Apple Care, or, Eating Crow -- Please read and comment

#1
Hi,

I recently posted in many places my very fine experience with Apple Care. But, now I must qualify that rosy picture.

My TiBook *did* come back in record time. And the people on the phones were really open and helpful, and I knew what was happening all the time -- this is still a good thing.

Ironically, they simply didn't fix my TiBook. After close examination, and talking with many people, here and at work, I have learned that though the return bill came back *claiming* that they replaced the button and latch in the base of my unit, it wasn't replaced at all: I still have the same, chipped base latch plate that holds the hook (for a full description of the problem, see my post in the TiBook forum).

So, now for the part I want your comments on: I am proposing to put up a website where people can post their own, and comment on other's, Apple Care experiences specifically. I would create a searchable web site with as much information as I can put together regarding Apple Care. My goal would be to get this site so popular, that Apple would take notice, perhaps, and use the information they learn to make a better system. More pessimistically, it would be a support group :)

Now, I think this MacOSX.com is a great place to host this, so if the powers that be want me to build this section here, I would be happy to do that. Otherwise, I'd just do it off my own site, http://www.zeroaltitude.org, and would probably name it http://appleservice.zeroaltitude.org or something like that.

I would welcome any and all comments on my experiences, as well as on my proposal.

Thanks,

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RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
#2
Just a simple question if I may?

Did everyone at Apple handle (or mishandle) your system? Usually when someone (an individual) does something wrong, I go to the person's supervisor, or the supervisor's supervisor. I don't make a web site to try and make some major point about it.

I mean, what was the response from AppleCare after you told them what had happened? Did you in fact contact them? You don't seem to have that part in your story.

This really does seem a little blown out of proportion for what information you have given us.
 
#3
Hi,

A point of clarification: the purpose of the website I am proposing is not to react to my particular issue. The point of the website I am proposing is to let people who have had problems write about them. Perhaps just lauding people to go to epinions is better, but I don't know. At any rate, another point of clarification is that I am in no way picking on 'everybody at Apple' as a whole, and nor have I made any claims about any particular department or subgroup of Apple doing anything wrong or amiss. Where did you get that from, RacerX, if indeed I am reading the implication of your second paragraph correctly?

Perhaps calling it a 'support group' or stating a goal as 'being noticed by Apple' is an exaggeration -- I can accept that. But if you have read some of the stories from *other* people who have had Apple Care problems, maybe you would start to see a value in such recognition apart from my particular case.

If you have caught a number of the threads on this forum regarding problems with Apple Care, you will realize that some people have had really really bad experiences. If you care for a link to an interesting issue with the new dual-Gig G4's, and the problems people have had with dealing with Apple Care with those issues, I will dig it up. [edited: see end of this post]

Again, my point was not that my particular issue was grossly mishandled (as I have said here and elsewhere, with the exception of the fact that my laptop was not treated, everything else went very well, and in other forums, I have posted my praise of Apple Care on these other well-handled transactions). Though, it does seem to me that sending the machine back, having not been touched the first time, for the second time for the *same* defect, and not having the use of my machine for *another* 5 or 6 days, is at the very least annoying, and hard to explain.

But not grossly mishandled. However, if there were a single place for people to talk about their dealings with Apple Care, it might make some people who have had a harder time feel better.

I hope this clarifies things.

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p.s. It is not possible to contact the chain of command, as I have no record of who 'handled' my TiBook -- how would I acquire such a record? At any rate, again, I *have* called Apple Care back, and I *am* sending the machine back again, and once again, I was treated very well on the phone, and very quickly have received my box, and hope to ship my baby off tomorrow. As I have said in every one of my posts on this issue, I am *very pleased* with the responsiveness of Apple Care's customer service department. Of course, this good treatment will be rather mitigated in its effectiveness if once again my TiBook is returned unrepaired... (which is, to a lesser extent, where others who have had trouble with Apple Care have had their troubles, as well, and hence my suggestion and request for comments)

p.p.s. Couldn't resist putting this link:

http://www.macnet2.com/opinion/oped/index.shtml
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
#4
by zeroaltitude
Where did you get that from, RacerX, if indeed I am reading the implication of your second paragraph correctly?
From this statement...


I am proposing to put up a website where people can post their own, and comment on other's, Apple Care experiences specifically. I would create a searchable web site with as much information as I can put together regarding Apple Care. My goal would be to get this site so popular, that Apple would take notice, perhaps, and use the information they learn to make a better system.
Maybe I am missing something, but how much more noticeable do you want to be? The stance you wish to take (and remember you asked for comment here) is one of an angry activist, which is quite a few degrees more intense than an unhappy customer. No one wants to make a site to air the dirty laundry of of a company that they are, how did you put it... *very pleased* with.

As for talking with supervisors, your computer does not and can not move through AppleCare without a record of who did the service on it. I would have suggested putting the energy you seem to want to aim at a web site into shaking the AppleCare tree to see which bad Apples (pun intended) fall out.

As for your link, I too have come across the problem that they are talking about, but consider Apple's position for one moment... this is a third party part that is one of the most popular video cards of it's type, and Apple has been working very hard to get this company (which could careless if it has Apple business to begin with) to release new generations of it's cards on Macs first. The people I talked to have said that this is were the hold up is, and AppleCare has their hands tied while Apple and NVIDIA work this out at NVIDIA's leisure. To bad ATI is not as popular as they once were.

As someone who has had to work with the service/support departments of Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Silicon Graphics in addition to Apple's, I can tell you that John Manzione does not know what he is getting into when going into the Windows world. The best companies to work with have been Apple, Sun, IBM, and SGI because I was not working with Windows on any of them. There is nothing like being shuttled between companies. This has happened more times than I can count. Being in a Windows world with a problem means that everyone can wash their hands of the problem by pointing the finger at someone else.

That having been said, I still think you should take a stronger stance with the people at AppleCare (no matter how nice they sound on the phone).
 
#5
Hi RacerX,

I admit, I did feel angry when I learned my TiBook had not been repaired. So it's quite possible I came across stronger than I intended. However, I am also surprised that the section of my earlier post that you quoted implied, in your mind, an angry, activist stance that was targeted at Apple in general.

On the contrary: though irritated, the fact that I was very pleased with the way I had been treated most of the time during my brief interaction with AC (for short!) I thought would be a clue that while my mindset was irritated, it was by no means the sort of uncontrolled burst of emotion that I would characterize as a tirade.

I think we might disagree about a few detailed items. I do not think that a site aimed at letting people share their feelings about AC is 'airing Apple's dirty laundry' -- I find sites like epinions valuable, both for the information they share, as well as, hopefully, for the stimulus that it puts on the market to treat its customers well. It is also hard to make excuses for Apple's output of defective devices by citing a lack in the supply or newness of the NVidia card: certainly as an explanation you are correct. But the output of defective materials should be caught earlier in the supply chain (ideally), or handled with more grace than was shown to JM. At least, so I would argue.

I worry that without consumers advocating for themselves in groups, when advocating for themselves individually fails (as in JM's case), nothing good will happen to help consumers in general. I openly grant that in my own case, things may, will probably, should, turn out fine. But I worry that many others like JM have given up far before their legitimate concerns have been met. Can't these people do more to promote change as a group, than they could individually?

Apparently, by the relative silence on this thread, I find myself in a minority. Which is not a bad thing: perhaps it indicates that there *really aren't* a lot of JMs out there. And if that's true, then, clarification or no, the point is moot, and I am happy to be wrong. I would love to believe that Apple is as good with its customer support as Dell and Gateway have been for me in my frequent past encounters with them.

At any rate, to answer your question: I want to be *the most noticeable person on the planet.* :) But seriously, I will take your suggestion and see if I can't find out what did happen at Apple Care, in the hopes that I will increase the chances that my next return of my TiBook will yield better news.

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RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
#6
by ZeroAltitude
Apparently, by the relative silence on this thread, I find myself in a minority.
I wouldn't take it that far. I know some people would not feel as comfortable posting such concerns as you have been. You should consider that very empowering no matter what.

As for a place to post about AC, I believe that Apple has done an incredible thing by having the discussion section on their site. That is a place where you can go and state your concerns, and you know other Apple users are going to see it (and even though Apple says they don't watch it... they do).
 
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