I had a book review of Chuck Colson's "The Faith" all ready to go today, but something else came up that I need to post about instead. You'll have to wait until Monday for Colson. 

Last year about this time I posted a rant about the funny ritual to get service at the Apple Store, but I had another run-in yesterday and need to vent about it. Rather than kicking my dog, I figure I'll post my experience on the blog so you can share in my misery.

Tuesday night, around 7pm CST my 8 gig Edge iPhone crashed. Not "crashed" as in "needs-to-be-rebooted," "crashed" as in "This iPhone is no more. It has ceased to be."   So yesterday, after a long day of meetings I went to the new Fort Worth Apple Store to let a "genius" fix my problem. 

I walked in the store where a green shirted employee met me at the door. I knew from past experience that he couldn't/wouldn't help me. He's not the guy who helps customers; just the guy who takes people to the person who can sign you up to be helped. So, I tried to make my way around him (I was in something of a hurry). But he stopped me and asked what I needed. 

"I need to talk to a genius." (I wasn't being flattering, I was just using their terminology. That's what they call the dorks in the back). 

"What seems to be the problem?" Green-Shirt-Guy asked.

So I explained my dilemma, and Green-Shirt-Guy says, "Oh. You're going to need to talk to one of our Mac Geniuses" (Thank you, Captain Obvious). "Go see anyone wearing an orange shirt and they can get you signed up for an appointment with a genius."

I found an Orange-Shirt-Guy, and went through the same drill: "I need to see a genius." "What seems to be the problem?" "Story, story, story." "Oh. You need to see a genius. Please go to any of the computers in the store and sign up for an appointment. Just sign up for any available time and we'll get with you in a couple of minutes." 

Grateful to have Orange-Shirted permission, I went to one of the MacBook Air computers and signed up for an appointment at 4:30pm (it was 3:30pm when I signed up). I double-checked with Orange-Shirt guy to make sure they would get to me more quickly than that and he assured me it would be "any minute."  

Forty five "minutes" later, I asked Orange-Shirt-Girl what the deal was, and she got on her walkie-talkie to talk to the geniuses at the bar who were standing 6 feet away. I could hear their conversations without the walkie talkie, but apparently that's the only way Geniuses are allowed to communicate. Finally, she announced to me that I would have to be patient, that I had signed up for a 4:30 appointment and it was only 4:15. I looked for Orange-Shirt-Guy, but apparently he had disappeared. Genius-pointing work is rather taxing, I'm sure.

At 4:45 I finally was called to the Genius bar where the "Genius" proceeded to (1) make fun of my watch, (2) tell me that my phone had crashed, (3) tell me that my phone was 3 weeks out of warranty, and that I was under a 2-year contract with AT&T, so I would either need to buy a new phone for $199, or pay a substantially higher fee to get out of my contract. 

Not a good day at the Apple Store. Seriously, Mac has some really cool products. But if I have to keep dealing with the pretentious class-system at the Apple store, I'm out. 


Robin Davis said...

Yikes! Sounds like an experience! Apple sucks. iPhones suck even more. And waiting for an Apple genius about your iPhone sounds like sucks the most! Hope you get it sorted out!

Marion said...

I would press the issue that the phone is just out of warranty, and they should still stand behind it. It is, after all, a very expensive piece of equipment. You could also try the AT&T store to see if they might be a bit more sympathetic to your plea. I also sympathize with you on the arrogance of the Mac "geniuses" - Steve Jobs has cultivated this arrogance and exclusiveness in the company. They make good products, but they need to be more customer service focused.