2001 – Inside sources tell us a customer was denied warranty service because a Chiquita Banana sticker voided the warranty on his Titanium G4. The names and locations have been changed to protect the parties involved.
A customer, “John Doe,” was denied warranty-covered service on his PowerBook G4 due to a “factory-unauthorized modification.” When bringing the TiBook to his local Apple dealer for replacement of a defective trackpad, he was told the warranty was void. The full explanation from the technician: “The Chiquita Banana sticker is obviously not an Apple approved part, nor could I order one for my PowerBook from Apple. It definitely voids the warranty, because it is a factory unauthorized modification. This has far reaching implications. If this were allowed, we could be allowing all kinds of crazy stuff – like that guy with the fuzzy dice inside his Cube.”
Doe says, “It was just a little sticker. When I put it on there, my girlfriend smiled and said she might get a PowerBook G4 so she could put stickers on it. If Apple knew what her reaction was, they would encourage such activity. At least that’s what I thought at the time.
“You’ve seen the commercials, guy uses computer in plane – people smile. Couple gets married on the beach – parents watch DVD they created. So what would one sticker be? Simply an extension for the Mac to draw people into buying one.”
Our initial interview lasted ten hours, but we can only comment on how distraught he was. His crusade didn’t stop there, and we commend B…, uh, Doe for continuing the fight for his right to be heard – right up until the last moments of his career in aerospace engineering. The rest is from another source, his girlfriend (now wife), as he was unable to meet with our source a second time.
It all started when he appealed to the national Apple center. [Ed. note: The technician immediately reported the incident; therefore Apple only had to wait until Doe complained.] After an initial talk over the phone, he was invited to bring the laptop in so Apple could assess the problem. He arrived at the building at the appointed time and went inside. (From here on, another trusted source gives the account)
He was sent from one room to another to show the sticker to executives. There were varied reactions, but the result was the same – send him to the design lab. He had the hardest time there, where they pointed out how it ruined the PowerBook’s clean lines and two-tone appearance. Laughing, Mr. X pointed out ten better places to have put the sticker, places where it would have increased the value of the notebook three-hundred-fold. Mrs. Y was no kinder, assessing how much residue was left over from pulling off the sticker.
Finishing up, Doe was led to an auditorium deep in the heart of the top-secret Apple Tech Service Warranty Center (from which, might I add, no commoner returns). Our source points out he was forced to watch videos of sticker-covered Mac’s being smashed. After he was “reformed,” there was a crash course in ID, followed by Apple technician certification. Although Clockwork Orange comes to mind, there were never any hints of violence in his early childhood, except to his dad’s Newton.
All Doe remembers from this experience is a very bright light – and then nothing. There is little to say but that he is a quiet man now, working part time in the R&D center and fixing Macs on the side. His wife often comments on how he was lucky it had not been an Intel sticker!
Apple would not comment on the matter and disavows knowledge of any human sized mind altering equipment, nor a Top Secret Center, nor John Doe. After all, it can’t be top secret if people know where the national research building is.
– Anne Onymus
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