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Recent Apple Store experience has me rethinking whether I will remain in their ecosystem (1 Viewer)

sidburyjr

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And yeah, I firmly believe you will be pretty miserable with an Android phone. I've still got a half dozen modern Android devices floating around, no way would I want one for my daily driver phone.

Why? My wife and daughter have android phones and they seem similar to my 6+. The reason I ask is two fold: My Kindle Fire seems very similar to my iPad and phone and secondly, I've decided I don't want to spend more than 500 on my next phone and I'd prefer to get a relatively current phone when I upgrade (maybe black friday this year). So android seems like a reasonable bet to me.
 

Sam Posten

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So android seems like a reasonable bet to me.

If Android works for you, that's fine. For me it's simply inelegant. Things don't scale right and often look like they were second rate versions because they took the quick and dirty way of trying to support 4000 variants rather than doing it right and making versions expressly for known hardware capabilities. It's gotten better over time of course, but its still an also ran for me.
 

Johnny Angell

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I have always thought Apple products were over priced, even counting for the quality. Also their apple care leaves something to be desired. You pay extra for it and then there’s still an incident fee sometimes, to get a fix. IMHO, there’s three reasons for all this is not particular order: 1) A large part of their customer base is young and that demographic will often try to take advantage of the manufacturer; 2) Corporate greed; and 3) the customer base puts up with it.

I remember one time I had a problem, that required apple send me a small inexpensive part. It made no sense to me, but Apple wanted the old one back. I printed off the the label and sent it back, it was easy to do but that process probably cost more than the part. I even got warning emails saying to send it back or I’d be charged.
 

Clinton McClure

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I remember one time I had a problem, that required apple send me a small inexpensive part. It made no sense to me, but Apple wanted the old one back. I printed off the the label and sent it back, it was easy to do but that process probably cost more than the part. I even got warning emails saying to send it back or I’d be charged.
This is often done for failure analysis.
 

DaveF

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Long time reader, first time poster, thanks for taking my call. :)

Ultimately, there's an emotional component to this for enthusiasts. I switched from WinTel to Mac in 2007 because I was bored and frustrated with windows. I'd been stagnant for too long and needed something to play with. And MS was lost at sea in that time frame while Apple was doing amazing things in OS X and the Intel transition.

Over a decade later, when it was time to change things up and scratch that itch for something new, I kept my Mac and added a DIY HTPC. But because Apple continues to do amazing things with its ecosystem of iPhone, iPad, and MacOS, there's not the stagnation to break out of that I experienced with Windows. Similarly, since office work is all outdated, underpowered Windows boxes, it's refreshing to have at home zippy, friendly Apple systems.


Through this: I keep thinking of Sam's recurring advice: buy the tool that fits your needs. If that's now a Windows PC instead of a Mac, get that. I think Win10 is very good, very much a peer to macOS depending on tastes and needs. For general home use, I continue to prefer macOS. The apple ecosystem integration is useful. And my wife is a diehard Mac user, so the consistency of single ecosystem makes life easier overall, and brings some minor cost savings with "family" licensing of some software and services.

But if I were using a home computer for pro work, it probably wouldn't be a Mac.

As for customer service: Apple has (reasonably) convenient retails stores that I can go to with catastrophic problems. Which is more than I can say for anyone else. Overall, their service has been fine for me. They've not given me major freebies -- a bummer when I broke an iPhone and an iPad within a month of each other, both out of warranty. But the service was never bad nor less than it should be. And the online service has been ok; they're persistent even if they struggle with some problems.
 

JQuintana

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We bought my daughter an iPhone 7 "Smart Battery Case" for Christmas 2017 and this week she told me the case was cracking and the battery life was not that great anymore. So we took it to the local Apple store and explained the issues and they basically said sorry, out of warranty and nothing we can do. Problem with that is that accessories have a 1 year warranty.

I tried calling the 800# and didn't get too far with them, they too claim they can't help. No idea why or what the deal is since we are within the warranty time frame.

I looked at the Apple site webpage that shows the Smart Case and noticed a bunch of 1 star ratings listed and many folks said their cases were peeling and cracking and battery life stank.

Frustrating that we are out $100 for this POS case.
 

Thomas Newton

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We bought my daughter an iPhone 7 "Smart Battery Case" for Christmas 2017 and this week she told me the case was cracking and the battery life was not that great anymore. So we took it to the local Apple store and explained the issues and they basically said sorry, out of warranty and nothing we can do. Problem with that is that accessories have a 1 year warranty.

I tried calling the 800# and didn't get too far with them, they too claim they can't help. No idea why or what the deal is since we are within the warranty time frame.

I looked at the Apple site webpage that shows the Smart Case and noticed a bunch of 1 star ratings listed and many folks said their cases were peeling and cracking and battery life stank.

Frustrating that we are out $100 for this POS case.

If you paid for this case with a credit card, and the damage is not due to abuse, you might try disputing the charge with your credit card issuer, on the basis of faulty merchandise.

For this, you will need evidence that you made a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute with the merchant. In theory, the credit card issuer could say, "You have already paid the bill, so, sorry, you're out of luck", but in practice they often won't.

There's no guarantee that the credit card issuer will rule in your favor, but if they do so, you'll get your money back.
 

Sam Posten

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this tracks 100% with my experience and it’s not reliable to get free repairs but it has always helped.

Carlo, did you ever get your issue resolved? Seems like you are past it emotionally
 

JohnRice

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this tracks 100% with my experience and it’s not reliable to get free repairs but it has always helped.
So, the moral of the story is that being kind to CS people can pay rewards? It's a shame that this is news. I have only had a few jobs in my lifetime, and most of them, going all the way back to High School, involved customer service and broad ability to solve problems as I chose. Nice, polite, understanding people get service that goes beyond what's absolutely required. Rude people don't. That goes double since I've owned the business. Why is this a surprise?
 

Carlo Medina

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Regarding my issue: it was never resolved but I ended up buying those cheap rubber bumpers from Amazon and fixed it myself.

Regarding the article Sam posted: maybe it didn't come through in my original message, which I posted while frustrated after the experience. I was calm and polite throughout the interaction (and am generally like that in all customer service settings I find myself in). Why? Because I supervise 30+ wonderful CS people in my professional life, and have had many friends--from college to present day--who had to wait tables. I am intimately familiar that jobs designed to help people can be soul sucking based on the attitude of the customer. Which is why I was shocked by the initial encounter's result.

A surprising part of that policy...is that it exists. When I train my CS folks, I never say "bend or break the rules for nice people". I do tell them that their job is to help people within the rules of the organization, but that they are not to take any abuse. And if that happens, I step in immediately. Now if any of them want to bend the rules for someone who gave them a pleasant experience, I certainly wouldn't stop or penalize them for it (unless it was a totally egregious exception that ran counter to the policies of the organization, or would set up unrealistic future expectations for the next CS encounter for that person, who may deal with another employee). But I would never codify it, even in a "secret" policy--because we see how "secret" those types of policies remain.

I understand that rules exist, and I understand that rules can be bent. But I also understand that the bending of the rules can vary based on the organization. My issue would have required a new bottom shell which they say cost $130 (or whatever it was, I don't recall). Do we really think the bottom shell costs Apple $130 based on their manufacturing in China? I'd bet bottom dollar it doesn't cost the company anywhere near that...probably not even half of that. For a $100B+ in cash reserves company and for a loyal customer who was being polite and was one month out of Apple Care, you would have thought they'd find a way.

But I wouldn't expect that level of exception from a smaller company with a smaller revenue stream/profit margin. I've known plenty of small retailers and merchants who have gone out of business during COVID so I know how slim the margins can be. But Apple isn't in that category.

So I guess in summary, I was past it emotionally (in that I hadn't thought of this thread until it was zombie resurrected and showed up in my notifications). But I'm not past it logically, in that I still feel it was the wrong end result on their part. Especially now knowing that they had that secret policy in place and that my interaction was a polite one.

But also, CS interactions boil down to an individual talking with another. Maybe I just got the wrong guy. I know in my own professional life, I could have all the good policies and customer service training I wanted, but some staff that I'd inherited from the previous supervisor were just not good CS employees. Once they left, retired, etc. and I hired in great replacements, suddenly my department has become the pride of our organization. Maybe if I had had the same interaction with another employee at the store, it would have ended differently.
 

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