'Secret' Apple retail policy reportedly rewarded polite customers with free fixes, replace...

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  • Reply 21 of 50
    I would absolutely say this is likely true. As I've always gotten amazing service from Apple...and pretty sure I've had a few of those Surprise and Delight instances of my own. One being a 2017 iMac that had a logic board replaced under warranty. Issue showed up again a few months later, but I never had time to get it back in before the warranty expired and I wasn't much for purchasing AppleCare at the time on computers. I got it back in months after warranty expired. They decided to fix it again for me free of charge and this time they replaced logic board and power supply. Two weeks later, same issues. They fixed it again no charge to me. Got it home and it would immediately not boot up. Brought it back. They brought me out the 2019 model that had just been released. At the same price point as I had purchased mine, which gave me an extra Terabyte of storage and a 6 core instead of 4 core processor. Manager and genius were just like here you go, you've suffered enough. Then I hear the horror stories...so I've always felt lucky that Apple has ALWAYS given me this kind of experience. But I'm never angry or rude with customer service. I ask about their day and if they've had a lot of issues to solve. I thank them for taking the time to help me. Stuff like that. 

    With an iPhone 6 I was allowed to add AppleCare like 4 months after purchase by a Genius for a cracked screen so I wouldn't have to pay the huge replacement fee. 

    I also have observed other customers go absolutely ballistic around me and they start in angry. They never leave happy. Sorry for them. I believe you reap what you sow on some level.
  • Reply 22 of 50
    doaldoal Posts: 13member
    I brought in broken a AirPod that was beyond warranty. I explained to the genius that the problem had started while in warranty. He replaced it without charge. I’m always very pleasant. 
  • Reply 23 of 50
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,112member
    genovelle said:
    weev7 said:
    I worked for Apple retail for nearly 10 years, and this TikTok is an oversimplification of a policy that was tried YEARS ago, back in the iPhone 3GS-4S times. We were allowed to swap a liquid damage phone once for a customer, and it was up to the technician to make that determination. Back then when I did have the power to make that decision, of course I wasn’t going to make that exception for someone who was rude to me or my coworkers. But Apple recognized that not all customers were receiving the same level of service, so they ended the practice around 2010. Since then, there has been no official policy of “surprise and delight” for kind customers as opposed to rude customers. 

    These days, those exceptions are EXTREMELY rare if they are even made at all. A few years ago, I even begged my managers to make an exception for a teacher whose Mac was liquid damaged by an autistic student and I was told “No.” The term “surprise and delight” was only used for items like duckheads or EarPods that we could just give customers for free, but that went away as well before I left the company. 

    I feel this is an important distinction to make because readers might think an Apple Genius has the power to fix a liquid damaged device for free when that is absolutely not the case. I would not want readers to assume the Genius is saying no because the Genius just considers them to be rude when they just cannot make an exception at all. 
    I don’t know about water damage but I have had quite a few issues repaired on my computers years beyond the warranty, including a system board. 
    Same. Apple actually has about the best service I have ever come across.
  • Reply 24 of 50
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    This article is attracted an amazing number of respondents who registered today. LOL

    First impressions are as important in 2021 as they were a hundred years ago.

    With modern technology, merchants like Apple can keep a scorecard of your history as a customer, just like your dentist keeps track of your punctuality.

    Amazon.com recognizes that I've been a customer since the late Nineties. They definitely know how many transactions I've made, how much I've spent, how many returns I've made. Most likely they have some sort of internal customer score on how much I am worth to them as a customer to retain.

    That's basically what it comes down to: customer retention.

    Apple does not reveal to the customer what they think is the duration of the Apple-customer relationship. But undoubtedly Apple is using some sort of machine learning to track this: product registrations, iTunes Store downloads (including freebies), etc. I would be foolish of me to believe that Apple cannot track my relationship with them back into the Nineties.

    Apple Stores are retail. The smarter sales associates silently assess everyone who walks into the store. 

    You don't need to look like James Bond in a tuxedo or a supermodel in an evening gown. You just need to look slightly better than the rest of the Great Unwashed. For a planned visit to the Apple Store, I ensure I look better than the average (this isn't difficult due to the low standards around here). Take out your damned earpods (even if they're Apple AirPods Pro) before you walk into the store. Wear a better jacket and shoes.

    This isn't advice specific to Apple bricks-and-mortar stores. This works pretty much for all retail. Just look a little better than the others around you.

    Not that difficult.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 25 of 50
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    I think this is more to do with a quick check on your purchase history and how honest when asked why there’s a garden rake embedded in your laptop. 


    bikerdudeDAalseth
  • Reply 26 of 50
    I believe I was the benefactor of this Surprise and Delight program. My Late 2016 MBP had completely died last fall and my Apple Care had been expired for almost a year. Apple gave me a brand new MBP 16” right on the spot with some nice upgrades. They saw my lengthy Apple Care repairs for my previous MBP and I was so grateful. I don’t see the point of being rude to people that are there to help you and I’ve seen my fair share of Apple snob customers at the stores. 
  • Reply 27 of 50
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 685member
    Not related to apple store. 

    But I find the senior tech in AppleCare is much nicer than the junior. So many junior tech in apple I talked to is not very knowledgeable at all, even for some basic things, and they sound not interested to help me. All they did is read from script. And since most of the problems I had is harder to fix, since I already check internet and apple forums, so I usually just tell them to transfer me to a senior tech. 

    pulseimages
  • Reply 28 of 50
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,188member
    Even if such a program doesn’t exist - treating others well is always the right approach. 
  • Reply 29 of 50
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member
    I was very polite when the motherboard died on my 13 month old iMac.

    The Apple Store politely informed that my warranty had expired to which I politely reminded them that under Australian Consumer Law, a $1,700 electronic device that fails 1 month out of warranty is not of “acceptable quality”.

    Apple then politely told me to get bent, forcing me to lodge a complaint with the ACCC. I won the case and Apple was forced to repair it FOC. 

    SO POLITENESS DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK. 
    Fred257
  • Reply 30 of 50
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,045member
    "You're a nice guy and get superior service... And you're a nice guy and get superior service... And you get superior service..."

    No, I think not.

    I like many here, have been the beneficiary of stellar Apple service, and  yes, I'm a card carrying Certified Nice Guy. I also know of others who, operating under the it-never-hurts-to-ask— and ask nicely department, got unexpected breaks in service.

    But I don't believe Apple ever just handed out Nice Customer rewards, deals, special considerations, etc., on the strength of them being a decent person. I have read were Apple Genii have/jad a wide latitude for authorizing repairs that were over the wire. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 31 of 50
    This kind of policy that depends on the whims of the CSR can lead to uneven and inconsistent customer experiences. 

    We purchase Macs and other hardware for my company, spending tens of thousands annually. I’m nearly always polite and many techs and sales people know me at the Apple Stores I frequent. Our Apple Business  rep is excellent. Yet when we had a MacBook butterfly keyboard fail just outside the 2yr extended replacement period, they would not replace it. 

    I complained politely but was told firmly, “sorry, it’s just policy,” and quoted me over C$500 for the repair. 

    It left me with a bad feeling because I know that the keyboard costs a pittance in comparison to our annual business with Apple. I would have accepted a $200 repair bill gladly. 

    In my opinion this was a failure on the part of Apple  to see the big picture. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 32 of 50
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,438member
    In retail and restaurants, most customers are cranky or at best aloof. Some who seem nice are just manipulative.

    To meet somebody who is genuinely nice and treats you with human dignity is special.
  • Reply 33 of 50
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 355member
    This is what happens in life. If you are pleasant and nice people want to help you. They have to deal with so many A-holes trying to bully their way into getting what you want that a nice person gets the advantage. 
  • Reply 34 of 50
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 355member
    I wonder.
    AirPods Max, left side stopped working.
    AirPods, battery dead on one.
    Apple Watch Hermes, bubble under the screen (new).
    MacBook Pro first generation butterfly switch issues and popping sounds.
    MacBook Pro second generation butterfly keyboard issues (yes I'm a sucker for buying again)
    HomePod - making random loud noises.
    iPhone 11 dead on arrival. 
    BigSur bluetooth issues still ongoing with 11.2.3.

    I wonder how "kind" I come across as a customer. 
    I recommend a new platform for you. Kind of like the guy woohoo buys the same car brand over and over even though he has gotten lemons. 
  • Reply 35 of 50
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,201member
    Written policy or not, it’s human nature. Whatever latitude the customer service rep has, it will more readily by extended to customers who are nice. 

    Within reason, for the company, this should be ok. The challenge for the company is to make sure that there’s not so much latitude that they’re giving away the store, and making sure that definitions of “nice” aren’t influenced by the customer’s race, gender, etc. 
  • Reply 36 of 50
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 879member
    IDK but years ago my Niece brought her MacBook (the old white plastic ones) that she bought used from me into Apple Store Saddle Creek to get the keyboard replaced. She was the second owner and it was out of warranty, but they replaced the keyboard for free. I know of many other instances of them being generous with customers.

    I would like to think Apple does this and still does give associates the latitude to do such things. Not to “give away the store” but to extend goodwill to good customers.
  • Reply 37 of 50
    I know Apple has special out of warranty programs for some fixes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they have leeway over borderline cases. I had several repairs I thought I would need to pay for that were covered by geniuses making a special exception. It is generally certain categories though like battery failure, water damage, or other minor damage that could have contributed. Whatever they are doing they should keep doing it. I dread getting service on my car, but I’ve never felt ripped off by Apple service. This is certainly something that keeps my loyalty.
    edited March 18
  • Reply 38 of 50
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 83member
    Considering that most young people border on narcissism I always compliment THEM.  That goes for anyone, if they barely are doing their jobs right or trying.  It works wonders, even if I don’t mean it.  I took my iPhone SE in to get my battery replaced when they were having a special.  The woman said that they destroyed my phone trying to replace it so they gave me a brand new one.  🌞
  • Reply 39 of 50
    In the world nice people have a higher opportunity of getting benefits than not nice people.

    Karma bites.

    There is no  policy to help one customer more than another. All are welcome at Apple as long as you respect others. Golden Rule.
  • Reply 40 of 50
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 594member
    davgreg said:
    IDK but years ago my Niece brought her MacBook (the old white plastic ones) that she bought used from me into Apple Store Saddle Creek to get the keyboard replaced. She was the second owner and it was out of warranty, but they replaced the keyboard for free. I know of many other instances of them being generous with customers.

    I would like to think Apple does this and still does give associates the latitude to do such things. Not to “give away the store” but to extend goodwill to good customers.

    There was a repair extension on those white MacBook top cases.  That repair was an official, documented policy.

    We didn't have to send the old ones back to Apple, so for years after that program ended anybody who came in to my shop with a damaged plastic MacBook keyboard and didn't have much money would get a free top case, with just a few cracks on the palm rest (which theirs almost certainly had too because it was a terrible design).


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