Competence Level of Apple Service

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I just wasted much of my evening driving 30 minutes each way to pick up my 12" Power Book G4, which had just been shipped back to my local Apple Store from the main repair place.

Now, the guy who sent it off for me told me it was going to Texas. The guy who was there when I went to pick it up said Tennesse. So I have no idea where my computer has been. But ANYWAY:

I just got a Nokia 3650 a week ago. (Free at Amazon!) I was all excited because it has Bluetooth like my laptop. I tried everything but standing on my head to try and get the Bluetooth to work, but it just refused. So I finally caved in and brought it to the Genius Bar. They couldn't get the Bluetooth to work either.

This is a difficult situation, trying to get 2 different companie's products to work together. They just point fingers at one another.

I'd talked to Nokia. They had thrown up their hands and said "Talk to Apple."

I'd talked to Apple. They just said "Talk to Nokia."

But I tried to sync my phone up with the Apple Store's floor model PowerBook. And THAT worked. So it was clearly my computer with the problem.

The only course of action was to send it away to have the Bluetooth module replaced. Good thing I bought a Bluetooth phone before my warranty ran out, or I'd be up sh*tcreek. It's a $300+ repair.

But I digress. I drove all the way to pick it up this evening, so happy that I could have it back, only to get there and find it didn't work. My PowerBook now can't even recognize it has a Bluetooth module at all.

For crying out loud! Did they TEST it before they shipped it back? The form SAYS they did, but it also says it was tested by a different guy than the one who performed the repair. I wonder if the tester just turned it on and said "Yup, it's booting up fine" and didn't even check the Bluetooth!

Now I won't have it back until Wednesday at the earliest! They had better ship it out tomorrow and not wait til Monday. I will be sure to call and pester them. They said they would have to call Airborne for a special pickup. They better do it. This is pretty poor.

Does anyone else have trouble with Apple Repair?

PS To anyone else out there with a PowerBook G4, I highly recommend testing your Bluetooth module before your warranty runs out. There's no telling how many computers they shipped with defective Bluetooth modules. (You could test it by bringing it into the store and trying to sync it with the floor models. Or if you live far from an Apple Store, go to a cell phone store and try to sync with a floor model Bluetooth phone.)


  • Reply 1 of 11
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    All warranty work in the US is sent to Austin, Texas.

    My own experience...

    1) PowerBook won't shut down.

    2) I try every trick in the book to fix it.

    3) I determine it's a hardware problem.

    4) I take the PowerBook to the Apple Store on July 3rd.

    5) The Genius repeats step 2 above for himself.

    6) The Genius plugs in a "known good" installation of OS X on a FireWire HDD and reboots with it as the Start-up Disk.

    8) he Genius tells me it's hardware, files the warranty repair order.

    9) He quotes 7-10 days, and says it won't go out until Monday because Friday is Independence Day and the weekend...

    10) The Apple Store calls on Tuesday (two business days later) and says it's ready.

    11) I pick it up and live heavily ever after.

    The thread about the experience.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    Apple is very hit and miss with support and repair. You'll hear horror stories and you'll hear amazingly impressive stories.

    It's unfortunate that's the case. but i would say overall Apple support and repair is very good.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Everyone is hit and miss with support and repair, and Apple is actually pretty good relative to the industry. The problem is that "good relative to the industry" is hardly a compliment.

    If this does turn into a protracted nightmare (and Fran441 here can tell you all about protracted nightmares involving PowerBooks and Apple support) be sure to escalate it, and if it really sucks make sure Apple's higher-ups hear about it - anything which results in a further improvement to Apple support is welcome. But remember: always be polite to the people you're talking to, even if you feel like driving down to Austin or Cupertino and wringing their necks with your own two hands. As you've discovered, level 1 tech support can't do all that much. Also, remember that especially with phone support, you're probably talking to a contractor with a firm that does support for any number of different companies, and the poor guy is probably talking you through a list of insultingly basic instructions because that's what's on the piece of paper he was handed that morning. He's not an Apple employee, and the level of service is not his fault.

    Be persistent, and if you need to get some frustration off your chest, there are quite a few sympathetic ears here.

    For the record, I've never needed Apple service in the 13 years I've owned Macs. 8)
  • Reply 4 of 11
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    A little off-topic, but one time I called AppleCare US, and was redirected to AppleCare Canada. \
  • Reply 5 of 11
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member

    Originally posted by CubeDude

    A little off-topic, but one time I called AppleCare US, and was redirected to AppleCare Canada. \

    yeah, what the hell is that aboot, eh?
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Yeah, I suspect my problems have something to do with Bluetooth being a new thing.

    If it comes back a second time and still doesn't work, I do intend to raise minor hell. I'd like to demand a new computer with my hard drive swapped into it, but I'm not sure I'd get that. I'm trying to be nice. I do, after all, have remote hopes of someday working at this Apple Store, since I can't get anyone else to hire me. So I'm trying not to make a spectacle of myself. Which I could easily do. But never if there were other customers in the store. Wouldn't want to scare anyone away.

    I have had Apples for nearly 20 years and have never had to have one serviced until last week. Your day will come too, I suppose.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member

    Originally posted by SuperGrover

    So I'm trying not to make a spectacle of myself. Which I could easily do. But never if there were other customers in the store. Wouldn't want to scare anyone away.

    to hell with that. ever since i got chased AWAY FROM an apple store for having my picture taken by the apple logo OUTSIDE NEXT TO THE DOOR, i don't give two craps about making a scene anymore. just circuit city employees with better complimentary t-shirts, if you ask me.

    p.s. this reminds me, i really need to start a thread about this little incident. it was about two months ago at the walden galleria mall location in buffalo, new york. they're more than willing to allow photos when it's the store opening, but otherwise, it's like i'm stealing nuclear secrets or something. sheesh.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    um I'm in austin texas and they shipped mine to california somewhere... when I was an apple tech in dallas we shipped it there as well. I hear tennesee is a big service center now as well.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    alecralecr Posts: 33member
    I had a problem with my power supply and they sent it out for repair and even told me I could bring my laptop into the store to charge it when the battery was low as I was waiting for the new power supply. I thought that was really cool but after spending $3,300 on a computer I would expect that. This was only the second time in 14 years that I have had to take an apple product in for repair...both times the result of human "error"
  • Reply 10 of 11
    bostonmhbostonmh Posts: 97member
    Had a problem called apple at 1:30 PM EST after about 15 minutes I was determined I would need a replacement part. said the part would ship in 3 to 4 days. Next day at 10:00 AM EST I get a phone call from my wife asking why the was a box from apple at the house. Told here it was a raplacemet part. 20.5 hours...I was impressed.
  • Reply 11 of 11

    I just got my computer back last night. It's been gone for nearly 2 weeks! Supposedly there was a big thunderstorm in Tennessee that knocked the power out for 2 whole days and they understandably got backed up.

    So it turns out I didn't need a new Bluetooth module at all. The problem was that my internal Firewall was turned on, and Bluetooth won't work properly without it turned off.

    What a big DUUUUUUH, right?

    Well, my computer had been seen in person by 3 Genius Bar techies, and I'd talked to one support guy on the phone and none of them figured that out. Then it was shipped to Texas and the guy(s) there didn't figure it out, either.

    So the Bluetooth module was replaced.

    Then, the Genius Bar techie I picked it up from found something in their internal troubleshooting file that said iSync wouldn't work with Nokia 3650s and a few other phone models with the Firewall on.

    This post in their troubleshooting area had been created well over a month before I started having problems. I wish one of my techies had thought to check it. But oh well I guess. I'm just happy to have my computer back, and its hard drive is still in tact.

    It's like having a new computer all over again!

    I wish this whole ordeal hadn't cost Apple so much money. They Airborne Expressed the thing at least 4 times, once on a Saturday! That could be around $200 total. Sigh. A drop in their bucket, I suppose.
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