The Nexus of Substandard Quality Control and Disrespectful Customer Service

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Animaniac, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Animaniac macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2004
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm posting to get my story out there. Given that there appears to be systemic poor treatment, I'm sure there are others out there who have had to deal with similarly disappointing service from Apple.

    I purchased an iPhone on June 29. I absolutely loved the device. That is until I had to deal with Apple's substandard quality control and disrespectful customer service. After two weeks of use, I discovered air bubbles inside the screen. Clearly this is not a damage I could have caused, and I thought, "No problem, I'll just take it back." Little did I know that it wasn't going to be that easy.

    I took the phone to a local Apple Store and showed them the defect. The mac genius saw the damage and was happy to replace it for me. I thought, "Sweet! This was easy." It was too easy. They opened a new replacement in front of me, and there were a number of scratches on the chrome. I expressed my disappointment, and the mac genius agreed that the damage was significant but he was not able to replace it with an undamaged phone. The scartches was "within spec." Really? For $600, I get a scratched up iPhone? Since when is a damaged product sold as new at Apple? Since when is a customer, a lifelong Apple customer, essentially told to "suck it up?"

    I asked to speak with a manager and he comes over and hopes to get me to leave by being aggressive and intimidating. He says he doesn't see any damages, even though the scuffs are as plain as day. This is simply insulting to my intelligence. It shows a complete lack of respect for the customer. This iPhone may have come out of a new box, but it was clearly manhandled. I am told that all that can be done for me is to offer me a refund. So it comes to that? Instead of giving me an iPhone that meets a sensible quality standard, Apple would rather not have my business.

    A week after returning the phone, the bad taste left in my mouth was still fresh, but I began to think that my awful experience at this particular Apple Store was just a fluke. Surely I would be valued as a customer at another Apple Store. With high hopes, I purchased a new iPhone at a different store. I still held my high expectations of Apple product quality, and I believed that I would be happy with my purchase. Again, I was wrong. As I take the phone out of the box, I accidentally hit the sleep/wake button bringing the iPhone screen to life. Before focusing on anything else on the screen, there stared at me a bright, green dead pixel. I usually don't mind a dead pixel, but this was like a pulsating, oozing zit on the screen. I think we would all agree that the screen is the most important part of iPhone. After paying $600, I'm not going to live with a defect in the primary component.

    I had no choice but to take the phone back to the Apple store and hope that Apple would see to my satisfaction as a customer. The mac genius at this store hemmed and hawed about this being an issue. Again, since when does Apple decide what should make me, the customer, happy? Where's the spirit of customer service? Eventually the mac genius speaks to his manager. They "make an exception" for me and agree to replace it. I'm relieved and begin to again think that Apple is has high quality control, my experience is a statistical outlier. iPhone number four couldn't possibly have any issues!

    Well, as you might have guessed, iPhone #4 was defective as well. This phone had the worst case of washed colors and white-dots. Even in the bright daylight of the Apple Store and the screen set at the default 50% brightness, the dots were clearly visible. This time, the mac genius clearly wants me to just leave, and he tells me that he doesn't see anything. That was a flat out lie. Again, thanks for caring what the customer thinks! Thanks for showing that you value my business! After pushing him further, I get to speak to the manager. This time she says that I either have to take the phone with the glaringly bright dead pixel or the phone with the white dots and poor colors. Since when is the customer, paying the full $600 for a phone, given an either-or choice between two defective models? Unbelievable. I wouldn't back down, and the manager then compared her iPhone with the one displaying white dots. The dots were obvious, but she claimed that she doesn't see a thing! She tells me that all LCDs are imperfect. What? Is this 1997 or 2007? I can get a perfectly pristine LCD monitor from Dell for the price of an iPhone!

    It ends the same way. I'm told that I can get a refund. Apple would rather reject my money than allow me to purchase a defect-less iPhone. How arrogant could a company be? Does Apple no longer value customer service? It looks like Apple would rather lose business than provide a quality controlled product. Apple would rather disrespect an early-adopting customer than ensure his satisfaction. I've never seen such an egregious display of anti-customer behavior. Even Dell provides better quality control AND customer care! Imagine that! There's no reason for four phones in a row to be defective. There's no reason Apple costumer support should treat me with contempt! What's worse is that they simply don't care. Apple customer service is instructed to say that it's all "within spec." Well, Apple, if you're going to tell me to "**** off!" then back at ya. **** off, Apple. ****. OFF.
  2. rdrr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I find it hard to believe that you are a "lifelong Apple customer", but you have less than 25 posts here? Even though you have been registered since 2004. :confused:

    I personally haven't had an issue, but I guess I would be just as upset.
  3. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    I'm often intrigued by the very long complaint posts that newbies write on here. There must be a Word template for them or something since they all sound the same. I'm sorry that happened, but don't make it your loss, make it Apple's loss.
  4. fistful macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    Do you still have an iPhone then or did you get a refund? If you ended up taking the phone with the stuck pixel you may be able to fix it by playing a video that blinks I believe red/green/blue/white/black in a loop for an extended period of time to unstick the pixel.
  5. MacUser1 macrumors 6502


    Aug 23, 2001
    I totally understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure that's fair. I don't think someone who doesn't post as often as others should be immediately dismissed as not a "lifelong Apple customer."
  6. Daremo macrumors 68020


    Jul 3, 2007
    It's not hard to believe at all. I bought my first Apple (a II+) in the early 80's, and my first Mac in the mid/late 80's. I've had MANY of macs along the way, and have remained loyal, and yet I only registered here recently. Some people just aren't forum guys, and just because they didn't register on THIS specific site, shouldn't be an indication of their product loyalty. :)
  7. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    They could not give you a product that was to your satisfaction so they GAVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK and you still have problem with them?

    You went to another apple store, refused to accept receipt of what you considered damaged goods so again they offered to GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK

    What the hell else do you want them to do?
  8. SiLeNtKiLLa macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    WOW! Was this even needed? What does this even have to do with the complaint? Always someone to find something negative to say about someone else. Always the typical person!
  9. RBilRamZ macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2003
    I have to agree, this is a fairly absurd post. I have been a Macrumors member since '03, and check the website and its forums daily (yes I am a dork). Just because I rarely post, does not make me a "newbie". While I agree that many of the above complaints seem exagerated, I think your assumptions about what makes a "life long apple customer" are far off base.
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    He was upset in 2004 as well -- at least in his post below. :?

    When it comes to customer service, I think (right or wrong) that employees will often mirror back the customers attitude. I'm not saying that's what happened here (although after having read the OP here and the rant from three years ago, I wonder), but when trying to explain why there are so many threads where people have been impressed that their iPhones have been replaced with no hassle, there's always a few people that can't get any satisfactory resolution. :eek:
  11. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    I don't see what else they could have done for him short of opening every iPhone in the store and letting him pick the exact one he wanted.

    His demands are just inappropriate because the assumption is that they could somehow wave a wand and produce this "perfect" iPhone he wants. All they can do is open up a box and ask him if he wants it or another one or his money back. They're not going to stand around for 4 hours finding one he likes. No store will do that, except maybe Nordstrom.
  12. iAmLegend macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2007
  13. badtzmaru macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    how many phones did he return/exchange? I lost count at 4.
  14. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    To the OP, I can understand your frustration, but in this case I think its best to just let it go. Its not worth the time and energy to keep the pent up anger. Try to find the bright side of this situation.
  15. retnuh730 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2007
    How many iPhones did you exchange? 5? Jesus. The damn thing's gonna get scratched either way. Grow up.
  16. ukneeq macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Lewisville, TX
    Man that sucks. I do find it hard to believe you are having that many problems though considering others are easily getting theirs replaced if they have any problems with theirs. Have you talked to anyone in your area that has replaced their phone to see who they talked with to get resolution?
  17. DylanG macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2007
    You clearly aren't satisfied with their product. They gave you your money back. The transaction is done. Both parties move on. Your expectations are ridiculous.
  18. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm curious to see if the OP has a response, how closely the sentiment will mirror his thoughts of the "Mac faithful" from prior posts. :confused:
  19. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    I couldn't agree more. I'm not sure what you wanted them to do. It SOUNDS like you were being very picky, but of course without actually SEEING what your problems were, I don't know if that's true or not.... either way, they aren't going to stand there going through their inventory one by one. They tried to replace your phone, that wasn't to your satisfaction, so they offered you a refund. Doesn't sound like bad customer service at all to me.
  20. DylanG macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2007
    Somewhere on an Apple internal message board is this post...

    The Nexus of Unrealistic Expectations and Obsessive Compulsive Behavior
  21. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2003
    Seems to be a lot of PO'd people on this site lately.

    Sorry it didn't work out. Don't know if any company could make you happy.

    I know the the device is $600, but it is still a product of humanity.
  22. glide macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2007
    If I were Apple I would offer you the refund and no new phone as well. After 4-6 phones it's costing them more to do business with you than its worth. Between the phones you opened and used on top of the employees' time you took up.
  23. Navintar macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2006
    There are 2 different things here. While some of us might have agree with you about QC issue, I don't think their customer service is as bad as you're trying to say.

    What else do you have to loose when you get full refund every time you are not satisfied with your purchasing?
  24. freeskier989 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2007
    It is just a tool

    Just get a cover for the thing and you would never have to look at the "scratches" on the chrome. Why torture yourself looking for the perfect phone that obviously will never exist for you?

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