I wish more companies were like Apple

Transcript of a phone call I had this morning:

Genius: Apple Store Bethesda Row, Business Sales. How can I help you?

Me: I just got a call from an unhappy client; he’s got a MacBook with a dying battery and just discovered that his MagSafe power cable is still at home. Do you have any lying around in the service area that we can rent for the day?

Genius: No, but you can just come in and buy one, then return it within 14 days.

Me: Great. 15% restocking fee, right?

Genius: Actually, there’s no restocking fee on that item, so just bring it back.

Incidentally, the last time I was at an Apple Store on behalf of this client, it was to set up a Mac mini for headless operation. They let me use a half-dozen peripherals for as long as I needed. This is at least the tenth time that Apple has acted as a free business center for me, and it’s at least part of why most of us feel like part of a club with concierge service.

4 thoughts on “I wish more companies were like Apple

  1. Well, I’m here to tell you that your mileage may vary…

    My experiences with Apple Geniuses (Genii?) has been among the poorest I’ve ever seen:

    – In Menlo Park, NJ, a group of them stood behind the counter and insisted I make an appointment to talk to them in two hours, even though none of them were busy at the time (they told me that others had already scheduled appointments, and they needed to be free in case those people returned to the store).

    – In Manhattan, a genius insisted on explaining to me (in a sing-song, baby voice) the difference between a laptop and a desktop when I asked for a demo of the iChat software.

    – In Edison, NJ, a genius told me there was nothing I could do on a Windows machine that I couldn’t do on a Mac. When I gave him a short list of things, he told me I was wrong, clearly didn’t understand computers, and oh, by the way, there are work-arounds for all of those things and no one really wants to do those things anyway…

    I’ve come to believe that Apple’s support model is heavily weighted toward those who are actually carrying an Apple product with them when they enter the store. Everyone else can wander around the store until they either buy something or go away.

    I recently had a very satisfying customer service experience with Dell. See the comments at the end of my post about customer service process vs. customer service individuals.

  2. Huh. I spend a lot of time in Apple Stores, and I see a lot of Windows people being helped there—your experience is, well, atypical. It’s odd that it’s also repeated, implying that you’re both exceedingly unlucky and a glutton for punishment. ;-)

    I’m wondering if it’s got something to do with retail culture in New York specifically? I’ve been to the Soho store, but I didn’t talk to anyone there. Further replies:

    Menlo Park: a two-hour wait is common, but I’ve never seen what you describe. There is a paid Mac Pro service, $99 a year, which buys the right to make appointments—I can see one Genius remaining idle for that VIP. Not a group. Were they all Geniuses? (Yes, there are “non-Genius” sales reps who aren’t supposed to do tech support.)

    Manhattan: okay, so Apple can hire assholes, too. Ask me for an iChat demo any time.

    Edison: since you can run Windows on a Mac, he’s technically right that there’s nothing you can’t do on a Mac. Leave out “by running Windows on a Mac”, and yes, he’s a dipshit. Just ask him about launching your Access database.

    I’ve come to believe that Apple’s support model is heavily weighted toward those who are actually carrying an Apple product with them when they enter the store.

    You and me, we’re going to an Apple Store someday so I can see if you play well with others.

  3. Were they all Geniuses? (Yes, there are “non-Genius” sales reps who aren’t supposed to do tech support.)

    They were all standing behind the “Genius Bar” talking to each other (and sneering at me). So I’m assuming they were all geniuses (at least that’s what they’re called at work…)

  4. Okay, I’m thinking it’s a New York thing, and you’re supposed to feel gratified that someone so well-qualified has sneered at you. Come to Washington, we’re friendlier here.

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