I’ve always heard that Apple had pretty decent customer service. Being that I didn’t own an Apple computer that wasn’t a hand-me-down, I hadn’t much use of calling if something did go wrong with my computer. But two years ago I got my first, brand new, out-of-the-box computer. Luckily, I was able to persuade hubby-of-mine to get AppleCare. This last week I am glad I did.
Last week, my computer crashed. The Awesome Hubby spoke to my iMac in that computer language he knows so well and found that some rogue RSS feed I no longer subscribe to had written itself over a very important file-ETC(?). So I took it in to have it checked out at the Genius Bar in Stamford. My worst nightmare was having to erase my hard drive and reinstall my operating system. What do you think they told me? Yep, Murphy’s Law in full effect. The nice genius at the Genius Bar named T-Bo (I know!) told me to take my computer home, connect it via firewire to another computer, and start it up via Target Boot–that means hold down the “T” after you hear the ping–so that my computer would load as an external hard drive. Doing this would allow me to transfer the most important items and burn dvds. I, of course, crashed the laptop I was connected to in the process…
I should take this moment to tell you that over the last week I haven’t had the best luck with electronics…
So I took it home and got as much as I could. I ended up burning 9 DVDs of documents, mailboxes, wedding and family pictures, and pdfs from the web. I began the install and hubby had to come calm me down and speak to the computer about freaking me out with words like “journaled” and “corrupted” and made the install start. Everything was going well until the second disc was called upon. Thinking back on it now, I think it might have been best if Hubby had put in the second disc as there must have been something wrong with my electrons that day. The second disc failed, reading “56 minutes remaining”.
I took it back to the Genius Bar in the Stamford Apple Store. I was told they would give me not just a new hard drive but a bigger hard drive, an upgrade to Snow Leopard, and iLife ’09. I was very excited when I went to get my computer the following Thursday.While at the Apple Store, Hubby and I decided it was the opportune time for him to get his new iPhone. We wanted to add a line to my pre-existing account. The man that handled the transaction instead upgraded my iPhone. He tried to fix it by returning the new iPhone and starting over. It worked. My husband got his phone and new number. So why couldn’t I get service all of a sudden? He had deactivated my phone. So down to the other end of the mall we go to AT&T only to find out that, since I have a first generation iPhone, they can’t activate my phone in the store. I have to connect to iTunes. (And to that AT&T guy, eat more fiber. You’re too young to be crotchety.)
So all in all I had to make two trips to AT&T, waste 20 more minutes with a screaming 2-year-old and hungry husband, and still had to call customer service when I got home because nothing was resolved in the store. And when I did contact AT&T I found out that Carmine the Apple guy didn’t reverse the upgrade or the upgrade fee, and had extended my contract another two years. Infuriating doesn’t come close to describing how I felt about Carmine’s “one little mistake.”
Well at least I had my computer home. Guess who got duped? Ding-a-ling! It was me. My newly refurbished, super-pimped-out iMac was just as lame as it was before. They didn’t do any of the upgrades! Good thing I convinced Hubby to buy a family pack of Snow Leopard instead of a single user.
I now have a different opinion of the big Apple and it’s retail store. If I had just done everything online, there would have been much less hassle. We could have grabbed the computer and picked up an already activated iPhone for Hubby. If you’re going to have people upgrade or add a line in store, provide a kiosk or computer where we can make the mistakes ourselves.