Thursday, September 6, 2007

The infallibility of Mac's and the uselessness of Tech Support.

I recently got a new MacBook laptop as a graduation gift and I was excited at the prospect of using an apple product, since all the apple users I have ever talked to are in love with their machines and think they are the greatest things since the onset of free Internet porno. Being a lifelong PC user and having dealt with such issues as the blue screen of death, random freeze-up, viruses and the like I (naively) assumed that Mac’s were infallible since I had never heard of these things happening to them before. Thus, much to my surprise, as I began using my laptop for the first time and setting up my preferences I was shocked to see a little black screen appear and inform me that I needed to restart my machine. I shrugged it off as no big deal, because all computers need to restart from time to time and I thought maybe I had just automatically downloaded some updates and those needed to take effect immediately.

Boy was I wrong. After this same Black Screen of Despair appeared at least 3 or 4 more times I figured something was wrong with my computer and called Tech Support. This seemed like an awesome idea at the time since I had the uber protection, super-dee-duper high-class 3 year warrantee that I was certainly covered on whatever could be wrong with my several day old computer.

My first experience on the phone with tech support was pleasant. I waited 2-3 minutes to speak to someone, explained my issue, we did some troubleshooting and she told me to call back anytime if this, or any other problem, were to arise. No less than 4 hours later as I am browsing the web does everyone’s favorite black screen appear again. Well shit, something must really be wrong here if the erase and install of my OS didn’t fix this shit. I call tech support again, and after giving them my previous case number, explaining my issue (again) to a different tech support person he informed me that it was in fact a serious hardware defect and that I would need to make an appointment with a Mac Genius at an apple store and either troubleshoot some more, or if it was bad enough of a problem (which he said was highly likely) they would just replace my laptop with a new one no questions asked.

I was really frustrated after this call, since it took me 15 minutes to talk to someone and he kept having to repeatedly put me on hold to check things over with a supervisor and the hold music was getting old on Tech Support round 2. However, I was optimistic that I would either have my problems solved or taken away from me in 2 short days at the apple store. I show up there, laptop in hand and am immediately assisted by a pleasant young guy with a lion’s mane of hair who diagnoses the problem as serious hardware defect of an ambiguous nature and heads out back to get me a new computer. Wow, could it be that easy I thought to myself.

No, absolutely not. That’s what you get for getting your hopes up and making assumptions though. He returns to inform me that since my laptop is custom made (news to me) they have no replacements for it in store since they don’t sell it and thus he cannot take mine in return for a new one. I need to talk to tech support and get them to arrange for it to be shipped back to them and replaced. Now it isn’t this guy’s fault he can’t help me, tech support never should have sent me there in the first place knowing the exact serial number of the machine and it’s makeup (which I had given to them twice already now on the phone) and I am not excited to deal with them again. On my third call to tech support in less than a week I get a brain dead imbecile who probably has to clear blowing his nose with a supervisor before he does it who informs me (after a 30 minute wait of checking with a supervisor and looking into my issue) that the customer relations dept. is not open this late and I will need to all back on Monday. Of course, since I posses more than 5 brain cells I ask if they will in fact be open on Monday, a holiday. Naturally he has no idea and proceeds to ask someone else the answer to which I find out they are not in fact open. I ask if they are open normal business hours (9-5) or if they are open later since I have to work and this is relevant info. Of course, he doesn’t know this either and after another several minute wait Jackass informs me they are open 9-9.
Great, now I have a weekend to wait to get this shit fixed and I have to deal with tech support again to get them to tell me how I get them to pay to ship this POS back to them.

As you may have guessed by now, I talk to an even more useless idiot on Tuesday. I spend 2.5 hours on the phone getting transferred from dept. to dept. since this jackass has no idea where to send my issue. I get hung up on twice and when I finally talk to someone who knows what the fuck is going on they tell me they need tech support to declare the machine DOA in order to do an exchange. I plead my case to this guy and he coerces some female tech staffer to put the requisite marks on my file and he gets my contact info and says Apple will be in touch in 24 hours or less with shipping info and labels.
This was such a fucking nightmare that if I didn’t need a computer so badly to function in life and do my job I would just ask for a refund and never buy another one again. Of course, I am addicted to the Internet and couldn’t possibly do that, but I sure as hell will think twice about buying another Apple product I’ll tell you what.

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