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Journal maynard's Journal: Applecare Support Nightmare 53

Apple is now [EDIT: OFF] my shit list. Not that I think Steve Jobs actually reads the email sent to his public address [EDIT: HE DID! AND HE HAD AN EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT COMPLETELY RESOLVE MY PROBLEM! SEE COMMENTS FOR DETAILS], but here's my letter in an electronic bottle meant for him:

[EDIT: to include email header info]

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 16:33:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: maynard@some.hostname
To: ****
Subject: Apple Support Nightmare

      Mr. Jobs,

      My name is J. Maynard *******. I am a longtime Apple customer. In fact,
I have an original Apple II (not II+) still in my basement (and it still
works!). I am also an IT Manager for one of the labs at MIT.

      So, I am most disappointed by this experience I will relate. In
September, '06 I bought a white 2Ghz Macbook to replace a four year old
15" TiBook G4. Immediately I had problems with the unit, which finally
went back for service under Applecare. The system was returned still
broken. So I sent it back again. This time the unit has been out in
service for nearly a month.

      See Dispatch number: D11412***.

      After three weeks of my laptop staying "On Hold" waiting for a part, a
CSR recommended I speak with "Customer Relations". I called and spoke with
"Tina", who offered to replace my laptop. And then the process just halted
as I tried calling to confirm and never received any callbacks. I have no
idea what happened.

      See Case ID: 76882***

      Further, Tina informed me that I would not get my boot disc back, even
though the boot disc had not failed. While I did back up my critical
documents, I have GBs of ripped music, application installs, etc which I
will lose.

      At this moment, I still do not have confirmation of a replacement unit,
I'm out a laptop for a solid month, and I will lose my data. Mr. Jobs, you
have a serious problem with your support process and procedures. If
someone at Apple does not resolve this pronto, your company will lose not
only my future purchases, but also my purchase recommendations to graduate
students, professors, and support staff at MIT.

      That computer is a TOOL, not merely a product. So, to sell me a
nonfunctional computer, and then destroy the data it manipulates, is to
negate its very utility; the raison d'etre for my purchase.

      I just want to make this one comparison: Apple II; 30 years old, still
works. Macbook; failed within months, could not be repaired even under
Applecare, customer waited a month for unresolved "service".

J. Maynard *******
24 ****** St.
*******, MA

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Applecare Support Nightmare

Comments Filter:
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday April 26, 2007 @05:37PM (#18891675) Homepage Journal
    Who did you send this to? Have you sent it to Apple? If not, would you like me to forward this to someone (Jobs) who can make something happen? If so, email me with with all your contact info and I'll forward it on to someone who *can* do something about it.

    • by maynard ( 3337 )
      Hey, thanks for your offer of help!

      My email address is public here on /. Feel free to forward that message around to _anyone_ you think might help. *cough!* I sent it to Jobs' public email address: sjobs@apple. Doubt anyone but an administrative assistant will read it though.
      • by BWJones ( 18351 ) *
        Believe it or not, Steve does read his email. Lemme see what I can scare up but my guess is that Steve will forward it to an administrative assistant that will get in contact with you. I suspect :-) that some time next week, someone from Apple corporate relations will send you an email and things will get taken care of. Let me know what happens.

        • I'd be interested in seeing what happens as well.
        • by maynard ( 3337 )
          Hey Bryon,

          Mark B. from Apple contacted me on behalf of Steve Jobs. Looks like he's resolving the whole thing. Will post a more complete update once I have my laptop.
          • by BWJones ( 18351 ) *
            :-D Happy to be of assistance.

            • by maynard ( 3337 )
              So, does that mean you want a bottle of wine too? :P
              • by BWJones ( 18351 ) *
                While I do enjoy a nice wine from time to time, I will politely decline your generous offer in simple deference to helping the Macintosh community simply be a better place to live. :-D

                • by maynard ( 3337 )
                  The meaning of that message is that Mark not only got me a new replacement laptop, but also had my original faulty laptop shipped back to me so I could extract my old data. So, yeah. They *really* came through for me. So I thanked the each of them with a *very* good bottle of Cabernet.

                  Jeesh. I can't *imagine* any CEO of a +billion dollar company taking action on a single customer's complaint. That really is pretty amazing. I'll update this journal entry so it doesn't leave the wrong impression to any other
  • by Oswald ( 235719 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:36AM (#18970803)
    maynard, I totally understand that you don't want to seem like an ungrateful ass after people took some trouble to fix your problem, so I'll be an ass for you: this incident does not reflect well on Apple. Apple is run by Steve Jobs, so it does not reflect well on Jobs, either. I'm very glad that BWJones stepped up and brought your situation to the big man's attention, but unless this incident causes Jobs to wade into the muck and clean house (granted, I'll never know one way or the other), then it's just another case of a guy with connections getting his itch scratched while the rest of us go rot. Hell, I'm pretty sure if I knew somebody who was on a first name basis with Bill Ford I could get the Check Engine light in my Taurus extinguished.

    Hardly a "computer for the rest of us," is it?

    • As it turns out, Bryon had nothing to do with it. The assistant who helped me didn't know of him and was taking directing from Mr. Jobs. Bryon's still a nice dude, though. :)

      As for your opinion of Jobs and Apple... *shrug*. Fine opinion. I certainly was pissed off when I originally wrote that letter. I'm not pissed any longer. I very much like how this was resolved. Not out of some great awe of Steve Jobs, but because Jobs -- in his official capacity as CEO -- took action to retain a single customer. Personally, I'm not worth much money to Apple. And even in my job, I probably couldn't kill more than a few dozen to a hundred sales over the next few years; I'm small fry. That's why I'm so impressed. It was *not* in Mr. Jobs' short-term (quarterly) interest to waste time on me. Yet he did. Which shows a set of ethical standards beyond quarterly profit reports. I like that.
      • It also happens to show that merely attempting to serve each customer in the best way sometimes has unintended positive consequences. You've made it to the /. frontpage now, and while there will be lots of fanboy and flamer debates raging about this situation, you're still going to get Apple noticed (again... this isn't the first time this has happened) for their desire to give people what they want and still be a successful, growing business.

        FWIW - I convinced my wife to buy an iMac about a year ago after
        • I've also had the lemon -> roses experience with Apple. I had so many issues with a particular Apple store that I complained like crazy about it. I got an email from a CSR that I had talked to saying that they would look into it, and about 4 weeks later the place had replaced nearly half their staff.

          The service there is now excellent, and I haven't had a problem with them since.

          Apple actually does care - they have the same faults as any company, but I really get the feeling that they care a whole lot mor
        • by Teancum ( 67324 )
          While not Apple Computer, there is a local computer retailer who also does "custom building" of computer equipment (mainly PCs and mostly with Microsoft products, but otherwise pretty good) who go out of their way to find high quality equipment instead of super cut rate garbage. I've been using their store now for over 15 years, and when the chance came I ended up directing nearly a quarter of a million dollars their way on my recommendation.

          This retailer has a "graveyard" where they list all of the comput
          • Yes, see that's relationship building. The small retailer built a strong relationship with you through quality service, and now you, being in a position to build a new relationship, used an existing positive one to do so: a true win-win business scenario.

            What I think is interesting is that Apple has always really built relationships from the bottom up. They catered to schools and individual consumers since their inception, and they continue to do just that under Steve Jobs' leadership. Microsoft has approac
      • Ethical standards or you just lucked out and caught Jobs on a nice day??
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by dfghjk ( 711126 )
        You should be impressed. You're a whiner with a rather ordinary problem that didn't get resolved immediately. Happens every day. Apple states clearly that you should back up your data before providing your machine for service and they explicitly say that your data may be removed as part of the service process. This isn't simply an Apple thing. In your case, getting a machine replaced means losing the data on the drive. Name one computer company that does otherwise.

        I bought a MBP when it first came out
        • A whiner throwing a temper tantrum? You must have much lower expectations of customer service than I do, because his letter to Apple is much more polite than mine would have been in the same situation. If I was forced to go without my laptop because of poor design or bad parts, then was run through CS hell when trying to resolve the problem--and this from a company that is known for its quality and customer service!--you can be certain my language would have been a little more colorful.

          As I see it, we a

      • He is right, backup your data next time, nobody is responsible for maintain your data but you.
        • by maynard ( 3337 )
          Absolutely right. I did back up my critical data, just not the GBs worth of music and application installs. But there is no doubt that Apple had no obligation to help me save the state of my old laptop. I did suggest to the executive assistant that Apple might be able to turn such a service into a profitable product. He pointed out that if one drops their laptop off at an Apple store, for $50 their technical staff will transfer your data for you.

          So, it would appear that:

          a) they will do this for a customer l
          • by nekura ( 600099 )
            Actually, I believe they do this in the service center too, or at least used to. I purchased a rev. A 17" PowerBook back in the day, which somehow managed to ship without its wireless card. When I sent the laptop in, they offered to transfer the data, but I don't remember for how much, only that it was a non-free amount. I declined, since I didn't have much data on the laptop, but oddly enough when I received the new one they had backed my data up to it anyway.
            • by maynard ( 3337 )
              Huh. Perhaps Apple changed their policies. Or perhaps they made an exception for you as well as me. *shrug*

              That 17" PB was a real nice toy, eh? I almost bought one too. But after trying one I decided that the 15" was easier to tote around.
              • by nekura ( 600099 )
                It was a nice toy until I bought my 17" MacBook Pro. :) 15" is definitely more mobile, but I usually use my machine at home, with some flights and LAN parties mixed in, and the 17" was perfect for that. Plus, I think if I had gone with a smaller screen I would've been more prone to buying one of those cinema displays. :)
      • this story is nothing short of amazing. For a CEO of a large company like Apple to respond and take care of one person.....its probably unprecedented. Steve Ballmer of MS would never even think of doing such a thing. I bet MS has a policy against it! Huh, will wonders never cease.
    • I'd also like to remind you that you are a lab administrator of MIT. I really can't put any more emphasis on MIT here. that would look very bad to tick off MIT. however I personally didn't expect Steve to do such a thing. This kind of makes apple the polar opposite of dell. if Dell decides to support Ubuntoo whole hartedly and improve their customer support, they might actually be able to pull thier name out of the IT gutter. Congrads
      • by uab21 ( 951482 )
        Interesting that you should mention Dell. Many moons ago I ordered a Dell desktop, and went through a chain of problems with their order process that resulted in being sent to the back of the order queue after already waiting the 6 weeks listed in the original order. All the problems were internal to Dell, and I was *pissed off*. I managed to find an email address for Michael Dell online, or at least one that might be his, composed a reasoned email and sent it off. The next morning I got a call from a V
      • by maynard ( 3337 )
        I'd also like to remind you that you are a lab administrator of MIT.

        Not true. I am technically "Sponsored Research Technical Staff", not a Lab Administrator. Not that it matters.

        But you're right. I probably should not have publicly used my position at MIT as leverage in this matter.

    • It's easy to get insulated from the day to day operations when you work at the top. Believe it or not, Steve is only one man (until he clones himself, then we can have an army of iSteves on the board of Apple) so he can't control everything. Customer Service is the worst part of any company; it's hard to do right, and even if you do it right, it still won't be good enough for 20% of your customers.

      In a company as big as Apple, things can slip through the cracks. Not *everyone* they hire in their customer se
  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @02:04PM (#18975823)
    I saw one thing that stuck out in your complaint: MIT . No way they want a customer with ties at one of the most (if not the most) prestigious science/technology schools in the country walking away from their business in a foul mood. I seriously doubt you would have gotten this incredible level of love if you worked at Bob Jones University.
  • Hey I bought a Toshiba Tecra notebook for about $2500 back in Sept in Canada. I moved to London Uk It broke in january and fried the firewire port on my camera. I took it into a certified Toshiba repair site in London on Feb 9th last monday i called toshiba and complained and they said someone would call me in 24-48 hours On thur I called back asking why nobody had returned my call. I also asked to speak to a supervisor. The call support guy REFUSED. He said I neede to call Toshiba UK (even though the repai

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