Another dead iPod

by DaniGirl on January 28, 2007 · 12 comments

in Rants and rambles

My iPod died on Friday night. Again. I mean, seriously. How many times do I have to go through this? There’s no doubt that iPods are to MP3 players what Kleenex are to facial tissue and Frisbees are to flying disks, but there’s a limit to how much patience I have for technology that dies multiple times in the same year. I love the holy hell out of it, but it’s more fickle than a hungry, overtired two year old.

After three hours of useless troubleshooting on Friday night, during which I once resurrected it like Lazarus only to have it die again when I tried to load the music back on it, and reinstalling iTunes not once, not twice, but three times on two different computers, I finally gave up.

We got it last summer from Best Buy, and bless Beloved’s paranoid susceptibility to marketing, we bought a $40 product replacement warranty. When we returned it the first time, less than three weeks after we bought it, they simply took the dead iPod from me and gave me a new one still factory-sealed in the box. I was highly impressed.

Saturday, I headed out into the frigid morning expecting the same service. But much to my dismay, when I showed up at Best Buy with a handful of unresponsive iPod, they told me I’d have to either contact Apple, who offer a one-year warranty, or Best Buy’s customer service telephone number. Either one would take a minimum of 10 days to get a working iPod back in my hands.

I was not impressed. I’ve been pushing myself to do a minimum of two, but preferably three, workouts at the gym each week, and my iPod has been carefully loaded with music to burn calories by. I had made it through my Saturday workout without it, but I have to tell you that listening to Angler and Hunter (rant for another day: why on earth does my women’s-only gym play Angler and Hunter on its TVs on a Saturday morning?) definitely detracts from my energy level and my enthusiasm for the whole workout.

Petulant, I started flipping through the Best Buy product replacement plan (please take a small moment to admire the fact that I had not only kept but could find in a timely manner the receipt and warranty) and read the fine print: even though the warranty covers a period through July 2008, its obligation to replace an item ends after one replacement. In other words, even though I paid for two years of coverage, if I were to get a replacement iPod today and that iPod died again in six months, I would be SOL. Given the fact that I’m on my third iPod in the first six months, I don’t like those odds.

So I called Apple, and they have sent out a box I will use to send my recalcitrant iPod back to its mothership, or at least a satellite repair depot. I asked the very nice lady at the call centre somewhere in Pennsylvania whether they would repair or simply replace it, she said they would make a cursory attempt to repair it, but would likely simply replace it. It should be back in my sweaty little hands in 10 to 14 days.

That leaves my Best Buy warranty intact for the next iPod failure. At least now I know to expect it. In the end, my annoyance with the iPod’s untimely demise is at least reasonably offset by the fairly decent repair and replacement service from Apple. I don’t have anything nice to say about Best Buy, though. A two-year product replacement plan should replace products for two years, wouldn’t you think?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 snackmommy January 28, 2007 at 3:18 pm

I best not show this post to my hubby. I begged for an iPod for Christmas but got another brand MP3 player. Given I was totally brand hooked on the iPod I shared my dismay. He then advised me that he had been to both a Future Shop and BB outlet, both of which informed him about the with the iPod battery problems, which they therefore recommend their extended warrenty pgm. They conceeded, that regardless, the max time I would likely get out of it was two years, at which point in time, it would be obselete anyway, and any components I bought for it may not be compatable with a new model.
I didn’t believe him and pouted….oops.

2 Batman January 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Nice to hear the Apple has good service. I’ve dealt with BestBuy and Future Shop on a number of issues (same owners) and I ended up writing them a nasty letter . I was rather surprised when I got a call from a regional manager who was a little more oriented towards customer service. Long story short…you’ve got to push a few buttons sometimes to get decent service from those guys. Good luck with the iPod.

3 Kim January 28, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Is there an Apple Store near you? Like you, my iPod died within weeks of getting it (although I think it was our fault– I had been running it between a Mac and a PC, which they don’t recommend, and also my son had disconnected it without ejecting it). Like you, I spent HOURS troubleshooting it myself.
Finally I found out about the “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store, took it in, and a “Genius” had it up and running within five minutes! Only helpful, of course, if there’s an Apple Store nearby….

4 Andrea January 28, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Yikes, what bad luck. My iPod’s almost two year’s old (in March) and I’ve never had any trouble with it.
Hope the next one’s the charm for you.

5 Phil January 28, 2007 at 7:59 pm

My iPod is almost two years and has worked fine, although it has paused for about ten minutes more than a few times.
But this is good to know about Best Buy. I bought their 3-year coverage on our new laptop. I’ll have to read through the fine print to see if it’s that “only one replacement” policy. Funny that they don’t tell you that during the in-store spiel.

6 Not So Little Sister January 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I know multiple people who have serious iPod failure. Apple is usually good about replacing it right away though. I hope you get a new one that works for you this time! Good luck!

7 Sayre January 29, 2007 at 12:24 am

Nope, not a fan of best buy… Not planning to shop there again.

8 revdrmom January 29, 2007 at 3:34 am

And the other good news is that Apple is usually much quicker on their turn around that what they tell you.

9 Sara January 29, 2007 at 5:20 am

Mine died this fall after the Evil Ipod Software Update. I was able to back out of that through not-entirely recommended means, but i was afraid to try to update, and the old software wasn’t entirely compatible with changes to the iTunes store.
I took it in to my nearest genius bar 3 weeks before the 1-year warranty was up, described the problem, and the Genius I talked to handed me a brand new shrinkwrapped iPod. I’m figuring the actual cost to Apple to do that was most likely less than they would have paid the Genius to fix the darn thing.
No probs with the current one – knock on wood 🙂
I agree Apple turnaround is usually faster than they say, too.
I also think you’re not going to get the same one back. So make sure you’ve backed everything up, and don’t send your peripherals!

10 Sharon January 29, 2007 at 7:17 pm

I’ve heard alot of things about Ipod I didn’t like so that’s why we bought Miranda an MGP3 player…she loves it and we have never had one minute of trouble with in in the last 2 1/2 years.
Good luck. Hope it never gives you any more trouble.

11 dean dad January 30, 2007 at 5:35 pm

I know it’s sacrilege, but you could always go with another brand. I’ve been using a Creative Zen Micro for the last year and a half, and it’s been great. It has a battery you can replace yourself, if need be, so you don’t have to do the extra maintenance plan.
Boring, I know, but so’s waiting two weeks…

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