The following was written by Karen Norris, a colleague at Design News. She tried to repair and in a sense recycle an old iPod. Here’s her experience.
I’m usually the one to buy the new technology as soon as it hits the shelves, but I also tend to keep it until something significantly better comes along. I’ve also been a Mac-addict since the early 90’s and should have bought stock during those bad years, but I digress. I have an original iMac, an original iPod and the first iPhone. At work, I’m on an ancient Dell PC with an even older Samsung monitor…no beautiful flat screen for me yet. You can probably gather that I fall into the “use until you lose” kind of person. And then, I recycle…or at least try to.
My story began in late June ‘08 when my old iPod no longer wanted to communicate with my car’s audio system. Because of its size and weight, I only used it in my car and because I detest local radio and was hopelessly lost without it. I tried a two different FM transmitters and even an AUX transmitter and nothing worked. Along the way, I bought a new car so I accepted the fact that the logic board inside the iPod was finally dead after six years. Not a bad run given everyday use.
No problem, I thought. I’ll just fix it, I thought. Cheaper and better for the environment. I had bought the largest storage size it came with at the time and my 10 Gig of music barely scratched the surface of what it could hold…why not keep using it? The Apple store Genius’ told me Apple doesn’t handle repairs at all and suggested iResQ, in Kansas. They were lovely people and the process listed on their website seemed very easy…I thought it would work perfectly. I even agreed to the up sell of a new battery for it and counted the days until its return. Well, it didn’t go well and it really made me rethink fixing something like this in the future.
iResQ neglected to tell me that they didn’t have the part in stock and it took nearly a month to get it in. When I did get it back, I quickly realized that they hadn’t replaced the logic board at all or hadn’t tested it properly. They offer to buy old iPods to stock their repair service as several others do on eBay, but clearly it didn’t work out here. American Express had to stop payment on the charge because they didn’t ever credit me for services not performed…after 3 calls. Frustrated, I sent it back and told them to just keep it for parts…maybe it would help someone else. Strangely, they just sent it back again.
So, long story short, the path isn’t always easy for someone trying to do the right thing for the environment. Its just sitting in a closet now with 2 old printers. I’m sure I’ll find someone to take it for parts someday but until then, I’ll just enjoy my new iPod. Sorry planet. Hopefully when that one dies, the process will be better. Now onto someone who can properly dispose of it.Word is Apple does it for free