So, after 16 months of owning a G3 iPod, I’m thinking of giving it all up and going back to CDs… My first replacement was swapped out by Apple Europe quite quickly - they picked up from my office on Monday, and a new, brown-boxed Pod was on my desk by Friday. Not bad, eh? Yesterday morning I put my G3 in its cradle (first day back at work etc), and within 30 seconds I knew something was up - I was able to watch the drive space increase within Explorer, and before I could do anything, my Pod had been wiped of all data. I undocked, scanned for Artists and found my full library intact. Problem was, that’s all that was left: the data/text for the library. Try and actually play an album, and it finishes in five seconds. I made an appointment with the Genius Bar @ The Apple Store, Regent Street London. I didn’t want to mess with the Pod in case it could be recovered. Anyone that’s been to a G-Bar will know the boys there are quite removed from reality. I tried to explain what I thought happened and he wasn’t interested, mumbling something about regen’ing the software, formatting and wiping everything off. Usually I wouldn’t have minded but this time I didn’t have a backup. However, I had no choice, I had to agree. Then I thought, hang on, I don’t want the same one back - why would I? So, bravely, I asked for a brand new G3 Pod. Lo and behold, I got one (albeit brown-boxed). The guy had just given up. I asked how many G3’s they swap out in a week… 30-40 minimum. I tried my hand again: “If I pay the additional ££ for a colour Pod, could I do that today?” The flippancy of the reply is what forced me to write this today: “I take it you haven’t heard of Apple’s upgrade path? Throw the old kit in the bin and buy a new model.” Normally I’d find that funny, but I’m one of those people who paid £400 for the “best product on the planet”. My first Pod had hard errors on the surface; the 2nd current one lost everything; now I’m on to my third. Hardly what I expected when I paid my money in good faith. To cut a long story short, I left the Apple Centre with a new 2003 G3 - more than likely one with a battery that only lasts three hours or so. Either that or it’s reconditioned. It’s fully wrapped in protective plastic, but, frankly, nothing would surprise me. It’s quicker and more cost effective for Apple to swap out old for new. It seems common practice in many cases nowadays. The whole experience has left me quite disillusioned by Apple. I really thought they had a grasp on their new business, but am increasingly left with the impression that what they actually have a grasp of is extensive media. With so much good coverage, the bad just gets brushed under the carpet. Am I alone in thinking this? Feeling “had” by Apple ?