Tag Archives: Apple store

Apple Care+ FAIL! Geniuses my arse!

cracked apple watch

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.

And waited.

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.

Un-be-fucking-lievable.

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.

Thrice, “no”.

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:

  1. I was never assigned a Repair Id typically issued with every repair
  2. 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?”

Silence.

“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.

Duh!

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?”

Connecticut.

“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?

Negatory.

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).

Per Kathleen:

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.

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?

Wrong!

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…

f you guys

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Apple Watch

Find My iPhone: Tales of a Lost and Found Device

My friend Sanford Biggers just told me a story I have to share about an experience he had with his iPhone.

He looks intense...but he's just looking for his phone.

As an artist, educator and musician, Sanford is constantly on the go.

A member of the Apple nation, his trusty iPhone 4G is constantly on his hip, wherever his travels take him.

On a recent trip, while working on his laptop in the lobby of a high end hotel (the wi-fi in his room was terrible – we won’t go into that), he forgot his iPhone and ten minutes later, when he returned, it was gone.

He asked around of the guests in the lobby, but no one in the lobby or on the hotel staff had seen his iPhone.

Nor had it been turned in.

He had to leave early the following day, and it hadn’t been recovered by the time he left.

Over the course of the next few days, he tracked his phone with Apple’s Find My iPhone feature.

Lojack for your phone!

For the next 72 hours, he watched as his phone traveled from the hotel to a neighborhood a few miles away and back.

Occasionally, he would send a message to the device, asking the individual who had custody of it, to call him, to no avail.

Each time it showed up on Sanford’s iPad as being at the hotel, he would call the hotel and inquire as to whether the device had been returned.

But over those three days, it wasn’t turned in.

Finally, he sent correspondence to the owners, relating the incident and the steps he had taken to recover the device.

In his correspondence, he included the Find My iPhone history, detailing his iPhone’s movements and pinpointing the exact neighborhood of its current custodian.

Based on the pattern of movements, the device was clearly in the possession of someone who either (i) worked at, or (ii) frequented the hotel on a daily basis.

Suffice it to say, a cross-check of employees disclosed the identity of the unscrupulous culprit.

Sanford’s iPhone was recovered and delivered back to him in Manhattan.

As he recounted the story, we chuckled heartily at the shock this individual surely must have felt, as the hotel’s security knocked on his door demanding the iPhone’s return.

But more than that, we were thoroughly impressed with the utility of the Find My iPhone feature.

I realize I’m a geek being excited about the ability to find my iPhone, but if you’ve ever misplaced your device you know how great this little feature is.

The one scare, I had with my iPhone, occurred when I was leaving the Apple Store on 5th Avenue, after I first copped my iPad.

The store was jam packed with folks all trying to get their Apple on, and in my effort to speak to a customer service rep, rifle through my bag for my wallet, and talk about the different options, I laid my phone down.

And completely forgot about it after the sales rep walked me through my purchase.

Gleefully, I left the Apple Store, relishing my latest acquisition…while my iPhone lay abandoned and alone on some counter top.

When I frantically returned to the store, someone on staff had seen the abandoned device and taken it into custody.

I hadn’t even activated the Find My iPhone feature yet, and but for the good people at Apple, I would have been took!

Anyway, Sanford’s story reinforced yet another reason why I am such an evangelist for Apple devices.

They do things that other devices don’t do.

I’ll take being able to find my phone over Flash any day!

If you haven’t yet, make sure Find My Phone is activated on your device now.

Although I may have read something about requiring iCloud to activate this feature, I’ve been able to get by with just my old MobileMe credentials.

But you may have to take a walk on the dark side (i.e. iCloud) to get it popping now.

In any instance, if you used Find My iPhone to recover your device, I’d love to hear your story.

3 Comments

Filed under digital advocacy, iPad, iPhone, mobile, technology

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE a “Game-Changer”? NOT!!!

Is this really a game-changer? Really?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Daron Jenkins, a fellow technologist, and one of the founders of SCENEPR, an agency devoted to helping other agencies understand and leverage new media and technology.

Daron and I were talking about their upcoming SoLoMo starters+start ups event, and as we talked about the various potential topics for future sessions, somehow our discussion turned to the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Note LTE phone, which Daron described as a potential “game-changer.”

You must know that Daron and I are both Apple disciples.

So, needless to say, I was immediately incredulous upon hearing Daron’s statement.

A game-changer, to me, is something that makes all other competitors cringe with fear.

It’s something so totally left-of-center, that most are taken unaware, and left speechless.

A game-changer makes others in the space think, “why didn’t we think of that?”

It leaves them at a loss precisely because it creates or carves out a space for that new product, service, application, or what-have-you, that everyone/thing else seems obsolete in comparison.

Now, if you’re like me, the term “game-changer” evokes thoughts of the killer devices that permanently changed the landscape of the spaces they occupied.

In my humble opinion, there have been a few undeniable game-changers in the mobile space.

The first was the Palm Treo.

The first game-changer. The Palm Treo 270.

It was the first phone that effectively combined a phone with a PDA, offering the ability to make phone calls and keep your calendar, contacts and notes organized in one handy, handheld device.

The iPhone was the next.

The iPhone broke the mold and it's forever been broken.

Although other handset manufacturers offered their own version of the smartphone, Apple created a device that was simultaneously powerful, functional and elegant.

The last was the iPad.

IMO, the iPad ushered the end of all tablet competitors.

Again, while there are other tablets in the market, none have achieved the recognition or stature of Apple’s offering.

Which brings me back to Daron’s statement.

It was with much consternation that I even continued the conversation, in light of what I felt was an obvious flaw in his statement.

We all know that NOTHING competes with Apple.

Sure, Apple’s mobile devices don’t support Flash natively.

And marketers have responded by advising clients that sites be built without Flash.

Sure, Apple releases a new product every other day.

And people routinely line up outside of Apple stores days in advance of every new product release.

Sure, Apple’s products are tres cher.

And people regularly shell out the king’s ransom required to own it’s devices.

So whatever Samsung is coming with, has to be so spectacular, so innovative, so feature rich, so ‘that ish’, that one’s initial visceral response is “I must have it!”

To their credit, their latest commercial, poking fun a Apple-ophiles, does point out Apple’s many shortcomings.

But that doesn’t necessarily equate to changing the game.

At the end of our call, we agreed that deploying the Galaxy Note LTE with AT&T was a major faux pas, with AT&T’s spotty service and network bandwidth.

We also agreed that “game-changer” was an extremely generous characterization for Samsung’s latest entry into the mobile/tablet space.

But we’ll just have to wait and see.

I, for one, am not holding my breath.

4 Comments

Filed under mobile, opinion, technology