Monday, 24 September 2012

Apple MBP Cracked Screen - AppleCare "The Worlds Most Archaic Support"

Sad times, today I dropped my Macbook Pro while leaving the office. Got home to find that I had a series of small fractures across the screen. Thankfully, the LCD is still intact, so only the glass needs to be replaced.

Naturally, I get on the phone to Apple Care:

  • After spending 25 minutes on the phone on hold (having given all the problem details to a robot woman), I finally get through to someone.
  • I then have to re-state all the information that I gave to the robot woman to the gent on the phone.
  • I then explain the level of damage to the screen, as ask for a quote at what the cost would be (roughly) to get it replaced. I get told "£150 for an older model".
  • I ask "Is my [early 2011] model considered old? Is that what it would cost for this model?" - the response is "no" to both. He doesn't know what it would cost "since we don't know the extent of the damage".
  • I repeat the level of damage. Support guy then says "allow £100-£150". OK, at this point I know he just doesn't know and decide to move on.
  • "OK, can I go ahead and get booked in to see someone at the store to get this sorted?". After waiting for a minute or two while he checks individual stores, I get told ALL the stores in central London are fully booked for the week, with one exception on Sunday afternoon.
  • I make the booking, accepting my fate that I now have to work with a cracked screen for a week. Not only that, I actually don't know if/when this is going to be fixed.
Ask yourself this, Apple - is this acceptable?

I fundamentally think that companies boasting profits as much as Apple's really should get their basics in order. In my view, this is how it should work:

  • I ring up, give my details to robot woman including MBP serial number and a chance to describe the problem in 10 seconds.
  • I get told there is a queue, and expected wait time.
  • I then get the choice to wait on hold, or get given a call back.
  • If they don't have my number (i.e. I am blocking it), I get asked to enter it.
  • Agent gets message from the system, opens up my account info, and listens to my problem. He now has the scene set before he calls me.
  • Nice things can happen here like getting relevant info ready on his machine. Possible repair charges, nearest stores with availability etc. You know, relevant information that means I don't get kept waiting while they try and find it.
  • We discuss issue, and make appropriate plans.
Why is a company that boasts having "the worlds smartest software" and insane profits still running call centres that are dumb?

I do genuinely love my Apple products, but man their support is terrible. You are more than just products now Apple, get it together.

UPDATE: Glad to report that all is finally resolved, with a final fee of £150. Unfortunately, Apple said that they had (and always have to) replace the entire screen assembly. Seems rather wasteful, but hey - there product I guess. I complained that that seems incredibly steep for what is actually relatively minor damage. So they waived the labour fee (£25). Just glad to have my baby back in one piece. Just wish the whole process was more organised and less stressful!

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