Tag Archives: customer service

Tue, June 15th, 2010 by Graves and Allen

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

OK, so Apple has come up with a great new device called the iPad.  I got mine on April 30, 2010, because I chose to wait for the release of the 3G versions.  I really like the iPad and will write more about that in a later post.  I chose to write this post to warn all of you who may get an iPad 3G about a very serious rift between Apple and AT&T respecting the servicing of the iPad.

My iPad 3G works fine except for the cellular radio.  It failed shortly after I received the iPad.  We can discuss Apple’s quality control some other time. When it failed, I got “NO SERVICE” messages everywhere I went.  I contacted AT&T as I thought it was a network issue and was told repeatedly that AT&T does not support the iPad and that Apple provided all technical support respecting the iPad (even 3G network issues).  It will probably not surprise you to learn that contacting Apple tech support resulted in the finger pointing back to AT&T.  Apple tech support’s position was that AT&T had the responsibility of providing tech support for all 3G network related issues, as Apple could not provide support for AT&T’s network problems.

AT&T went so far as to tell me that they could not service the iPad, as Apple had not provided them with any information as to how to support the iPad.  AT&T’s store personnel and customer service personnel actually got downright surly about it.

I have long believed that Apple made a bad decision in partnering with AT&T and that AT&T represents the weakest part of the iPhone/iPad package.   That belief results from the frequently dropped calls, spotty coverage and poor customer service and support that AT&T has provided over the years and continues to provide now.  In this instance, however, I believe Apple and AT&T both equally share the responsibility for this situation.  Neither Apple nor AT&T provided accurate or adequate information to their customer service or first tier technical support personnel or, in the case of AT&T to their in-store employees and managers.

If you encounter similar problems with your iPad 3G(and I expect that you might as was told by an AT&T customer service supervisor that she had handled seven calls similar to mine that day), be sure that you get to second tier tech support.  I finally got my issue resolved (Apple sent me a replacement iPad) by getting to the second tier of Apple’s tech support and having the tech support person get a second tier AT&T tech support representative on the line.  A three-way conference call resolved the issue in about 20 minutes.  In that call, both the AT&T and the Apple second tier tech support representatives repeatedly apologized for their company’s mishandling of the problem and for the lack of correct information that the lower echelon tech support representatives had respecting the manner in which to address such problems and the issue of which company is responsible for what.

Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Allen.

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Sun, May 4th, 2008 by Graves and Allen

Caveat Emptor

I must admit that in my some 30 years as a loyal customer of Apple Computer, I never once thought that I would find myself in the position of writing about Apple’s lack of concern for its customers. I knew I paid premium prices for Apple products, but the quality of the products and the support justified the additional expense in my book. Well, it just goes to show how things can change significantly over a quarter century.

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I recently upgraded my MacBook to a brand new MacBook to take advantage of some of the new innovations since my two-plus year old MacBook left the assembly line and notwithstanding Apple’s decision to downgrade the unit by shipping it without any Firewire connectivity.

Actually, the Odyssey I entered upon by buying the new MacBook relates directly to the absence of a Firewire connection. In the old days, when you got a new Apple computer, you simply plugged them together with a fire-wire cable and transferred your identity from the old to the new. download Meet Joe Black Now that Apple sells computers without FireWire, they created a program that transfers the identity much more slowly through the Ethernet connection or via AirPort. I could have dealt with the fact that the program worked more slowly with Ethernet than with FireWire, if it only worked. Unfortunately, it did not. Apple shipped my computer to me at the end of November 2008 with a known defective program on it. The software to transfer my files from the old to the new computer simply would not work. I know for sure that Apple knew the software was defective when it was put on my computer, as an Apple tech support agent (the fifth that I talked to as the first four had no clue what was going on) told me that Apple had released an update to the software in October. Dangerous Liaisons movie augmentation queens breast pravachol

When I asked why Apple would knowingly ship defective software, I got no good answer. When I asked why Apple would not disclose that they had shipped the computer with defective software and that I had to update it before it would work, I again got no good answer. buy Shut Up and Kiss Me! I was told it was a lot of work to change the image Apple uses in manufacturing its computers. Apparently Apple would prefer to avoid that work and let its customers waste their time toiling in a futile effort to make the defective software work. Note, however, that it would take relatively little effort to print a page of instructions respecting the need for the upgrade and packing it in the box with the computer. Apparently, that also proved too much work for Apple to willingly undertake.

To make matters more interesting, during the two days I fought with the defective software I made five calls to Apple’s tech support department.

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In fairness, Apple’s tech support used to be a crown jewel. Now it appears that the jewel fell out of the crown. The first three tech support agents I talked to had no clue what to do or what the problem was (or, if they did, they were not talking).

The fourth rep that I talked to (a “product specialist”) told me that the new version of the software required that I have DVD/CD sharing turned on, a non-intuitive adjustment at best, and one, interestingly enough, that Apple did not include in the instructions for its software.

It was not until my fifth call to technical support that I finally got someone who had and was willing to share any knowledge about the issue. He immediately told me that the update was released in mid-October, and that I needed to get the update before the software would work. Despite his knowledge on this point, he had no idea why almost 6 weeks after releasing the fix, Apple would continue to ship out computers with the bad software and not make any disclosure about it.

I was sufficiently miffed by my experience that I contacted Apple Customer Service to complain about what happened. I got more excuses. The Customer Service manager I talked to explained to me that not getting the most recent software was a matter of what he described as “logistics”. He had no good answer for the failure to make disclosure about the defective software.

Now, I can understand that right after a software upgrade, it may take a bit of time to work the new software into the image used on new computers.

Six weeks appears to be more than enough time for that, however. The Next Best Thing the movie Waking the Dead dvdrip To make matters worse, by way of comparison, my previous experience with Apple is that when they shipped a computer with old software, they disclosed it. When I bought an iMac computer shortly after Tiger was released, the computer came without Tiger installed, but with Tiger disks and a letter telling me that I needed to install it. I would certainly have preferred that Apple send it with Tiger installed so that I did not have to go through the upgrade process; but I had no real problem with the fact that Apple disclosed what happened up front.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time telling people how much I thought of Apple and its tech support. In the interests of fairness and full disclosure, I felt I needed to tell the other side of the story too. I would be very careful in dealing with Apple in the future, as it appears from my experience that Apple no longer has any significant concern about its customers once it collects its premium prices. I won’t go so far as to tell you not to buy Apple, as I still believe that Apple does generally make good products. Moreover, any number of other companies show a similar disregard for their customers; and Apple does not appear any worse than many of them. Unfortunately for both Apple and its customers, Apple no longer appears any better.

Copyright 2008, Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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