On A White Charger...
*Update - Part 2 of this odyssey "Apple Juiced!" can be found here.
I love my wee iPad Pro, but jeezo, things are turning into a bit of an odyssey in trying to get Apple to swap over my faulty charger cable for a new working one.
What is it with apple chargers - the one from my Macbook Pro blew up on me - yup, flame, flash, bang and smoulder, and now this one which is only a few months old, say 26 weeks, more or less, is doing that thing where it stops charging until you either pinch it or hold it up at a certain angle to the equator and spin round and howl at the moon.
So far today i've been accompanied on the adventure by 6 different people - 1 Argos helper, then 1 Argos online chat fella and 1 Argos online chat Manager, then 1 Apple support line guy, then 1 Apple virtual reality automated robot woman, who claimed to understand full sentences, and even though she had a Scottish accent herself, she simply couldn't understand my West Coast lilt. And finally 1 online Apple twitter helper who I think was in America, Outer Mongolia, or circling the earth on the good ship 'Granny Smith'.
Let me just say here and now that each of these 'live' people were fantastic, helpful and friendly, and it's not them that i'm frustrated with, rather that Apple's system itself seems to be overly complicated to get a replacement charger. Talking to 'Mrs Robot Woman', however, was like a cross between the Two Ronnies 'computer Dr' routine, and the Burnistoun 'lift' comedy sketch.
I encountered 'Mrs Robot Woman' when I tried to phone the Braehead Apple store directly thinking that maybe someone in my own time zone rather than Mrs Robot Woman's twilight zone might be able to help me better. But each time I got her, and each time when I tried to speak in the space where i had to leave my 'complete' sentences, she would cut me off. I knew then that one of us would 'lose the rag', so i decided to head back to twitter.
"But, Why not just go to the Apple shop?" I hear you cry'.
Well, the sad fact is that I was told by the telephone support that I could go to the apple store and "if they had time they might help me". Now I use my iPad Pro every day for business and being without it interrupts my workflow, therefore the word 'might' just does not cut it with me, especially when it would take the same amount of time for an Apple assistant to sell me a new charger as it would be to swap one over. The phrase "if they have time" also rankled me - especially since i've spent, and encouraged others to spend a fair few thousand pounds on Apple products over the past few years.
I've never once encountered an Apple assistant too busy to sell me something!
I should add here that Apple support did give me a couple of options -
1. They would take money from my bank account and mail a charger out to me, and put the money back in my account when they received (and presumably tested) the faulty charger. (3 to 5 days completion)
2. I could mail in the faulty charger, and then they would mail out a new charger. (3 to 5 days completion)
3. I could go to a service centre 'near me', by which they meant Stirling. Now i'm in Johnstone and a Stirling round trip would be a good few hours to complete and i'd probably spend as much on train fares as I would to buy a new charger.
4. They could fix me an appointment in the Braehead store for the 16th of November.
It's a charger..one simple little wire! I'm not asking for one to be constructed freshly by free-range artisans out of brambles and twigs in a tumbledown cottage in Glencoe! - just one off the shelf will do me!
Since the very beginning I emphasised that I was going to be in Braehead tomorrow anyway so could be in and out the shop in five minutes flat - just put one aside!
So the stage i'm at is thinking i'll go in and talk face to face tomorrow.
I worked in retail for years and appreciate good customer service when it happens.
When my Macbook Pro charger blew up, burnt the carpet and scared the cat, I walked into the Apple Glasgow store and within 5 minutes had a replacement charger in my hand - now that's the kind of service I want to see repeated, and exactly the goodwill that promotes customer loyalty to a brand..
However, that was about three years ago now and tomorrow i'll find out if standards have fallen or if i'll be pleasantly surprised.
Tune in next time and i'll give a fair appraisal of the in store treatment I receive.
The next part can be found here - "Apple Juiced!"
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.