An Apple Adventure

I’m a fan of Apple products. I’m man enough to admit it. Although I may not be as hardcore as a lot of others, I still pay attention to see what Apple has in the works.

I am the owner of a Macbook Pro and an iPhone 5. Both of which are awesome products. However, I did run into some problems with my Macbook Pro (MBP) recently. The costumer service experience was anything but enjoyable.

Do you remember earlier generation plasma TVs? If you had something on it for too long or were playing video games, you would run into the problem of image persistence (image ghosting, image burn are also synonymous.) A co-worker of mine told me that this happened to a friend of his and the Cartoon Network logo was burnt into his screen and would not go away. This is essentially what happened to my MBP.

I was under the impression that technology has come to the point where we don’t have to worry about this problem anymore, but it seems that I am wrong. The retina screen on my MBP (should have mentioned that earlier) runs at such a high resolution and has a wide viewing angle that I was told that “some ghosting will happen.” (This was mentioned to me after the fact.)

I first noticed the problem while typing a few papers one night. As I finished the papers, I turned on Netflix to take a little break. I noticed that what I had recently typed was still vaguely noticeable while watching President Bartlett talk about his 2nd Inaugural Address. So I paused the show, and looked at my wallpaper, same problem. That’s when I decided to schedule a visit to the nearest Apple store and get it looked at.

The first visit to the Apple store was an interesting one. To add a little bit of entertainment, I decided to tell my dad to come with me. He has his opinion of Apple, and I thought it’d be a little fun to let him experience it with me (best decision ever.) As we entered the store, my dad let his opinions known. Although he kept them between him and me, if he had the chance and the balls, he would have definitely yelled them. He thought he was royalty amongst peasants. “I’m smart enough to stay away from Apple, all of you low-lives are pathetic.” Although he probably wouldn’t admit it, that was his mentality. If he’s reading this, oh well.

As we met with out ‘Genius’ (don’t get me started on my dad and his opinion of the Geniuses) he ran an image persistence test to see if there was, in fact, a problem. There was. So he told me that they would take the laptop in and replace the display; a repair that could take 3-5 days (other factors permitting.) So we went about our way and left the Apple store. On our way out, we caught glimpse of the Microsoft store. There was something about that place that seemed similar to a place that I had been recently: the Apple Store. It was uncanny. I laughed, my dad was on the defense. “If Apple is so bad, why does it look like Microsoft took a play out of their playbook?” He did his normal head shake and shrug and we went back home.

I was punished by having to use the laptop that we recently bought my mom until my laptop was fixed. It was running Windows 8 and it was ‘different.’ It is true about what they say: “Once you go Mac, you never go back.” The experience on that laptop was short live, thankfully.

I received an email the next day saying that my repair was done. “Sweet! Early! I like that!” That meant I could  step away from the contagious disease of a laptop that they call a PC. I had my dad pick it up on his way home from work, a task that he was probably adamant about doing, but reluctantly agreed to.

He can home, and I met him at the door. It was like seeing a family member that had been lost and recently was found. (Ok, now I’m kind of sounding pathetic, but stay with me.) I turned it on and browsed the web for a couple minutes and was greeted with the same problem! This is when frustration set in and a quickly scheduled another Genius Bar appointment to see what was up.

That day came and I decided not to bring my dad with me this time. He had his fun, but with the circumstances, I needed to figure out what was wrong. It turned out that they did not do what they originally set out to do: replace the display. Apparently they ran the same test they did in front of us last week once we left and it passed. So there was no need to do the repair. So they said that they would definitely fix it this time and it would be another 3-5 for the fix. “Ok, as long as it gets fixed.” (May I remind you that this was Superbowl Sunday.) So I went home and went about the rest of my day, or as much as I could before I got another email from Apple saying that my laptop was ready. This was only about an hour and a half after I got home. So the first thing that came to my mind was that the same thing that happened last week, just happened again. So I went back up to the Apple story (about a 30 minute drive each way) and it seemed like the walk from the entrance to the mall to the Apple store took forever. It seemed as with every step I got that much closer to becoming extremely frustrated. Luckily, it was fixed. According to the Genius, the employee who does the repairs on retina screens was in that day and was able to get it done that day. Although I was extremely happy to get my MBP the same day, I couldn’t help but wonder if there could have been a little better communication between employees to better help me. Gas isn’t cheap and the drive isn’t short. I could have easily have killed time browsing the various stores in the mall and wait to get notified that my repair was completed. With all of the technology that Apple embraces, I think that this could have easily of happened. But no.

This isn’t a story of me turning away from Apple and going back to the dark side. This is simply a story of my customer service experience. I still love Apple products. But like every other piece of technology, they have problems. But Apple, I’ll admit, tends to be a little full of themselves when you enter their story and need help with your products. With the type of money we have to spend to get something from Apple, you would think that their customer service experience would be a little better. I’m not expecting free caviar with every visit or a free lap dog, I just want a good customer experience where I can be confident that I will be able to walk away and know that my product will be fixed and working the way it should be. Is that so much to ask?

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