Thursday, June 18, 2009

Apples and oranges

This is a bit of an odd post, since it kind of sounds like I'm shilling for Apple. Keep in mind that I have also had bad experiences with Apple customer service before, but this one totally blew me away.

Several months ago my white MacBook developed the infamous hairline crack just to the side of the trackpad. Thinking I was doomed to have a broken case for the rest of the computer's life, I just patched it with masking tape and went about my business as best I could. Over time the crack got worse, and another started to form on the opposite side of the trackpad too. I had heard about people getting these cracks fixed, and my MacBook was covered under Applecare, but I couldn't afford to be without it for a prolonged period of time. I'm a computer teacher, so I use my laptop daily as part of my job, so the thought of handing it over to Apple for a week wasn't really something I wanted to do if I could avoid it.

Well, it's now summer break and even though I'm still working with my MacBook to do software updates, deploy disk images, and other maintenance on our school's computers, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and get the case fixed before it got even worse. Yesterday I called the Apple Store near my house and they said it would probably take 3-7 business days to fix the crack, but that it would most likely be covered under Applecare. I had to make an appointment with an Apple Genius to get it inspected, so I went ahead and made my appointment for 7:40 this evening.

So my wife and I get to the Apple Store, I hand the computer over to the Apple Genius, and after looking at it for about four seconds he says it's definitely covered under Applecare, and can get it fixed ASAP.

"Great," I said as he pulled out some papers for me to sign. "When can I expect it to be done?"

He glanced down at his watched, looked at me from behind the frames of his trendy black-rimmed glasses, and calmly said "Around eight."

I was a bit confused, since "eight" didn't mean a whole lot to me. Today's date is the 16th, so I thought he might have meant the eighth day of next month. Ouch. They had told me 4-7 business days, but this was a little ridiculous. "What do you mean, eight?" I asked.

Puzzled, he simply replied "Eight o'clock."

"You mean, in 15 minutes?" I asked, totally floored.

"Yeah, or maybe a few minutes after that."

And so it went. I handed my computer over to Devin the Apple Genius who told me he was going to go fix it personally right in the back of the store. My wife and I came back 20 minutes later, and he handed me my MacBook complete with a brand-new case top (including the keyboard and trackpad, mind you). I've been using it for a while since with no problems. I'm not kidding, this is probably the best customer service I have had for any product, ever. Apple just went up a notch or two in my book.

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