Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An Apple A Day

We've been in Florida for about eight days.  We arrived last Monday because we had to take a class, and because I knew we'd be here for so long, I decided to make an appointment at the Apple store.

My iPad has been giving me fits when it comes to connecting with wi-fi.  Waiting for a page to load almost drove me to find a cliff to hurl myself from.  It may be because the router I connect to in the truck is ancient, or it can be my extreme level of frustration when something I want doesn't happen immediately.  Ed said it was just fine.  Fast enough for him.  Whatever.  He's from Texas.  Texas fast is nowhere near the same as New York fast.

I can't really think of much else in my life that's more important than my internet connection.  Oh, sure, Ed and my mom, my brother and maybe a few favorite family members...blah, blah, blah....but I think if I were forced to make a choice, I might just have to tell them, "I'll e-mail you."  I choose internet.

Trying to get an appointment at the Apple store, one of their ten-minute golden slots, is like trying to get in to see the Pope.  Personally, getting a seat at the Genius Bar is better than getting an audience with the Bishop of Rome, so I was delighted when I was able to secure a 10:50 am appointment on Sunday.  I showed up early, checked in, and took my seat.

The girl who helped me was great, and she did all her diagnostic-y things stating it may just be a software issue.  While we were waiting for her to do whatever she was doing, I started to tell her about the day I bought the iPad, earlier this year in April.  I explained how the guy who sold it to me, when I asked about a screen protector, took the iPad and raked it over a metal hook nearby to show me how the screen doesn't scratch.  Well, shit, I don't need a screen protector if that's not going to ruin it.  Two days later, it had a teeny, baby, hairline scratch.  I.  Was.  Pissed.

The Apple Genius then said to me, "Do you want a new iPad?"  I sighed.  I didn't really come in for a new iPad.  There was nothing wrong with mine except the wifi issue and I just wanted it fixed.  I told the girl that walking out with a new iPad was like people who used to come to our family restaurant, order the chicken parmigiana, eat the entire thing, and then say they wanted their money back because it wasn't good.  I felt as if it were taking advantage.

She countered that with, "Well, you paid a lot of money for this and you should be happy." And Ed said, "Just take it, she's offering."  So I took the new iPad.  On her recommendation, I didn't put a screen protector on it because she said she didn't really see the necessity.  I was skeptical considering the aforementioned scratch, but she seemed pretty confident.  She set it all up for me, I slid it into my leather cover, and walked out amazed that they just
gave me a brand new iPad. 

By Monday night, there was a scratch on the screen.  I wanted to cry.  This scratch was even worse than the first one.  It was more like an abrasion, like a sandpaper smudge.  What the hell??  As I mentioned to the girl in the store on Sunday regarding the first scratch, I don't have kids, I don't have pets, I don't wear rings, I don't leave my iPad lying around, it's always in the case, and Ed and I are the only two people who touch it.  HOW is it getting scratched, I ask??

So I made another appointment with the Genius Bar for today.  Is this product inferior?  Is this coating they put on it not just repelling oil, but attracting hoardes of microscopic, vandalistic evildoers?  Are my fingertips coated with sand?  Should I be moisturizing more?  How can it be scratched already?  I haven't even had the thing twenty-four hours! 

So back to the Apple store I went, hoping to get some answers.  The place was packed.  I checked in and took a seat at the bar, waiting for my Genius.  I didn't get the one I wanted - Ana, the super-charismatic lesbian with the spiky two-tone hair, who I observed on Sunday and today helping people with confidence and gaiety - she knew her shit.  I got some other guy.  Fine, whatever, I'd just tell him what happened.

I repeated my story and was feeling a little anxious with his body language and first sentence:  "Well, I wasn't there.  I can't say where the scratch came from." 

"Well, I was there.  And I'm telling you the only thing I did was leave this store and go home.  I barely used the thing."  I just couldn't believe I now had a scratch WORSE than the one I went in with, which wasn't even the reason I went in, and now I was feeling as if I were going to be stuck with a $900 scratched piece of glass. 

He just kept saying, "Well, it's glass."  I fucking know it's glass, but how is it that the iPads on display in the store aren't scratched, but my iPad looks like it wrestled with a square of sandpaper?  He wasn't budging on anything.  He wasn't replacing my iPad and he pretty much just shrugged, saying he was sorry he couldn't do more. 

He was very nice, don't get me wrong, but that's really not the outcome I was hoping for.  I was deflated.  He asked if I wanted to talk to his manager, that he wouldn't be offended at all if I did.  I said, "I kinda do want to talk to him.  Even if the outcome is the same.  Would you mind?"  No, he didn't.  And off he went.  It's not that I just expect to walk in and have my iPad replaced.  But I don't expect to be treating it with kid gloves, cover it up at every opportunity like it were an exotic flower, and then still get a scratch on it.

Ten minutes later he came back.  Without his manager.  He said, "We're going to replace the iPad for you.  My manager said he'd take care of it.  It's not a problem."  What?  Wow.  He asked me to sit tight for a minute and went to get me a new iPad.  And he let ME take it out of it's factory sealed wrapping.  The screen was pristine.  And two seconds later, Ed was applying a screen protector to it, right there in the store.  I wasn't taking any chances.

So, can you believe that??  Two new iPads in less than seventy-two hours??  I'm totally impressed.  And I will be telling this story for a long time. 

My step-father used to use the old adage, "A happy customer tells one friend, an unhappy customer tells everybody." in reference to the customer service at our family restaurant.  And it's true.  If someone didn't like their steak, or didn't get good service, they'd bitch to everyone they came across.  And New Yorkers, in the Catskills, are famous for their complaining.  And that probably would have been how I felt if in this case, I was unsatisfied.  Instead, I'm going to "tell everybody" about my good experience.

Today, this company is the Apple of my eye.  And now all of you know why.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2011: California Sunshine
2010: A Star (Or Two) Is Born
2009: Modern Road Warriors And Their Weapons
2008: Holsteins On Display
2007: Listening And LOVING
2006: Unfortunately Synonymous
2005: The Gays Are The Ritziest


Anonymous said...

Wow. If I were you I would be upset. But having two new iPads.. that's an awesome experience.

Pat said...

I have a screen protector and no scratches. My iPad is signed on and initialed by clients 3-4 times a week, so it gets a lot of use with various fingers swiping over it. However, the protector makes using a stylus difficult. I prefer using my finger anyway.

Belledog said...

I am so glad Apple did well by you.

In their interest too, even though they don't know that you have a well-read and respected blog.