Absurd Separation of Powers at Apple Computer Inc.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tyguy01234, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. tyguy01234 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #1
    A letter of complaint I sent to Apple after a wonderfully "different" experience I had with Apple. But did I receive a letter of apology, explanation, or response? No. So now I feel I must share my poor experience such that other consumers can be more cautious, aware, and help change a ridiculous system of operations.
    Thank you,
    TM

    To whom it may concern,
    There is a
    Absurd Separation of Powers at Apple Computer Inc.
    that needs immediate attention.

    I have always been a Windows user but, like many who are tired of the PC-based problems, I made the decision to switch to Apple on Monday Jul 11th. I excitedly purchased everything would need for college. I got a top of the line 15 inch Powerbook, iPod, printer, iSight, and MS Office 2004 - everything and more that I needed for college. I used the simple Apple Online store and everything arrived within five days.
    Apples are more costly than PCs, but I was sure that the Apple would be worth it. Fewer software, hardware, and virus issues with an Apple. Top of the line service. No messing with big box retailers when there was a problem – go straight to the source – my local Apple Store.
    Almost immediately I had a strange problem: every time I would change my battery profile or when I booted up the machine, my screen would distort for anywhere between 1-6 seconds. Naturally I was very sad to find a problem on my newly purchased Powerbook. I stopped using it for several days until I had time to go to the Apple Store and see what was wrong, hoping that it was just a software issue.
    PROBLEM ONE: GLITCH IN SCREEN ON NEWLY OPENED TOP OF THE LINE POWERBOOK.
    As I waited in line for a technician at Apple – a “Genius” - I tried to replicate my problem on one of Apple’s display model Powerbooks. The problem did not occur thus ruling out the possibility that it was just a known glitch and function that I would have to live with. This meant that indeed something was wrong with my computer. After explaining and showing the problem to the “Genius”, he informed me that the logic board was damaged and that because it was a new computer it would be considered Dead On Arrival (DOA) and I was entitled to a brand new Powerbook, or a full refund. I opted for a brand new Powerbook – mistakes can happen, even for Apple.
    As the “Genius” attempted to process my exchange, he realized that my Powerbook was a top-of-the-line Powerbook with a 100 gig hard drive, and 128 VRAM video card. Ironically because my Powerbook was a top-of-the-line Powerbook, he was unable to refund or exchange my Powerbook.
    I inquired as to why a “Genius” at my local Skokie Apple Store would be unable to help me refund or exchange my defective product. The “Genius” tried to explain the unexplainable … that because I ordered my computer at the Online Apple Store and had the hard drive and video card upgraded he was unable to help me in anyway. How can that be I asked, it is an APPLE computer, sold to me BY an Apple Store and here I am at an Apple Store. He admitted the policy was absurd, but replied that all I would have to do is call 1-800-MY-APPLE. He said to tell them that I had gone to an Apple Store and that the logic board was damaged; he then said that they would exchange my Powerbook with ease. “Sorry for the troubles, if you need me to go through the support lines on my off time, or if you need anything else please just ask” as he handed me his card. I thanked him.
    To not be able to exchange or refund any defective APPLE product at an Apple store strikes me as completely bizarre. It is as though the Apple Store Online and the Apple Retail Store stores are completely independent companies. I did not pay more for this top-of-the-line Powerbook to get less service. Apple is supposed to be the Rolls Royce, not the lousy, cheap, used car…why don’t their “dealerships” function with a little more accessibility when there is a problem?
    PROBLEM TWO: APPLE STORES AND APPLE ON-LINE OPERATE SEPARATELY AND DO NOT FULLY SERVICE EACH OTHER. ISN’T THIS ODD FOR A “LUXURY” PRODUCT? ISN’T THIS SOMETHING ONE WOULD EXPECT FROM A MORE “BASIC” OPERATION?
    After the “Genius” understandingly admitted that the Apple return system inhibiting him from being able to help me was ridiculous, I thanked him for his time and help to the best of his ability and proceeded to call 1-800-MY-APPLE as instructed to by the “Genius”. I told the operator that I had gone to a “Genius” and that my logic board was damaged and I needed a replacement Powerbook right away, especially because mine was within the refund grace period. The operator transferred me to another person who I explained my situation to, who then transferred me again and again. After four transfers I finally began to make progress with one of the head refund reps.

    PROBLEM THREE: POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 800-MY-APPLE. MULTIPLE TRANSFERS TO VARIOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS.


    Regrettably, the progress however was not positive. I had retold my story for the fourth time and all the Apple Rep could do was offer me “You can ship us your Powerbook and we will try and repair it. IF we are unable to repair it we will send you a new one.” This policy made sense if my computer had been used/old and operating under the warranty, however, as it was less than seven days old, I felt that I was entitled to a refund or brand new computer. I told the Apple Rep that I had talked to an Apple “Genius” and he had assured me that I could exchange the computer, not merely settle for a repair. The Apple Rep replied that I must have been misinformed.

    PROBLEM FOUR: DOA PRODUCT PURCHASED THROUGH APPLE ON-LINE COULD NOT BE RETURNED FOR NEW PRODUCT – ONLY SENT IN FOR REPAIR. NEW PRODUCT WAS AT APPLE’S DISCRETION.

    Angry and confused I hung up and proceeded straight back to what seemed like my local friendly Apple “Genius”. I told him my 1-800-MY-APPLE experience and how I was denied an exchange. “No they are dead wrong, please wait here and we will call for you.” The Apple ““Genius”” was still on my side and all I could do now was wait. After an hour he came back saying that the Old Orchard Apple retail store was going to order my new Powerbook and all I needed to do was come in and exchange my old Powerbook as soon as the new one arrives. I finally got the help I needed not because of Apple but because of this one understanding Genius.

    Epilogue:

    My new Powerbook was ordered and received. It is working fine – the glitch is gone. Much as I am enjoying my Apple, the shine is gone for me from the Apple company. This entire experience did not need to occur. Apple has done many wonderful things and Apple Stores, in general, are helpful places. The disconnect between Apple On-Line and local retail Apple stores remains inexplicable and backwards to me. I hope that Apple fixes it.

    From,
    TM
     
  2. tyguy01234 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #2
    Absurd Separation of Powers at Apple Computer Inc.

    A letter of complaint I sent to Apple after a wonderfully "different" experience I had with Apple...

    [Note from moderator: Duplicate threads merged.]
     
  3. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #3
    Lets try using correct english and grammar first. ;)
    Yes the Apple policy SUCKS and it has had many people hesitate before deciding where to buy from. As if they were different companies.
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #4
    sucks but don't think apple is terrible now, i know that is hard but apple is know for its help! on problems

    that was long post :eek:

    i saw this post before when i was scrolling down


    wasteland here i come(one of them)
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Apparently there's also *an* absurd separation of forums here on MR. But nonetheless, please don't cross-post. ;)

    I feel for you, but it could have been worse.

    You could have gotten this! :eek: ;) :D

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #6
    The complaint letters that get taken most seriously in corporate HQs are the ones that are succinct (whole thing plus address/signature fits on single sheet) and spelled correctly (people do tend to have more respect for the writer's status, rightly or wrongly).

    I skimmed your letter above. It seems you got a dud and you now have a working one. The bit in the middle was too long-winded and badly formatted (no paragraphs to break up the text) that I just ignored it. It's probably also sitting on one side of Apple's Customer Service team's desk until someone feels up to deciphering it.
     
  7. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #7
    All spelling issues aside, the real problem here is that Apple Retail typically does little to assist you once they discover you purchased your Mac via the web store, if you bought any BTO beyond perhaps a RAM upgrade.
    Granted, it might be too challenging for Apple Retail to stock all the possible BTO upgrades across the entire Mac line-up, just so that they can fix you up on the spot. There's still no reason why they cannot handle the communication for you, though. It really is the least they can do. You go through the whole process, signing up for a Genius meeting, waiting around the store being tempted by all that Apple goodness, and you finally get to go through your issue, only to be told to take your Mac home and start all over with on-line or phone support. They should do better than that. They should start the RMA process right there, get the paperwork going, and send you home with a little confidence that your issue is being addressed, not getting passed around like a hot potato.
    At the very least, when you first sign in, they ought to check your serial number and see what you bought, so that you can be told to call Apple phone support before you waste an hour or so waiting for a Genius.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    No offense but this is far from a customer service horror story. Although it's not readily apparent it makes sense that the Apple Store couldn't exchange your Mac because they only carry stock systems and you ordered one custom built.

    Would it be nice if customer service always ran like a well oiled machine? Of course, but that's not realistic. Again, this really isn't that bad, IMO. A bit irritating yes, but nothing worth ranting about. Of course I'm probably a bit more forgiving because I've worked CS and I know what it's like to deal w/angry people 40hrs a week.


    Lethal
     
  9. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #9
    i think the local apple store's should be able to send it back to the main apple store you would think any way. hell look at the local gateway store's you can walk in and they will send it back to the main gateway store and give you a replacement.the guines bar should be able to do the same thing it is a apple store any thing you buy online at www.apple.com should be covered by any local apple store but it's not that's alitle screwie if you ask me
     
  10. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #10
    How can one expect a local retail Apple Store to replace a computer that was built-to-order? That would be the same if one special-ordered a car from the factory of an automobile manufacturer and then expected their local dealer to be able to replace it if it turns out to be a lemon.
     
  11. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    iowa
  12. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #12
    ok let's say you got a custom ford or what ever car in ohio. you go to california it breaks down say like a screwup in the way the ford was made you go to the ford dealer they can have it replaced there cause they have a connection to the manufacturer and have it replaced. but this is sorda the same deal but in computers and the appl guines bar should have the power to send it to the manufacture and have it replaced and a new one shipped to the customer
     
  13. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #13
    I've had very similar experiences with the Apple retail stores and the Apple online/phone store. Basically, the Apple retail locations are generally helpful, professional, courteous, and fast to solve any problems you may have. The Apple online store, while convenient to use, has awful support policies, clueless tech support people, and are generally aggravating to deal with.

    After several experiences like yours I have decided that I will not be purchasing anything from the online store, except for iPods (they are generally walk in, diagnose, and replace items, regardless of where you bought it). Getting the stock computer and upgrading it yourself is usually cheaper anyways, and the frustration level is definitely lower going to the Apple retail store.

    I just wish they would open one near me... the closest location is about 75 miles each way. :(
     
  14. ObsidianIce macrumors 6502

    ObsidianIce

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Seventh Circle of Hell
    #14
    The apple online store and apple retail stores are seperate divisions within the same company and for whatever reason Apple has not seen fit to make it so that they fully support each other. However that doesn't mean that they don't support each other. The Retail store should have actually created a tech support case for you in the system, that way you would not have had the runaround and have had to explain the issue to multiple reps. You could have referred to the case and i'm sure it would have been handled more quickly. I've had to deal with apple quite often and overall they truly are not that bad and some people just have bad experiences. also it seems that anyone has a problem with their machine they bristle at the thought of haveing to have it repaired instead of immediately replaced with a new machine. " For what i paid i should have a new machine not something that needs to be repaired." Just curious...anyone here bought a car from a dealership? Maybe had a problem with it? Do you storm into the dealership and demand a brand new car because the heater stopped working, or do you get it serviced...at no cost for to you i might add? sure if the machine is Doa or has a serious hardware defect then hell yeah it should be replaced, and i believe the apple sales and refund policy covers that...plus i bet that people here who have had serious problesms have had their machines replaced (within a reasonable window of time..6 months is a bit much). But back on topic..your letter was valid...even if badly in need of spellcheck, the seperation is a little bit absurd, but that seperation also is not as bad as you make it out to be...it only involves the returning/exchanging of configure to order machines...the store could have simply repaired and been done with it but it was new...again they screwed up by not setting you up with the necessary information for you to quickly be taken care of....and the multiple rep thing...well that just sucks outright. Apple definitely makes mistakes..every company does, and i'd say you're right to skewer them on this one but also gotta step back and look at the whole picture..and hey...sometimes s*** just happens ;) ...but anyways enough of my partially off topic rant i've got a future girlfriend to woo :D
     
  15. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #15
    As good as apple may be known for unfortunatly all companies are like this. My aunt bought a big screen sony tv from ABT (long story short), it came broken, didn't work. She called and nicely talked about the problem, they told her they were going to need to bring the tv to abt (keeping in mind this is a 50 screen big tv) and than they would sent if off for repair or smthn. My aunt chuckled and said, i dont think you understand, i recieved this tv just 5 hrs ago, and its not working, your techs hooked it up. Eventaully they gave her a new one..

    Like i said, all big corporations do this, they obviosly don't want to loose money. If they take it back and resell it as refurbished (they will loose 100-300 deal on the pb) so ofcourse they are advised to try and get it fixed first. But i'm glad you didn't fall for it, i don't care what they told me, i would not have not hung up or what not or not resolved it until they gave me a brand new pb. Only exception would be is if it stated anywhere that there can not be returns on customized items.. but if i was never notified of that, i would be extremly ticked.. :mad:

    Ppl bash bestbuy about selling their psp, but when i went to the apple store, i clearly demonstraed that i knew about the product and i just wanted to buy it. The salesman asks me if i wannted to buy a APP, i said no thank you, at this time i do not have 300 bux to spend on it and i will wait til the summer once i work and purchase it than. He proceeds to tell me that most ppl usually forget and that get screwed, i said i realize this but i do not have the money (and my parents were alreayd helping me pay half for the pb, so i didnt want to burden them with more costs) i already planed on how to pay for it all months before i got it. He continued to try and hassle me for the app (implying i was stupid for not buying it). I know that apple sales does not get commision, but i thought maybe they each have a username so it does show what employee sells how much. Since i was buying 2k work of stuff (not alot, but still okay) i said okay thank u for ur time and gave the sell to som1 else. The other person was really nice and helped me. He asked me if i wanted the app and i explaned to him i didnt have the money (and he nicely stated) that i do have a year to get it (even tho i knew it) i said well thank you, and he gave me the purchase. :eek:

    IDK so as much as ppl will tell u how great a company is at CS and blah blah, a company is only there to make money man.. got to understand that!
     
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #16
    Keeps it short and to the point. [​IMG]

    Your post was too long, and rantish and tough to read -- so I gave up rather quickly.

    ---

    If this came across my desk, I'd ignore it -- or post a troublesome customer notification in their file.

    At a place like a car dealership, they may simply refuse you warranty service and tell you to go somewhere else.
     
  17. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #17
    always remember the world doesn't revolve around you.
     
  18. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #18
    Exactly. Build to order is ONLY, and has ALWAYS been ONLY online. You cannot criticize a company that doesn't have a factory in their retail store to put together a build-to-order machine. Sorry, you can't. Well, maybe you can, you jsut come off like a tool.

    When I was in Apple retail, I constantly had people come in, and the ones that were decent, civil people, I did my best to help out. The ones that raised there voices, made demands, or threatened me with things like "I'll never buy from Apple again" I would tell "Don't then. I could care less." Cos I don't.

    If you expect to walk into any company to get a built-to-order product at a retail location, your expectations are too high and you should be banned from ever going there again. seriously, why make the retail location a middle-man for your return?

    It's a piece of TECHNILOGICAL, MAN-MADE EQUIPMENT. IT WILL NOT BE PERFECT EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #19
    at least they could send it back to the main store i mean where do they get all there stuff from in the first place. they should have done what they eventualy done in the first place and the guines call apple and arange to have that done. a apple store is a apple store is a apple store.

    they all should help with any apple product no matter if its custom or not. by the sound of it gateway and dell has better support for there computers and electronic's than apple does with there computer's and electronic's.

    its just like some retard trying to take a dell laptop in the guines bar and try to have it serviced not posable. but an apple laptop going into a guines bar and not have any support cause its custom makes it like you took the dell laptop to the guines bar and makes the guy look stupid. if they wont mess with a custom peice they should send it back to have it replaed from the dealer

    and why make the retail location a middle-man for your return cause they deal in apple products and thats why they are there for is to deal with apple stuff and service if i pay 2000+ for a computer i better get support for it.and since It's a piece of TECHNILOGICAL, MAN-MADE EQUIPMENT. IT WILL NOT BE PERFECT EVERY SINGLE TIME thats what the guines bar is there for is to fix what ever is wrong with the customer's product and or send it back to get it replaced
     
  20. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
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    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #20

    Uh, no. Given that the Techs at an Apple rEtail Location have to go through extensive paperwork for RA's back to the manufacturing center, it's a LOT easier for the end user to send their own, BRAND NEW, BUILT TO ORDER, product back to Apple Online so that Apple Online can have another unit ready to be shipped out when it's returned.

    The Genius Bar gets their equipment from MANY different locations and it's all generally small-parts. They aren't there for someone to bring back a brand new piece of equipment that a customer can't even get in the store to replace the full unit. It cannot be done, and again, the RA procedure they have to go through is much different then what the end user would have to.

    It's smarter for the buyer as well, to get a WHOLE NEW MACHINE rather than just a replacement part.

    Now, say a month down the line the screen has problems, and you take it into the Genius bar, they will help you fix it. But out of the box is a different story. Just exchange the damn thing and be done with it, ya know?
     
  21. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #21

    thats what i said the guines bar should be able to send the laptop back to the manufacturer since it is a apple dealer and have apple send a new laptop to the bar or the person .its called good customer support if apple cant do a thing like that there support will never be top notch like there computers are. the dell and gateway dealers have better support than that but i dont like windows machine's any more. but id rather stick with apple with its subpar customer service and kick ass computer's. than a dell or gateway's good customer support and crap computers
     
  22. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #22
    It seems to me that people are far too concerned with the way things should work. We can't ignore the fact that this is the way Apple retail does work, and it won't be changed anytime soon. I'm sure Apple would like to be able to have their customers exchange a made-to-order computer at the Apple store, but it's just not a viable option. It would be nice if every Apple store could work without this "seperation of powers," but in a similar vein it would be nice to ensure that all college graduates get a job immediately after they recieve their degree. It would be nice for everyone to have health care. Unfortunately, this is the real world. To quote Jagger, "you can't always get what you want." You have to put effort in to "get what you need", so to speak.

    As far as grammar goes, correct usage makes a difference, even in forums. People who command the language eloquently are more likely to be taken seriously because they come across as more mature and professional. As unfair as it may be, the grammar nazis will inherit the (white-collar) world.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #23
    I think, sadly, no one at Apple has time to read the letter, as they're all busy either celebrating increased marketshare, record profits, or a slew of exciting new products.... Sorry!
     
  24. rugonnaeatthat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #24
    You must have a hard time getting through life?

    I had a DOA first experience with Apple, and they replaced it straight away so I have only had good experiences with their policy. Your story sounds isolated but granted needs to be looked at.
     

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