Apple.com service abysmal - help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ragnarwantsmbp, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. ragnarwantsmbp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #1
    I am a longtime PC user and recently decided to go Mac for my Digital Video workflow and editing needs. This plan was to start with my purchase of a new MBP, followed by a Mac Pro early in the new year.

    After some much appreciated advice from the good people contributing to these forums, and a bit of research of my own, I decided to purchase a refurbished 17", MacBook Pro (with the optional 1920X1200 HD display and 7200rpm 160Gb Hard Drive) from Apple.com/ca/. I was happy to save over $600 off the price as that could be used towards my saving for Final Cut Studio 2.

    When I purchased the MBP off the site, it said that the item would ship in 3-5 business days, and that the shipping would take an additional 3-5 business days. Considering I'd made my purchase online on August 25th, and taking into account the labor day weekend, that meant that my computer should be shipped sometime from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31st, and would be arriving on my doorstep somewhere between Sept. 4th and Sept. 10th. I was a bit surprised on Aug. 31st when I checked my order status through the website that it now said my book wasn't going to ship until Sept. 4th, so I called the 1-800 number and was comforted when told that the book definitely ship by then and that I was being upgrading to 2-3 day shipping for free. I checked my order status again on Sept. 5th and was shocked that the shipping dates had been changed again, and this time said that my book would ship by Sept. 10th, (the day my book would've arrived by worst case scenario if I was to believe the original shipping information I was given when purchasing). I called again and spoke to someone who told me that there was nothing they could do to speed up the shipping process as they have no contact whatsoever with the warehouse, that I'd simply have to wait for the item to ship, that it would ship by Sept 10th at the latest, and that I was being upgraded free of charge to overnight shipping. Seeing as I had an important meeting on Sept. 14th wherein I was planning on demonstrating for a prospective client my High Definition demo reel, I was pleased that, even with the delays, my book would arrive by Sept 11th at the latest (thanks to this free overnight shipping).

    Well, the MBP did not ship on the 10th, as I'd been promised it would...in fact it didn't ship until the 13th - 13 working days after I'd purchased it. And the free upgrade to overnight shipping I was promised turned out to be a pipe dream. Apple doesn't even provide overnight shipping to Canada, the good people at Fed-Ex told my so when I phoned them on the morning of the 14th. Turns out the the book went out on 2-3 day shipping and that I'll not be seeing it until the 17 - 18th of Sept... 24 days after I placed the order!

    Now, I understand that delays happen during shipping, it's a fact of life - but every time I spoke to someone at apple I was assured that though the dates of shipping had changed, that I could be certain it would indeed ship within those dates... until those dates came and went and I was given newer, more distant dates or false promises of free quicker shipping! If these people on the phones don't have any real information with which to verify their claims, then they shouldn't make promises that ultimately won't be kept. They might as well have just told me that they had no idea when the thing would ship (i.e. the truth).

    Having finally learned that apple's offer of overnight shipping wasn't followed through with I contacted them again, and was told that such was unfortunate, and offered a $50 rebate on my purchase for all the false information I'd been fed. The MBP was $2859 CDN before taxes ($3200 after). $50 is a 1.7% rebate - really, if you're interested in customer service than you should offer some sort of real compensation. A 1.7% rebate tells me that I'm just one of a million apple customers and that really apple couldn't care less that every piece of information that they'd given me turned out to be false. I don't even have my MBP yet and I'm already fed-up with apple. I was planning on buying applecare, but am now wondering if paying for this kind of service could possibly be worth it.

    I had been planning on dishing out $10 000 on Mac products over the next 6 months to get my business flying, but am now seriously considering just building myself a PC editing station for $4000 and pretending that none of this ever happened.

    Now, I want to send a letter or email to someone at apple with my complaint, (I'm through with the phone), but can't find a real outlet by which to do so.

    That was rather long-winded, for which I apologize. Any advice?
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    Refurbished machines are dependent on machines being repaired and refurbished. If the machine isn't ready, it can't be shipped.

    I don't believe that anyone is trying to keep you from meeting deadlines, it's just that things can go wrong and apparently did.

    Talk to them nicely and they should be helpful. If they're not helpful, talk to the supervisor. They have limits but obviously they can't do anything to help you with the 14th, in any case.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ragnarwantsmbp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #3
    Yes. Thank you for the reply. I realize that I'm a little riled-up right now and will likely forget about all of this the second I have the machine in hands. Really I just wish that they'd told me right off the hop that this shipping could take over 3 weeks (and not 6-10 days)... Sigh.

    At least the Packers won.
     
  4. theman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #4
    here's my experience:

    I recieved my MBP after waiting 10 business days for it to ship. I finally recieved it 3 weeks from the day i ordered it, and sure enough, it's got a terribly yellow defective screen. So I call up support. I tell the agent my screen is yellow and she says "oh, sure we have been seeing that. I can get you a replacement if you want." ok, sounds alright. She transfers me over to Sales. The sales guy says "Ok, you are here for a replacement. What is your Case #?" What? A case number? The first agent didn't give me one! Ok, so she puts me on hold for about 10 minutes, and connects me back the the support dept. This agent started asking me all these questions about it and was really skeptical of the problem. She had me take out the battery and hold the power button, and do all sorts of weird crap. Then she says, "ok, I think I may be able to offer a replacement, but I have to talk to someone first." So I am on hold for 15 minutes, and she comes back and says I can get a replacement. She transfers me to Sales again, and the guy enters the replacement into the system. He says I will be getting an email or phonecall with 24 hours with shipping instructions. I wait a day, and get no response from them. I call back and this agent keeps asking me if I want to purchase apple care or not. How does that help me? Finally she says she has to ask somebody about it and puts me on hold. I wait, and I wait. 90 minutes on hold, and the terrible music is driving me nuts. I hang up, and call back. This time I was a little bit forcefull with the agent. She says she has to speak with someone. 10 minutes later this guy is on the line from sales saying he is so sorry, and now I should definitely be getting the email. He says he is going to give me a courtesy call tomorrow to make sure it worked. So the next day, I get the email and send off my MBP. The guy calls me and asks if everything was ok, and I ask him how long it will take to get a replacement. He says, "well, just go to the Apple Store site and configure a new MBP and see how long it says it will take to ship." What??? I said, "you mean, it will take another 3 weeks to get the replacement?" "Yeah, probably something like that" he says. Are you serious, I already had to wait 3 weeks for them to send me a defective one, now I have to wait again? So I hang up and call support again and ask them. This woman assures me that it will ship as soon as they recieve mine at their warehouse. I tell her what this other guy says and she said he was mistaken. So I call support AGAIN to get a 3rd opinion. This person agrees with the FIRST guy, it will take 3 weeks! WHAT IS GOING ON?? Basically, nobody over there seems to have a clue, and I continuously see (from posts on these forums, and from my experience) that the people at apple like to make false promises about things just to get you to go away. Also, responses very widely depending on the person you talk to. Do they not have training? It was a terrible experience for a first time mac buyer.

    to sum it up, I feel for you man, I have no idea when my Mac is finally going to get here, and with my luck, it will probably also be defective.

    :apple:
     
  5. ragnarwantsmbp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #5
    Wow, so much of what you've said hits home. Oddly enough, I had heard so much about this yellow screen thing being a very common and prevalent problem, that I figured I might as well buy a refurbished MBP where that screen had likely already been replaced! And after 4 phone calls to Apple, I definitely agree that it feels like they'll tell you anything to appease you for the moment regardless of whether or not they actually have any evidence that what they're telling you is true. I am a first time mac buyer and this is a very disappointing glimpse into the macworld, and not at all what I'd been expecting.

    Ha! Like I said, I don't even have my MBP yet, and I'm already frustrated with false claims! If it arrives defective I'm going to give it back for a refund I think. What a way to turn off new customers. Thanks for the tale.

    Did I mention that the at least the Packers won?
     
  6. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #6
    Unfortunately, Apple outsources their phone support (as do most companies), and frequently there can be a serious disconnect between manufacturer and call center entities.

    Having worked in the call center business for five years (see: Wikipedia.org: Sony CISC), I can tell you for a fact that internal policies are subject to change, and where and how far you get frequently depend on the rep you talk to and the policies of the team he/she is a part of, the procedures in use by them, etc.

    What I would strongly encourage you to do is to go to a local Apple store, have a polite chat with their Store Manager (remember, he or she may be a representative of Apple, but they're not a part of your unfortunate situation) and see if they can put you in touch with someone who can actually fix the problem.

    PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT saying that the store or Store Manager it/themself can help you, but to simply use them as a means of direct access to someone within the actual Apple corporate chain of command who has the authority, autonomy, and intelligence to act to resolve the problem, as clearly you've reasonably exhausted all other over-the-phone options.
     
  7. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    #7
    When I ordered a PowerBook back in the day it arrived DOA (dead on arrival). I called support and was forced to try some silly things to get it to work and then they told me I could replace it. I was told point blank though that it would take another 3-5 weeks. That and a few other off hand comments by AppleCare reps got me worked up enough to cancel the order entirely (I was also getting this new product called an iPod which I wasn't sure would be any good at the time). This was my first Mac since having a IIe and after my last chat with the Apple Reps I figured my switch would be a miserable memory worth forgetting.

    However, I spoke to friend (the one who got me excited about Mac's in the first place) and he convinced me to make one last call and ask for a manager. He said just be polite and ask for a manager, if they try to help you just say "I'm sorry but I'd really like to speak to a manager." I did that and here I am today with many Mac's under my belt and having convinced many folks to switch like me. It didn't take a month to get my PowerBook, though it did take two weeks or so and they gave me a free laptop case and some other goodies. But the important part was that they were nice to me. No one I talked to on the phones up until the manager was helpful or even apologetic— I didn't want a personal apology, but just a half-hearted "we here at Apple are sorry things turned out so badly" and I got exactly that.

    So, what's the moral here? If you aren't being treated properly ask for a manager. You won't always need one —I haven't— but when you do they will make the crappiness disappear... as long as you are polite.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    This kind of thing is probably appropriate for the e-mail Steve Jobs line of action... someone at Apple corporate will read it. It's good for them to know about stories like this because, even if it had not been possible for them to get you a computer any sooner, and even if everyone in the chain of people with whom you spoke acted in good faith (both of which I think are fairly likely), Apple almost certainly does not want to be in the business of soothing customers with misinformation. In other words, CSRs should not be telling you that you are being upgraded to overnight shipping when this isn't possible or true.

    Overall, I guess I don't see the 13 days in itself as excessive, but they ought to have better fulfillment forecasting, and so they ought to have a better idea of what's in the pipeline. They don't even offer to sell refurbished units, as far as I know, unless those units are already in the pipeline (if that were not so, they'd offer them all the time and then ship as soon as they became available, instead of constantly updating their website with current offerings). Understanding that they may be selling the computer before it fully completed the refurb process in order to reduce inventory holding time, they still probably should be able to do better than what you saw. And more to the point, either give you useful information (i.e. true or likely to be true) or else tell you straightly that they are not able to provide information you want.
     
  9. ragnarwantsmbp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #9
    Well, I'm sitting here now in front of my 17" MBP and I am wowed and putting the whole shipping debacle behind me. This optional High-Def (1920X1200) screen is gorgeous! Thanks for all the advice!
     

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