Mac Story : MisCommunication at Apple Store

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by jtss, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. jtss macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    Below is a letter I wrote to the new Apple Store in town.


    I am writing in regards to a recent repair.

    Basically, I dropped off my computer for a repair and now I am without a computer.

    I brought my Appled Mac Book to the Linclon Park Store's Genius Bar. Currently, I do not have my computer back. And I am told that I will not get it back unless I pay $755. Then it was $400. Regadless, I am writing because I am now without my main source of income and communication. I am without my MacBook. I am writing to address the protocol of the situation so that it does not happen to others in the future. I am writing in the hopes or receiving a reasonable response to this specific situation.

    The Sequence of Events:
    I had a perfectly working Mac Book for almost 3 years now. I took it in after two days of a tone and of a restart message appearing.
    LAST WEEK: I took the Mac Book to the Lincoln Park Store. (I usually go downtown but thought I'd try the new store.)
    At the Genius Bar, the technician disassembled the computer in front of me removing the back panel with a screwdriver as well as removing some other pieces. He informed me I would have to leave the computer at the store.
    He quoted me a price. I was told I would have to pay $73.86. I saw the price clearly. I signatured a piece of paper to approve the appraisal.
    I signed a copy , saw the dollar amounts on the page and approved it. I left the store with an understanding of the situation.
    I immediately received an email confirmation of the meeting. Thank You.
    I received a phone call later. This is where the Confusion begins. The phone conversation felt rushed and I felt pressured by the APPLE attendant on the other line. Below is a simplification of what I can remember from the phone call.
    M e : Hello
    APPLE: Hello. We have to ship your computer out for repairs it will cost seven fifty five.
    M e : Seven Fifty Five? ( I asked my friend who was present with me about such a charge. They thought it sounded strange but that seven fifty five was probably some shipping and handling fee.)
    M e : Is the Seven Fifty Five because it has to ship to California?
    APPLE: Yes.
    M e: Do I need to sign something?
    APPLE: No. Do you want us to make the repair? Do you need a data transfer? If so you have to drop off a hard drive.
    M e : I'm still confused about the seven fifty five. Why wasn't I told this when I dropped off the computer?
    APPLE: We didn't know there was water damage.
    M e : Water Damage?
    APPLE: So did you want to make the repair?
    M e: Is the Seven Fifty Five for shipping and handling?
    APPLE: Yes. Did you want to drop off a hard drive for data transfer?
    M e : I have to. I need the computer.

    I said I be down with the hard drive. She hung up. I did not receive any email confirmation. I did not receive any more info on the matter.
    I stopped by the Apple Store to drop off my hard drive. Someone just took it from me and said they'd take care of it. I did not sign anything. I received NO written copy for my records concerning the NEW price of the repairs. At the time I dropped off my hard drive and approved further repairs, I was confident that I understood I would only be receiving another Seven Dollar and fifty five cent charge for Shipping and Handling.
    I received a phone call yesterday telling me my computer was ready. The phone message said nothing about the NEW price.
    TODAY: At the Apple Store today they told me the price was $755. I was shocked. I felt tricked.
    The APPLE ATTENDANT who I spoke to on the phone came to talk to me. She delivered the facts in very direct terms that I was to pay that amount if I wanted my computer. When I tried to clarify with her that she only said "seven fifty five" instead of "seven hundred...." she was defensive and determined that she did everything correctly in this matter. I tried to communicate to her the confusion but she grew more defensive. I did not want to upset her so I asked to speak to a manager.

    The main thing I want to emphasize is that at NO time did the APPLE ATTENDANT say Seven HUNDRED and fifty five DOLLARS. She only Said the phrase, "seven fifty five". I have a witness who was with me during the phone call. I asked my friend in person about seven fifty five. We both thought it was some shipping and handling thing for 7.55. I just called her and she is as surprised as I that I am currently being quoted at $755.

    $755 is very different thatn $7.55. They look different on page. I was never given an opportunity to see the charges. I was called and told "SEVEN FIFTY FIVE". I feel this is unacceptable language concerning the amount of money involved.

    I am not upset AT the Apple Attendant. But I was misled by the communication which felt rushed and unspecific. I never would have agreed to the $755 charge in the first place. I would have continued to use the computer which, though flawed, was still functioning.

    I am also concerned abou the claim of "Water Damage" I have never had a problem with the computer. I do notice that when I travel outside via a bike or Public Transit the computer gets cold. And when I open it in a coffee shop, sometimes condensation will form on the screen and the keyboards, similar to fog forming on my pair of glasses. I can not control the weather so if the condensation caused the moisture then I am also at a loss. If however it got wet years ago, then it got wet years ago.


    I have been a loyal Apple User for almost 10 years now. I have had THREE Mac Books now. I was looking forward to perhaps buying a new one later in the Summer. I recently spoke with an Apple Store attendant about Buy Back Credit and Recycling. I have always been happy with the Apple Service at the Down Town Store. But currently the manager is suggesting I pay $400 just to get my computer back. For $400 I can get a very good PC at Micro Center.

    I have to rethink my relationship with Apple with whom I was outwardly happy. But now I feel rushed and let down. Like I am being "Nickel and Dimed". If feels a little like those new "SouthWest Airlines" Commercials where the Bulti Billion Dollar Corporation is unconcerned with the customer.

    As a former Customer Service for Groupon, I know it is not always easy dealing with customers, but it is the job of the employee to be patient and thorough with the company's services. As a former Customer Service Rep who handled hundreds of calls and emails, I was very upset when at the store, the attendant just kept telling me: " I told you. I told you."

    But the truth is, she only said "Seven Fifty Five" She never mentioned hundreds of dollars. She was too vernacular and casual with her language. I would NOT have approved the Seven Hundred dollar repair as I was looking to get a new computer 6 months from now.


    ONE: I am sorry but it is not my fault that the APPLE ATTENDANT on the phone only said the words: "seven fifty five" instead of the commercially accurate: "seven hundred and fifty dollars". She was too casual in her language in the phone call, she seemed reluctant to explain anything, and the phone call felt coerced and rushed.

    TWO: I am sorry but I feel that in the future, large dollar amounts should be approved via email or at least text. We have the technology to confirm dollar amounts. It's a suggestion to eliminate confusion. Customers have a right to see and confirm the amount of a transaction of significance. Apple is a multi billion dollar company. This isn't a Mom and Pop shop where casual lingo and phone calls should settle a seven hundred dollar situation. seven hundred dollars is the same price as a new computer and there is a lot of paper work involved in that....

    THREE: I used to be an openly happy Mac user. I do not know if I am going to pay the $400 to get my old computer back OR if I am finally going to make the shift back to PC computers and get a more powerful $400 computer from whoever. I am in a difficult spot due to this misunderstanding and I don't know how to proceed. I need a computer and while I had a faulty one, it still worked, NOW, i have nothing and I need to get back to work.

    I want to say thank you to Brian L. at the Lincoln Park Location because he was very courteous, patient, and specific in our discussion.

    I will begin sharing this concern at the following forums. I thank you, wish you all the best, and hope to hear back:
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Holy ****. tl;dr. Apple is a business, they don't care to read your childish rant that finished with an idle threat that you'll share it on some forums.

    If your main source of income relies on your computer then you should have more than one. Right away I'd dismiss your claims because any reputable business person who relies on a computer that much would have another. Even if it's a $400 Dell. You felt rushed, this is a subjective feeling. My guess is no one rushed you but you likely stalled because frankly, I would too if the price increased that much.

    It sounds to me like you damaged your machine, you know, your only source of your income and your communication (which is odd because here you are), and now you're being asked to pay. You're playing this lame game of vernacular, seven fifty five or seven hundred and fifty five. Let's be frank, had it gone the other way, had she said $755.00 and you found out it was really $7.55, would you be here today communicating ... without your main source of communication? I don't think so.

    Hope you get your computer back, nice to see it's less than the bill and frankly if you want a $400 computer that is more powerful then get on with your bad self and start shopping.
  3. I3eXa macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2004
    interesting story. Anytime money in involved over the phone I always repeat and make sure, "so that is seven dollars and 55 cents right?" An unfortunate mishap but I feel for ya and hope it will work out so please keep us updated.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Yep. This is one of those situations that makes a good customer service rep shiver. No one is actually "wrong". The Apple Rep didn't do anything wrong, though of course in hindsight they are probably wishing they had used different language.

    And the customer didn't do anything wrong, they simply misunderstood... though of course in hindsight they may have wished they had spent more time clarifying things. I know how it feels to be "rushed"... and it's too easy to say that the customer should have taken the time to clarify. The whole point is ... they felt rushed, and of course unprepared. They're not expecting a call like this, so they have no time to think about how to handle it.

    And yet, it is the customer's responsibility to make sure they fully understand. The call centre can't read minds and can't tell if the customer understands... they can only go by what the customer says. Which in this case, was to approve the repair.


    I don't think Solomon's solution would work in this case.

    Unless the Apple store has a policy that approvals for repairs, and changes in quotes, must be writing all you can do is throw yourself on the mercy of a manager. Though by posting all over the forums you may have burnt that bridge. People don't take well to threats. Though perhaps this happened a month ago, and you've pursued all the other avenues.

    Good Luck, eh?
  5. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you

    I think you really have to be more realistic about what it costs to work on electronics (or even ship them to California).

    And if I may offer some sincere, constructive criticism - tighten that letter up to about half its length and cut out the drama and fluff. The easier it is for them to read it and get to the point, the better chances that they will see your point of view. They don't care how long you have been a Mac customer or what your supposed future purchase plans are. And referencing a TV commercial? It may be relevant in emotional response, but emotion is not applicable to the issue at hand. Lay out the facts (not anecdotes about recent shopping or TV-viewing experiences), tell them what you want done, and tell them what you plan to do depending on the outcome. And then hope they a) believe you, and b) care.
  6. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Wow, TL;DR.


    From reading the replies:

    If you thought they said $7.55 when it's actually $755, isn't that an substantial difference, and a strong indication of mistake?
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Trolling fail. Do you seriously believe shipping is $7.55 for any computer? :rolleyes:

    Seems the OP never shipped anything or conducted any business in his life.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wow, TL;DR.

    Can someone please provide a readers digest version. I my eyes glazed over on that long post
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Come on people, the summary was right there in the original post... can't believe you all missed it!!! :D

  10. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008

    It takes TWO to miscommunicate. It's not logical to assume "seven fifty five" in the context of computer repair means $7.55--that was wishful delusion on your part: you had several opportunities to clarify and you didn't.
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I read it, as evidenced in my reply.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    So you made me read the long post - ouch.
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    No, that's how Apple operates. When my Macbook Pro went in for repair, I was originally quotes ten-ninety-nine. $10.99 to fix a fan that they're claiming is not under warranty is 100% OK with me. But only when I said ten dollars and ninety nine cents did she bother to clarify with me that it would be ten hundred nintey nine dollars to fix my fan.

    All I'm saying is that this is what Apple does. They're specifically told to say ten-ninety nine, or seven fifty five, and make it ambiguous. No one in their right mind would agree to a $755 repair, but who would say no to a $7.55 repair?
  14. secondhandloser macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Wash, DC/ HSV, AL
    That's a really expensive misunderstanding. It is unfortunate that it worked that way. Obviously some responsibility falls on both parties, but when an amount is that high, it is important for the vendor to clarify the cost.

    Holy cow at all the tl;dr replies from people padding their post count, and opining on the situation without reading...
  15. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    Do you have any proof of this, or is this your belief based on two whole random incidents? Just asking.
  16. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    OP, I may be able to help. PM me or post an update so I can help.
  17. n8mac macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2006
    Maybe the OP can get a new Dell over the phone for $3.99
  18. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2010
    He can get one for less than seven fifty five for sure.
  19. lPHONE, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011

    lPHONE macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    That's where you're wrong and I think you're response was... kind of "childish"
    Bad publicity is Apple's biggest threat. IF OP is telling the full truth (and I did say "if") then he's in the right. Now, time to debunk the story:

    doesn't add up well with:
    I've been a loyal Apple customer for quite some time myself and I would rather DIE than not have a Mac. $400 would get you a lot on craigslist!
  20. Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    All companies will die off once, maybe Apple will move into the mobile market entirely and leave you without macs.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your obituary.
  21. cloakedpegasus macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Wow that is so ****ed up. Now I know to keep my eye on those greedy Apple people.
  22. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Well, if you were a company as meticulous as Apple with every detail, don't you think they would mandate that you say seven hundred and fifty five dollars? Especially because no one I know, when dealing with $755, calls it 'seven fifty five'.
  23. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Do you actually believe this nonsense? I've read saner things by L Ron Hubbard.

    With this kind of alleged (outlandishly so) deceit, how can Apple maintain #1 spot in customer service year after year after their so-called duping of innocent customers? What, are you going to say they pay off/buy the market research firms every year? Or do they pre-pay in 5-year blocks?

    Get out. LOL

    Save your fabricated personal experiences for your diary.
  24. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    So your answer is "No, I don't have any proof." Fair enough.
  25. lPHONE macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    What the HELL are you talking about?

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