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Get Geeky…

January 12th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Allow me to take this blog in a tech-geek direction for a minute.

I’m a gadget freak. Everyone who knows me knows that. My favorite gadget (and the favorite gadget for a LOT of other people lately) for the last four years has been my iPod. My iPod has carried me through many cross-country commutes, and also is the basis for my truck’s tunes. It’s a way for me to take my music (all of it) wherever I might go, so as you can imagine, I’ve become extremely attached to this little hunk of silicon and metal. But a few days ago, it died. It has ceased to be. It expired. It checked out, went belly-up, passed on, shuffled off this mortal coil. It bloody snuffed it. It was almost four years old, so I guess it gave me a good run.

How did it go, you ask? Well for quite some time, I’d noticed battery issues with it. I’d give it a full charge and it would only give me about two hours of playing time. Everything I’d read on the internet about these little gadgets is that their battery life slowly decays with successive chargings. So I elected to order a battery replacement kit for it to see if I could breath new life back into it. I even went for the BIG battery that was supposed to give me twice the playback time of a factory one! I figured it would be $35 well-spent.

The kit arrived on Tuesday, and I sat down at the table to get ready for the battery transplant. I’m somewhat savvy to the workings of electronic devices, so I prepared in the way all shade-tree electronics technicians have prepared since the dawn of Walkmans: I had a beer and cracked my knuckles a couple of times.

Getting the thing open was easy. That was the part that, according to the instructions that I’d thrown away before I’d read, was supposed to be the sticking point with the project for most people. The iPod consists of a lucite front and a tub-like metal back. Both are press-fit together, so separating them only required a sharp tool that was supplied with the kit. A snap, really. And literally.


After moving some unimportant internal items (like the hard disk drive), I got to the existing battery and gently yanked it out of its place. After replacing the old with the new, I reversed the whole process and buttoned up the iPod. Plugging it into its charging dock near my computer, I expected it to come to life with the familiar “CHIRP” it gives me when it is connected to the computer.

Nothing.

Did I put everything back together correctly? I pulled the whole thing apart again to make sure. Yep. I had. Now to put it together correctly again and close it up. I put it back onto the charging dock.

Nada.

Maybe the battery they shipped me is bad? I pulled the whole thing apart again and put the original batter back into the iPod. After putting it back together again, I put it back onto the charging dock.

Zip.

Crap.

After several emails back and forth between me and www.ipodjuice.com, we’ve come to the conclusion that the machine is officially and completely kaput.

I am now the proud owner of a brand-new 80gb video iPod. I’m also out $350. But that’s okay because this little box of solder and wires makes me happy and keeps me sane when I’m on the road.

I’ve got to give the customer service people at a hand, though. They really tried very hard to take care of my issue. Their responses to my emails were very quick and very polite. And when we’d figured out that I wouldn’t be needing their new battery after all, they offered to send me a prepaid shipping envelope so I could send it back to them for a full refund. Now THAT’S customer service!

The synonyms for “dead” brought to you by Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Tags: Uncategorized

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Jan 18, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Rant,

    You should have taken it back to the IPOD store, they would have replaced it. I have had mine for about four years and this is the third one they have replaced. The third time they told me that this was it. I snowboard and mine takes a beating. But they have always replaced it for Free. Plus since you have the newer model they should exchange it for free. Mine is one of the orginal.

    jbail

  • 2 GC // Jan 21, 2007 at 2:05 am

    There is no “free replacement” for an iPod that is out-of-warranty.

    I did, however, take my dead iPod in to see if they could resurrect it. The “genius” tried in vain and ultimately suggested that he could replace my dead one with an identical one for just $70. The replacement is actually a brand-new iPod that was built during the 3rd gen production run to serve as a warranty-replacement.

    I love my new video iPod and I won’t be getting rid of that. But $70 for 30 gigabytes worth of music storage is quite inexpensive, so I’ll be taking them up on that offer. I plan to use the “new” old iPod in my truck only. That’ll help save some wear-and-tear on the one I just purchased. Of course, that’s if I can keep my wife from claiming it! ;)

  • 3 Gina // Jan 22, 2007 at 1:29 am

    Ah, the iPod…a pilot’s best friend (followed closely by the massive watches you all wear). Nice to hear the pod people had some good customer service; that’s a rarity these days (kinda like the Kings scoring a goal, but I digress…).

    Good to see you blogging again!

  • 4 Nicolas // Feb 20, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Ha the Ipod. A wonderful idea but they never seem to work or very long. I’m on my third replacement and it has been dead for sometime.

    Please post again soon. I haven’t been flying as much lately and I love to live vicariously through your blog posts.

  • 5 GC // Feb 21, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Clint, I had to delete your comment because you used my first name. Thanks for stopping by, though! Hope you’re having fun at AE!

  • 6 chuck // Mar 12, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Loved your story. I used ipodjuice.com too and my ipod battery replacement went much smoother than yours but I still had to interact with their customer service department when my shipment didn’t arrive. They were very polite and shipped me a new kit when we realized that I had typed in my shipping address wrong (dang keyboard!) – i’d have to give their customer suppport and products a 9 out of 10 for sure. – chuck

  • 7 Rant Air - Welcome Aboard! » Blog Archive » Get Geeky (Again)… // Feb 19, 2008 at 12:27 am

    [...] not normally one to doubt my abilities with technical or electronic repairs, but after the iPod debacle of January ‘07, I found myself somewhat unsure of…well, myself. So I grabbed a claw hammer and a chisel and [...]

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