Streetwise Will Throw Away Your Mac’s Serial Number

Over the past week, I have decided once and for all to keep my computer out of the hands of Streetwise, a popular Apple retailer here in Melbourne.

I have previously written about Streetwise, an Apple Authorised Service Centre, and its policy of holding onto computers while they wait days for replacement parts to arrive so that they can maintain a high Apple Service Rating.

Missing Serial Number

That original post came about when I had to get the palm rest of my MacBook replaced under warranty, and in the past week another shocking outcome of that repair has come to light: when the Streetwise technician replaced my palm rest, he did not transfer my MacBook’s serial number sticker (which is attached to the underside of the palm rest—inside the battery compartment).

When I contacted Streetwise about this last week, service manager Jedda Wignall was appropriately contrite. “It is incredibly unfortunate that you have been hit with this inconvenience, as could have been put in a precarious situation as a result,” he wrote (sic.). “The technician who performed the work is no longer with the company, and I would like to think that this situation would not arise again.”

The precarious situation to which he refers would occur if damage or malfunction left me unable to turn on my computer to look up the serial number in the operating system. In effect, I would be unable to prove the identity of my computer, and thus unable to obtain warranty service.

In order to make it up to me, Wignall offered to waive the cost of labour on any future repair work I might require. I turned him down: “I’m afraid that it’s reached the point where I would rather pay the labour costs than leave any of our computers in the hands of Streetwise staff again.”

At the same time, I advised everyone else here at SitePoint to avoid using Streetwise to service their Macs. Streetwise would not be getting near any of our computers again … except for one.

While this exchange went on, my colleague Andrew Krespanis was also struggling with his own Streetwise horror story. He had left his MacBook Pro with Streetwise for warranty repair of his display, and when he insisted on taking his computer back while Streetwise awaited the replacement part, he discovered that the screen’s case had been bent and the computer would no longer run on battery power!

It took many phone calls and more than a few trips to Streetwise to do it, but Andrew finally got his MacBook Pro back from Streetwise this morning. It’s in perfect working order … but it has no serial number sticker.

Yes indeed. Part of the repair work Streetwise performed on Andrew’s MacBook Pro involved replacing the palm rest, and just as they did to my machine they again failed to transfer the serial number sticker to the new part. So much for Wignall’s assurances that this would not happen again!

Discovering this, I called Wignall personally. He thanked me for bringing it to his attention, agreed it was absolutely shocking, and promised to take steps. He also dug Andrew’s old palm rest out of the trash and peeled the serial number sticker off of it for us.

My advice? Avoid getting your computer serviced by Streetwise at all costs. If you can’t avoid it, or have already left your computer with them, be sure to check for the serial number sticker when you get it back!

4 thoughts on “Streetwise Will Throw Away Your Mac’s Serial Number

  1. Gary Barber

    Has anyone complained up the line to Apple. These guys get audited on their support status and if they are not following apple poiicy they will get booted. It has happen here a number of times over the years.

    Sounds to me like they are using techs that have not been trained or are just extremely slack.

    If there is another authorised repairer locally I would be using them.

  2. Kev

    Hi Gary,

    I called Apple about it the first time it happened, and they told me it wasn’t a super-serious issue, and that I should just take it up with Streetwise.

    I’ll probably give them another call now that it’s proven to be an ongoing problem with them.

  3. Jack

    What a bloody rant about a sticker! I found this site looking for a forum to praise the Streetwise service people as they managed to fix an ongoing fault I couldn’t get repaired at other apple service places. My issue was quite serious resulting in data loss so am very thankful that Streetwise helped me. But I can’t believe someone could get so worked up over a missing sticker… gees… people do make mistakes and it’s hardly the end of the world. I wish I had as much time on my hands as the writer to get so worked up about nothing!

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