Thursday, November 29, 2012

True Stories: Apple Customer Service, November 2012

For those who might try to deal with Apple for hardware repairs on an ailing iMac, here is a handy translation chart for understanding what they mean as opposed to what they say.

Note: this is a true story from my recent experience at the Apple Store (Fairview Mall, Toronto).

What they say...What they mean...
"Based on the symptoms you described, its obvious that you need a new video card."
- genius bar
Let's spend 2 weeks trying to see if we can fix it by replacing the logic board and hard drive instead - because its more expensive and more likely to cause you to buy a new computer.
"We will diagnose within 24-48 hours."
- genius bar
We will diagnose in 2-4 weeks.
"We are working on your computer right now."
- phone support
We are not working on your computer today.
"Your repair is ready for pickup."
- website
Your repair is not ready for pickup, and won't be for at least another week.
"I have triple-confirmed that your repair is ready for pickup."
- phone support
Your repair is still not ready for pickup.
"We need to talk to you about your repair."
- phone support
We wanted you to waste another trip to the Apple Store for no reason other than to tell you that we still don't know how to fix your computer and are still trying.
"We cannot connect you to a Technician over the phone."
- phone support
We can connect you to a technician over the phone, but I personally don't know how the phones work so I'll just say we don't do that, even though you just did that on your previous call to us.
"We will call you when the repair is done."
- manager
We won't call you when the repair is done, but we will call you occasionally to reconfirm the fact that your repair is not done and we have no new information.
"Your repair case is closed."
- website
We have closed your original repair case because we did part of the repair... but we opened a new repair case with a new reference number for the rest of the repair, and we're not going to tell you that or give you the new repair number... this way, when you contact us again, you are guaranteed to get conflicting information for maximum frustration.
"I will transfer you to the manager."
- phone support
I will put you on hold, and while you're on hold,  several non-managers will occasionally pick up the call and ask you to reconfirm who you are, why you are calling, ask your postal code for some reason, and rehash all the details of your situation to this point.
"I value your feedback."
- manager
I will smile and listen to your complaints without offering any suggestions or consolations... all the while simultaneously helping other customers complete purchases of miscellaneous wireless devices, cables and accessories.
"We apologize for the inconvenience."
- manager, phone support, genius bar
We have no interest in talking you out of never buying another Apple product. This is your fault for still buying Apple computers now that Apple is no longer a computer company.
"Your repair is being worked on as we speak - it will definitely be done today... or at the very latest tomorrow morning."
- manager
We don't even have the parts in stock, so no one is going to touch your computer until next week.
"We need your approval before we can replace the Bluetooth card."
- store clerk
You already gave us approval to replace the Bluetooth card, even though the Bluetooth card was unrelated to the original repair, and was working fine when you brought the machine in... and by the way we already replaced it - I'm only asking you for approval again because I don't know how to read our paperwork.
"You don't need a Genius Bar appointment to come in and talk to us about your repair."
- phone support
You do need a Genius Bar appointment to come in and talk about your repair, because the Geniuses are all busy doing important Geniusy things like showing people how to download apps on their iPhone.
"We can fix your iMac."
- genius bar
We have no idea how to diagnose or repair iMacs... But, if you can live without your computer for a month, and don't mind spending hours each day during that month to deal with miscellaneous unnecessary bullshit, and you enjoy making pointless trips to the Apple store to rehash the phone bullshit just for fun, then we will eventually fix it quite easily by just replacing the obviously faulty piece of hardware that caused the problem.
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