Apple pulls a Dell?!?!?!

Discussion in 'iPod' started by scubaj, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. scubaj macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007
    I was shocked! After much hemming and hawing over which way to go for future purchases, I convinced my wife we should get a Mac - the Mac is the only platform I don't really "know" - we need a laptop, and the budget is there. She always came up with excuses but finally, she agreed, and we ordered a Macbook Pro - C2D, and she got the iPod Nano using her school discount. $2500 into debt, we are actually excited...she has been wanting an iPod for a long time and I've been begging for a laptop.

    To make a long story short, the iPod shipped first and we received it today. After about an hour of trying to connect it and make it sync myself I had performed countless softwre uninstalls/reinstalls, and 1418 errors, I googled results and reinstalled USB drivers, then tried restoring the device, all to no avail. Being in IT, I do not like giving up, but I am new to this - let's see that stellar name of Apple deliver.

    So I call Customer Service. Another 4 hours of dropped phone calls, (no callbacks) and one agonizingly long final call with a qualified tech, his supervisor and billing, here's what happened: We performed troubleshooting on multiple USB ports, at least 5 installs and reconnects (on multiple computers), and no resolution or restore works. The Apple tech declares it DOA and says he's going to ship me a box to return the iPod. Great, I say, so when the replacement and return box should get here when? He says, "No, just a box...after we get it back, and verify it doesn't work, we'll send a replacement out. So, 5 hours of troubleshooting, 4 disconnected calls, and now I have to wait another two weeks to get a measly $200 piece of peripheral? Um, no...

    I ask for the supervisor who confirms. Apparently Apple RMA's don't send you replacements on a verified bad system (even though they already have your money). This is very much unlike the rest of the industry, everyone I have ever dealt with from Dell to IBM, to HP, to Sony, CDW, Newegg, Crucial, and all others in between, replacements are sent with instructions to return the bad one in the packaging with their apologies. Not Apple...they want to delay things a little longer...just to be sure.

    Yeah Apple, that's my scam. I sit on the phone for 5 hours trying to get a $200 DOA iPod to work in hopes you'll just let me keep it and send a replacement. In 5 hours I could have done my blog posts, checked my web maintenance, hit my photo sites, spent some quality time with my wife, played with my dog, watched some evening television and be in bed now. There is a reason I am leaving Dell - crappy customer service.

    Apple has long been lauded as having superior equipment, superior service, and superiority complexes. Having thought I'd "seen the light" on why they feel superior, I convinced myself and my wife to buy into it. Now, all that's left is a series of rude, untrained, half-literate telephone calls, missed family time, and an entire evening lost due to the "It just works" company showing its true colors as just another multi-million dollar business with no interest beyond taking your money.

    The iPod is being returned and the MBP has been canceled. At least with Dell I know where I stand...
  2. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    So, basicly they want the iPod back first, then they ship a replacement?

    That seems logical! Someone would pay you for that iPod, this way they can fix it, and resell it
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Some people have had luck in swapping getting Apple to swap DOAs at the AppleStore.

    These days, using a credit card for a transshipment is normal -- since a lot of people fail to return the equipment.
  4. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    The repairs I've done this way were way faster than you're imagining. I've gotten the box the very next day, sent it in, and had it back two days after that.
  5. grafikat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2003
    I'm sorry you got a can happen, and I'm sorry it happened to a switcher.

    However, an iPod is not a high dollar piece of equipment. So, perhaps the customer service is reserved for the high dollar equipment.

    As a customer of apple's for 18 years, I've always had great service. Sorry you've had such a problem. That being said, I bet dell would have you send back equipment before you got a replacement, too.
  6. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Boo friggin' hoo.

    So I guess we won't see you around here anymore then, yes? You will be missed. ;)

    I'm glad you registered today to tell us this. :rolleyes: Troll.
  7. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    True, seems him came here to complain, not seek help.

    So sad!

    To bad!
  8. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    Wow, you guys are so quick to defend Apple. Maybe, just maybe, (and god forbid) the jobsian empire didn't do something right?

    I like apple as much as the next guy and my 2007 year total spent at the Apple store has crept past $10,000 but customer service is not something that they really have going for them. IBM's business support (what I have on my thinkpad) is about five-hundred-bajillion and three times better then "applecare"

    The guys in my store are fantastic because they know I spend so much and everybody knows me by name (and I have personal friends who work there) so they're always happy to do an instore swap or waive return fees, but when I have to deal with the phone jackasses I always end up peeved.
  9. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    No, Apple did for him the same thing they did to me, and everyone else.
    And it was the right thing to do.
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Yeah I have learned here that most of the people are mindless drones when it comes to apple. They think anything apple does is the best way to do it and going against is a wrong and they will attack you for it. There is a reason people made joke like iCrap and i**** because you know it is true. Apple could take a pile of dog crap paint it white and then sell it for a lot of money and then people would claim left and right it is the greatest thing on earth.

    As for apple RMA process it kind messed up there. Now I can understand if apple was not willing to send you a replacement with out you putting down a $200 deposit on it first. they would refund the $200 after DOA one was returned to them. That is pretty standard. It was the offer I was given from newegg when my mobo friend. I took that offer.
    LG offer me the same deal when I had to replace my monitor under warranty. I choose to ship mine back first and then have them ship me a new one. That one took I want to say about 2 weeks between when I called for it and then receive the new monitor.

    I support companies requiring a you to "pay" for the replacement unit because it is an expensive piece of hardware and they do not want you to scam them. They will credit your account with in a day or 2 of getting the DOA unit returned. The 2 days gives them time to log it in and then check it.

    Now I think it is crap that it would take apple 2 weeks to deal with an DOA unit.
  11. Black Belt macrumors 6502a

    Black Belt

    Jun 15, 2007
    Ignore the Jobs Nipple Suckers, you are right, that is bad service. When I've had a problem with other tech companies, and it was verified on the phone, the standard reply is to take your CC, ship a replacement and you have a week or two to ship back the other one or they charge you for the dupe. Fair and simple. The waiting game you are being subjected to is asinine.
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002

    At one point he talks about how Dell is good then how Dell has bad customer support.

    1st post. Suspect.
  13. iMacBook macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2007
    Down by the bay.
    Where you using that iPod on the MBP or on a Windows computer?

    If its the second one, then you make a HUGE mistake getting your money back as anything works with Macs.
  14. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I had a bad experience with a first generation iPod and needed to have it replaced. The replacement process was flawless.

    What people are forgetting here is the speed in which the entire Apple replacement process happens.

    I was on the phone with Apple on Thursday, received the empty box on Friday morning, sent out the box again on Friday morning and received the new iPod on Monday morning.

    And this process is happening from Canada. The empty box came from the Canadian office in Markham but the new iPod was shipped from California.

    So, basically, in 3 business days, I had a new iPod.

    I've dealt with other companies that sent me a replacement product first and it took over a week to show up.
  15. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    What ever happened to 2nd chances? I understand your expectations were high and apple obviously dropped the ball on this one, but i can tell you that the 3 times i've had problems...all fixed within 4 business days (and that was just 1 at 4 days..the other 2 were done within 2 days).
  16. scubaj thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Hardly a troll - I don't do stuff like that...of course I can't expect you to know that, and on first glance, I can see why you would think that. Actually, I was posting this in my photo forums that I visit regularly and realized I was barking up the wrong tree there. On those forums I do know several from B&H monitor and resolve issues when they come up, so...I registered and made my complaint known here's called calling out bad service, which does seem to have struck the requisite chord here. Figured at least this way, perhaps Apple monitors and tries to right things that were done wrong.

    Resolution is quite easy as I would still love to own a MBP - but not at the expense of my principles. I can understand wanting to get the damn ipod back, and also agree it's not a high dollar item, but RMA's just don't work like that. You sell a bad product, replace it with another, and if the defective product isn't returned in the provided packaging, add a charge for the second item. They're $ if I don't return the bad one within 2 weeks, I am seeing a charge of 2x$200 on my card. Not rocket science. Newegg does it all the time, B&H does it all the time, IBM does it all the time, and yes...wait for it, Dell does it...all the time!

    As for seeking help, not really needing help in the technical sense...I already have exhausted the technical realm...but hopefully my above post illustrated that. Hell, okay, charge me for a second ipod but dont make me wait to get one sent until I return the first...just credit my account the amount when you do get it back. I have no problem there (Newegg does that actually...)

    Way off topic, but zap2, I love that avatar! Totally cool!

    As for the "Dell is good" statement, that was made in reference to their RMA items. Dell customer support sucks, and their product line leaves a lot to be desired (it does run Windows after all), but at least they have a decent RMA policy, and you can get a replacement sent immediately on a DOA item.
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The triumph of principles over common sense.

    Apple offers a procedure -- with free air shipping -- to get a replacement in approx 3 - 4 days (if other posters are accurate). This doesn't meet your expectations, and in retaliation you deny yourself the ownership of possibly the finest notebook machine in the world, and go with the second choice.

    Realize that you hurt yourself far more than you do Apple by taking this stand.
  18. scubaj thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Second chances are fine, but that's up to Apple to ask for one...I am making as many relevant communities aware as I can in hopes an Apple guy is out there somewhere that can make things right. The friggin supervisor I spoke to even said at one point "That's not my job..."

    I work for the DoD...the king of "not my job" mentalities, but in IT, that excuse just doesn't fly. Having worked also in Helpdesk environments, supervisors are supposed to be able to take ownership of an issue escalated to them and see it through to resolution with a follow-up phone call and/or email. It's called Terms of Service and Problem resolution. That, for me was the kicker. You've got an already frustrated customer, the last thing they want to hear is a supervisor saying "That's not my job."

    I do realize this, and if that had been said to me on the phone, I might have even capitulated, but no one offered any explanation as to why, nor offered to place so much as a pending charge on my card until the bad unit was returned...that's just lacking in basic customer service needs.

    Four steps:
    1. Determine problem (took 5 phone calls)
    2. Offer resolution (if able to) (again, 5 phone calls)
    3. Offer explanation (never six contacts!!!
    4. Close ticket

    Finally, as for second chances, I think I've already given them 6 chances, (4 dropped calls, one call through to determine DOA status, and one supervisor who said "not my job")...I'll even give them another I want a MBP so bad, but it's up to them to come to me now...
  19. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Did you even ask?

    I got my sister an iPod, and it didn't work. Well, Apple replaced it. No problems, they shipped out a box, I got it, put the iPod in, sent it off... I got it back, and my sister put it on my bed. I put in in her room, and the next day she asked me why I put an empty box in her bedroom. Apple replaced her iPod before she even realized that the empty box had arrived.

    I dunno, to me it just seems kind of silly to return a laptop because you didn't like the company's customer service... and I have no idea what you were telling them that made you call them over 10 times and spend over 5 hours (that's an average of 30 minutes per call!), but when my sister's iPod went bad, I spend about 75 minutes over 3 calls (including a dropped call, which was my fault), and that was for 2 replacement iPods.

    Forgive me for saying this, but perhaps you are a tad hot-headed. I think if you re-read your original forum post, you'll see that all you are doing is trying to troll, and not really looking for a resolution as much as just trying to bitch out Apple.

    There are many people who love apple, and I'm sure there are many Apple employees out there reading this who would be willing to help, but what do you expect? It's not like Apple is going to call you up and apologize because you don't like their corporate policies or anything...
  20. scubaj thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007
    I did original post "Okay, so how long before the replacement ipod/return box gets here". Answer: "Tuesday, but just a box, no ipod, we need that one back first..."

    That's my first issue...why would you send me an empty box when you could have the replacement ipod in it? I get my replacement quicker, and if I don't return it in time, you just made another Jobs says, boom, done.

    I don't think you understand...the laptop hasn't shipped to me yet...and what I was "telling them" was them having me repeat the same process over and over, unplug, stop itunes, restart itunes, stop windows, restart windows, one guy even had me re-install itunes and quicktime...this was all after I did it myself twice on each computer..

    I should also explain that after the first call was dropped, and I called back, I asked them to take down my number and call me back in case the call dropped again. They said they would and never did (3 times at that)...the major portion is about the quality of customer service (or lack thereof - one guy asked to put me on hold while he did a google search - why would I hold on the phone for him to do that when I am perfectly capable of the same, and w/out a phone stuck to my ear?!?!?!)

    Drop $2500 on two products where the first part fails and the second isn't even in hand yet, receive crappy support and you expect me to be happy and pleasant simply because I am entering Mac-land? Where's Grimace and my fries damnit!!?!?!?! LOL

    Not true, and I clarified that as well...trolling is inciting debate...and this isn't really up for debate as my position is clear. If an Apple employee is to read this, email me a resolution in keeping with the current marketplace practices and I will rescind the cancellation order and we're back in business. No discussion or debate required. "Boom. Done."

    I am not asking for an apology because I don't like a policy...again, it's about changing the policy. Even if it is standard practice for Apple doesn't make if a de facto gospel. Y'all need to understand that Apple isn't the Mecca you think it is...they can screw up (and did here, both in terms of customer service, and in general policy). All I am asking for is the service and support that the extra $$$ pay for in the Apple name...and as to the earlier comment made that customer service isn;t there for low end items but is for high end items...then we're all screwed, because that means Apple will only provide service for Adobe, AT&T and low end consumers who spend less than 10 Billion with them annually are nothing.
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Well, here is where you are trying to push a rope rather than pull on it.

    You're not going to get a corporation to change their policies for you just because you think they ought to offer service to your standard, not theirs. (Irrelevant whether some other companies do it your preferred way, most other companies insist on you returning the product at your expense. Advance exchange is not the norm*).

    "We will send you a box and pay for all shipping to replace your product within x days, which is our exchange policy"
    "No that's not good enough, I want the policy changed and I want you to authorize that now"
    " -- {stack overflow} -- we don't have a response for that request. We can send a box to replace your product within x days"

    *NewEgg: Cross-Ship does not cross-ship CPUs under any circumstance. All other items may be cross-shipped if the following criteria is met:
    1. The customer first agrees to purchase the replacement item.
    2. The same make/model item is in stock. Return shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the customer.
    ...• will not refund to Customer the original shipping charges."

    * Dell
    "When you contact us, we will issue a Return Material Authorization Number for you to include with your return. You must return the products to us in their original or equivalent packaging, prepay shipping charges, and insure the shipment or accept the risk if the product is lost or damaged in shipment. We will return the repaired or replacement products to you. "
  22. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I thought Apple's policy was to ship out the replacement prior to receiving the defective unit. :confused:

    Are iPods different?
  23. erummel macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2007
    York, United Kingdom
    It might be Apple's policy to not cross ship iPods because of the potential for abuse with them. Apple sells a whole lot more iPods than Macs.

    I've only had to deal with Apple concerning one issue, the exploding MBP battery problem. I'm originally from the US, but doing a PhD in England, so I called US Applecare first. They were polite, and told me I needed to contact UK Applecare, because they could not ship to a UK address. They even gave me the right phone number. Of course, since it was Saturday, the UK Applecare was closed (service in the UK lags significantly behind the US). I had to wait until Monday morning. I spoke with a nice gentleman who understood the problem and told me he was shipping a replacement. They would be enclosing a box and label to return the defective battery. My credit card would be charged the amount of the new battery, but once the defective one was returned, the charge would be removed. I received the battery the next day (Now that was fast!) and had UPS wait while I repackaged the defective one. I received an email from Apple the next day saying the defective battery had been received, and that the transaction was concluded. A week later, I noticed that the charge of £67 had still not been reversed. I called them back, and after 3-4 minutes of checking, the agent came back on the line, apologized profusely (and sincerely I believe) and told me that he had put a reverse through. He then made sure I had his name and extension so that if I didn't see my money back within 3 working days, I was to call him back. That is what I call taking ownership of a problem. My money was returned two days later.

    So, was my transaction perfect? Of course not. But Apple acted according to their policies, and even when they made a mistake, they owned up to it, and fixed it. That speaks to me of character. Most people don't care how Apple deals with the simple issues, but are more interested to see what happens when the issue becomes clouded. From my experience, Apple has acted in complete good faith, and with alacrity.

    For the original poster to come in here with an attitude like he has is ridiculous. I'm wondering who he thinks he is? The fact that he wants an Apple employee to somehow see his whining and then contact him to make this right is just plain stupid. Apple already offered to make things right. You weren't prepared to wait a few days for a replacement. You could have driven to an Apple store if you didn't want to wait. Then to cancel your MBP order because you didn't like Apple's service concerning your iPod. I don't think your principles are interfering in this case, I think it is simply lack of reasoning ability.

    I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but this was just too hard to resist....
  24. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Don't feed the troll.....

    But really if you start a thread with

    then finish the post with

    Are we to make the assumption that you bought a Dell? It kind of seems stupid and hypocritical.........
  25. w0ngbr4d macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Findlay, OH
    Just to add to others' experiences:

    My roommate at school had his iPod replaced twice in a 6 month period. Both times, an empty box was overnighted by DHL, and got to our apartment by noon. He packed it up, sent it off overnight again. MAYBE a day lag time, and the DHL drops off the new iPod. One time the replacement was dropped off on a Saturday. All the shipping was free. Last time I checked, overnight shipping was expensive, Saturday delievery even more so.

    Same thing happened with my girlfriends iPod. 3-4 day process at the most.

    Don't see what the problem is...especially with ~$50 in free shipping.

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