I got up this morning and said a short prayer that my day would go well as I headed down to do battle with MacLife. I arrived at their downtown location with the intent to inform the technician to halt all actions relative to our service dispute until I arrived at their Overland (30 minute drive from my house) location for talks with their owners.
I entered to find that not one, but both owners were there, a suitably rare occurrence I'm told. Apparently their roof was leaking over one of their displays and an employee had called in with a Kidney infection. Behold the wonderful and terrible power of prayer.
It was clear to me they were not going to let me have the screen. They believed that the PMU portion of the logic board which regulated voltage had gone bad and that the machine was not long for this world. I accepted this explanation as that was part and parcel to my suspicions back on the 15th of last month.
I felt that I at least owed them a $49 diagnostic fee and nothing else because the remainder could have been avoided with an accurate diagnosis. They still wanted to make an attempt to acquire my screen and wrestle with Apple to that end. One owner felt it was worth a short while the other believed it was a lost cause. I tended to fall somewhere in the middle as usual.
I had a nice conversation with the owners, asked them about the new Macbook Air and bantered a little bit. Turns out they are really knowledgeable in that regard. Then, one of them helped me carry what remained of my iMac back to my car.
I think that the lesson I would take from all this is to listen to yourself more than you do anyone else. Had I followed my instincts and had the display removed before I took it home, I would have avoided a lot of trouble... assuming they still had my screen when they made the promise initially.
In the end I still have a computer I can't use for work and I'm light $49 dollars I expected to pay anyway. That they allowed my computer to leave their shop less functional than when it entered only proves they don't hold themselves to the same standards I would hold myself. Simply, I navigate this life attempting to do no harm.
I would caution anyone that wishes to use MacLife's services to get everything you are told in writing, make sure you ask lots of questions and follow your instincts. In the end, I haven't tried visiting the Apple Store in the Mall for service so I can only say that MacLife is likely the lesser of those two evils if you need repairs done to your Mac. If there is a third option for having a Mac repaired in Boise, I'd love to hear about it.