Last Wendesday, I was sitting in my dorm room by myself, doing homework on my Macbook, which is less than two months old. After typing my essay for a while, I went on my bed to do some other homework. Nobody else was in the room at all during this time, just me. After about 10 minutes, I returned to my computer, opening it only to see that 1/3 of the screen was broken.
My MacBook has never been dropped, I didn’t bump it, close it with any more force than I had ever previously closed it with, hit it on or with anything, nothing fell on it, and nothing (such as a pen) was resting on the keyboard when I closed it. I opened it, and the screen was cracked.
After freaking out and not being able to sleep all night because I was worrying about it, I went to the Apple Store in Chestnut Hill, MA for my appointment with the Genius Bar at 6:30pm. The genius, Jason, who helped my mother and I, was really awesome. I cannot say anything negative about him. He did what he could to help us, which was to tell us that, essentially, my $250 AppleCare warranty was basically a waste of money because now I had to pay $755 to have my screen fixed because it wasn’t covered under the warranty.
Uhm…excuse me? When I was buying the MacBook, the sales associate who forced Apple Care onto me, told me that it would cover anything that should happen to the computer, aside from water damage. I must stress that the associate, at the particular store where I went to ask about the problem, told me ANYTHING would be covered EXCEPT for water damage. Well, this isn’t water damage. Yet, they still tell me I have to pay $755.
So, Jason gets the manager, Chris, to come talk to us. Everything went downhill from here. Of course I was upset, my computer which cost $1704 when everything was said and done, was broken after almost exactly two months, and they wanted another $755 to fix it even though I didn’t cause the damage and I have the warranty.
Chris was awful. Some people just should NOT be in customer service. We explained what had happened, and all he could say was that I MUST have dropped my computer, which I didn’t, or whenever he responded to something I said or asked, he “couldn’t” comment on it. Well, when it went back and forth for a while of “You dropped it” and “No I didn’t!”, I finally asked, well, are you calling me a liar? He comes out with another one of his “I can’t comment on that”. Wow, was I so mad at this point.
I picked up my laptop, walked over to the nearest people looking at computers, showed it to them and said not to buy a Mac. At which point, Chris comes over to me, and physically puts his hands on me and pushes me away from them (yes, he really touched me. yes, he really pushed me. No, it wasn’t a very hard push, I am not bruised or injured, but the fact still remains that he did something that he should have NEVER done), and he told me to leave the store, making a scene and running out into the hallway of the mall and saying “Get out!” and calling for security.
Yes, I was wrong in apparently “Harassing” other customers. Please note that everything was 100% civil until maybe the last 90 seconds of my probably hour in the store. Everything was fine until he basically told me I was lying.
All I want is to not be treated like crap by a company where I’ve spent thousands of dollars on their products (2iPods and songs on iTunes before I owned my MacBook), and where I buy a warranty that I was convinced by the Apple Salesperson would cover anything except for water damage. I would not have bought this computer had the salesperson been honest to me about what the warranty did and did not cover. All I want is for my MacBook to be fixed by Apple.
Assuming everything you say is true and occurred as you described, I have an idea for you. Go back to the store and talk to Chris. Ask him one last time for a warranty repair as there’s no way you could have dropped it. When he says no, inform him that you now feel compelled to exercise your civic duty and warn other customers about the dangers of buying a macbook, and that you will be standing outside the store for the next few weeks showing anyone who will listen to you your damaged screen and story. He’s right that you can’t do this inside the store but he can’t do anything about you outside the store.
The situation and tactics are similar to the one described in this post, “How To Kick A Scammy Car Dealer In The Nuts.” In that case, a man was deprived of his rightful $1500 discount and so he printed up flyers explaining his issue and informed the store that he would be spending his next few weekends in front of the dealership’s sidewalk passing them out. There, the dealership was smart enough of a businessman to cut the writer his check on the spot without him even having to pass out a single flyer.
You might try saying something like this to Chris (a customized version of text lifted from Unscrewed) before you start warning other citizens :
“Chris, at this point, it doesn’t really matter to me whether I get my money back or my laptop repaired or not. I am going to exercise my First Amendment right to stand on that public sidewalk in front of your store. I’ll show my laptop to anybody walking into your store and tell them my story”
‘ll bet that, in just a handful of Saturdays, I can convince a couple of dozen people to shop elsewhere. It could end up that, by not paying me what’s due to me, you lose ten times that much in future business. It won’t put any cash in my pocket, but I’ll feel a lot better about things. What do you think?”
The key is to be cool and collected. You might be quaking with anger inside, but outside, you’re James Dean. You’re not making it personal, it’s just business, and you’re just a citizen performing your civic duty.
You can also consider typing up a flyer that briefly explains your problem and provides people an email address to contact you at. Bring those along with you. Show them to Chris. Hopefully he’ll see the error of his ways and you won’t have to use them.
Or you could call the Apple Warranty Department, or just fwd your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org, though we’d really like to see you give the in-person approach a try.
The manager told us via email that he didn’t push Stephanie.