I have to regretfully agree... had 2 Apple HDs die recently on 3-4 yr old Macs... Back 10 years ago you could have one for 5-6 years and it was STILL running- no crash. One was my 4 yr old MacBook... cost to fix $250 (maybe $75 if I do it myself) . . .the second was my wife's 3+ yr old iMac... that did cost $250 ! Didn't even want to try cracking that nut shell. Really frustrating ! I know Apple has done far better in the Past !!
Although I agree QC for the hardware and software doesn't seem to be what it was under Steve-o, I've expressed that, everybody uses the same HDs. They are not Apple branded. WD, Seagate, Hitachi, Maxtor etc.
Today they still are the same moving parts, just the connectors have changed recently on Apple stuff.
Luck of the draw.
The HD on the 4 YO MacBook is easy. If $250 included restoring from your backup that is about what I would charge. If it was HD replacement only, a bit much. Check out youtube, it's not that bad at all.
For the iMacs after 2009 Apple went to much stricter specs on what kind of HD could be used due to their heat sensor connection requirements, but the same as the MacBook, if it was HD replacement only it was a bit much, check out youtube.
Now the newer thinner ones, I won't even try. Although probably only about 10% or so of my business is hardware fixes.
That's what I was planning on doing... I'm not afraid to tackle the MB, but the iMac is a whole new "hurt locker" !
The $250 did include all the data transfer. They were able to recover my wifes data on the iMac, but they said my MB was totally dead and it would be a chunck of $$ to try to recover any data if they could... I have it backed up via Time Machine, so can do myself.