranged. Oh well.
Last week, I dropped into the store and was greeted with good news. The replacement MacBook for my ibook had arrived. Neat! But what about my “real” replacement, the customized MacBook we had ordered two months ago? Still nothing.
To this day, the last news I have is “not before next week”. I won’t hold my breath, though. “Not before” isn’t very encouraging.
So you see, Apple, I’ve done my job as an enthusiastic switcher and Apple evangelist amongst my friends, and [even in the local press through photographs like this one](http://steph.wordpress.com/2006/01/16/should-i-bill-apple-for-this/):
I’ve been patient through my (many) trials, but this is just starting to be too much. I’ve been without my laptop since April 9th, the day it broke down. Today? July 26th. That’s three months and a half. That’s way too long. Not to mention my dad is really having fun poking at my Apple-love now.
So, dear Apple — I’m aware you’re having trouble delivering customized MacBooks or something, and I know you probably can’t do much in my particular case. But maybe — maybe — you could work a bit on making things a little less painful for faithful AppleCare’d customers?
Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring.