Don't believe it for a minute
by Jimmy Greystone - 7/12/12 7:41 AM
In Reply to: To be fair, by mrmacfixit
Don't believe it for a minute. Seriously. I've dealt with some very top officials within Apple, and they are some of the smarmiest little ******** you will ever meet. The face Apple presents to the public is a complete farce. They are one of the single nastiest companies out there. Disney under Eisner's tenure might have been the only one I can think of to give them any real competition. They are absolutely ruthless and cutthroat, way above and beyond what you'd expect from any random business these days. They are perfectly fine absolutely disregarding any part of a contract they made with someone else, but if anyone else tries to return the favor, Apple will land on them like you would not believe.
Trying to prove it in court is the problem, but Apple has been engaged in some seriously anti-competitive business practices that would probably make Microsoft look pretty tame pre-DOJ lawsuit. Ever since they opened their own retail stores, they've been not just eating the lunch of their entire AASP network, but they've been working to systematically drive those companies out of business. Apple's retail stores are exempt from the ASE (Apple Service Excellence) metrics that an AASP has to play by. AASPs are expected to average 1.1 parts per repair, total repair turn around time (REPTAT) is supposed to be about 5 days or less, bad board turnaround time (KBBTAT) is 10 days or less or they start billing you for the difference in cost of the part between stock and exchange prices, and then if the unit comes back in for pretty much any reason within 30 days, you get a first time fix (FTF) ding. All of these impact the amount of labor Apple pays out for the following month.
Then they have a nice little system going where AASPs can't actually talk about these things because there's a NDA provision in the contract. And Apple's Field Support division will just make up rules and demand that an AASP follow them. They might say you're using say stocking orders too much, and create more repair orders. So then a perfectly reasonable question might be to ask what is an acceptable balance between repair and stock orders? They won't tell you. They'll simply say to stop making so many stock orders. Doesn't matter if there was a perfectly legitimate reason for each stock order, and it was aimed at providing better customer service, Apple has spoken. You can lay it all out, in detail, it won't matter. They will have AASP's jumping through so many hoops that it's almost impossible to actually get anything fixed within their strict guidelines if you do any kind of volume business. Any AASP that might compete with Apple's Retail stores is subject to this kind of treatment on a regular basis, and the design seems to be to frustrate customers so much that they call Apple to complain. Then Apple's CSR department will say how sorry they are about this, and we'll set you up with an appointment at an Apple retail store. Where, of course, they don't have to follow any of these rules, so the experience is much better for the customer. All of it being engineered by Apple in a very underhanded way. For that matter, almost everything you take into an Apple store just gets shipped off to one of their repair depots, run by Flextronics. Apple forces them to buy all of the parts they use, and I imagine they just get a cut of whatever the $300 flat rate repair fees they collect. Apple also quite often decides to make certain parts depot-only, so an AASP has no choice but to send the unit to a depot. The display panels on the non-unibody 15" MBPs is an example, and in an effort to keep quiet an issue with the MLB on the first two (at least) generations of the new design MBAir, they made the MLB depot-only within about the first 2-3 months of the new design being out. I don't know exactly what the flaw is, but it sure looks like a lot of the GPUs had bad solder jobs since the symptoms would be that the unit would stall pre-POST, but the fans and what not would turn on indicating the CPU had been initialized.
I can pretty much guarantee they were kicked out of that group, but both sides agreed to say it was a mutual parting of ways to avoid any potential legal battles later on. Given the amount of time it takes to design, test, and mass produce these kinds of things, Apple had to know full well it was in the pipeline well before they joined that industry group. So at best, they joined that group in bad faith as a massive PR stunt to try and build up their "green" profile because there's still a lot of burned out hippies here in the SF Bay Area where Apple is one of the little darlings... Facebook was too, right up until their botched IPO.
And I'd be willing to bet that if you traced the full path of those recycled batteries, they still end up in some landfill in China or a third world African nation. Somewhere along the line, Apple will pass everything off to a third party, that third party will then likely subcontract with someone else, and they'll just dump it wherever they can for as little as they can.
The whole Energy Star thing is like the 80+ Power Supply thing. It's a bunch of marketing smoke and mirrors that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a sticker that companies slap on their products to make gullible consumers feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It means exactly nothing unless you have the computer configured in a highly specific way, which would render it unusable by virtually anyone's standards. Thing is, most people never really look past the "Energy Star" sticker except to find out that Energy Star is supposed to be some kind of power efficiency standard. They never look into the details. Like how with the 80+ power supply thing, obviously the idea is to make you think that it means the PSU is 80%, or more, efficient in general. The reality is that the PSU is only 80% efficient at very specific load levels. IIRC, it's 20%, 50%, and 70% load levels are the only ones tested for the 80+ rating. Well, how often does the average user likely fall into any one of those little bins for any significant period of time? You would have to go quite a ways out of your way to carefully measure out power usage to get that.
But we digress... I'm not trying to claim any other computer maker is better, but I am saying that the Apple people think they know, is not the real Apple. They are quite literally one of the best candidates for Evil Inc that I know of. Anyway, this really is a sidebar at best, so if you want to move it to a new thread we can carry on there, but otherwise maybe we should just leave it.