Excellent Flat Rate Customer Service

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kylos, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #1
    My brother took his 2004 12" PowerBook to study at Oxford for a term. As soon as he got there, his display started blanking out on him (and during my testing and backup of his data, the hdd was stalling out after copying only a few files). Though the power adapter is able to handle UK power, I'm still placing the blame on the shoddy Brit power distribution system. :D

    Anyway, I took the PB to the Woodland Mall Apple Store in Grand Rapids, MI, and showed the genius the problems. The display kept going out and when we got the login screen to show up on an external monitor, we got a beachball when trying to login. The genius agreed that the logic board and hard drive would need to be replaced, and after looking it over, said that he felt it would be eligible for the $300 flat rate repair. I wasn't convinced, since it had a couple dents, missing keys from a previous diy repair, and a battery refurbished by a third party. I pointed this out, but said if he thought so, we'd go for it.

    Two days later, my brother has an almost brand new laptop for $322.60. They replaced:
    the hard drive and hard drive cable,
    logic board,
    display panel/assembly,
    battery,
    keyboard and top case (trackpad and palmrest).

    Other than the cd drive, and the inverter (and I'm not sure if that's not included in the display assembly), all components most likely to fail are brand new.

    When the genius told me they also reseated the Airport card, I said, "No, that has to be a mistake. I forgot to reinstall the Airport card when I was working on it." He said now that it was in there, he wasn't going to send it back. So, free airport card as well.

    Incredible service. Incredible deal. The repair is worth more than a new Mac laptop, which my brother couldn't really afford at this time. My brother's planning on writing a letter. I'm giving Apple a thumb's up here. Another customer service win.
     
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #2
    What is this "flat rate" repair you speak of? I've never heard of it. How is one eligible?
     
  3. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #3
    Instead of charging for parts and labor as normal, the genius can make the determination that you are eligible for a flat rate $300 repair. This flate rate covers a complete refurbishment of the computer, the same service given to refurbished models you can buy for a discount at the online Apple Store.

    As I understand, this determination is typically based on the condition of the computer. As long as it only shows signs of normal wear and tear, they will eat part of the cost of replacing faulty parts. In this case, the cost for the logic board alone would have cost $800. The extra parts and labor are probably worth twice that. I don't know how the genius decided that this laptop was eligible, considering he knew it would normally be at least $1000 for standard rate service – hdd, logic board, and labor (and that wouldn't include additional cosmetic or optional repairs that would be made under the flat rate plan) – but I'm grateful he did. It was an amazing deal to begin with, but when I heard the full repair list, my jaw dropped. Hats off to that genius.
     
  4. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #4
    I should add that it's available to computers past the warranty period. So Apple is still trying to ensure you get a fair price outside the warranty even if the parts cost more than the flat rate.
     
  5. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #5
    Never heard of this service. It must only apply to PPC Macs and earlier seeing as Apple isn't making any sort of money on those customers who are keeping them.
     
  6. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    #6
    I have had nothing but great service from Apple.

    My trusty G5 tower bit the dust when I moved, I had already replaced the motherboard once, so I ordered a Mini a few days after SL was released. I received the Mini and fully expected that SL would not be installed on the HD, since I had ordered the Mini on a couple days after the release, and expected to see the SL upgrade disk.

    After setting it up, I noticed I never got the SL disk, so I called Apple, no less then 3 people got on the phone with me and apologized for their mistake saying that it should have been installed, or the full retail disk in the box. I said no worries, and Apple overnighted SL (full retail) to me at no charge.

    The asked if they could use my order to trace other potential orders that should have had SL in them and didnt, so they could contact those owners to arrange SL to be delivered to them.

    Thats why Apple gets such high marks in those surveys.
     
  7. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #7
    And people wonder why macs cost so freaking much.

    What a stupid policy... sounds like a welfare program for mac owners with antiques. And I have to pay for it. :mad:
     
  8. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #8
    Don't pout too much. It's not like it's the government. Apparently Apple is able to fit this type of customer service into their bottom line.

    It may also have to do with a soft spot all the geniuses at the store seemed to have for these 12" aluminum beauties. I don't think they wanted to see such a lovely computer parted out. :)
     
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    Well exactly where do you think this bottom line comes from?
     
  10. vexatia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #10
    Your party lost the election...
     
  11. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #11
    $300 to refurbish a machine from 2004.

    $300 should be the COST of a machine from 2004.

    The hard drive is near worthless if it's 2 digits in GB, and the logic board is WORTHLESS to Apple for any purpose other than repair. It's not like the newer models where parts used for repairs cut directly into parts that could be used to produce new machines sold at retail. Those parts are worth $0 to apple sitting somewhere, but they are worth $300 if put into your machine.

    They are getting rid of inventory, and getting paid for it. It's not a "soft spot" on Apple's part for charging $300 to refurbish that. Their employees aren't getting paid by the job, most likely a low hourly wage whether there is tons to fix or not tons to fix, like most warranty service centers.

    I had a customer the other day from a nonprofit organization that feeds starving children who came from the Apple store after receiving a $1280 quote to fix an A1226 model Macbook Pro with a cracked screen. That's a year and a half old. Used, the machine is worth about $1280.

    Don't get this false idea that Apple has a heart regarding customer service on damaged machines. The store looks nice, and the people act polite, but they will tell you(in a very polite, and noncursing manner) to go F yourself if you damaged your own machine.
     
  12. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Collins Colorado
    #12
    If you think that's bad, tonight I went to the Apple store to pick up my new iPod because the old one had about 100 bad pixels. While I was there, I picked up a pack of anti glare crystal films for my 2G iPhone. I was paying for them and mentioned to the woman that I was here on Monday and accidentally bought some of the non anti glare ones. I mentioned that I went ahead and tried one on the phone and didn't like it. She told me to bring the package back anyways and they will take care of it for me.

    I'm not going to since it was my fault to begin with for not reading the label.

    That's how the Apple store is though.
     
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #13
    My apple store tried talking a younger girl into getting a new Macbook as hers needed a new DVD drive and the case was cracked (the common issue), and somehow it was going to cost 1/4 to 1/3 of the price of a new computer to fix.
     
  14. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    #14
    If a new mac book is $999, 25%-33% would be $250 to $333. So if the drive costs $100, the case $100, plus labor, it could easily be 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of a new one.
     
  15. sukanas macrumors 6502a

    sukanas

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #15
    very true, in the end, it all comes down to $$$
     
  16. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #16
    Richard, I think the idea is that good customer service pays off when you get good reports. Apple is a company selling a product to make money. They aren't a government pursuing some collectivist agenda.

    rossman, you're right about the inventory reduction, but those parts did cost Apple more when they purchased them than they are worth now. However, considering that the state of hardware technology has slowed somewhat over the past few years, the computer still has quite a bit of useful life left in it. Sure, it's PPC, and it can't be upgraded to Snow Leopard, but it's an extremely nice, nearly new, computer for $300.
     

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