I haven't blogged about this before hoping it would go away. Today however it became even worse. About six weeks ago I got a new iMac iSight. The computer is great. For the first few weeks it worked fine. Then the DVD drive stopped working. Kaput. Done. So just over two weeks ago it went in to the Apple Store Fashion Show in Las Vegas.
This was the first problem. I'd called Apple Care. They had diagnosed the problem. We were pretty sure what the problem was. I called the Apple Store to see if they had the part in. They patently refused to help save one of their customers a 100-mile drive to a pre-Christmas mall teeming with people. Using the flimsy excuse "what if it's not the optical drive" but a cable or some other part. So we already know that the primary purpose is to make the customer bend to the rules of the shop.
Wednesday night they finally call, as promised, and say the part is in. Today the machine goes in. The 10-minute job of replacing the optical drive, OK make it 40-minutes with extensive testing, will apparently take the store two-days. So they will have the machine back in a week. A week to replace the optical drive component in an iMac G5 - a minor variation on the machine that Apple allows customers to do themselves.
So the new computer that I need to get work done has been inoperable for half the time I've owned it.
Of course I could have saved all this headache by simply buying their Pro Care offering which would have cut the repair time to overnight. What this really means then is that the Apple Store, once a customer has spent thousands on computer equipment, and purchased an extended warranty, is made to wait three weeks for a repair that if I'd pay the extra fee of Pro Care for would be overnight. Somewhere along the line they have failed to take into account the thousands (hundreds of thousands that is) of dollars that have gone Apple's way at my direction over the past few years because we normally avoid just such these tactics.
Apple needs to learn quickly that their hard-won position atop the service satisfaction ratings will disappear overnight if they continue these practices. We expect this from Best Buy but not from Apple. And at $99 a customer for Pro Care they'll need to increase the price to make up for the thousands they'll be loosing in other sales.