I have been a strong supporter of Apple products since I switched from a PC four years ago. I've told everyone how great the products are and how well they work. I've gotten my friends and family on board with various devices and computers.
That has now all changed.
I am a freelance multimedia designer. It's how I make a living. So when I have computer issues, I need them fixed or I lose money and clients.
- Last week my MacBook Pro booted to a blue screen.
- I searched the Apple discussion forums to find a fix.
- I held down various keys to try to boot from safe mode, from the installation disk, etc.
- With none of these options working, I called Apple Support and paid $50 for over the phone support
- After explaining everything I'd tried, the technician told me it was the Hard Drive and I needed to take my computer to an Apple Store, boot it up from a separate Mac, and run disk utility to try to repair the disk.
- The closest Apple Store is 1 hour away.
- I drive an hour immediately to the Apple Store, and have them do what the technician said
- The response I got was "Your HD is shot, it needs to be replaced."
- I say "Well, I'm here, let's do it. Time is valuable here."
- They say "We aren't doing repairs tonight. You have to come back tomorrow."
- I say, "So if I drive an hour home, and then an hour back tomorrow, you'll be able to back up my data and replace the HD?"
- They say "No, we can replace the HD but we don't back up data. You need to have a 3rd party do the back up. But we can get you a 1 Terabyte HD, where now you only have a 100 gigabyte one."
- So I drive an hour home, and find the closest place that can back up my data. It is also, an hour away.
- So Monday, I drive an hour to a 3rd party company. I drive an hour home.
- Tuesday I drive an hour back to the 3rd party company, pick up my external hd with my backed up data, my computer, and drive 30 min back to the Apple Store.
- I tell the technician I need a new HD. He says the best they can do is a 160 gigabyte HD. I ask about the 1 terabyte one. He says that's not possible.
- He asks me what OS I am running. I say "Snow Leopard, the latest version. Here's my installation disk." He says "We don't need it, we have a copy."
- I drive an hour home
- Wednesday I get a call my computer is ready for pick up.
- I drive an hour to the Apple Store.
- I pick up my computer and bring it home.
- I turn it on, and they've installed regular leopard, not snow leopard.
- I find out Lion is released. I get excited. "I'll just get Lion right now!!"
- I cannot get Lion running regular leopard. I need snow leopard to get Lion.
- I try to install snow leopard myself. I get an error 10 min in. And then my computer won't boot up again.
- I call Apple Support and reopen my case. The technician, Robert, calls the Apple Store for me. He says he is sorry for the confusion, but he has set up a appointment for me the next day and I need to take my computer back to the Apple Store, and have them install Snow Leopard.
- I ask "Can't they just install Lion?" He says "No, you have to download and install that yourself."
- I get mad and call the Apple Store directly and demand they install the correct version that evening, not the next day. The woman I spoke to said "No problem, we spoke with Robbert so just get here as fast as you can and we'll take care of you."
- So I drive an hour back to the Apple Store, for the 4th time in 3 days, for the 2nd time that day
- When I get there, the woman I spoke to is gone and no one has any clue what I'm talking about.
- I speak to the manager. He says they can install the correct version, but it may take over night.
- I tell him "I know it only takes 45min to do, so if you think I'm driving home again and back tomorrow he must be insane."
- They rush and get Snow Leopard installed as the store is closing.
- I drive an hour home
- On the way, I purchase a song on my iPhone to try to ease the stress. The song does not download, but instead erases all media from my phone. Great.
- I get home, and immediately turn on my computer, open the Mac App Store, and buy Lion.
- Error Message: You do not have the right processor to buy Lion.
- Of course.
- But at least I have my computer back and I can work on the now 3 projects I've been pushing back.
- Computer freezes again. Boots to blue screen again. Exact same problem I had at the very beginning.
- Not only was the diagnosis wrong with two paid on the phone technicians and the Apple Genius bar, but no one bothered to check and see if the problem was ever fixed. They guessed, had me pay for a new HD and labor, and sent me on my way.
- I give up, exhausted and worried. I turn on my Apple TV to get my mind off things. No streaming videos with no computer. Open Netflix.
- "Netflix is currently not available."
- Thursday, 7/21, I reopen my case on the phone for the 2nd time. The technician, evidently a different "Robert," listens as I explain the whole ordeal and how badly I feel I've been treated.
- I demand a refund in the "fixes" because they didn't fix anything. He says "Let me call the Apple Store you went to and see what I can do."
- He calls back an hour later and says while he can't refund what I've already paid, he is going to make an exception for me seeing as all the trouble I've been through has affected my business and my view of Apple products.
- He says he will ship me a box that will arrive Friday, 7/22. I am to put my laptop in the box and mail it back. They will work on it and I will get it back by Wednesday, 7/27.
- He apologizes again and says not to worry, they are going to set me up with "quite a nice machine" to make up for all this.
- 2 minutes later I get another call from Apple. They want to know if I am interested in a part time job as a support specialist. I forgot I had applied earlier this month.
- I do a 30 min interview about my knowledge and troubleshooting with Apple Products
- Friday goes by, no box arrives.
- I do a 2nd interview about becoming an Apple Support Specialist
- Saturday, Sunday, & Monday go by, no box arrives.
- Monday evening, tonight, I reopen my case a third time just to make sure the address is correct and to make sure the box will come tomorrow.
- I speak to a senior technician named Khurram. I ask for Robert. He says he cannot connect me with Robert.
- I tell Khurram the whole story, everything I've been through. I ask about the box and how I want to confirm my address.
- He does some checking, and tells me Robert never sent a box, at all.
- I've been waiting 3 days for nothing.
- He takes my information and says he will get me a box tomorrow.
- I tell him that Robert promised me a very good machine and I say I just want something that will run Lion
- Khurram says no, that's impossible.
- He says he will take care of me, just like Robert said.
So now we're back to square one. A week and half ago I was practically a walking Apple crusader, telling everyone and anyone that Apple was the way to go. I even applied to work for them.
But after this insane, poorly managed fiasco, I don't want to work for Apple. My view of the company and products has changed entirely. I've been passed from one "genius" to the next, driving for hours and hours, losing money everyday because of this.
I lost one of my freelance jobs. A second one is on the fence. I have to borrow a PC from the third company in order to meet a deadline. I feel I've been made to look so unprofessional.
I cannot run a freelance business that hinges on a product that is so poorly supported in technical problems. I doubt my next system will be an Apple product. I doubt I will be recommending Apple products to my friends and family in the future. I know I won't step foot in the Apple Store at Polaris Fashion Mall in Columbus, OH again. I might however, be relaying this story.
That is how much this issue has affected me and my business.