Extreme disappointment with Apple customer service

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by dpfenninger, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. dpfenninger macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2005
    The following is a copy of the letter that I will be sending to Apple in regards to my recent dealings with customer service. What do you guys think I should do?

    To whom it may concern:

    Let me begin by saying that I have been a loyal and avid fan of the Mac since 1999. I have converted several of my PC friends to the Mac, and I would consider myself to be the quintessential Mac "geek" (posters, T-shirts, you name it). I have owned a Macintosh LC 575, Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White) and Power Mac G4 Cube, in addition to my current machine, an iMac G5. However, my recent experiences with Apple customer support have left me thinking that maybe the Mac way is not the smooth, customer-first experience that I thought it was.

    As I mentioned, I currently am using an iMac G5 (rev. A, 20" 1.8 GHz). Unfortunately, the iMac was a victim of the well-documented power supply issue (http://www.apple.com/support/imac/re...ensionprogram/) several months back. The power supply would heat up to such high temperatures that it eventually burned out, and I could not power on the machine. I brought it in to my local Apple Store (Oakbrook, IL), whereupon they wrote up a repair order, and I had my Mac back within 4 days, all without paying a penny. "Wow, excellent no-hassle service," I thought, and rightfully so.

    Over the last couple of months, my iMac has further developed a couple of smaller, but still annoying and "not-very-Apple-like" issues. First, the fans have developed a consistent, cricket-like squeak - that is, you can hear the fans turning, sort of like an old wheel that needs oil. In my quiet office, it is VERY obvious, and is especially distressing when I'm trying to do audio and MIDI work. The second issue is that the slot-loading Superdrive has gotten to the point where discs that are being ejected often fly out of the slot and do not stop, falling onto the top of my desk, or occasionally clear off the desk onto the floor.

    A few days ago, I decided that I had had enough with both issues, and decided to initiate a chat with a support agent on Apple's iMac support web page. After explaining the issues to the agent, I was transferred to a "specialist," to whom I then had to re-explain the issues. Further irritating me was the fact that they provided me no solution other than to visit my local Apple Store, and they would further diagnose the system.

    So tonight I headed over to the Apple Store Oakbrook with the iMac in tow (mind you, not the lightest thing to be carrying around, and a pain to have to disconnect peripherals etc.). I had made an appointment prior to showing up...in fact, Apple's new Concierge system seemed very elegant and user-friendly, and I was able to make a 7:20pm appointment at around 2:30pm. I made it to the Apple Store at about 6:50pm, and saw my name listed on the Genius Bar screens as being 2nd in line. There was a man with a 15" PowerBook that was being helped by the Genius behind the bar, so I sat and waited patiently. About 40 minutes into my wait, a woman with an iPod mini walked up to the bar, seemingly waiting for assistance. Within two minutes, another Apple employee approached her, briefly looked at me and asked if I was waiting for help. When I said I needed assistance with my iMac, he told me that I would have to wait for the next Genius, turned to the woman with the iPod mini and proceeded to diagnose her problem.

    Further irritated, I waited another 10 minutes or so, at which point the same employee turned his attention to me. I explained the fan and Superdrive issues to him, and he took the iMac to the back room for another employee to take a look at it. About 10 minutes later, he came back out with the iMac and said something to me that just floored me. He told me that his colleague that looked at it could not find anything inherently wrong with the fans, and that "since it's not a Pro desktop, there are bound to be squeaks in the fan system" (almost verbatim what he said). He said that they cleaned the fans, and tightened the eject mechanism in the Superdrive, and that if I continue to have issues with it to bring it back in and they will further diagnose it.

    The message I have taken from this experience is two-fold. First, Apple has officially gone from being a computer company to a consumer electronics company. The fact that I literally was skipped over after waiting 40 minutes and pushed aside for an iPod user who had waited TWO minutes and was not in the Genius Bar queue shows that Apple's priorities have shifted. Secondly, Apple does not truly back the quality and craftsmanship on which they pride themselves. Just because I do not own a "Pro desktop," that should not mean that a squeaky fan system is an acceptable situation. I bought an $1,800 computer that was advertised as "whisper-quiet" and I should not have to pay $3,000+ just to be reassured that I will be taken care of. I expect excuses and glancing over of issues by companies like Dell that make cheap bare-bones systems. I do not expect that from Apple - if Apple is going to hold themselves to a higher standard, they should back up that talk with true customer-first service.

    So I am now sitting in front of my rickety-sounding iMac, wondering what my next step should be. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I would further appreciate a follow-up and resolution to this situation.

  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Send it! A well written letter. I would also call Apple Customer Service and ask to speak with a supervisor (document all the names of the people you speak with) and explain the situation very calmly. Might get a faster response than an email or snail mail letter.

    Sorry about your problems. I actually have a Rev. A 20" iMac that is whisper quiet.
  3. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    You have every right to be irritated at the treatment you received at the Apple Store, and I commend you for the excellent job in summarizing events and interactions that unfolded. The point about Apple's transition from a computer company to one tightly focused on consumer electronics is a timely observation as a myriad of quality control issues have emerged lately.

    From your perspective, there should not be a moment's hesitation in sending that letter. I wish you well and will look for your follow-up posts. My guess is that you will be on the receiving end of a very satisfactory resolution.
  4. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    I know this really isn't a good solution, but depending on where you live you could try going to a different Apple store. I know it's not a good solution but it might resolve the problems.
  5. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2005
    The poor section of Connecticut
    Well written letter, I must say. It saddens me that they feel you should have to put up with this because it's not a "pro" system. Keep us posted on your progress.

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