No Apple stores, your service experiences?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by TuiSong, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. TuiSong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #1
    I apologize if this isn't quite the right place, I couldn't really figure out where this discussion should be placed.

    I would love to hear about the experiences of those of you who live in countries or regions without any reasonable access to an Apple store. How do you find the follow on support and customer service experience? I figure that I cannot be the only one who is growing more and more frustrated by the apparent inequality of service between those that can walk into a store and those that cannot.

    On another forum that I frequent, there is an iPad group, and pretty much every week someone will post about how their iPad dropped and got broken, or their battery doesn't seem to be holding as much charge. This is the cue for others to pipe up and chant "take it to the apple store" and then they each give their experience of when they dropped their iPhone/ipod/ipad and it was totally their own fault but the lovely man replaced it with a brand new one!

    I've also seen mention of the same kind of thing here a lot, and that the apple store policy is pretty much to just replace anything and everything to keep the customer happy. My own experience with living in a country that doesn't have an apple store isn't so great.

    My iMac HD died on me a few years ago, less than a year into ownership. I took it in to the resellers store for repair and it was sent away to some third party service provider. It came back with a new? HD installed and my old HD with a note that I could spend $500nz to have the information from my old HD transferred onto my new one. uh no thanks? (I had no backups sadly, and lost many photographs and some software purchases) When I got the iMac home I had to install the OS myself, not a major issue, but it was time fluffing around when really shouldn't I have just got a computer with everything ready to go? and did they even test this before sending it back? After that it was always noisier than it had been. The HD was louder, I didn't actually check on what kind it was, but it was definitely louder and seemed slower to me. I do still wonder if it wasn't just some cheap HD.

    From what I understand, the Apple store experience would have had me taking my iMac in for a look see, and walking out of there with a brand new replacement.

    Second experience with repairs was on my 2009 MBP. The charger was playing up, the connection wasn't holding and the charge was going on and off before finally not spitting out any charge at all. It was close to christmas (two weeks) when this happened. I was thinking holidays, without second computer??? nooooo so I took it into the apple resellers. I told them it was the charger, they insisted that we send everything away. I said can't we just try with another charger here? I'll be happy to just buy it so we can have the computer at home. Nope, couldn't do that because it might be a computer fault. And they had no chargers they could try it on.

    I asked, what about the display machines? how do you charge those. Was told they were a different charger and wouldn't work on mine (face palm) mine was the white sticky out magsafe, the ones in store were the newer model toothbrush shaped ones. So fine, I surrender my laptop and don't see it again for FIVE weeks because of the holidays. They tested it, declared it was the charger and replaced it. When I got it back I asked if the battery had been checked over and if it was ok, I was worried that with a faulty charger that the battery might have been affected, I was told it was fine because it turned on when they took a look. Never mind that fact that it had done three times the number of cycles a battery of that age should have done.

    As far as I know, apple store would check the charger right then and there, and replace it. And would throw in a new laptop battery too if you expressed concern that the faulty charging and compromised its lifespan.

    Where we live, if your iPod stops working, it's simply better to go buy a new one. If you did attempt to take it back to the resellers, they would laugh at you and say buy a new one. They can't even offer a deal for you to replace a broken apple item at a cheaper rate. My latest Apple purchases have all been through the online Apple store, because I am so fed up with the third party service. But from what I have read, getting any kind of satisfaction via the online stores, seems not assured.

    So has anyone got a positive story to tell about getting great service for apple products when a genius bar isn't involved? And Apple if you're out there, dudes step the game up. If you don't want to open retail stores all over the world, at least set up an official Apple service depot and stop tendering it out to third party agencies who don't give a **** about customer experience and only care about their bottom $
     
  2. boss.king, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

    boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #2
    I'm living in NZ, and previously lived in Namibia where it was even less present. I've always had good experiences with the 3rd party retailers though, sometimes better than what people report they've had from Apple themselves. I guess it's probably because they make a fat profit of me buying my stuff through them, and so I've never really needed an Apple store to replace stuff. That said, I wouldn't say no to one, it would probably make things a tad more convenient.

    That said, it probably helps that my parents have used one retailer to kit out their advertising agency with Apple stuff year after year, so I managed to get discounted stuff every now and then, as well and having things before they are for sale in the country (I had one of the the first iPod nanos in Africa :)). We also got the head tech guy to come and fix anything that went wrong at home on site rather than taking it in, which was awesome.

    Sorry, I don't mean for that to sound like I'm bragging or anything, I'm trying to say that the service was excellent.
     
  3. johnhw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #3
    If you go to Asia, you'd surely get shoddy service. I know someone in the Philippines that the repair took a month to replace bad ram. He even got a swapped battery out of it (a bad one). Comes with free scratches, too.
     
  4. TuiSong thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #4
    I think the actual service I've had has been about as good as I could expect from resellers. Just that in the scheme of things compared with being able to go directly to source, it is frustrating. If I had never heard how quick and responsive the Apple store staff were, I would probably never even think to question the standard of service we do get here in NZ.

    It is more of an issue that the third party resellers and repair companies don't have the backing needed to make a call that something needs replacing. They are authorized by apple to provide a service on their products, but that is where the support ends. While apple might encourage their own employees to replace without question, there is no provision for a reseller or repair contractor to make that call.

    Yes, I've had my items fixed and overall I have had a good run with the apple products I have bought. But when I read the experiences of others who have been able to walk into a shop with something that they actually broke, and walk out again with a brand new one? It does feel a bit like we're missing out on the Apple experience here.
     
  5. Abstract, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    I live in Australia, and I think there are 2 Apple Stores here now. For ~2 years, there was only one in Sydney.

    I think I get great service from my Apple reseller. It would be no better at an actual Apple Store.

    When it came time to buy my new MBA, I bought it from my reseller rather than Apple's online store so that they get the sale.

    And as for repair, I used to go to another Australian reseller, and have had fast, excellent service from them. They eventually replaced my MacBook with a new one, but I know they did what they could. Unlike Apple Stores I've been to, you don't need to make an appointment, queue, and the staff don't just try to give you the basic 15 minutes of their time (according to their appointment system). They help you until things are settled, and you have explained everything.
     
  6. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    The World Inbetween
    #6
    MagnumMac (or whatever the !@#$ its called now), the only good one I've been to was Hamilton.

    yo3ee youoeeeou yooeoo yoeeoe yooubeee youboe YOUTUBE!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    In the UK, service is mixed, depending on which store you go to. Some are filthy places filled with incompetent morons they call 'Geniuses'. Others are great places to be filled with helpful staff.
     
  8. TuiSong thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #8
    This is the part that sticks out boldly for me though, eventually replaced it. Don't you get the feeling if you had taken it into an apple store they would have just looked at it, and said here have another one? And you would have been back up and running in the time it took you to visit the store?

    I wonder if we're just so used to getting the short straw in these things that we're happy to simply get something fixed under warranty, and feel like we scored a success. I'm really trying to feel positive about the whole deal, and like I said earlier I think the resellers do a decent job. they just only do what they absolutely need to to repair, they don't have that freedom to be able to say here have a new one. It kind of feels to me like all our purchases around the world, are subsidizing the free replacements that those within distance of a store get.

    I'm also still yet to hear of anyone who dropped their iPhone or iPad, being able to send it in to apple and get a free replacement. The best I have heard is that they will offer you a refurb one at a greatly reduced price. I would need to send my iPad over to Sydney for appraisal of damage before I would even know if they were going to offer me a cheaper one. My iPad was dropped, but the screen didn't break, it's just the aluminum case bent away a bit and has affected the layers under the glass screen. From what it says on the website they wouldn't offer me a cheaper replacement at all. And the only really positive apple experiences I hear of involve physically entering an Apple store.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9

    No, because even Apple rarely just replaces a product you've had for around 1 year, unless you've had recurring, documented problems. If you've had the same issue once or twice, then they'll probably consider it. I had a 2 year old laptop replaced, and only because one issue I was having wasn't fixable. The 3 Apple Stores near my childhood home (North America, not Australia) did not replace my old MacBook. The Australian one did. The Apple Store just took a look, couldn't figure out why my screen was flickering, and just said, "Oh...ummm......lets just replace this part and see if it fixes the problem." It didn't. Apple Store "Geniuses" simply don't have time to make a proper assessment.

    I don't care if they replace a part. I don't feel like I "scored" a great deal if they replace that didn't need to be replaced, even if I get a new part out of it. I just want them to fix the problem so that my laptop has no problems. I find Apple Store service to be good while you're talking to a "Genius", but only during that 15 minutes they give you. They're very nice, and the service at Apple Stores is great.


    Most resellers are crap (i.e chain stores that sells Macs), but most dedicated Mac resellers, with qualified Apple technicians, are just as passionate about Macs as those who work at an actual Apple Store.



    I'll happily shop at an Apple Store. I have. However, I don't find myself disadvantaged just because I go to a Mac reseller.
     

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