Archive for November 17th, 2006

My dead Airport Express (1)

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Over 2 months ago I came home and found my Airport Express wireless accesspoint down…even while power was applied, the unit remained completely dead, resetting unfortunately didn't help. At first I considered it to be a matter of 'just' bad luck, my unit failed after a relative short period of time, roughly 20 months, while the standard Apple warranty is only 1 year. Hmm, just bad luck, eh? Well, actually not…

I checked the Apple Airport Express discussion boards to find any clue to resolve the issue and bring the accesspoint back to life. Instead, I found multiple interesting discussion threats in which many other people posted their experiences, suffering from the same defect!! The French website Macbidouille (english translation can be found on Hardmac) is frequently reporting on the phenomenon, the last update from today shows the resurrection of a dead Airport Express! The site also offers a possibility to submit information of your dead Airport Express which they use to deeper investigate the issue.

After reading all this, I came to the conclusion that the defect wasn't 'just' bad luck, but more related to a design flaw. This and the fact that regulations in The Netherlands follow EU directive 1999/44/EG, in which it is stated that (re)sellers should provide a 2 year warranty on sales of consumer goods, made me call the reseller (LJS).

LJS plays hide and seek, using Apple's 1 year standard warranty period as an argument, mentioning that they can't help me out and I should contact Apple directly. They also mentioned that I 'could' follow legal procedures, but already told me that my chances to win this one are low. They apparently have experience in this field…then again, as if I want to take this route for a €129,- device! My time is more valuable, eh?

So I contacted Apple NL, who unfortunately doesn't recognize the problem (yet?) and also couldn't help me out (they should check the Macbidouille / Hardmac website!!). Since I didn't purchase extended 3 year warranty via the Apple Care program when I purchased my Mac mini, they are unable unwilling to replace my Airport Express. I actually didn't know that my Airport Express would be covered within Apple Care!?!

Numerous calls and verbal complaints later (both to Apple as well as LJS), the Apple tech support people advised me to write an official complaint letter to Apple, which could give me a fair chance of getting my accesspoint replaced. You bet I'm gonna do that!

Am still a happy Mac user and Apple evangelist, but this thing shows me that Apple's costumer support is not keeping pace with the increased popularity of Apple products nowadays…a missed opportunity.

…to be continued…