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Nelson: iMac Pro VESA mount gets screwed

Quinn Nelson bought a VESA mount kit for his iMac Pro. Put it on, went to take it off, and a screw broke. He went to put it on again and another screw broke. After not getting anything approaching functional support from AppleCare, he took it to an Apple Store and, after waiting much longer than expected, he got scratched, mangled parts back for his trouble.

Nelson appears to have done everything right and remained cool — even gracious — throughout his ordeal. I don't know how the store let him leave with the parts in that condition. If it'd been me, I'd still be camped out at that Apple Store until everything was perfect. Including better quality screws.

And yes, this is getting attention because popular on YouTube. There are many people who have problems every day that don't get the same attention, because not popular on YouTube.

But this isn't about directing attention to solve any one person's bad support experience. It's about using attention to raise the bar for everyone.

Hopefully, this helps with that.

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Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

8 Comments
  • Slow news day?!
  • With this sort of attitude I wonder how long can Apple hold on to the Apple products users, I read about the staff at the Atlanta store doing a very bad job at dealing with clients.
    This reminded me the attitude of the QuarkExpress management which brought their downfall.
    If this complaint is true it is a wake call for Apple.
    If this is a call for attention it succeeded.
  • I am struggling with repairs on MacBook Pro 2016 and had problems with iPad Pro Smart Keyboard. I’ve never had reliability problems with Apple products before and AppleCare has always been amazing. It does feel like something has changed. I think the force in Apple who push for innovation and design are winning over those who push for ease of use and reliability.
  • you get what you pay for...oh, except with Apple.
  • Rene, there's more to this bit. I own this same combination but waited to install the adapter, which is still in the box. I watched the meat of the video. I was concerned, until yesterday, when I opened the box after finishing the desk my iMP will be mounted on. His rant is misdirected and, if he was paying attention, he likely would have avoided his situation. He's wrong about the screws being zinc - they're steel. The screws used to fasten the adapter have Blue Threadlocker on the first several threads. When I pulled the mounting screws out of the packaging, the Threadlocker was immediately visible to me. For removal of fasteners with that material, Loctite recommends either shearing the fastener (yes, that's the first option) or heating the fastener to almost 500°F to soften the Threadlocker. IMO, the YouTuber didn't know what he was doing here and his gripe is misplaced. The other side of this is fault that IMO lies with Apple. On the last page of the adapter's instructions are the instructions for swapping the adapter for the stand. They more-or-less state that the swap is simply a reversal of the adapter's installation, not mentioning or making the owner aware of what to do with the Threadlocker - I've been in touch with Apple Engineering. I'm an engineer (civil/structural) and a technical writer, but I also took the time to look at materials before installing them. IMO if the YouTuber took the care necessary to look at what he was installing, the rest of his adventure never happens. Blue Threadlocker has been around for over 50 years, it's not like this is a new thing. FYI.
  • Interesting information but I quibble with saying the gripe is misplaced. If the process followed was consistent with the documentation then the vendor is completely at fault if that process leads to damage. It is unreasonable to expect end users to recognize from the screws that the documentation is wrong. Love the additional info you provided which would undoubtedly be helpful for others with the mount. Just not a fan of of shifting any of the blame off of the vendor and onto the user in this scenario.
  • There's a couple of things here I'd like to clarify. I didn't write "misplaced", I wrote "misdirected". Here's the tech writer in me, offering that "misplaced" relates to "not appropriate or correct in the circumstances", which is not correct in relation to my position - it was appropriate in that his gripes about the materials were not correct and he claimed that it was a material failure - it wasn't in that the Threadlocker performed exactly as designed, and the screw(s) failed as a result of not properly being extracted. Then, he went off on making a claim that was inaccurate, and he didn't take any time to figure out exactly what happened - basically, making **** up and manufacturing a crisis that isn't actually representative of what really happened. He spent a fair amount of time making a video, I took 3 minutes out of my day to actually lay out the box's contents. One of my mantras in this, know what you're talking or writing about, or STFU. The YouTuber is misrepresenting the issue, and that's where I fault him. I'm almost 60 now, and I've been using the Threadlocker for maybe 45 years now, when I started working on cars. Besides, this adapter is pretty much identical to the adapter that Apple put on their last-generation iMac, starting around 2009 or so - again, nothing new here. Second, read the intro to my last paragraph. Carefully, please? I stated that the fault lies with Apple. I contacted Apple, notified them of the viral video and that it's spawned other negative videos, what the issue was/is in the manual, and told them what changes to make. No offense, IMO you really didn't read my post as it is intended.
  • I would have to say that I've never heard of this happening before on other computer monitors that come with the vesa screw holes designed into the unit. I know that there are like 2 or 3 levels of thread locker that can be applied to screws. If the screws provided are good strong screws then why would the company that made the kit and Apple who should have put this through QA put on threadlocker that was any stronger than needed? This isn't a vibrating motor. The tread locker that is used on the Dell laptop screws works great. I can unscrew the the bottom laptop pannel and have never had one sheer off and I've done this to hundreds of laptops. There screws have a blue thread-locker compound but I'm not sure the strength. I think the jist here is a normal person seeing this would assume it's the screws and even an Apple genius at the store doesn't know about this vesa mount. There is no reason why this mount would be designed for one time install only as sometimes there are situations you might need to take the computer somewhere and you'll end up putting it back on the stand and when you're back to your normal location you'd put it back on the vesa arm.