No Tiger in this Mac’s Tank

In all the years I’ve owned a Macintosh computer (which is all the years I’ve ever owned a computer), I’ve never once been disappointed by Apple’s products or their service.

Until now.

Let me first say that despite my preference for Macs to PCs, I’ve never been a Chevy/Ford Mac/PC person who bashed one or the other. I simply prefer Macs to PCs. And like many Mac users, I eagerly anticipated the release of “Tiger,” Mac’s newest and (supposedly) biggest and brightest upgrade. I’m guessing it probably is. I’m beginning to wonder when I’ll finally find out.

The very day Apple announced that one could “pre-order” Tiger (two weeks before its release on April 29), I did exactly that. Got out the old credit card, made sure my name was on the list. They guaranteed it’d be in my mailbox April 29. And it was. The problem?

You can’t “buy” Tiger on CD. It only ships in DVD format. I bought my G4 several years ago, and looking back, realize I “should” have had the DVD drive installed. But before pre-ordering Tiger, I’d read through the “System Requirements” listed on their website, and never once did it say a DVD drive would be required for the software’s installation. (They have since added that.)

Okay. So Apple “does” provide a solution to the DVD problem. AFTER one receives the DVD, they can download a document from Apple’s website through their (aptly titled) Mac OSX 10.4 Tiger Media Exchange Program. I did. Then, you print out the form, fill in your info, and mail it in, along with an additional 10 bucks ($9.95 plus applicable sales tax), the original Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger install DVD, and one original software proof-of-purchase coupon (found in the Tiger software box). Once they receive that, they say Apple will mail you a Tiger CD kit.

According to the Tiger Media Exchange document, it says: “Upon receipt of your order, products from inventory in stock will be shipped within 24 hours via U.S. mail.”

Great! (I thought.) You mail everything to South Bend, Indiana – only two states away from Iowa. And I’m getting mine into the mail right away, so I’ll have Tiger in my Mac’s tank within a few days. (I thought.)

I waited a week. Nothing. Two weeks. Nothing. Finally I called Apple’s toll free number (888-840-8433) listed on the Media Exchange document. After listening to the menu and pressing the appropriate keys, a message directed me to a specific website where I could check the status of my order. (Inquiry Site)

Here, they ask you for your name, zip code, and other pertinent info. Then you hit “Check Status.” What? It’s not working? You’re getting the message “Safari Can’t Open the Page”? Let me save you some trouble.

Okay. So Safari couldn’t open the page. I went to Firefox.
Firefox couldn’t open the page. I went to Mozilla.
Mozilla couldn’t open the page. I went to Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer couldn’t open the page. I went to Netscape.
Netscape couldn’t open the page.

I ran out of browsers.

Only after “repeated” efforts (and I do mean Repeated — to the tune of about 100 tries during different time periods) did Safari finally open the page the other day. Luckily, I discovered that Apple had, in fact, received my order. But there were the dreaded words under order status: Backordered.

So here it is, three weeks to the day since first receiving the Tiger DVD, and nearly three weeks since paying even more and ordering the CD kit. I’ve gone back to the site several times to check my status again, but haven’t been able to load the page since. I guess I’m probably one of the lucky ones, to have gotten it to load even that one time. I suspect it’s busy all the time with people like me, wondering why Apple just didn’t offer a product up front available for purchase in either DVD or CD format, and save their loyal customers the hassle they currently are putting them through.

The irony in all this is that Apple makes such a good product (like my G4) that – other than the software upgrades – I’ve never had a reason to upgrade my hardware. I’ve never missed the DVD drive.

Until now.

But I don’t have a product I’ve long since shelled out my money for, and twice at that. For a company who’s always had exemplary service, this apple fell far from the tree.

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  1. I hear ya! I’m going through something similar. I, like you was prompt in returning the Tiger DVD along with the order form, my credit card info for more $$$, and my coupon. I was a bit hesitant, sending my lone copy of Tiger away with nothing as a back up, but I too have used and trusted Apple and it’s Mac products since I started using a computer. When I called to check the status, got the same run around as you did. My problem was that I loaded the page OK – but it would never accept my postal code (I live in Canada). There is absolutely no phone number I can find to speak to a live person (this fact alone makes me nervous!) So here we are at their mercy I guess. I even found a number on their website to check a sales order — I thought at least I’d get a live person to give me a number where I could actually speak to someone, and at least discuss the problem with the “Check your status” page. When I finally reached a sales person, he said hold and I’ll get you the number. Then, he automatically connected me to the voice mail box, where I was in the beginning. I don’t know about you, but any company this big, who is so secretive and refusing to allow us to talk to a live person, makes me more that concerned!! Anyway, for what it’s worth, it’s at least conforting to know I am not alone in this. PS If you find any luck in speaking to a live person in the Media Exchange program, I’d be grateful if you post it. I will do the same.