My experience with Apple’s Customer Service

Spoiler Alert : It’s a positive one.

Apple products are more expensive than the average price in the industry. Whether it’s wireless routers, phones or computers.
Considering the incredible financial results of the company, I can assert that more and more people are willing to pay a premium for an Apple gizmo.

Aside from the unreasonable fascination that Apple generates (and that I won’t debate here), there are more logical reasons to buy Apple products : the design, the sturdiness, the durability, the resale value… to name a few.

I recently discovered another reason to buy Apple products :
Their incredibly effective customer service.

In the last 6 months, I’ve had my share of trouble with Apple devices. But instead of getting pissed about it, Apple managed to regain my confidence. The reason is simple : they CARE. Or pretend that they care, which is the same to me, because they act accordingly.
Of course, it’s much easier to care about a customer when your margins are almost indecent. That the principle of a virtuous circle.

Anyway, here’s a slight recap of my relations with Apple’s Customer Service :

  • My old Powerbook G4’s battery has been dead for a long time. I was about to buy a compatible product on dealextreme until I checked the battery’s model number on Apple’s website. To my surprise I discovered that there was a recall program for defective battery on iBook and Powerbook G4. Since my battery’s serial number was matching, a few mails to the Apple Care and a few days later, I had a brand new battery. As for the old one that I was supposed to send back, we agreed that I could simply discard it in a recycling center.
  • I have my iPhone 3GS insured with my carrier. After too much messing around (jailbreaking mostly), the phone started to malfunction. I sent it back to my carrier who sent it to the insurance to assess the damage of the product. It was only 3 weeks later that I received my new iPhone. Unfortunately, that replacement phone started to behave funny. I called the Apple Care and we concluded that I had to change the phone. We made a reservation at the Apple Genius Bar. But it was in 2 days. Since I wanted to get a functioning phone ASAP (I had been using a HTC Diamond running Windows Mobile, which felt like being fed dog food when you are used to caviar), I went to the Apple Store right away. I got there 5 minutes before the Apple Store closed. 15 minutes later, I had the iPhone 3GS, that I’m currently using.
  • At work, we have 1st generation Time Machine that is no longer working. I took it home, tore it apart, and finally discovered that the power supply was faulty. I browsed the Internet to replace the parts and once again, there was a recall program on the Time Capsule. My boss made the reservation at the Genius Bar but couldn’t make it. So I went instead. At the Genius Bar, it was as simple as always. You give back the product, the Genius makes sure you don’t need to backup the file, you sign the paper acknowledging you have received a new product and you leave with your new product. They did not bother asking why it was me who came to the appointment instead of my boss, nor if I had the invoice.
    For the record, I did not, since our Time Capsule was a gift from Apple. Yeah, Apple did not charge my company for repairing a product that they had given us firsthand.
  • After several months of use, I discovered that there was dust (or tobacco) between the screen and the glass on my iPhone. Knowing full well that a replaced product was under warranty for 3 months (90 days), I decided to have my iPhone replaced. My reservation happened on the 91th day. The Genius simply stated that he was making an exception, and changed the glass of my device. Once again, Yay.
  • Since I work for an online newspaper, the Editor in Chief occasionally receives gift from Apple. The aforementioned Time Machine, the 1st Gen iPad and the 2nd Gen iPad are examples among others. When we received the iPad 2, I did all I could to get my hands on the extra iPad 3G 64GB. And I succeeded. And ultimately, the iPad started malfunctioning. I had to push extra hard on the Dock connector in order the sync the iPad with my MacBook. I made a reservation on the Apple Store Paris Opéra website. Went to the appointment. In 2 minutes, the Genius tested the device and agreed to replace it. And that’s how, I now own a 2 weeks old first generation iPad.

Dear Apple competitors, now you know what customer service looks like.
It’s up to you to best that. It’s in our common interest.

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