Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple extends iMac drive replacement program - will refund what I paid

A year ago, after a month of system instability but no SMART reported errors, I paid an Apple Store to repalce my 27" iMac drive. It was an annoying process. I had to buy a drive test utility to figure out what was going wrong; the drive was losing data, but the 'smart' drive OS was hiding the bad sectors from the OS. When paid to have the drive replaced it was a warranty-like service -- I had to go with the standard 1TB swap. I couldn't upgrade.

Later Apple introduced a replacement program, but my serial number didn't quality. Recently they extended the program
Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.
I received an email telling me to replace my drive. It suggested I contact Apple support if I paid for the drive. I did and I was told that I'd be refunded. Here's what I did to contact them:
  • When to the Apple support site and tried each of my four Apple IDs until I found the one that currently holds my repair record.
  • Wrote down the Repair ID and Case ID.
  • Found the menu option for 'disk repair' in the email contact form so I could schedule a call.
  • Answered the call and was routed to support person.
I'm not sure my Repair ID and Case ID were all that useful, I think they could have found me by phone number, name and address.

Update 10/24/12: Apple sent me this email, which certainly sounded suspicious ...
We need banking information to complete your refund...
Bank Name:
Bank Account Number:
Bank Routing Number (9 digits):
It's legit of course, but still. A Google search on 'checks routing number" images told me how to parse my barely used checkbook.

Update 11/7/12: Two weeks after I sent in my bank information Apple responded with a new request for bank information AND a scanned repair receipt. Not happy.

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