Apple: I don't mind paying more for Apple equipment, but I expect their service centre to be up to the task. I have a local non-iStore repair centre I usually use, and I will continue to use them for all repairs going forward.
Apple repair: My 2011 model laptop crashed on 9th August; not a simple hard drive crash (I was prepared for that kind of fault). It was a major hardware issue. Actually a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) fault and Apple has a free repair facility. See https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/
Monday 10th August was a public holiday, so I took it to the iStore on 12th August. They told me I'd have it back by between 20th and 23rd August. I asked them for a loan computer. They said they'd phone when they had one. They never phoned.
On 18th August, Apple quoted me R10,474 to fix the screen. I didn't accept the quote! I told them to fix the GPU fault and return the computer to me, as my local Apple repair shop told me they could fix the screen for R2,500.
One should note that when I got the GPU fault, there was absolutely nothing wrong with my screen. Two of my Apple friends said to me that they thought that Apple had probably broken the screen!
I got the laptop back on 5th September.
When I got the laptop back, I took it to my normal repair centre in Westlake. They checked the screen cables, and a fuse, and tested the computer for 2 days and could find no fault with the screen!!
I was quoted R10,500 to repair the screen, but when I got the unit back, there was nothing wrong with the screen. I paid my local Apple Repair shop R450 for their time.
We really need proper Apple Service to come back to South Africa. PLEASE.