— 20 July 2005 —

Apple’s Customer Service or Lack Thereof

I had to call an 800 number today. At Apple. Not a good user experience.

My laptop is out of commission thanks to a dead monitor. I took it to a local Apple reseller and they asked if it was under warranty; did I have Apple Care. Sure I do! Except I don’t. Damn. But it turns out the serial number on my iBook falls into a range that is under recall for dead monitors. Great!

The reseller wrote down my serial number and gave me the 800 number to call. I called and got to experience the joy of being forced to learn (with pain) how Apple’s internal machinations work instead of telling someone my problem and getting some help. Once again, good customer service is the responsibility of the customer apparently.

In the end, the reseller wrote their Z like a 2, so my laptop didn’t show up as existing in Apple’s eyes. No help for me until I give them the right serial number (and likely jump through hoops again).

So the company that makes for a great user experience just ruined mine. Oh I will still buy Apple, but a company truly needs to assess its user’s experience through all “touch points” and “connection channels.” Apple is a product and service company. They do one well.

While there is a podcast version of this gripe (6m21s, 8.7mb, MP3) you can listen to, I didn’t want to make you listen to it. The reason I did the podcast is so I can upload it to the iTunes Podcast Directory and have my gripe be available to everyone that uses the Apple software. ;)

[Update] Well I tried to get the podcast into iTunes, but I got an error. I didn’t really look at the instructional text on the screen… I just copied in the URL for my podcast. Which game me this error message:

itunes error

Sweet. So I did something wrong, but they don’t seem to want me to know what it is.

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