Apple Executive Customer Support Fills You With Joy

Ahh, the pleasures of emailing Steve Jobs. Once again a reader writes in to tell us that after a warranty repair was denied, emailing Steve Jobs resulted in, uh, undenial. Undenial is not a word, but it is what happens when you email Steve Jobs.

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to write in to tell you how much Apple’s Executive Support rocks!

Two weekends ago I had a problem with my old iBook G3. The problem was the logic board got fried and was supposed to be covered under the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program ( I called their Customer Relations department on Thursday and pleaded my case. They told me I was 9 months late and they would not cover the repair under the program. Naturally, I wrote a letter to Steve Jobs.

On Friday I got a call from Dina in the executive relations department. She said she had received my letter and would have no problem extending the program to cover my laptop. She patched me through to a support engineer who did few minutes of troubleshooting with me to make sure they properly diagnosed the problem. He said what I was experiencing did sound like it was the iBook logic board problem. He said they would replace the logic board, PRAM and the screen to make sure they got it and everything in between fixed. The engineer then said he would be dispatching a prepaid box to my door.

Monday morning I got a call from Dina again. She told me that according to the tracking information the prepaid box was delivered to my house this morning. I got home that evening, and there it was. I packaged up my iBook according to the instructions in the box (they even put tape in there!) and called DHL on Tuesday morning for a pickup.

Thursday (yesterday) morning I get another call from Dina. This time she said FedEx made an attempt to deliver my repaired iBook, however no one was at home to accept the package. I told her I was at work and wouldn’t be home until around 5:30 EST. She said she would call FedEx and have them try again later in the day. Shortly after getting home the doorbell rings and its FedEx.

To make a long story short: I wrote Apple a letter last Thursday. Got a call from Dina on last Friday, and my almost-new-except-for-the-hard-drive repaired iBook the following Thursday (yesterday), all without me having to fork over a penny. In less than a weeks time the whole process was executed from start to finish.

This is what I call excellent customer service!


Dina, who are you? You’re like a superhero or something. Do you have a cape? Moral: If Apple denies your warranty, try emailing Steve Jobs. Write a good letter though. Don’t send him a “boycott gas on May 15” forward. He hates those.

(Photo: Lazy_Lightening)


Edit Your Comment

  1. randombob says:

    I have dealt with Apple before along lines similar. I have a PB G4 17″ that developed a one-pixel wide line down it. Called apple, a few minutes later, they sent a box to pack it in OVERNIGHT to my door, with OVERNIGHT return labels. Fixed in two days, OVERNIGHTED back to me.

    You really can’t beat that. They have their sob stories I’m sure, but I’ve for the most part been very pleased with their reaction time & attention to detail.

    In fact, they JUST sent me 8 new laptop feet along with glue, because I lost one and couldn’t find where to get a new one, and ended up calling them. Sent to me free of charge. Bravo – letting the world know how customer support is supposed to be handled!

    I must say though, that when I did call about the feet, I was first directed to a call center in India. I have already filed a complaint against this, and will do so every time I deal with them.

    How the hell do I say “I lost one of the rubber feet on my laptop which is covered under Applecare” and get as a response “So you need new applecare?”

    um, no. I need new feet. I HAVE applecare.

  2. Dangerdog says:

    And I thought smashing my computer with a sledge hammer was the best approach.

  3. bilge says:

    “This is what I call excellent customer service!”

    But this *isn’t* good customer service! Why weren’t you notified of the logic board repair extension when it first started? Or sent a warning when it was close to ending? Why didn’t the first CSR you spoke to accept your laptop for repair?

  4. TomK says:

    That’s exactly the same type of service I got from apple when my macbook pro had some problem with the main logic board.

    Except, I didn’t have to call steve jobs. They just handled it right the first time from the first number I called.

    Nice apple.

    Also, nice timing for the consumerist since it’s iphone launch day.

  5. nucleotide says:

    I found that dragging the computer to the Apple Store is a good way to bypass the hardball phone CSRs.

    I had a powerbook with a logic board issue that would cause random noise on the screen and shutdown unexpectedly. I spent hours on the phone with apple trying to have them send the laptop in for warranty repair. They flagrantly denied that there was a problem or known issue. It seems that apple phone support deliberately tries to prevent warranty repairs from happening.

    After giving up on the phone route I took the laptop to an apple store. Showed the guy at the “genius” bar the problem. He said this WAS a known issue and that the logic board would need to be replaced. The powerbook was shipped for repairs from the store.

    I think the sales reps in the apple store are more sensitive to people with support issues. Because, if they don’t fix you problem at least you can warn potential buyers that applecare is a farce and their laptops like to self destruct.

  6. azntg says:

    I’m not an Apple user nor owner, but from working with friends who have Macs, I can definitely attest that the store-side support via the Genius bar is miles better than phone support.

    Maybe it’s because it’s another human sitting on the other side of the table instead of some faceless voice on the other side of the line who couldn’t give care less if you have a $1k+ brick.

  7. Chicago7 says:

    Wow! Dina is a Superheroine! I wonder what she looks like in her costume! I’m thinking Wonder Woman, perhaps.

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    If Chris would have included the above kitty picture with his (?) email, Apple would have probably sent an iPhone. On account of its overwhelming cuteness.

  9. nequam says:

    @zirkus: I had a similar problem but the phone support early in the conversation suggested I just stop by the store. It was a smooth transaction all the way around.

  10. juri squared says:

    Oh, this brings back memories. I was one of the people yelling for Apple to acknowledge and repair that stupid G3 logic board issue.

    I went through three logic boards before they gave in and replaced it with a G4.

  11. grebs says:

    Meanwhile, Michael Dell’s email address is changed the minute it becomes public knowledge.

  12. g5_8500 says:

    While I understand that the basic concept behind this website is the enforcement of consumer rights, I feel like this story is one of those cases that neglects to consider the rights of the companies. It just seems as though the message here is to complain when your expectations are not met, regardless of whether or not they are realistic. The Repair Extenesion Program in question had expired, an extension that Apple had voluntarily enacted in response to realization of manufacturing defects. Why would you feel like the warranty and extension were not enough and your computer should continue to function indefinitely?

    I work for an Apple Authorized Service Provider and see many cirumstances where peoples unrealistic expectations result in replacement machines and extended warranties for the sake of customer experience. It makes me sick to see people smash their LCDs, pour liquids on their portables, etc., and have their machine replaced because they are willing to bitch and complain to get their way. On the other hand, those of us that realize that computers are fragile and have a finite lifespan back up our data, get our computers scheduled under homeowners insurance and expect ourt warranties to cover us for the amount of time that we expected.

  13. DudeAsInCool says:

    I was one of the early adopters of an Intel Mac. There was a glitch with the keyboard. Called Apple and had a new keyboard in 48 hours. Yep, this is one company where customer support actually works,

  14. jburland says:

    Why is it necessary to escalate the issue to CEO level to get your warranty claim resolved?

    I called the Apple sales line here in Central Europe to find out when the Intel Mac Mini would be available. Got the information that it would be at least 4-5 months. Ordered a PowerPC MacMini, a week later the Intel version was the only one available.
    Did I get a response from Apple?
    You’d be joking.

  15. bourgeoisie says:

    @jurijuri: if apple replaced your laptop, I’m sure they also sent you a little thing called a non-disclosure agreement….do you know what that means?

  16. MrJames says:

    Dina works hard for the money so you better treat her right! XOXOXO Ilove you, Dina!

  17. Buran says:

    @g5_8500: Because a design flaw is a design flaw and design flaws don’t manifest according to fixed human calendars but should be fixed whenever they crop up.

  18. Buran says:

    @bourgeoisie: Uh… what? I’ve had to replace multiple laptops before and never had to sign any such thing. I suggest you obtain proof of such things before blaming the victim.