Apple Inc.: Genius' Aren't, Techs are Lazy and Customer Service Illogical
Computer Repair/Customer Service - Complaint
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- I brought my MacBook Pro in for service to the retail location due to an inoperative display, a poorly functioning track pad and a malfunctioning "caps lock" key. The Genius who helped me was very polite but, in my opinion, not very knowledgeable with my particular problem. He brought my computer back to a technician who spent no more than 5 minutes with my computer, diagnosing it with a bad video card. I don't know how the technician diagnosed so quickly but my other two concerns were not addressed. I was informed by the Genius that my computer required a new logic board and quoted me a price of $526.50 for the repair (Repair No. *******). When he looked up the logic board part number, he used the wrong processor (2.66GHz instead of my 2.93GHz) to provide me with the quote. He corrected his misquote in a phone call about 15 minutes after I left the Apple Store, informing me that the quote for the new logic board was incorrect and that I would owe more money (slightly over $700) if I wanted the computer repaired. Since the cost of repair was more expensive than originally thought and considering the four year age of my computer, I decided not to repair but purchase a new MacBook Pro, along with the Apple Care Service/Warranty and the one to one service to migrate my files from my old computer to the new one (Web order No. *******).
I returned two days later around 8:30 PM to pick up both of my laptops. Before I left for the Apple Store, I called ahead asking if I could have my files migrated so I could use my new computer at work the following business day. I was told yes. I was greeted kindly and the computers were delivered quickly. However it was approaching closing time at the Apple Store and I was told that I would have to return another day after making an appointment to have my files moved. I wouldn't have wasted a trip if I was told this prior to making my way to pick up my computers. I would have instead left the computers there, had the files moved over and pick up the computers after the work was complete. So I left for home, with two computers that I could not use at work and less $3506.71.
The following day I tried to make a one to one appointment to have my files moved over only there was no email sent to me enabling me to sign up and appoint. I called the Apple Store and was told that they, of course, could not help me. The reason being I ordered online and had to call the 1-800 number for assistance. The lady I spoke with (female name) at the 1-800 number was polite, professional and very helpful. She explained that Apple apparently was having problems with the one to one online orders and the only way to correct the problem was to refund me and I'd have to start over again by repurchasing the one to one service. (Female name) apologized for the inconvenience and kindly offered me a free case for my new laptop but I instead asked for an ethernet adapter for my job usage and (female name) gladly accommodated my request. Since I could not afford more time without a computer and had not received any technical help to this point, I went ahead and opened the new laptop and restored from my last time machine back up saved the previous week.
Three days later, on the weekend, I was surfing the internet reading Mac problem solving blogs and came by something very interesting. A man named (male name) who had the same issue as me with his MacBook Pro in June of 2010. (Male name) posted how he solved the issue so I figured I'd give it a shot. First, I performed a reset of the NVRAM by holding down "command", "option", "P" and "R" while powering the machine up. Next, I performed a clean install of the operating system from the rescue drive. Lastly, I restored my computer from time machine. To me and my wife's surprise I fixed my computer...the one with the bad video card...the one that needed the new $700+ logic board...THE ONE THAT I REPLACED FOR $3506.71! I am not a computer technician nor do I hold the title of "Genius" at my place of employment but I managed to fix my laptop with a little online research for NOTHING! The Apple Retail Store as well as Corporate Apple should be embarrasssed and ashamed of this. Not only did they fail to recognize a rather easy fix, they cost me, a faithful customer, time and a lot of money unnecessarily. I hope you can appreciate my disgust. I am not wealthy and I don't mind paying a little extra for a quality product but this is not right. The Genius did not know how to diagnose the problem and the technician obviously went for the easiest solution; replace with new parts. This is pure negligence in every sense of the word. If I were an executive at Apple Inc., I would want to make this right with fair compensation and prevent this from ever happening to another customer (not to mention having an ex-customer post their story here).
So I called Apple customer support and told them my story…twice. I told them for my traveling to and from the retail store three times, for spending the hour and a half on the phone with the one to one service fumble and for fixing my own computer I wanted to be compensated. I told them I don't need two computers but I would keep the new computer if they would reimburse me the difference between the price I paid and the price of a refurbished unit of equal quality (roughly a 15-20% rebate). I explained that if I were to return the computer for a full refund, Apple would still have to re-sell the computer at a refurbished discount since I had opened and started using it; plus the cost of checking it out, reformatting the hard drive, logging it into inventory, posting it on their refurbished website and selling it to a new user. I reasoned, why not satisfy me by giving me a discount on the unit at the refurbished price and Apple can save the overhead by not paying an employee to take back the computer and re-sell it. I stated that it is a win-win solution. I guess the customer service manager wanted to run it by his superior and he requested to call me back. I got a phone call the following day from Apple Inc. customer service and they offered me a $100 gift card from the retail store and a 4th generation iPod Touch, valued at $199.
I couldn't believe that Apple would rather shaft a valued customer at a greater financial loss then minimize financial loss and please a customer. I told them thanks but no thanks. I'm bringing the unit back for a full refund. Apple just lost two valued and once loyal customers (my wife and I) as well as the Macs we use at our business. Oh, and not only can Apple eat the loss on this computer, they can also eat a steaming pile of.......