‘Like a kick in the stomach’: Sudden store closure leaves trail of frustrated customers

ORLANDO, Fla. — A woman in Orange County contacted Action 9 after the store that was supposed to repair her computer shut down, and she couldn’t get her MacBook back.

“I tell you, it was like a kick in the stomach,” Christine Lapka said.

Lapka, a music professor, uses her laptop to work on her lesson plans. A nagging issue with the keyboard on her MacBook Pro led her to a local repair shop.

“I did a Google search on Apple repairs, and there it was right next to work. And it had a premiere status with Apple,” Lapka said.

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She took her laptop to Simply Mac, an authorized service provider near UCF. Lapka was told her MacBook would be ready in a couple of weeks. She couldn’t get an update on her repair, and the store stopped answering the phone.

“I drove there and found out they had shut down. It was traumatic,” Lapka said.

She found a note on the door explaining that all Simply Mac stores were permanently closed. Turns out, the company went out of business the day after she dropped off her $2,000 computer. Lapka filed a police report and contacted Action 9. She didn’t know where her laptop was and was worried she wouldn’t get it back.

Simply Mac has over 50 locations throughout the country. The sudden closure took customers by surprise, leaving them scrambling to get their money or equipment returned.

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The company, based in Utah, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to begin liquidation of all Simply Mac locations. An order filed in the case gives Apple permission to facilitate returning customers’ equipment. Consumers hope that will help them find missing devices.

After we spoke to Lapka and contacted Simply Mac, she finally heard back from Apple and was told her laptop was found, and it will be repaired and returned to her.

“You don’t think that the day afterwards they’re going to close their doors,” Lapka said.

As a precaution, when dropping off your computer for repairs, make sure you back up all your data files, encrypt or remove any sensitive information, and thoroughly research the repair shop’s complaint history.

Action 9 reached out to Simply Mac about the bankruptcy, but the company did not respond.

Apple management advises any customers waiting to hear about their device to call 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.