In the past I’ve had good to very good customer service with Apple Computer, but not tonight.
My MacBook Pro has been running very slow for a year. Yes, a year. I think it’s picked up a bug or some malware I can’t see in China. Over there there’s really nothing I can do. Today I made an appointment using my Apple computer on their site using their system.
The only appointments in Northbrook were in the evening, which is an inconvenience. The other location Skokie had no appointments till Friday. I booked a slot and went about my day running errands and visiting my aunt.
Tonight it was raining, but I drove to the mall hoping to return with a speedier computer.
When I arrived there was a line of four people waiting to check in. Alright. I was surprised because in high end businesses customers aren’t supposed to wait especially when three employees are talking with two customers. Yep, three. A man entered the store after me and asked one of them for help and he was told he should get in the line. One of the Apple employees pulled out his phone and seemed to try to start a second line, but he couldn’t. That’s a glitch.
When it was my turn I gave the clerk my name and appointment time. She couldn’t see the my appointment. She said she only had one appointment at 7:45. She then said I should check my phone to see if the appointment’s there. It irks me that they assume everyone has an iPhone. I don’t want to be that embedded with anyone company, though I know a lot of people have iPhones.
So next I was dispatched to find evidence of the appointment. I took my computer to the side table and tried to look for an email confirming the appointment. The frustrating thing is it takes so long for my computer to boot up, hence the visit to Apple on a rainy night. I really had hoped to have gotten to explain the urgency of my visit and get an appointment since only one person was booked for 7:45. Surely more than one technician is working tonight.
The clerk did come by to ask if I found the confirmation, but when I replied no I was still waiting for their computer to boot up she told me to use their computer and walked off uninterested in helping. She sensed my mood was souring and didn’t want to deal with me.
Finally, I got into my inbox and didn’t see a confirmation. I am busy all day tomorrow but could come back, but not in the evening. I found the clerk who was milling about and explained the situation. She was adamant that she could not accommodate me and wasn’t interested in hearing about my case. It seems to me that if you’re representing a high end company as a customer service clerk, you should have an interest in the customers and their pathetic stories and computer woes. Well, I’m not in Japan any more so of course they don’t. Maybe I should have found an Apple store in Osaka.
I worked in customer service for a clothing store that never treated people the way I was treated. All the associates had to wait till the last customer left the store even if that meant 20 of us hung out an extra hour. We’d have been taken to task if we showed the smallest sign of annoyance — even when it’s justified. Now clothing isn’t a computer, in fact it’s not as essential since anyone who shopped at Mark Shale had loads of clothes at home. I doubt my problem would have taken all that much time, but it would have meant the world to me if they had customer-oriented clerk at the door.
I just bought an Apple Time Capsule to back up my data. It’s due to arrive tomorrow and cost $300. It’s going right back to the store. I like their products but they cost an awful lot more than PCs. Financially, I’d be better off with a different brand and this one clerk’s inability and disinterest in helping is leading me away from the brand.
I guess car repair can be as frustrating, but boy have dealerships upped their service in the last few years. I know I could call in for help, but I want someone to see the screen, not for an operator to ask me if I see X or Y and tell me where to click next when I can’t see X or Y.
Some semblance of caring would have gone a long way to keep a customer loyal.