4.08.2009

Why I am proud to be a PC

All my friends use Macs. I don't blame them. I thoroughly enjoy the sleek design of a mac. I like the feel of a mac. If I bought a laptop today I would greatly consider buying a macbook. I would still buy a windows based dell or Sony but I would secretly want a macbook.

I am and forever will be a PC. Not because of anything with the Apple product. Like I just said I love their product, every last douchtastic hipster "I'm better than you because my laptop is white" one of their products. I hate, hate HATE the Apple store.


The concept is great. An entire store dedicated to essentially 7 products and the accessories to said 7 products. The people who work there are completely inept and their customer service plan is full of so many issues that I simply can't allow myself to support it.

Let me tell you my story. I love my iPod. I love it so much that I wanted nicer headphones than the ones that came with it and decided I wanted nice $30 in ear earbuds. I find they block out more sound and allow me to avoid talking to crazy bus people easier than the traditional earbuds. This was 2 years ago. Over the course of ownership I have replaced these headphones due to malfunction twice. the first time was simple and easy and I didn't really have issue besides the absurdly long wait time. The last time was completely different.

The sound in the left speaker was cutting out and I also noticed there was exposed wire at the base of the headphone jack. I knew I was within the warranty on the last replaced pair of headphones so I decided to stop by the apple store on my way to work and simply swap them out like last time. I get there and I am immediately greeted by one of their 9,000 employees, let's call her Susan. Susan seems happy enough and I am plenty pleased to deal with her. I explain my situation to her, I even show her the CLEARLY broken headphones and explain I am still under warranty. This was her response.

"well we have to have that checked out by one of our technicians before we can do anything."

I am immediately wondering why Susan has a job if she clearly can't actually help me. I go along with it because for once there isn't a ton of people in their store and I even see a tech at the "genius bar"( pompous much jerkface?) just standing there. Susan goes over to her trusty computer and signs me into their concierge program and sees the earliest they can see me is at 2:50. It's 1:20. I have to be at work at 1:30. I once again just explain that I am on my way to work and I can't make a 2:50 appointment since I thought this was just going to be in and out (as it very much SHOULD BE) and I schedule my pointless tech appointment for 5:10 when my fellow closer gets there and I can take a break.

Here's my problem with this - if you work somewhere you should be able to help every customer regardless of their problem. PERIOD. Customers don't want to have to go to you and have you direct them to Steve who directs them to patty who takes them back to you who pawns them off on Carl who finally fixes your problem. They want to actually feel like you care about them and that YOU will fix things.

Anyway fast forward to 5:10. I go in and I b-line it to the genius bar. Because I made it through their first line of defense aka Susan NO ONE KNEW I NEEDED HELP AND THEY DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR FIVE MINUTES. Finally someone walks up to me, let's call her Mary. Mary asks if I am finding everything okay, and I let her know I have a 5:10 appointment about some headphones. She asks for my name and says okay well "Mike" is open let's take you over to see him. Pawned off once again. Mike sees my headphones, and has no idea what he is doing. he brings over Paco. Paco actually looks things up and does his job and tells me that I bought them in 2007 and that they are out of warranty. I then explain that I am fully aware that I bought them in 2007 but in 2008 they were replaced and these are the replacements and are still under warranty. He then looks and sees I am right. Now Paco tells me that apparently my headphones aren't carried in the store anymore and so they can't exchange them for me but they will order me some new ones which should be there by Monday at the earliest. Great. So I am stuck with broken headphones for 3 days, minimum.

Now my question is this: Why do I have only this option? Why am I stuck with broken headphones? Why can't I just find another pair of $30 headphones and swap them out? it's the same price. It's essentially the same thing. I tell you what, if someone comes in with a broken bobblehead that we no longer have, but they bought it within our return policy (60 days) I'm not only taking it back that day, I am letting them have whatever they want for the price of said broken bobblehead, and they can have it THAT DAY.

Whatever, I'm not going to buy new headphones when I can get free ones so I say whatever order them, just as long as they are covered by my warranty that is fine with me. I can live with homeless people in my left ear instead of the White Stripes. I'm not happy but I will since you really aren't leaving me with any options.

On my way out Susan recognizes me and says "Oh good you made it in." I wanted to punch her. In my head she deserved it.

My headphones came in yesterday and I wasn't at work so I went in and got them today. Once again I knew where I needed to go and I had no time for Susan because if she made me schedule another freaking appointment just to pick up my headphones I probably would have hung her with the ceiling with the old ones. ONCE AGAIN BECAUSE OF THIS I STOOD THERE LIKE AN IDIOT FOR 15 MINUTES. Only to have ultra hipster Sheila with her bright orange rebel hair finally talk to me. "Hi may I help you?" "Yeah my name is Allen I am here to pick up my replacement headphones that came in yesterday." this is an exact reenactment of what happened next.

Sheila - "Okay let's come over to my (douchy) computer here", click, click click isn't my computer awesome? It's so big and flashy and hip. "What's your name again?"
Allen - Allen. A-L-L-E-N Brand B-R-A-N-D.
Sheila - "Okay and it's some headphones right?" types in picking up replacement headphones.
Allen - "yes"
Sheila then clicks send and stands there. FOR 10 MORE MINUTES.

Apparently it isn't in Sheila's job description to leave the sales floor ever. Just once I want the power to go off in their stupid little store. I want them to have to do everything by hand. I mostly want this to happen because I am convinced a riot would erupt and every employee there would be trampled to death by Chuck taylors or whatever the new hipster shoe is. it shall be glorious.

Finally Sheila can sense my impatience and decided to actually do her job. She goes to the back. FOR 20 MINUTES LONGER. It took so long I had 3 other useless employees ask if I needed help or to tell me that they heard over the radio that Sheila was still looking.

Dear Apple store, it's called a hold box. Look into it.

finally Sheila emerges victorious. Finally I can leave this store! Oh but wait Sheila isn't done making my life a living hell. Oh no that would be far too generous of her. SHE HAD THE NERVE TO TRY AND CHARGE ME FOR THE HEADPHONES. Apparently the paperwork that the Apple Store had didn't mention anything about this being under warranty. thankfully I am anal retentive and a pack rat so I saved the order form from Friday where they wrote it down that I got them for free, and Sheila was kind enough to fix it but how does the order form not say free? I just don't get it.

So yeah, I'm a PC, not because I like PCs over a MAC but because I know I can walk into any tech store in the country and find what I need, and if I can't guess what? there is a knowledgeable and helpful staff to help me. So my advice to Apple store employees, step away from your hipster social symbol computer and think about your customer's needs and how YOU can actually help them.

4 comments:

Kurt said...

"Why do I have only this option? Why am I stuck with broken headphones? Why can't I just find another pair of $30 headphones and swap them out? it's the same price."
They cant give you a different pair of headphones because apple made you're pair. That pair of headphones cost apple maybe 2 dollars to make, if they let you go grab a pair of sony headphones apple would have to reinverse sony. This cost apple much more because they are only carrying sony headphones, not producing them.

NotAVisionary said...

"Just once I want the power to go off in their stupid little store. I want them to have to do everything by hand. I mostly want this to happen because I am convinced a riot would erupt and every employee there would be trampled to death by Chuck taylors or whatever the new hipster shoe is. it shall be glorious."

favourite line ever.

i'm really sorry you had a hard time with stupid people. they really should be banned from society.

Dericho said...

It's because the employees in the apple store don't know, or are unwilling, to work the system.

When I worked returns at retail, I did whatever it took to make the customer happy. Being out of that particular brand, they should have first apologized (regardless of who was at fault), refunded the value of the headphones onto a store credit, and let you use it at your discretion. It's better to have you leave as a satisfied customer and suffer a small loss than to have you leave unsatisfied and never return.

And making an appointment for headphones is utterly ridiculous. I can't believe they did that.

And Allen, the White Stripes kick ass. Don't ever compare them to the ramblings of a bus vagrant.

Austin said...

um... favorite part of this post? The use of the (made-up) word "douchtastic". Classic and classy :)