So here is how all of that went. You are seriously not going to believe this, but it is true.
When I spoke to Apple on the phone they put me in touch with an outsourced Apple certified tech company to come to my home to do the repairs. The tech company called me on a Thursday to schedule a Monday morning appointment. They gave me an 8-10 window. I told my boss that I would in late on Monday.
Monday morning at 9:30 (still a half-hour left in the window) I called the tech company at the number they called me from on Thursday to see how the tech's schedule is running and for an ETA as I had to go to work. No answer. At 10:00 I called again. At 10:15 I tried one more time. At 10:30 I called Apple. Apple put me on hold and tried calling the company themselves. The Apple rep said that he just got a voice mail, same as me. The rep said he would keep trying and call me on my cell when he was able to contact the tech company.
3:30PM. Apple called me to tell me that he got a hold of the tech company and they hadn't received the replacement drive that Apple sent to them therefore could not keep the appointment. I let Apple know that I should have been contacted so that I would not have had to miss ½ day of work. I got an apology and was told the tech company would contact me as soon as they received the drive.
Tuesday afternoon. The tech company called to tell me they have my drive and would be there on Thursday morning between 9-11. I told them that 9-11 was ridiculous and that they already screwed me over once and that I need to have them put me on the schedule for 8:00am. I was told that they could make my appointment the first one but the window would still have to be between 8-10. "If I'm the first appointment, can we not have a window and you just be here at 8?" "No can do. Our techs leave our shop at 8 and you're at least a 30-40 minute drive from here." I asked that they "please be here as close to 8 as possible. I am on my job at 7am every morning but I leave my house at 6 to be at the job site by 7. Can't your tech do the same?" "No can do. We will be there before 9." OK. Whatever. No sense arguing.
7:20am Thursday morning. The guard gate is calling me to tell me Joe Tech is at the gate and asking to be let in. WTF? 7:20! Seriously??? I greeted him at the door. I asked "What happened to 'No can do' to being here by 8?" He said "You asked for me to be here early. I'm here. Do you want to leave and come back at 8:00?" "No! You are here now, go to work. I just wish your company would at least make an attempt to act professional even if they are not capable of it."
I helped him carry in several large boxes and a few smaller ones. I asked "You are just going to be replacing the hard drive, correct? What's in all of these boxes?" He said "Yes, just the hard drive. But I have to replace both drives and the 128GB SSD is soldered onto the logic board and so the logic board needs to be replaced, too." "Really? that sounds stupid but, hey, I didn't design it." Then I asked "So what's in the other big boxes?" He said I may damage the display taking it apart. This is a replacement display and screen in case I break the old ones." Again I asked "Really?" Who the f*@k designed that??? That sounds just as stupid as having to replace the motherboard and SSD in order to replace the mechanical drive."
Two hours later, the tech is still struggling with trying to separate the screen from the body. He has no Static Discharge mat, no SD strap, is not grounded and is working on the wood surface of my desk with the iMac lying on it's back. I asked "Why do you not have something on the desk protecting the desk and also my $2,800 computer?" He said "Right now I am just trying to get the screen and display off without breaking them. I will take care of not scratching anything and I don't need to practice any SDP at this point." I was debating whether to ask this guy to install my 6TB drive instead of installing the Apple supplied drive. Something told me to not ask so I didn't. I had a bad feeling here and would not want to have to bring or send the machine to Apple with the wrong drive in it. This is where I like gut instincts.
Two hours later my iMac is stripped clean except for it's speakers. Still no SD wrist strap. Still no SD mat. Parts are everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. He was scraping the adhesive off of the back of the old display. Not on a mat. Not on a towel. The screen was face-down on the desk while he was scraping the back. UGH!
I asked him how the screen was attached because my old iMac had magnets that the screen cover snapped and held into place. Not only did it hold the screen cover on, it kept it aligned. He told me he reapplies new adhesive and sticks the screen back on the body. I asked him how he does that without making a mess with the adhesive and how does he align it with the body. He said to not worry, he does this all of the time. I let him know that Apple sends these out of the factory pretty close to perfect and that they are assembled with the aid of tools and equipment to attach and align the screen and that I was expecting the reattachment to be as perfect. Again, I was told not to worry.
Two hours later, the tech called me back into my home office. He said "I am just booting it up right now. The OS will install itself and set up the Fusion Drives automatically. I just need you to sign the repair order that everything is done and complete." I looked down at the deep gash running across my desk. I asked the tech "What did you do to my desk?" He said "Yeah. That. I'm sorry. That happened when I spun the computer around to get to the adhesive on the other side of the screen. I think some stain touch up should take of that. I'm sorry." I moved the keyboard and then the iMac. 7 smaller scratches and a small chip in the wood. Now I am !#^&@@. I again asked why he didn't have a mat or at least a towel down on the desk. I also asked who was going to pay for the repairs. He said he was sorry again. I made him write what happened to my desk on the repair order. I took some pics of the desk. I made a few notes on the work order myself and showed him to the door.
My work day was shot. It's 45 miles to my job. It's already 2:00. I might as well just stay home and finish setting up the iMac. The OS was still installing when I looked closer to the iMac's screen. It's not aligned. In fact, it's shifted to the left and not flush with the bottom bezel anywhere. The stand had a nick in it on the front edge. The screen had several small scuffs. I was furious. I called Apple and gave them an earful. After two escalations, the Apple rep switched me over to Customer Relations. They asked for pics. I already had them on my phone so in 30 seconds they had them. The rep said he would have to call me back. He did. He said that I would have to take the iMac into an Apple Store to have them look at it and possibly repair it. UGH! He set up the appointment for the next day.
I left work early to bring the computer to Apple. There are two stores closer to me than the one the Apple rep could get me in to. Whatever. I dealt with it. I just want this resolved. The tech took one look at the iMac and asked "What in the world happened to this thing?" I told him what transpired. He tried to plug an ethernet cable into the back. He couldn't. The motherboard was so far from alignment that the RJ45 connector would not go into the socket. Then he tried the USB. Same thing. He called the Apple rep who was listed on the case notes. He told that rep that "Apple needs to replace this customer's computer. It's a mess." The store manager then spoke to the rep. They took my machine in right there and ordered me a brand new one. Not a refurb. Brand new. With a brand new one year warranty. I got it two days later.
To make up for the cost of repairing the desk, they also gave me AppleCare. Why not? That's what I had on my other computer and it still had a little more than a year left on it. Apple did the right thing. I also learned a valuable lesson. My Apple products won't be touched by anyone other than an Apple employee. And they will always go back to Apple or to the Apple Store for repairs. I'm sure glad I didn't ask the tech to upgrade the drive while he had my iMac apart.