1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2014 11:57 PM by pfoley_Aus
liles13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

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.

Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.0.x)
  • 1. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    AussieDJ Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    Yeah, that doesn't sound like much fun.


    How did they get the data off your old HDD if it's shot?

  • 2. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)




    If you require a computer for buisness, you have two and sync between them.


    Never have one point of failure. Time is money. especially gas money.


    I have a slightly older machine, and a brand new one, always in rotation about 2-3 years apart.



    I also live over 300 miles from a Apple Store, so it's necessary.



    Still a Mac is a heck of a lot better in build quality that a PC.


    But one can toss a original price $600 PC and cut their losses with a new machine gotten anywhere just about.


    My 4 year old Mac is still worth $900 and my new one set me back almost $4000.

  • 3. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    Andrew Mcvinnie Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Your whole story ***** and I am sorry for you. However, this is what I do when that sort of thing happens. Apparently your MacBook is old if it has a Core Duo (not a Core2Duo for Lion).


    The easiest solution would have been to just buy a new one, and have the old one repaired at leisure. That's what a  professional would do. Then, once your old one is repaired, it is a back up machine for future fiascos. Also, buy APPLECARE. It's worth it's wieght in gold. Once, I brought an iMac in for repair for the same issue a second time and their solution was to just hand me a brand new iMac, two models newer than the broken one.


    When my wife was working on her master's thesis, her iMac died. Just died. No startup nothing, no screens. Just dead. It was 8 pm. her Thesis was due in 5 days. We rushed to the Apple store and simply bought a new iMac. Then the next day, I brought her old one for repair. It took a week, but was fixed--after the thesis was due. But it wasn't a point of stress for us because her thesis was on Time Machine backup and on her new iMac, and turned in.


    So although your situtation is insane and I totaly feel for you, you have to operate under the assumption that EVERYONE IS A MORON, and cover your own butt (maybe it's just the Gen-Xer in me). I assume situations like yours will happen everywhere. The Apple Store, the Crocs Store, Cold Stone Creamery, the driver's license place, ... customer support will always be like your experience. If you think that it doesn't happen everywhere, just go buy a Dell--I've used their support as well. only they mailed me a bluetooth chip and had me install it myself...omg.

  • 4. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    CaptainBG1 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Forgive me for being blunt, but if you're a multimedia designer and absolutely depend on your computer, and more specifically your data, there is no excuse to not be using some kind of data backup tool. Time Machine is a fantastic app that showed up a few years ago, I think with Leopard (10.5), and makes a complete backup of all your important data - easily, quickly, and automatically. Even if you decide to never use another Mac (based on your experience I can't say I blame you), you need to be using some kind of data backup with external storage. External hard drives are very cheap nowadays, and regardless of what kind of computer you use they will save you much of the hassle you've been through. Many off-the-shelf products even include backup software of some kind in the box, though I recommend doing some research and deciding on software that meets your needs, budget, and schedule. However, you will be hard-pressed to find one that works as well as Time Machine.


    Message was edited by: CaptainBG1 Clicked the wrong reply button, message was meant for Liles13.

  • 5. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    AussieDJ Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    CaptainBG1 wrote:


    Forgive me for being blunt, but if you're a multimedia designer and absolutely depend on your computer, and more specifically your data, there is no excuse to not be using some kind of data backup tool. Time Machine is a fantastic app...


    He said he used Time Machine:


    Andrew Mcvinnie wrote:


    But it wasn't a point of stress for us because her thesis was on Time Machine backup and on her new iMac, and turned in.
  • 6. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    CaptainBG1 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Sorry, my response was intended to be directed towards Liles13.

  • 7. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    AussieDJ Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    CaptainBG1 wrote:


    Sorry, my response was intended to be directed towards Liles13.


    Well in that case, your 100% correct.

  • 8. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)

    You have had an extraordinary bad experience, and one I think that is not typical. I have never encountered anything like that in my dealings with Apple. It sounds like you got incompetant advice from the very beginning. Did the Apple Store even run a diagnostic hardware test? They should have!


    There is one further avenue of appeal that you could try. Call Apple on the phone, and ask to speak specifically to Apple Customer Relations. They are a special tier that can often help when people encounter the kinds of difficulties that you have.


    Before calling, make a written outline of everything that happened to you, and fill in as many names and times as you can. Tell ACR everything. It sounds like you may have encountered a bunch of poorly trained Apple employees. There is no excuse for the kind of runaround that you experienced.

  • 9. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    AussieDJ Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    It's a simple case of, the guy had a very old model, and obviously not all staff are going to be knowledgeable going back further than say 3 - 4 years, so it's understandable really. But they probably shouldn't have given advice unless they are experienced with that particular model, but they were obviously just trying to be helpful.

  • 10. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    CMCSK Level 6 Level 6 (10,425 points)

    Apple Customer Relations (800) 767-2775




    Image Hosting by PicVault.info

  • 11. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    liles13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No, there were no diagnostics tests ran to my knowledge. They booted my Mac from a 2nd Mac, ran disk repair, and it failed. I will be sure to contact their customer service. Thanks for the advice

  • 12. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)

    At the rate Apple is going, there are likely a lot of new people who are inexperienced. However, Apple supports their machines for 7 years, and any Apple tech should have been trained to be competent to deal with any supported machine. That means all Intel machines, introduced in 2006 as I recall, and also a number of Power PC machines.


    There were also a number of balls dropped. liles13 should have gotten a case number, and everything promised should have been done. If a box was promised, it should have been sent. If Snow Leopard was promised, then Snow Leopard should have been installed. If Apple can only install a drive like one that was originally shipped, then no 1 TB drive should have ever been promised. And any of them should have been able to inform him that his machine did not meet the technical specs for Lion.


    No doubt the techs were trying to be helpful. Nevertheless, they should have had the training to deliver competent help, and it seems they fell short here. liles 13 might have been better off going to an AASP, who would likely be willing to install a larger drive and transfer his data. And who might have run a diagnostic test to determine if there were other problems with the machine, since it appears that there may be.


    My own experience with Apple has been excellent. Only twice have I gotten really incompetent help. However, I have read a few horror stories, which is why I recommended ACR. Clearly Apple does not like having its customers treated like liles13, and that is why ACR exists.

  • 13. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    silvasp Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Try getting anything from Microsoft or a Windows PC manufacturer.

    Hate to tell you this, but it seems that with your "troubleshooting skills" I would hope that if I had a problem with my mac, I get someone ELSE on the phone.


    This could all have been done by you if a) you had some decent troubleshooting skills and b) a backup of your drive.


    I'm sorry to hear you had all this trouble with your mac, but still... What is the alternative?

  • 14. Re: How Apple Lost Me As A Customer
    ConsumerInsight Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have been an Apple fan for the longest time and currently own an iMac, a Macbook, an iPad, an iPhone and an iPod. However, my recent customer service experiences at Apple stores have made me reconsider my loyalty. The most recent incident in a long line of bad customer service experiences at Apple stores happened yesterday at their WestTown mall store in Madison WI. I approached them with a simple problem - My iPhone charger's cord had started ripping at the end that goes into the phone and I wanted them to exchange it since I had purchased my phone less than a year ago. Not only did the Apple representative at the store dismiss my request for an exchange, he told me that they were not going to exchange products "damaged due to customers' mishandling. I politely requested him to look at nature of damage (cannot be possibly caused by human negligence), the fact that the phone was still under warranty and consider my background as a loyal supporter of the Apple ecosystem. He was not only extremely unhelpful but also rude and made me feel as if I was wasting his precious time. He said "I can't help with you that. You can go ahead and buy a new wire". What customer service for a guy who currently owns almost $5000 worth of Apple products! Thats the new Apple for you guys - faulty products, no problem resolution, an effective customer DISservice and extremely petty. If you own Apple stocks - SELL NOW!

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