Thursday, January 12, 2012

When It Comes to Customer Service, APPLE NEEDS A CLUE

This morning, having received no contact from the apparently too busy to care RW at Apple Customer Care, either by phone or email, decided to call Apple  this morning in an attempt to resolve my issues with the company.  Part of me would like to think Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave at this saga, but if being honest here, the customer service protocols at Apple were probably instituted under his watch, which leads to the conclusion he would approve of the manner in which his staff has handled this case.  As a sub note to this saga, don't bother calling the corporate headquarters at 408-996-1010 and asking to speak to the new Chairman of the Board Arthur D Levinson (see Genentech and NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc), as he does not deem to speak to mere mortals like you and I as Apple has us locked into a box that forbids us escaping from a non functioning Customer Care Department.

Apple...Bad To The Core?
Around 10:30 I placed my call, and when someone in customer service answered, I asked to speak to the manager of said department (knowing we common folk are not allowed such access).  A syrupy sweet calming voice on the other end of the line asked me to explain too them just what my problem was, asked that I give them a chance to see if they could help.  Been there, done that, but I proceeded to tell my story in four part harmony when I was told, "OK, stop it right there and let me put you on hold while I pass this call along to someone else that can better help you with your problem.  Do you mind if I put you on hold for a few minutes while I fill them in on everything."

Sure, be happy to hold, I just love sitting here holding a phone in my hand while you explain everything to someone else who will come on the line and ask me to repeat the whole story over to them again anyway."

Missing my sarcasm, the customer service representative placed me on hold, was gone for a little over ten is assumed looking for someone that she could pass the call off to as it was well beyond their own skills, and the script booklet that was and is every phone reps holy grail of how to deal with members of the public.  Rule number one of which is, "Never let them speak to anyone that could actually make an executive decision that could  solve the problem."
Finally the rep in her syrupy voice pops online to inform me she is passing my call over to someone else who will be able to resolve my issues, make me again a "Happy Camper".  So now, passed along to person number two in my ordeal (not counting the robot who had assured me it could understand and comprehend complex phrases...which it cannot).  Wanting to save some time, I asked this person if the first customer service rep had adequately explained my situation.  

"Not really, can you tell me what you are having problems with?"

Biting my tongue, with great gnashing of teeth, pulling out some of my already thinning hair, I again start my tale from the beginning with four part harmony and various assorted lamentations about the insanity of the entire situation, when again I hear, "Stop it right there, I am going to need to escalate this up the ladder too someone else, can you please hold?"

Another long waiting period listening to Apple's insipid hold music (maybe they should do some shopping on ITunes), and this second person comes back on the line to introduce me to Robyn who will be helping me from here on out...happy, happy, joy, joy.  Now I knew this phone conversation was not going to end with me being a happy camper when she almost immediately informs me, that she is pretty much on an equal par with RW (remember RW), and so can only do so much in an attempt to solve my issues...cutting to the chase, what she was saying was she would not be able to give me what I had ordered at the price I ordered it for UNLESS people higher up were brought into the lope (tangled ball of string)...and we are talking for WHAT REASON?

I'd asked to speak to someone higher up the food chain over an hour ago, and though a mere mortal like myself is not allowed into that Apple Ivory Tower, not allowed too speak to any one above the level of peon and piss ant, it seemed I was going to need to give Robyn at least 24 hours to look into some things...every time RW (remember RW) asked for 24 hours, it was more like days, even weeks before (or if) I heard back from him.  Must like our dear RW, Robyn too gave me her DIRECT DIAL number (877 388-0879 ext. 48076) which when called funnels you into the same message and answering machine that RW has set up for himself.

She did ask me what I would like to resolve my issues with, what I would like is the Apple iMac (28 inch screen) with all the bells and whistles, but we all know that Apple is not going to give me an almost $7,000 computer.  However, that is NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR...I said I wanted them to uphold and honor the deal they had made to me, and wanted a letter of apology from Apple...apparently that last one greatly complicates things, as Apple does not like having to admit in writing that they made some mistakes, does not want to write a letter of apology to ANYONE.

So, almost four months from when this saga originally started, the tale continues on.