Apple Sales Support--Not what it used to be

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ChiSouthernGirl, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. ChiSouthernGirl macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #1
    I am an Apple fangirl. I bought my first MBP in 2008. Despite the fact that it died because Apple didn't warn about an issue with installing new OS, I bought a mid-2012 MBPr 15" and have been mostly happy with it. I also am on my second iPad, fourth or fifth iPhone, and I have an Apple Watch and Apple TV. Also previously had Apple Extreme and iPods. Hubby has iPhone, iPad, iPod.

    One of the reasons why I've paid the premium for Apple products is because I felt they were superior in build quality. I like the continuity and connectivity across my Apple devices. Most of all, I've been impressed, in the past, with Apple support.

    That is why I did not hesitate to order a refurb MBPtb 15" from the Apple.com store last week. It arrived on Monday. I was busy restoring my backups, moving files, and installed skins I purchased from ICarbons (same ones that are still on my 5 year-old MBP)...before I got down and dirty with using my new baby.

    I hate it. The keyboard is absolutely unusable for me. The space bar especially is so bad, I cannot type. I am a writer. That's what I do. I type. I knew there were some keyboard issues with this model, but I assumed (yeah, I know, bad idea) that a refurb model would have had this fixed. Not. So, when I contacted support today, they offered not a single suggestion other than to return the machine. They didn't offer any exchange, upgrade, fix ideas, nada. For over $3K, you'd think that Apple might have put the least amount of effort into trying to make me happy. Nope. Nothing. They apologized for the inconvenience.

    If this is the direction that Apple is taking, they will lose much more than just my five devices and hubby's three. My future purchases will be directed toward other manufacturers and I will go away, sad that I no longer matter to a company that I've spent a lot of money with.

    I'm surprised. I read about the mass replacement of mid-2012 MBPr's recently, and I was so impressed that Apple still went the extra mile for its customers. Apparently that was a fluke.

    Tread carefully, if you buy a new MBP. I am so disappointed.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Respectfully, I really don't think you understand what sales support is. You hated the keyboard on the new MBP and they offered to return/refund your machine.

    But instead you were expecting... upgrade? Upgrade to what? Exchange? Not sure what that would entail, seeing as your dislike comes from a fundamental part of the design. Maybe they should have made a custom MBP for you with a different keyboard? Again, unsure what you were really anticipating they'd do.

    You bought a product, it didn't suit your needs or wants, so Apple returned it without any quarrels. If anything, that's great sales support. You need to learn the distinction between a product you personally don't like and aftercare support.
     
  3. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #3
    I agree with keysofanxiety - they apologized and offered (cheerfully?) to refund your purchase, in full. I don't think the way the new keyboard functions (less travel) is considered by Apple to be a flaw, and certainly not something that can be repaired. Were you able to try typing on this MBP before purchase? With the refund, if you so choose, you could get an older model, with a legacy keyboard.
     
  4. ChiSouthernGirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #4
    "Respectfully," keysofanxiety....that's so funny from you! Nothing respectful about your response. Just snarky.

    I guess I expect too much. Do I need a custom keyboard if I require a spacebar that works? The other keys are fine, as always, you get used to them. The spacebar on this machine is almost completely non-responsive. That's a flaw, not a design; it can't be. Maybe I'm just way too fast of a typist for these new keyboards. I type well over 120 wpm, but not on this machine. Is this fundamentally different from every other keyboard out there? By the way, I've been typing on many different keyboards for decades and never experienced this lack of response on a spacebar on any of them, at least none that were "designed" to work when pressed or weren't defective. Somehow I've managed to adapt as machines changed, dinosaur that I am, until now, after my almost $3500 investment on this latest and greatest Apple device.

    You're absolutely right. Apple did exactly as the sales policy explicitly stated, refunded my money within the allotted time. (Not especially cheerfully, and although I was frustrated, I was not rude.) However...

    Support did NOT acknowledge that there was any reported issues with the keyboards, despite the dozens of posts I have read (after buying) on this site and others. In fact, he told me it worked EXACTLY the same as the one on my mid-2012 MBP, which is not true. You said so yourself. Unless lots of people on this site and others are making stuff up, and Apple is too, the keyboard was designed to work differently. Got it. It's happened to me EVERY time I got a new machine since 1984. (You can imagine how difficult it was for me to make the transition from DOS to Windows to OS without having everything catered for my own needs. How I was capable of doing that without requiring custom machines is truly a testament to my brilliance. <Snark>) The point is, over the course of 30+ years, I managed to type on different machines in different operating environments without much trouble. This one just doesn't work. I wasn't expecting a free upgrade (it was just an option that came to mind based on how Apple handled the recent mid-2012 MBPr battery issue), just an acknowledgement that there is a problem instead of blowing smoke. Perhaps an offer to exchange it for something else. Make a recommendation. "Why not try a 2015 model?" or "Perhaps you should consider a 2017 model that has not experienced keyboard issues." Something. Not just a, "tough luck, send it back," response. For me, I don't know if I simply got a bad machine or, if as you say, it's designed this way. I appreciate honesty and some degree of effort. I don't feel like I got either.

    If this keyboard is so great, why are there so many reported complaints? Why are they being repaired? Do you honestly think that Apple is unaware that the keyboards are a problem? It's costing them money to have me ship this machine back, but they were completely uninterested in knowing exactly what my problem was. That's foolish on their part. I have thousands of dollars invested in my Apple ecosystem, software, etc., and I need a new computer. If a non-functioning spacebar is truly the "design" of these new machines, I am truly screwed. And there are no 2015 models available for me, at least not from Apple. Because there was no effort to "troubleshoot" this with me, I don't know whether I should look at the 2017 models, the 2015 models from a reseller, or abandon Apple altogether.

    In college, I worked in retail. It involved tons of customer service. In my IT career, I've worked in both hardware and software support, both pre and post-sales. I'm from the lost generation that believed in finding out why a customer was unhappy and figuring out not only what could be done to make them happy (within reason, of course), but also working on preventing the problem from happening to others, thus saving the company money and ultimately preserving (and maybe even improving) the company's reputation and goodwill with customers, which in turn promotes sales and profits. So much today has a throwaway mentality, not only in product quality but also in service. Apple still makes a good product, and for now, it's better than most others. But not as much better as it used to be. Coupled with the keyboard issue, the bleeding-edge Thunderbolt port issue (which I acknowledged ahead of time and accepted enough to purchase this machine), the lack of power extension cord, and other quality control issues, Apple has betrayed or at the very least damaged the trust of many loyal customers. There are hundreds of posts on this forum that support the fact that others share this sentiment. By the time Apple realizes that their lack of concern about these issues has cost them money, it will be too late to get those customers back. Or maybe they'll be content to continue a strict adherence to their stellar customer service policy that doesn't actually troubleshoot problems, just issues a refund without giving a rat's behind why you're unhappy and just end up with customers who are willing to put up with flaws masquerading as "design." (Ooh, that's snarky!! So sorry/not sorry.)

    My original post was not insulting to anyone. It was merely a reflection of my concern over my experience and a warning to others. In my opinion, Apple just saying, "Return it" without probing the problem or making a suggestion is not, in fact, a reflection of superior post-sales support. They met the minimum, nothing more. There was no need for you to be sarcastic in your response, keysofanxiety. There is an old saying. "If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all." Sage advice. If you don't have anything to add but a condescending comment, save it. You're not, as they also say, "winning friends and influencing people."

    Let the flaming begin.
     
  5. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #5
    I think it just ended. :rolleyes:

    The new MBP keyboard is what it is. You, yourself acknowledge that you've read dozens of posts about it.

    Why should Apple waste your time pretending that there's some solution to the fact that it doesn't meet your needs?
     
  6. ChiSouthernGirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #6
    I don't think you read any of what I wrote. I don't know if my unit is defective in manufacture or design. My husband has a 13" MBPtb and it's fine. He has issues with the space bar on my unit, too. Unless the 15" models' keyboards are vastly different, mine is bad. I read about the keyboard problems after I experienced issues. If Apple had tried to find out what my problem was instead of just telling me to send it back, I might know one way or the other if it's defective (which apparently, as I said, is common as stated by many forum users) or a design issue. My post pertained to this, the lack of customer service, as opposed to the keyboard issue itself. Apple didn't waste its time, not the other way around. I would have been happy to discuss it further.

    I can't imagine I'm unique in wanting a functioning space bar. That would meet my needs.

    Again, very insightful response. Thanks. Do you work in customer service?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2017 ---
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mbp-keyboard-is-a-total-fail.2064226/page-2#post-24951740

    Apple has admitted its a problem.
     
  7. SaSaSushi, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #7
    Exactly. What is it you would have them do above and beyond giving you a refund? If the CSR was rude with you, didn't offer you any solutions or didn't apologize for your inconvenience I could understand your complaint.

    The new MBP keyboard is not defective. It is just a vastly inferior design to those of past models.
     
  8. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    Agreed. If it's a case of you feeling slighted or that Apple owes you something, well you can forget about that. They - and every other manufacturer out there - don't.

    Coincidentally, I'm curious which brand you're going to switch to that you consider to be on par or better than Apple in terms of hardware design, OS and customer service. I for one would love to know one - my gripes with Apple are very real but currently, I've been unable to find another brand that is better.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2017 ---
    Btw the 2017 model is better than the 2016 - but nowhere near as good as what we're used to with the 2014-2015 models...
     
  9. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    Thank you for this clarification. I'm just glad Apple hasn't made these changes to the Magic Keyboard yet and I hope they never will.
     
  10. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    Honestly, if I start disliking a product, I know the manufacturer won't cater to me. So I just put my money where my mouth is and vote with my wallet.

    I have not ever owned an Apple computer. Nor will I pay the price they are asking for what they offer.

    You can't please everyone, that's why different companies create different products... Usually.

    These newer cellphones are starting to all look the same.
     
  11. pixelatedscraps, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2017

    pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    Well, we just purchased a new set of the Magic Keyboard & Mouse and we all hate it in my office. It's very similar to the MBP 2017 keyboard...
     
  12. SaSaSushi, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #12
    The only similarity I see is maybe the appearance. My major complaint with the MBP keyboard is the butterfly keys they've switched to with terrible action. The Magic Keyboard with numeric pad still has the scissor keys of the previous Apple Wired Keyboard.
     
  13. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    I didn't know that about the scissor keys on the updated Magic Keyboard. Good to know but it still doesn't let Apple get away with the fact they no longer make some of the best keyboards anymore.

    And don't even get me started on how you charge the new Magic Mouse...

    IMG_5517.JPG
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    No arguments on the lightning port location of the Magic Mouse. Clearly this was a decision based on aesthetics but it's kludgy.
     
  15. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #15
    Chi... I sympathize. I have a 2012 as well, and when I tried the keyboard on the 2017, I wanted to run screaming out of the Apple store. Even the lady working with me admitted it was a terrible keyboard.

    My only suggestion (and I admit it isn't a great one) is to pick up an external keyboard- I have one of the USB ones (I wanted the 10 key) and it feels great, or you can grab the wireless. Of course, then it's a pain in the tush to carry around.

    Whatever happens, I hope you find an answer that makes you happy.

    I'll leave the snarking to others...
     
  16. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    #16
    People seem to be talking about 2 different things in here. It sounds to me like the OP does not have any issues with the rest of the keys on her keyboard, just the space bar.

    The rest of the people in here, and most of the posts I have seen elsewhere are about people disliking the butterfly keys altogether. Apple has probably received many of these complaints as well, which I'm guessing is why they suggested just returning the MBP.

    I think the OP needs to go somewhere that has the new MBP on display and try typing on it to see if they still have an issue with the spacebar, or if it is indeed just an issue with their refurbished unit. If it turns out to be just an issue with their refurbished unit then they may be able to have it repaired instead of returning it.
     
  17. ChiSouthernGirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #17
    Lol...now that's refreshing!

    As far as the external keyboard, I did think of doing that, but if I'm spending over $3K for a laptop, I just can't bring myself to do it, especially since I don't know if my issue is from a defect or a design flaw. Maybe a 2018 MBP will be better...I'm still not excited about contemplating a return to the Windows world.
     
  18. AidenL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Location:
    Ireland
    #18
    Oddly enough, I'm just in the middle of a very unsatisfactory attempt to repair a faulty iPad Pro, and having very little help from support staff myself.

    I do think Apple Customer service is disimproving of late.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    OP wrote:
    "I hate it. The keyboard is absolutely unusable for me. The space bar especially is so bad, I cannot type. I am a writer. That's what I do. I type."

    You are talking about a 2016 refurb MBPro, is this correct? (you didn't say)

    The keyboards on the 2016's and 2017's are SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGED from earlier models.
    They are quite different.
    They aren't to everyone's tastes (they were NOT to my own taste).
    I didn't like the new keyboard.
    Right off the bat, I made more mistakes trying to type on it.

    That's why -- when I compared the 2015 MBPro vis-a-vis the 2016 MBPro at the local BestBuy -- I chose the older 2015 model. I wanted a usable keyboard.

    As SaSaSushi wrote above:
    "The new MBP keyboard is what it is."

    If you have a MacBook Pro with the newer keyboard, and you don't like it, you have these choices:
    1. Get used to the new keyboard
    or
    2. Return it and get a refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro.
    or
    3. Return it and get some other laptop.

    That's about it.

    You wrote in reply 6 above:
    "I can't imagine I'm unique in wanting a functioning space bar. That would meet my needs."

    See choices 1, 2, and 3 above.

    This isn't a "customer service" problem.
    Apple's customer service cannot change the keyboard design.

    If you still have the option to return the MBPro, I suggest you do, and then try a 2015 refurbished model. You'll probably be happier.
     
  20. Saturn007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    #20
    Whatever happened with this?!

    What year MacBook Pro was it?! 2017 has a much better keyboard than 2016. If the only real issue is a malfunctioning space bar, return it and get your money back, or, as it is still under warranty, ask them to repair it.

    If I were in your shoes, I would have returned it and bought a 2017 model. Or, if the 2nd gen butterfly, low travel keyboard wasn't to your found a used or refurbished MBP 2015 off of eBay or locally that was still under Apple Care.

    Stick with Apple!

    Not be an apologist, but Apple has you covered! From the title, I expected a story that you had gone to an Apple Store to return a defective product and they had refused; or, that you had called Apple Care on an issue and they were rude and offered you no help; etc.

    For many, many years, Apple support has responded to what are design flaws with "first i've ever heard of that" even though, as you say, there may be hundreds of reports of issues, even on the Apple forums and in the tech press. It is frustrating. I've been lucky, however. When I've called Apple Support, I've received personalized help, trouble-shooting, even an acknowledgment from two different reps about "design" issues.

    It doesn't help you, but I've received amazing support from Apple Care and Apple support over the years -- at stores and via the phone. It could be that you got someone on an off day or someone not that as skilled at their job. You can always request a level 2 support person! Or, simply callback and talk to a different representative.

    Do you have examples of prior Apple support that were good from your perspective in contrast to this one?

    In any event, I posted to see what you ended up doing! Whatever Mac you get, I would strongly recommend getting Apple Care+ as the quality control does seem to have slipped over the years. Still good, but better to be safe than sorry!
     
  21. akadafni macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #21
    If it's a known issue acknowledged by Apple the support may have been able to do more. It's possible that after investigating your issue your window of opportunity to return/exchange the device could have expired. If 1 experience with support (doesn't sound too egregious) soured you on Apple products then maybe their not the company for you. Good luck!
     
  22. ChiSouthernGirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #22
    I returned this machine and received my refund. I'm a little gunshy about getting a 2017 so I'm on the hunt for a 2015 refurb. The Apple online store had one over the weekend but my credit hadn't been issued yet and I didn't have another $3k lying around so someone else snatched it up. Hopefully another one with my desired specs will show up.

    I had to call Apple again because I received an email stating that the contents of my return didn't match what they were expecting. (???) This time, I got someone who seemed genuinely concerned about my situation and in fact advised me not to get another 2016. He even sent me a coupon for my next purchase that will more than cover the cost of the stickers I hastily installed on my briefly owned 2016. So, this encounter was a marked improvement over the previous ones.

    I am using the app RefurbMe to find my "new" 2015 MBPr...fingers crossed it shows up soon. My mid-2012 is dying.
     
  23. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #23
    Good to hear that. Best of luck finding that 2015 MBP! (Hastily downloads that app to help with future purchases)
     
  24. ChiSouthernGirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    ChiSouthernGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #24
    I ordered one this morning...2.8gHz with 16 GB memory and 1TB SSD. It'll be here on the 20th. Can't wait.

    And, for the record, I had to deal with Apple Support due to a delay in getting the credit processed for my returned 2016 MBPtb (it takes 10 business days to fully credit the account and I was afraid the 2015 MBP would be gone by then)...and the young man I dealt with was extremely helpful and patient (we had to deal with Barclay's Customer Service on a three-way call, and they were fairly inept).

    Anyway, this was a much better experience with Apple Support than my initial one. Fingers crossed that the new (new to me) machine will work out. Now I just have to decide what to do about a new iPhone...decisions, decisions...
     

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