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The Apple Store - Roosevelt Field Mall Complaint - Hassle with Apple

Review by nippapatra on 2003-03-29
GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK -- My husband and I just purchased the new 15" titanium Powerbook from the Apple Store in Roosevelt Field Mall on March 15th, 2003. This wonderful salesperson - John helped us out with the purchased. We requested to have 1 gigabyte of RAM installed. The model says it comes standard with 512 MB of RAM. The salesperson told us it wasn't a problem. He took down our order and sold us the Apple Care plan as well. 20 minutes later we come back, our machine is handed to us and we're so ecstatic.

Today, we discovered as we were rummaging through what boxes to throw out that we had an extra 256 MB of RAM in one of the boxes. We were slightly confused. We turned on our computer and looked in the system profiler and found out that our system only had 768 MB of RAM rather than the 1 GB that we had requested. We were fuming! We had trusted these people to install our 1 GB of RAM and we felt like we were swindled. The Powerbook is a very pricey item and adding the extra memory, we figured was worth it. However, not receiving what we paid for was very upsetting.

My husband and I decided to remedy the situation by bringing the computer and 256 stick of RAM back to the store. We explained our situation to the customer service representative who had sold us the product two weeks earlier. See for those of you who don't know... the Powerbook G4 (15") comes with 512 MB of RAM. No where in the ad is there a statement that says that there are only 2 slots for RAM and that it comes standard with 2 sticks of 256 (512 total). When we had asked for 1 GB of RAM to be placed into our system, the Apple people did not do that. Instead, they took out one of the 256 sticks and placed in a 512 stick. Giving us a total of 768 MB of RAM. The extra 256 was put in the box and given to us so in essence, they did indeed give us 1 GB of RAM. The extra 256 that was sitting in the box, was basically useless to us. BUT, we did have 1 GB of RAM just like we asked for.

The customer service person realized that this was a situation he understood, but really didn't know what to do about it. He brought out this tech guy that was really nasty to us. The tech guy very snootily explained to us everything that we already knew. He explained to us what happened and why we ended up with the extra RAM that we didn't need. My husband got angry but very calmly asked the tech guy how we were going to remedy the situation. The tech guy's solution was for us to purchase a 512 MB stick and that he would install it for no charge. This would be an extra $200 on top of everything that we had already spent. Not to mention now we would have 2 sticks of 256 MB of RAM that we wouldn't be able to use. He said that that was Mac's policy. We couldn't believe it. We argued that it's not fair to any customer who wanted to upgrade their RAM. If we had known this from the beginning, we wouldn't have bought the extra RAM. 768 MB of RAM was working fine so far. It was just the principle of buying a product that you paid for, but didn't get that specific product.

It's like someone going to a store and buying a computer that was advertised to come with 2 GB of RAM. The computer's compacity is only 1 GB so that's what is installed on the computer. BUT, they give you an extra stick of 1 GB of RAM in the bag as well. You now paid for a machine that is running at 1 GB of RAM but for a 2GB price tag. It is ridiculous!

The tech guy's offer to sell us a 512 stick of RAM so that he would then install it for free (mind you... we purchased the Apple Care Plan which means that he was going to install it for free anyway) was just not good enough for us. They were going to fix the situation by making us pay for it. What nerve!

We called for the store manager to come out and discuss this with us. The tech guy and the customer service representative went to the back to consult the manager. The tech guy then emerges from the back room red in the face. He then has the nerve to explain to us that they were going to make this ONE TIME EXCEPTION FOR US ONLY. That they were going to install the 512 MB to boost our system to 1 GB but for a charge of 100 dollars as oppose to 200 dollars. He also pointed out that this WAS NOT STANDARD PROCEDURE and then disappeared into the back room again.

The store manager came out with the customer service person and apologized for the situation and that they were going to fix it at no charge to us at all. So in the end, there is a happy ending. We got our system the way we wanted it.

A note to APPLE - keep the tech guys in the back room and let the customer service people and managers handle the customers. Either that or train the tech guys to handle the problem with a professional attitude rather than with such snootiness. Customers like my husband and me would easily cough up the extra $100 if the situation was explained better. However, the agony of all this makes me think twice about ever stepping into that store again!
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