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Apple Support Company Sues Customer For Complaint 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-don't-have-anything-nice-to-say dept.
tekgoblin writes "An Apple authorized Service Provider called System Graph is suing a customer who complained online about poor service from them. The customer Dimitrios Papadimitriadis took his iMac to them because he was seeing gray spots on his LED panel. The Greek company System Graph recommended a full interior cleaning of the iMac and performed the service for Dimitrios. He then got his iMac back and noticed moisture behind the screen and that it still did not work properly and took it back to the repair center. System Graph then told him that they needed to keep his iMac to replace the LED screen and he would be without it for another week.
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Apple Support Company Sues Customer For Complaint

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  • PR nightmare (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:07AM (#34741238)

    "Fast friendly service and if you say it wasn't we'll sure you". Apple needs to ship him a new computer and cut off ties with the service company. It'll cost them a 100X as much in the long run.

    • Re:PR nightmare (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:23AM (#34741304)
      Apple also needs to lend him some lawyers. (He's being sued remember.) That act alone would undo all the brand damage this "support" company is causing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178)

        Not only would it undo brand damage, but actually improve it.
        Apple would demonstrate to be on their customers' side for once.

      • Re:PR nightmare (Score:4, Informative)

        by Shivetya (243324) on Monday January 03, 2011 @06:42AM (#34742472) Homepage Journal

        Sorry, but Apple really doesn't care. My iMac was in for a warranty fix for over two weeks. The motherboard was replaced and then they had to replace the video card which was a separate unit. You can write them all you want, they don't even reply. While I like their machines their support does suck. If you have an iMac you have to bring it to an authorized service center which can be a real bear with the larger iMacs.

        Where as when my parents managed to fry one of the Dells I bought them the technician came out the next day and replaced the power supply and motherboard at their home. To think I paid for two extra years of warranty on my iMac and the cheap ass Dells get better support.

        • Re:PR nightmare (Score:5, Interesting)

          by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Monday January 03, 2011 @09:27AM (#34743282) Journal

          Sorry, but Apple really doesn't care. My iMac was in for a warranty fix for over two weeks. The motherboard was replaced and then they had to replace the video card which was a separate unit. You can write them all you want, they don't even reply. While I like their machines their support does suck. If you have an iMac you have to bring it to an authorized service center which can be a real bear with the larger iMacs.

          I have a slightly different experience with their customer service. My 24" iMac stopped working on Dec. 13, 2010. It was freezing on startup. I called Apple on the 14th, and explained to them that I didn't have a vehicle so I couldn't take it in to the retail store, so they arranged for an on site repair at my workplace. They overnighted a package on the 15th, since cut-off time for Fed-Ex had already passed. The tech wasn't in to get the package on the 16th, so he got it on the 17th and called me. We arranged for him to come to my workplace on the 22nd since that was his first available day. He came in and replaced the logic board but that still didn't fix it. So he called Apple back and they said it must be the RAM, so they overnighted another package to him, and on the 23rd he met me at my house since I started vacation that day. He had to drive about 70 miles one way to get there, vs. 45 miles to get to my workplace. He replaced the RAM, and that didn't work either, so I had to run it up to the Apple Store, which was about 70 miles away from my home. They couldn't get it working either, so I had to leave it.

          They didn't call me back to let me know it was fixed until the 30th. While a week was a long time, they did have to order the part on the 24th, they were closed on the 25th, so they didn't even get the part until the 27th. Still, it was a lot longer than I would have preferred. So I drove back up to the Apple Store and picked it up in the afternoon. When I got home later in the afternoon, I started to restore my computer from my Time Machine backup. It was going to take about 5 hours, so I let it run overnight. Next morning, I got up and the computer was sleeping, so I jiggled the mouse to wake it up. Nothing. I held down the power button to make sure it was off, then I started it up again. I got the chime & a black screen. I tried it again, this time unplugging it first, and also zapping the PRAM on startup, but still, nothing.

          I was steamed, so I called the Apple Store & set up another "Genius Bar" appt. When I got up there, they tried booting it and got the same thing. He said he was going to see if they had another video card in stock so they could repair it. I told him everything I had already been through, and explained how I didn't have access to the computer for my entire vacation which ended on Jan. 3, and I was highly displeased. He said he would talk to their manager, and they ended up offering me a new 27" iMac for my troubles to replace my 2 1/2 year old 24" iMac. Granted, it did take a much longer time than I would have hoped, but I got a better outcome than I expected.

        • by v1 (525388)

          Sorry, but Apple really doesn't care.

          That so explains why Apple is consistently in the top three (and frequently the top 1) for large company customer service...

          • Just like how every car dealership leads in satisfaction survey? But I am not surprised you believed in them - after all, apple PR has already worked their charm on you.

            • by Belial6 (794905)
              While I suspect that is part of it, my suspicion also is that a bigger part of it is that generally, a person has to already be convinced that Apple has superior service to be polled. Presumably they only poll Apple customers on their satisfaction with Apple. Given Apples position in the market, anyone who isn't satisfied with Apple will quickly stop being an Apple customer, as there are huge numbers of cheaper, high quality, more widely supported alternatives.

              Polling a group on their satisfaction with
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aliquis (678370)

      "Fast friendly service and if you say it wasn't we'll sure you". Apple needs to ship him a new computer and cut off ties with the service company. It'll cost them a 100X as much in the long run.

      Nah, that's not how Apple does business.

      Also they can just remove any negative posts or threads on their forum.

      Sites outside of Apples reach? They to will filter themselves, any negative comments on Slashdot for instance will soon find their way down below anyone's viewing threshold.

      So even if the Apple distortion field doesn't work for you, it will for sure work ON you. Problem solved.

      Cheers!

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:08AM (#34741246)
    But no, even worse: We're destined to entwine the legal system throughout every facet of our lives until we reach stasis between wanting to act and fearing to act and then entropy will take over and we'll just...stop.
  • by Stratoukos (1446161) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:08AM (#34741248)

    You don't even read the stories you post, do you?

    The company is called System Graph.

    • by TrentC (11023) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:16AM (#34741274) Homepage

      The excerpt above is from the linked article. Tekgoblin is the one that got it wrong.

      I went to Papadmitriadis's Twitter feed to see if "Stemgraph" was a local nickname for Systemgraph but it was...

      (wait for it...)

      all Greek to me.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Perhaps this is the entire problem and the guy is slamming the wrong company which is why they want to sue for slander?

        Nah, it's probably more like the one site is within the same legal jurisdiction and didn't want to be sued in the process too. So they changed the name to protect the innocent- namely themselves.

    • by arth1 (260657) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:18AM (#34741286) Homepage Journal

      Indeed it is http://www.systemgraph.gr/ [systemgraph.gr]

      C|Net, which the tekgoblin site pinched this from, had the name right. But tekgoblin got it wrong, both on their own site, and in the verbatim copy submitted here. And yes, samzenpus appear to have rubberstamped it without even some elementary link following.

      No, this won't be the last time we see this, but I still hope that we get served less copypasta and more verified news here in 2011.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tekgoblin (1675894)
        I am very sorry for the mistake in the article it has been corrected on the site. I hope you will forgive us.
      • by Legion303 (97901)

        "appear to have rubberstamped it without even some elementary link following."

        Welcome to Slashdot. Enjoy your stay.

  • by Odinlake (1057938) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:18AM (#34741282)
    ..why can't the gov't just give us the money.
  • counter sue for court costs + a GOOD attorney + cash for your time + the cost of a new mac.

    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      = Waste a bunch of time and money, probably losing the case anyway because your lawyer isn't good enough OR winning and then having to go to court again and again and again when they sue again until they win.

      --> Huge waste of time, effort and money.

      See also: SLAPP

  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer (533834)

    You're allowed to sue anyone you like for any reason you want. I could sue every single person reading this post in a John Doe lawsuit because I believe that the gray aliens told me that people who read my slashdot posts are making the value of my stamp collection drop, so I want a million dollars from every one of you. Plus expenses.

    Here, read up on this guy. [wikipedia.org]

    See? You can sue anyone you want for any reason you like. Stories like these are really non-stories. About the only value is in letting you

    • SLAPP anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

      by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:40AM (#34741348) Homepage
      Around these parts, we call that a SLAPP.

      A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

      It's illegal in 26 states, and can sometimes make a nice countersuit.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by drooling-dog (189103) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:44AM (#34741368)

      Umm... I don't think anyone here is arguing that they don't have the legal right to file a lawsuit. The point is precisely as you say: "hey don't use these guys, they're litigious jerks." So what's the problem? We all like our daily righteous indignation.

      And why, more generally, is there always someone in every thread like this who suggests that no valid criticism can be made of behavior - however reprehensible - that violates no laws?

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by redherring728 (1927764) on Monday January 03, 2011 @12:54AM (#34741408)
      "Stories like these are really non-stories." "About the only value is in letting you know "hey don't use these guys, they're litigious jerks."" Contradictory statements. There is a *lot* of value in knowing that these guys are litigious jerks. Knowing that someone is willing to sue you after screwing you isn't even remotely a non-story. It's not insignificant to be sued, whether the person suing you has a chance or not.
    • This is standard operating procedure for some Greek companies. I used to have to deal with them all the time. They are very litigious and get irritated when you charge them accordingly. I had personal experience with these companies and most were a P.I.T.A.

    • It is often not that simple - lawsuits also cost money and time for everyone. More than several companies use the fact that they have bigger pockets and can sue all they want as a weapon. In some cases it can be cheaper to create fear of a lawsuit than the amount of money lost through bad reviews. That's probably not very often and even if the person complaining is truly giving undeserved bad press it is usually worse to sue for it, but hey not everyone sees it that way (see the RIAA/MPAA for a great exampl

    • It cost money to defend yourself from a lawsuit if it is not dismissed outright, and from the description, it is not one which will be. Case in point, JREF/James Randi had to defend themselves agaisnt scammer because they had shown that the scammer were offering a bogus item. They won naturally, but they did not get any money back (and it was rather expansive 4 zero non trivial amount). So this guy you are saying a non story, it could ruin his life, and if the greek law are the same as in the US, worst case
      • by twisteddk (201366)

        It's not. Cosumer protection is very efficient in Europe. Only if he looses and wants to appeal will it cost him a bundle.Then again, if he looses it'll cost him a bundle anyway ;)

        I'll withhold judgement untill I get a decently translated version of his allegations, but frivolous suits are rarely brought in Europe, because only the accused have the right to free counsel, usually.So for the time being I'll assume that the company has tried to reason with the guy first.

    • Interesting link.

      Riches continued, "Defendants put me in prison. I face imminent danger from violent inmates who played Grand Theft Auto who will knock me out and take my gold Jesus cross."

      Funniest thing I have read so far in 2011.

  • After the moisture issue, he sent it back to the company, they told him it'd be a week, he demanded a full replacement of the machine according to some Greek law, the company refused since they weren't the original retailer, he posted about it online, and now the company is suing him. Blah blah blah.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      After the moisture issue, he sent it back to the company, they told him it'd be a week, he demanded a full replacement of the machine according to some Greek law

      "Some greek law?" Well, as you can see from the OP, he obviously took it to them for warranty service, complaining about gray spots showing on the display, as an apple authorized service center, they would have an agreement to service Apple equipment under warranty for repairs and replacements.

      They took it in and according to them, performed

      • What are you talking about? I summarized the remainder of the article, since the summary did a lousy job of doing so. That's it. I didn't offer an opinion on the matter (aside from boredom with the whole idiocy of the matter), so I have no idea why you're trying to argue with me.
        • I think that he was trying to argue with you ....

          because this is Slashdot?

          And for that sort of reader, we need a graphic for "just reporting the facts, nothing to argue with here, move along..."

  • by yotto (590067) on Monday January 03, 2011 @01:38AM (#34741572) Homepage

    The title of this summary, while technically correct, is deceptive. I read it as "Apple's support sues customer for complaint."

    I'm gonna sue!

    /Not actually gonna sue.
    //Please don't sue me for implying I would sue.

  • by arunce (1934350) on Monday January 03, 2011 @01:56AM (#34741644)
    After 20 pixels went out I took my Sony Vaio to repair, as it was under warranty terms. After 40 days they call me back and said that it didn't qualify under warranty because it was dirt between LCD and backlight, and yes, they would repair if I pay 800 euros for a 16.4 inch panel. I must say that at that time a new one laptop cost exactly the same price. We have a law in Portugal that any repair can't exceed the original equipment price.. it's funny.

    So I didn't accept it and after 200 or 300 pixels, I just disassembled my Sony Vaio 16.4 inch panel made in North Korea (yeah..) by Sharp and cleaned it, it took about 4 hours of my time but its perfect now.

    Don't ask me how the hell the dust got between those two layers.

  • Idiots all around (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Monday January 03, 2011 @02:16AM (#34741718)
    They're tards for leaving crud inside the glossy panel. Yes, the glossy panel is a pain in the butt to clean, but you'd better be sure it's clean when the computer leaves or you'll have more fun on your hands. In addition, be sure you properly test it once you've installed replacement hardware.

    He's a tard for thinking that they have any obligation to replace the computer under these circumstances. As they rightfully pointed out, they are not Apple, just a company authorized to service Apple computers. Having worked for an independent Apple service provider in the past, this is a maddening mistake that many customers make, especially irate ones who don't want to listen to a thing you say. The bottom line is that if he didn't buy it from them, then they have no obligation to refund the item. If he wants a refund, THEN TAKE THE ISSUE STRAIGHT TO APPLE.

    It doesn't help that this guy has been throwing an utter tantrum to everyone within possible earshot about the issue. It's impossible to say if this is a justified suit as there are no details about what he's said to a ton of other parties about this. If he has indeed lied (and from the grotesque levels of butthurt coming out of the guy, it's possible), then it's a justified lawsuit. We just don't have enough information, and I think too many people are kneejerking in favor of the guy. Having seen some truly idiotic, angry customers, I'm going to reserve judgement here until more comes out.
  • This is in Greece (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Apple products have a very low penetration rate in Greece due to the absymal support and commercial channels we have to put up with. Greek users have begged SJ in the past to get rid of the local reseller that up to a year ago worked under an exclusivity contract. There was no way to get an Apple computer directly from Apple, you had to get it from them and they would charge something like 50 or 100 euros more for the greek support.

    It's easier now to get an Apple computer from big consumer electronics store

  • In October 2007 a friend bought a $240 Samsung 205BW LCD monitor from Fry's Electronics, with a $30 three-year Performance Service Contract (PSC). She ended up not getting a computer until July 2009, when she first truied the Samsung. Occasionally it would go black and stop responding. The same problem occurred on my computers. Smartly, she delegated repair to me.

    In July 2009 I took it to Fry's and brought the original box for protection, but Fry's didn't want it. It was ready in September, but still had

    • What I find strange is that anyone would try to repair an LCD screen at all. I have had a few defective electric devices in the past few years, but not once did anyone try to do any repairs. In every case, I went to the store, they took my defective item, and told me to get a replacement from their shelves, or refunded the money, or in one case with an item with extended warranty, gave me the original purchase price towards a new item. In your case, if you received the purchase price of a 2007 LCD screen to
    • by Skapare (16644)

      Being "authorized" has nothing to do with being "qualified".

      One likely problem with repairs is they (much like those customer DISservice people we call on the phones) follow scripts. That is, if a certain problem is presented, a certain "solution" must be applied (despite the fact that many problems can have a variety of causes).

      I had a Dell laptop at work periodically fail to light the screen up. They send a tech out with a replacement LCD. He replaces it and it lights up. But it also has some discolor

  • by pz (113803) on Monday January 03, 2011 @08:20AM (#34742814) Journal

    One of the unwritten issues here is that in the Greek society, the idea that the customer is always right does not hold true. Customers can, and often are, berated by the stores, not because of any inherent evilness, but because that's just the way things are. In Greece, where the economy, before it collapsed recently, was still primarily cash-based, most transactions were between individuals. Stores are primarily mom-and-pop operations, although that is changing, and the mentality between a customer and the seller is still very much one individual to another. Couple that with a society where macho-ness (manga in slang Greek) is valued, it's easy to imagine a shopkeeper and an individual getting their horns locked.

    I've experienced this myself (BTW, I'm of Greek descent, living in the US) when dealing over the net with Greek companies; I found a reasonably serious bug in a company's web site, provided a solution (without being asked), and suggested they might send me one of their magazines (USD $10) as a thank-you. Based on the vitriol spewing forth from the site owner, you would think that I was trying to rob them and had caused the bug myself (the bug was that their shopping cart wasn't detecting if javascript was running, and when it was disabled still produced a valid cart order, but with incorrect values)

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