Matt’s tale of Apple repair moves from tragedy to triumph, and Wagner is already hard at work on its stage adaptation.
What we learn from it:
• Genius bar can be staffed by douchebags.
• If you have a valid complaint, emailing Steve Jobs WILL work.
• Under the federal Magnuson-Moss warranty act, you have the right to choose refund or replacement without charge after the manufacturer attempts a reasonable number of repairs.
• Obtaining executive customer service is possible for mere mortals, and it can override snotty level 1 reps like the floodwaters of Jesus juice.
Matt’s letter inside….
[Photo: Thomas Hawk]
- “My experience with the original MacBook Pro 17″ was perhaps the most painful computing experience I ever had–3 repairs and difficulty with Apple getting them done–but Apple eventually made it right by giving me a great Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro 17”.
After 3 17″ MacBook Pro repairs in 3 months, my MacBook Pro failed for a fourth time: it refused to go to sleep.
The three repairs I had were painful: the local Genius Bar was less-than-friendly, not exactly competent, and unwilling to deal with my problems quickly. With any other company, I’d not be surprised, but this is Apple, and I bought a $3000 laptop so I expect excellent service.
Early in the MacBook’s life, I noticed that the hard drive was likely to fail as it was making very unusual sounds and I was experiencing disk errors. (I have many years of experience with IT and programming, so I am appropriately knowledgeable to make this assessment.) However, the Genius refused to replace the drive. Of course, it eventually failed–though because I saw it coming, I made daily backups. Still, I lost about a day of work, and I was pissed about that.
The three repairs were for screen problems (3 times), a dead battery, sleep problems (it woke while closed in my laptop bag) and a dead hard drive.
This is a story with a happy ending though. After problems at the Genius Bar, I gave up on using them for the 4th repair and called AppleCare. They ended up making me very happy. I told them that I wanted the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. After some haggling with tech support. I pointed out to Tech Support that at this point I wanted the new model because after three repairs, it was clear that mine was a lemon. I also told tech support that Apple failing to repair the hard drive when I told them it was going to fail was unacceptable, and that I expected some material show of good faith beyond just verbally apologizing to me. After all, when a company with billions of dollars in the bank wants to apologize the right way, they do it by providing something of value–anything else is just empty, insincere words. (of note: I cited my legal right under the Magnuson-Moss warranty act to get my choice of a refund or replacement, but I was told that mentioning anything legal would cause me to be handled by the legal team, so I backed away from that. Whether that means it’s good to obliquely reference it as a threat or it was a bad idea, I’m not sure–exercise left for the reader).
I was transferred customer relations–who offered me the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I’m typing on the new model now–and it’s great. I’ve had it for a couple weeks, and I’m experiencing absolutely no problems with it at all.
Apple continued to make things right. The day before I called tech support for the fourth failure, I sent an email to Steve Jobs to get ‘executive’ customer support. This caused the manager of the local Apple Store to call me and apologize, as well as a member of the ‘executive’ customer support team. Had customer relations not already offered me the new MBP 17″, both the Apple Store and ‘executive’ customer support would have.
Punchline: If you had problems with the original MBP, the new one seem to be much, much better. And if Apple hasn’t yet made things right for you, push them a bit and they probably will.”
— BEN POPKEN
Photo by Thomas Hawk