My experience with Apple support

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bug, May 2, 2005.

  1. bug macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    As much as I have fallen in love with OS X and the design of Apple hardware, I think I will be switching back to PCs. I wish you all luck, but I have just had too many bad experiences to keep doing business with Apple.

    In our home, we have 6 Apple products. An iBook G3 900, an iBook G4, a 17 inch Powerbook G4 1.67, a 23 inch Cinema Display, a photo ipod, and a 40 gig ipod. Of these products, the iBook G3 has had to have the logic board replaced, the 40 gig iPod is being sent off for repairs right now (total failure), and my Powerbook will have to be serviced because it doesn’t function correctly when hooked up to an external display. All three of the laptops have the ‘wake from sleep’ issue that I have discussed here before. So that's 50% of the products needing service.

    That alone was not enough to turn me away, as I can accept that these items break down from time to time and maybe I was having bad luck. When my iBook had to have its logic board replaced, I went through London Drugs for repairs (as I ordered it through them) and they were very polite and fixed the problem in their own facilities in about a month.

    When I purchased my powerbook, I did so through the online store. I purchased the cinema display at the same time, and purchased an Apple Care protection plan for both.

    My first problem directly with Apple was when they sent me my developer package, which they left outside my front door (I live right beside a busy street in a major city). Granted, this was the fault of the shipping company. Apple did not offer any apology when I mentioned this to them, they just informed me that they would not accept any fault for it, although DHL did apologize. No big deal.

    Then I tried to enroll my Apple Care. I was unable to do so online, and was told to call to clear it up. When I called, I spoke to someone who was generally polite, but he said he could not enroll me because my postal code was invalid. I had to actually direct him to the Canadapost.ca website to prove that it was indeed my postal code (despite the fact that they delivered the computer to that address). He then said I would have to call back in a month so that they could clear this problem up. Ok, not a big deal – he was a nice guy and Apple had just made a mistake.

    So now I called back to try again. This time I was on hold for 45 minutes before being connected to someone who was immediately rude with me. I wasn’t immediately upset by either of these things as obviously they were very busy, and she had probably had a bad night. I explained to her that I had been having trouble enrolling my Applecare. She asked for my serial numbers, and then accused me of trying to enroll a display that was not purchased with the computer. I thought this was strange since I purchased the computer from them with the monitor, and had my order email, order number, and web order number to prove it. None of this was enough to prove that I was being honest though, and I was instructed that I would have to print off the order email from Apple and fax it in. I don’t have access to a fax machine, and so I asked why they could not just determine this from their records, or if I could just send the email to someone. She then became almost furious with me, and just kept saying that I would have to fax it in so they could consider my application. I don’t really see this as being fair, as I purchased the items from them, and when I purchased the apple care, I didn’t realize it would be treated as an ‘application’, I thought it was a sure thing.

    Well, by the end of the call she was being very condescending and rude. I may be paranoid, but I could hear her frantically typing near the end of the call and I can’t help but think she was labeling me as a ‘difficult’ customer, even though I was just trying to understand why I would have to fax them their own information to prove I wasn’t lying to them, and I didn't once raise my voice or say anything rude.

    I love apple products, and was just about to purchase a powermac to replace my desktop, but now I don’t think that would be wise for me. I doubt Microsoft would be a pleasant company to deal with either, but at least I would have the choice to deal with others. I used to deal with IBM and found them to be excellent.

    Anyway, I’m sad now because I have advocated Apple so heavily for the last two years since I got my iBook, but it seems now that it really was all too good to be true.
     
  2. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #2
    I'm reminded of Elaine being labeled a "difficult" patient on Seinfeld. Sorry--the image just struck me as funny. Your experience does not--sounds VERY frustrating!!

    Some things to think about though:

    * It sounds like the problems you've had came from a variety of very different sources--bad luck rather than a repeated trend of the same issue. Mistakes by the shipper, errors in some list of postal codes, you name it. (And I wonder if the wake from sleep issues may have been software all along--still Apple's problem to fix via an update, but maybe not hardware? I know there was such a bug in OS X at one time.)

    * The real rudeness (inexcusable!) came from one person. She doesn't represent the Mac OS platform as a whole. I hope you find a way to report her because it doesn't sound like she ought to keep her job.

    * Switching to Windows, even if customer service on that side is fantastic, has OTHER prices that you will have to pay.

    * But customer service from other companies isn't actually better: large-scale, repeated surveys from Consumer Reports show Apple to be THE single best computer maker in terms of both support and hardware reliablity. Not only overall, but when looking at just laptops or just desktops. Apple stands out form the crowd--which again makes your experience more sound like really bad luck.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=1261805
    (I know my own experience with Apple support has been excellent--vs. utterly miserable experiences with eMachines.)

    None of which helps what has already happened to you! Very frustrating for sure. Just decide carefully so you don't end up creating an even WORSE experience for yourself.

    Also, I'm guessing that Apple's excellent track record refers to US customers--and so I don't know how much Consumer Reports' findings apply to Canada and other countries. Some countries have better Apple teams than others, it seems.

    Good luck whatever platform you decide for your future. Hope you stay with us and see where OS X and the PowerPC are going :)
     
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #3
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been having problems with Apple service. My only advice is to keep trying, and talk to a manager and explain the problem(s) you've had.

    I recently bought a PowerMac, and it turned out it was old stock that had originally been ordered as a BTO order (more RAM was the only difference) and had never been picked up. That meant that the purchase date was on file with Apple as being about 6 months before I bought it. Additionally, iLife '05 wasn't on it and the "up to date" program expired about a week before my purchase. I called Apple to get everything resolved, and while it took a while, they were always very friendly, got the purchase date changed, and sent me iLife '05 free (didn't charge the $20 "shipping") and I received it 2 days after the support call. I'm sure it doesn't make you feel any better in your situation, but my experience with Apple support was entirely positive.
     
  4. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    Thanks guys!

    Yeah, I agree - Apple has very high ratings for customer service, so maybe I shouldn't give up and maybe I've just had some bad luck. When I say I may leave apple, I'm not going to sell all my hardware - I love my hardware. Really I'm just at a cross roads where I need a new desktop for Cubase SX3, and I have to make a decision between getting a new Powermac or upgrading my PC. I would prefer the Powermac - don't get me wrong - OS X is divine and the thought of using XP for my serious applications again is frightening.

    I had just gotten off the phone when I posted, so it probably wasn't the best time - but really - it shouldn't be this hard for me to register my Applecare!

    I'll hang in there - it isn't really that I feel that I get better support in the PC world, but I build my own PCs, so I never have to deal with customer service. I install the part, if it is DOA I swap it the next day, otherwise its my problem (but the hardware never seems to flake out after the fact). Part of it is that my expectations are higher with Apple - if a PC laptop didn't wake from sleep I'd just think, "oh well, that's XP being lame again", reboot, and forget about it ;)

    Has anyone else had these kind of problems with just getting their applecare set up? So far I've invested much more time that I think a warranty registration is worth. Does anyone have any advice for trying to file a complaint or talk to someone who will want to get this worked out? I feel like there is no recourse for anything when dealing with Apple - it would help if there was an Apple store here in Vancouver so that I could talk to someone face to face.

    :(
     
  5. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    On the brighter side...

    ...the wake from sleep problem I had been having hasn't happened on any of our laptops since 10.3.9 :)

    (I've been fooled with false hopes before about this though!)
     
  6. speedballs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    SLC Utah
    #6
    Well you could always call up apple, complain about all that and see if you get some free **** for it. You may be pleasently surprised, when people complain companies reply REALLY fast. I complained to hotmail about their damn webmail service not working, they took over a business day which was posted on their site and so I got some hand written email, it felt good to get some special service given to me. Anyways, all companies have their problems. PC's, with my experiences, seem to have more than their fare share while macs, though not perfect, are the far better choice in consitancy.
     
  7. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Haha - yeah, really I don't care about getting anything extra - I just want all my computers to work properly and to be treated respectfully on the phone. ...it would also be nice if Apple had their online store together enough that I didn't have to fax them their own emails. Its kinda funny because really, its an email - I could put whatever I wanted on there! I don't really see how it is proof of anything.
     
  8. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #8
    To complain, ask for a supervisor when you call. It helps you be taken seriously. (So does being professional yourself--which you clearly were from start to finish.) If you don't have the name of the woman, the date/time of your call is plenty since they have a record of your issue I'm sure.

    My own AppleCare experience: I didn't "apply" until the VERY last day, and I had lost my proof of purchase! They bent all kinds of rules for me and it was completely painless. They did a lot of running around on their end so I didn't have to on mine. I was very satisfied.

    Same with phone tech support and repair issues.
     
  9. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Well, its good to hear about your experience. It seems strange to me that you got yours with no proof of purchase, but I am being asked to fax in an email sent to me from them even though I have given them the order and web order number. It seems like they are completely unwilling to lift a finger to help me out - in theory she should have been able to just forward off my order numbers to have this sorted out. I suppose it may just be one lazy employee. I just hope she doesn't end up giving me a bad rap! (yeah, total Seinfeld paranoia)

    I'll just follow her instructions, give the next person I talk to the benefit of the doubt and see how it works out. I have a hesitation about asking for a manager. I used to work somewhere (which out of fear I will not disclose) where it was standard policy on the helpdesk to just forward someone to the person next to you if they asked for a manager and have them tell you exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, knowing that some places work like this has given me a very jaded and helpless feeling when dealing with large companies.

    Since we are talking about customer service - I have to give kudos to BenQ. I have a BenQ projector that got some dust caught in the light path - BenQ didn't even question my diagnosis and sent me a brand new projector and only asked that I use the box the new one came in to send mine off - they even arranged for someone to pick it up. Now that is service! They were also very nice to me the whole time.
     
  10. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    ...thought I'd update this

    I eventually, after much telephoning, managed to get Apple to admit that I did in fact purchase Apple Care and that it does apply to my monitor as well (since I ordered it all from them on the very same order from their online store. See previous posts). ...but, here I am over two months later still without my AppleCare. They don't deny that I deserve it now, and they claim to have mailed it months ago, but here I am still with no AppleCare.

    ...mean-while, my replacement BenQ projector bit the dust, and as soon as I called - without even asking - they offered to send me the next model up on the same terms (I send mine back AFTER I receive the new one). While this may not bode well for the quality of the projector, their customer service has been exceptional and has blown Apple's away by a large margin.
     
  11. MacVM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #11
    My experience with Apple support has been pretty good so far. I recently made my first Mac purchase and found out that the Apple store had gotten the inscription wrong on my ipod. I immediately called them as soon as the Apple phone lines opened the following day. I spoke to a representative and i was told that it was all taken care of. I called back later in the day to see if the change had taken effect because it hadn't shown up on my order status on the website. I was told it hadn't and they had to put in another change request. When I called the day (24 hours) after to tell them that it still hadn't taken effect, they had to do it once again. When I checked back later in the day, my order status had a new inscription, but it was STILL wrong (they'd left my name off)! I was getting pretty frustrated by this time. I called back again this morning and when I told them, they put in yet another request. When I called back this evening to check to see if my engraving was finally correct, I was told that it was still incorrect. When I told them what it was supposed to be, I was told it was too long. I told them that that was impossible because on the website, it was allowed and the 1st line was just one character shy of 27. Long story, semi-short, they said I could get a new ipod with the new inscription and send back the one with the wrong engraving, or I could get a $50 credit. I figured, "Why not? I guess it's not too big of a deal if I get $50 out of it." Do you think this was a good choice? I think I could have asked for more, but I was afraid of being too troublesome and greedy...Darn conscience!
     
  12. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #12
    I once switched out of frustration... and now I'm back haha. Just can't stay away.
     
  13. bug thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #13
    I just thought I'd post an update and mention that I STILL have not received my applecare. Its been since about March now that I've been trying. They have given me the applecare number and all, but I have not received my documentation in the mail, and they claim they've mailed it out about 10 times.

    Its really funny (at this point all I can do is laugh) - every time I email them I tell them my address to make sure they are sending it to the correct place and every once in a while they send me an email saying:
    We have sent out your apple care to this address:
    XXXXX
    Please accept our appologies for the delay.

    ...but the address they send it to is wrong! ...and then I send them an email correcting the situation, they acknowledge the new address, apologize again, and then send it out to the wrong address again. Its like they aren't performing a database commit after updating my address each time!

    Arg. After my current round I'll post my whole interaction with apple if they don't figure it out and mail my Applecare to the correct address. I've kept most of the correspondance (there may be a few missing), and it reads like a comedy.

    The most recent chapter in the comedy is that I got a call from Apple sales to convince me to get applecare for my powermac (which I probably will if I sort out this current issue) - so I told the lady who called me my story and said if she can get me my applecare for my powerbook, then I'll buy it for my powermac. She seemed very willing to help, but I haven't heard back from her in a week now.
     
  14. solidbreakz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    SF
    #14
    same thing happened to me. Only difference...


    I called AppleCare EACH and EVERY day at the same hour for over 6 days. Guess what....they just auto enrolled my PMG5 and ACD
    They now do a thing call AppleCare "auto-enroll" where you receive no box to register the products yourself... theyre register by Apple upon shipment.

    It's a thought..

    Remember, 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil.'' Squeak loud and long enough and you WILL get waht you want.

    Half a year for proper service response is criminal in my book. Good luck.
     

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