The only Un-Apple, Apple Experience

by John Wilker in Business, I am a Consumer, Mac

Is their retail stores. Well at least mostly. If you want an iPhone case, know what you want and where it is, it actually is a very very Apple like experience. But god forbid you take your shiny Macbook Pro in to the genius bar….

Here begins my tale of frustration and rejection.

Last week I had business down in Tech Center, so since I was gonna be down there I booked an appointment with the Park Meadows Apple store because well look at the screen shot.

I’m a little over a month from my Apple Care Warranty expiring and clearly my battery isn’t working right. Figured I’d scoot in and get a new battery installed.

I made my appointment online, easy peasy. Showed up 20 minutes before my alotted time.

Chased a blue shirt down to check in. “Go stand around over there” Ok cool.

Another blue shirt comes up, “You can grab the spot at the bar you should be coming up soon” Ok cool. I set my laptop down on the bar and sit.

And sit. And Sit. The Genius 1.5 feet from me wraps up his customer. Rather than look to the unattended customer sitting patiently at the bar, he walks around the bar away from me and whispers my name. At least I think he does. By the time I hear what I think is my name, another schmoe has claimed the space, sat down and started talking. I could be a dick and butt in but since I wasn’t 100% sure I didn’t.

I wait. And wait. And wait. 30 minutes later I flag a blue shirt down “Can we make sure I’m in the queue and didn’t get skipped?” Of course.

“Oh looks like your appointment was started and wrapped up. Someone marked it as ended. But you haven’t even been helped?” Nope.

To their credit they scrambled around to find a Mac genius to help me. Oh at first my guy asked another guy for help on the situation, his answer was I needed to make a new appointment… WTF. Thankfully my Blueshirt didn’t take that answer.

Unfortunately the timing of my appointment coincided with wide spread reports of Mountain Lion being a battery drain on laptops. Maybe it is, but my issue pre-dated that, and since the batteries health and capacity weren’t 100% you’d think it would be treated differently. You (and I) would be wrong. My genius preceeded to tell me to wait for 10.8.1 When i asked if once the “fix” was released and my issue was still there I’d be allowed a replacement battery her answer was, “you should buy the Apple Care Extended for $350”

2 hours of my life I’m not getting back. Thanks Genius Bar.

So, that said, Yeah I think the system is broken, but there’s so many easy fixes.

  • Leverage those fancy big displays above the genius bar to show the queue and who’s next. Dont’ walk around, let us come to you.
  • Be loud when calling names? Whispering “John Wilker” in an apple store is like not speaking at all. Shout my name
  • Give me an damn pager device like a restaurant to summon me to the bar. Heck make it Apple, and use an iPhone or something.
  • Use the fancy apple store app, which knows i have an appointment as said page and have it notify me when my turn has come.
  • This one is least likely but would be most well received I think. Have two Genius bars. one for muggles and one for everyone else. I saw 2 sticky iphone buttons. 1 “how to i migrate from this busted iMac to this more busted macbook” and 2 “What’s iPhoto”

I love Apple and most everything they do, but it’s apalling that they’ve revolutionized; computing, movies, TV, books (meh I use my Kindle), etc, but simple queue management in a help desk setting is so broke as to make me wanna start murderin’

So yeah. My monday sucked, and what’s best I get to look forward to doing it again since I didn’t get a new battery. I hope Apple “fixes” the issue fast.

4 Responses to “The only Un-Apple, Apple Experience”

  1. I’m a bit surprised that you’d say Apple revolutionized “computing, movies, TV, books” without mentioning music. In my opinion, Apple’s contributions to digital music (ITunes Music Store / iPod ) are much more significant than anything they’ve done with movies, TV, or books.

  2. Sorry to hear about that; that is really frustrating.

    One of the local Apple stores here in Raleigh actually used to have displays that showed the next 10 or 15 appts, so you could see where you were. Dunno why they took it down.

    They actually have some of your suggested fixes: You can use the Apple Store app to get notified when you’re up. You can even check-in for your appointment right from the app. It would be nice if they advertised this feature a bit more, though!

    You might try calling AppleCare and telling them what happened. They can authorize the local store to do repairs (overriding the genius’ recommendation at the store). Tell them that you have a defective battery that isn’t charging. Not sure what their policy is for battery health is, but it should be higher than 91% after 67 cycles. Mine is at 85% after 270 cycles. And your Amperage is way low.

    • John Wilker says:

      Ah I knew you could check in, but didn’t realize it would ‘page’ you when your turn was up, that’s definitely an under utilized feature if so!

      Yeah I might give em a call. I’ve been trying one of the recommended fixes and it’s having slight impacts towards improvement, but still hovering around 91% health.

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