Note: You can read this long ass post or skip to the end and watch my video recap instead. The choice is yours!
This post was originally going to be a rant about the Top 10 Things I hated about iOS 9 (.1, .2, etc.), but my recent trip down the Apple Genius Support rabbit hole has me too hot to poke jovial fun at them.
Why am I all hot and bothered, you ask?
Well, because a few weeks ago, after working out and sculpting my exquisite ebony physique, I opened my locker, pulled out my gym bag and heard the distinct shatter of Ion-X glass.
A chill ran up my spine as I slowly looked down to see my precious Apple Watch.
Face down on the cold granite floor.
Even before I reach down to picked it up by one of it’s delicate rubber straps, I knew.
The sound I heard was true.
A horrible crack coursing along the length of the bottom and up the watch face greeted me as I turned it over.
Running my finger over the fissures, I could feel the splintered glass.
Damn! Damn! Damn!
Although I’ve maligned the Apple Watch as a mere toy, it was an expensive toy to which I’d become accustomed.
It’s once annoying subtle haptic taps had become welcomed reminders, alerting me to meetings, calls and milestones reached.
And it told time!
But all was not lost.
You see, I had Apple Care+, so getting this fixed would be nothing but a chicken wing.
When I got back to the office, I popped open my MacBook to schedule a repair appointment.
Alas, there were no appointments anywhere local until the following day.
So I made an appointment to take my watch into the Apple Store at Grand Central at noon.
When I arrived, I was seated by one of the Geniuses, and waited.
I waited for an hour and a fucking half before I had to just grab someone and be like “What the fuck?! I’ve been here an hour and a half, is anyone going to help me?”
Befuddled, the genius (notice I’ve gone to lowercase “g”) asked me my name, my appointment time, why I was there (didn’t you have all this already when I checked in?) and scurried off.
A few minutes later (I was giving her the evil eye the entire time – lest she forget her charge) she returned to advise that someone would “be right with me.”
True to her word, two minutes later a multiple-piercing sporting, gauge-earing wearing, mohawk rocking vertically challenged genius walked over to “assist” me.
When I showed him my watch, he told me that they didn’t perform these types of repairs in-house and that my watch would have to be sent out for repair.
He further advised me that it would cost me $79 (or something in that neighborhood) when the repair was done, which I would pay when I came to pick up my watch.
Finally, he said that it would take five to seven days for the work to be done, but that I would get an email notifying me of everything we had discussed.
The entire transaction took 90 seconds.
I waited an hour and a fucking half to essentially hand over my watch.
Mind you, did I get a confirmation email, like I did when I scheduled my appointment?
Did I get a follow-up email five to seven days later?
Did I receive any communication whatsoever from Apple regarding my repair.
And I was missing my watch.
So on the one week anniversary of dropping off my watch, I called Apple Support.
I actually called the Grand Central Station Apple Store at (212) 284-1800, but once I selected ANY option, I was re-routed to their general support call center.
After running the automated attendant gauntlet, I was connected with a human who established that:
- I was never assigned a Repair Id typically issued with every repair
- The Case No + Serial number combination typically used to track repair orders in lieu of the Repair No. didn’t work
When she finally pulled up my repair status, it confirmed that my watch had, in fact, been left with Apple at Grand Central for repair.
And it further showed that it had been received by the service center, assessed and that a replacement product was ‘pending’.
To figure out why I hadn’t received any notice and resolve the hold up, the operator asked me to hold for a few minutes so that she could contact someone at the Grand Central store for some answers – and presumably reunite me and my watch.
A few minutes on hold became five minutes, then ten, then fifteen before she rejoined to ask me if I wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer while she attempted to get someone at the store.
At this point, I had been on the call for over 30 minutes and wasn’t keen on holding longer.
“I gave you my number at the start of the call in the event we got disconnected, can’t you just call me back when you reach someone?”
“Oh no! We can’t call you back. You’ve got to stay on the line.”
“Well what would you have done if we had been disconnected?”
“You know what, I’m going to go.”
By this point, I had learned that the store should have had my watch on premises and decided it made more sense to go to Grand Central and handle it personally than wait on hold for the operator to talk to someone at Grand Central.
Which is what I was originally trying to do before being re-routed to their call center.
But I digress.
Not looking for a repeat of my previous trip, I accosted the first person I encountered with a genius shirt and iPad and asked where my watch was.
Befuddled (they’re always befuddled), the genius asked for my repair id and serial number, plugged them into her iPad and reported that the repair center had determined that the watch could not be repaired and my watch was going to be replaced.
She then traipsed off to the back to see if my watch was in stock.
Returning five minutes later, she told me that there was no inventory, but that I’d receive an email when they had more inventory.
I wasn’t going to be so easily put off.
“Can you see if another store has the watch?”
“Can you ask them to send it?”
Apparently just because it showed up on her iPad as being in their inventory didn’t necessarily mean that they had it in store, and “no” they couldn’t ship it to me.
Satisfied that I was one step closer, I left on her promise that I would be notified when my watch was in stock.
That was one week ago.
Have I been notified?
Do I have my watch?
Oh, it’s on!
New tactic: chat.
I wanted to make sure I had a record of the tom foolery that Apple was putting me through, so I hit them up via chat.
Surprisingly, “Kathleen” was on-point.
She found my repair record, reviewed the notes, and listened to my experience with a sympathetic ear (or eye rather, since it was all being communicated via text – but you get my meaning).
According to our Dispatch, due to a recent update in our system, the store should be providing you a replacement, directly from their stock, which is what Dispatch thought they were doing. It appears the store wasn’t aware of this, which is why I’d like to have a Phone Advisor contact the store with you on the line, to set it up so you can get it right away.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
True to her word, someone was called me while we were still on our chat.
Gratified, I thanked her profusely, let her go and continued my saga with the “Phone Advisor” who was going to get results!
Or so I thought.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This little hussie wanted to argue with me about what they were telling her at the store.
Why hussie, you ask?
Well because I was on hold for an HOUR only to have her come back and tell me the same shit they initially told me when I called a week prior.
Every time I tried to explain why what she was telling me was pure crap, she starting taking on top of me Apple-splaining why “product replacement pending” meant “repair in progress.”
I was too through.
I told her that I needed her to put someone else on the phone who could help me, and that’s when I received the coup de grace – Marlene Caldera, Apple Care iOS Senior Advisor.
Now we’re getting somewhere, right?
She got on the call, all official-like, promising that she would own this issue through resolution.
Impressive sounding indeed.
But it was all downhill from there.
She explained that “product replacement pending” actually meant that my Apple Watch could not be repaired, so the store had ordered a replacement watch, and that replacement was not yet in.
Confused, I advised Marlene that this was contrary to what Kathleen had explained about the store replacing my watch from inventory, as well as what the (so-called) genius at Grand Central had represented.
And then our call was promptly dropped.
Yes. You heard me correctly.
Our call was dropped.
As in dial-tone.
Luckily, Marlene had provided me with her direct contact details for just such an event.
So I called her back.
And got her voicemail.
And called her again an hour later.
And got her voicemail again.
And called her a third time an hour later.
And got her voicemail thrice (it’s my word o’ the day).
Way to own this issue, Marlene.
Did Marlene call me back.
Am I pissed as hell?
Well lets just say…
Apple is making me very angry, and as Bill Bixby used to say…
I’ve got a few takeaways from my recent experience:
1. Apple Care+ is not the service it’s positioned to be. The service I received makes me wonder why I even paid for it.
2. Never, I repeat never go to the Apple Store at Grand Central Station. It’s one of the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno.
3. Don’t drop your watch. They break and replacing them is a bitch.
For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s my video rant.