Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Genius Bar

What ever possessed some arrogant Mac SOB to decide that a group of homogenized salespeople in cheap blue t-shirts and torn jeans deserve to be called GENIUSES? And what overpriced Apple marketing wizard then decided they should call their service department a GENIUS BAR? 
Like it takes a GENIUS to insert a diagnostics software cord, read the subsequent printout, open the case and snap in a replacement part. As someone who once opened up her old PC and replaced just about everything inside but the hard drive and the motherboard, I know the difference between Einstein and a beer stein. And most of the people in an Apple Store look like they're two minutes from a couple of Buds. 
I'll have a cold one. . .
If the recent experience I had with my MacBookPro is any indication, Apple's top to bottom arrogance, while well deserved in many ways, has finally crossed the line from annoying to pain in my ass. 

My year old laptop was having moments when the screen would go black, then recover, then go black, then recover again. Plus everything had slowed wa-a-a-y down. Most of the IT guys I know were thinking I had a video card problem. The main question I got was "Have you backed up everything?" 

So I made an appointment online that day to go to my Apple Store. Apparently you have to make an appointment to see a GENIUS. That evening, as I walked toward the crowded GENIUS BAR -- it is actually a bar -- I wondered if anyone would ask to help me. Especially since I had an appointment. Of course, they didn't. 

After ten minutes, someone who was giving a one-on-one tutorial decided he could multi-task and plugged my computer into a diagnostic cord for initial evaluation. Apparently nothing was wrong, so I'd have to leave my laptop for a more thorough diagnosis. Since I needed my computer for the next three days, I said I would come back on Monday. 

Here's what followed: I got an email from Apple with a questionnaire wanting to know about the service I received. I said it was okay, but nothing special. This was followed quickly by a phone call from the store manager who set me up with a time on Monday for my next GENIUS meeting.

On Monday evening, the young woman GENIUS who took care of me was thorough, asking lots of questions, taking many notes and telling me that I should back up my hard drive. She sold me an external drive which she said would be ready for me that night or the next day while they waited for a new logic board. She estimated three to five days to fix my computer, i.e. replace the board. Saturday at the latest. She gave me her card which had an Apple on it and GENIUS under that, as if that were her name. Her real name was somewhere down at the bottom of the card.

I heard nothing all week. 

Friday, I call -- what's going on? 
• Well, your external hard drive was ready on Tuesday. 
• So why didn't you let me know? I thought you would call me. What about the part I need? Will my computer be ready to pick up tomorrow, Saturday? 
• Um, no, because the part that arrived was no good. And we won't get another one until next week. [Not only did I have to have a major part replaced after only a year, the replacement part they sent was also bad, what GENIUSES those Mac folks are!] 
• So when were you going to call me? 
• You were on the list to be called tonight. [It was already 8:30] Your computer won't be ready now until Wednesday. 
• Wednesday? I need my computer for work. 
• Well, the earliest the part will get here is Monday. 
• Morning or afternoon? 
• Could be either. 
• Do I have to call you every day to find out when it arrives? Do I have to stay on top of this or are you going to keep me posted? 
• Well --
• Wait a minute -- I've got a bone to pick. First let me say how offended I am by the GENIUS BAR. You people aren't GENIUSES. You're salespeople. Second, your job is SERVICE. And so far you aren't very good at that. . .blah blah blah piss and moan. I also asked the guy what had happened to Apple quality -- I'd paid a lot of money for a computer that crashed after a little over a year. And the first replacement part wasn't any better.

That was on Friday night. 

On Sunday, I got a call. Mrs. Linklater [that's actually what they called me, LOL] your computer is ready.
• It is, how? 
* Actually, It was ready yesterday. 
* Yesterday? Saturday? With a new working part?
* Yes.

Apparently I'd bitched and moaned so much on Friday, they ordered the part for overnight SATURDAY delivery. Or got one from another Apple Store in the area. So my computer was ready on Saturday, the original promise date. 

Naturally because Apple Store service is so lackadaisical, nobody called to tell me until Sunday. Hey, all you GENIUSES, I could have picked it up on Saturday. You waited until Sunday to call and now I'm out of town all day, so I can't get the computer until Monday.  
When I came in on Monday, the GENIUS who gave me my repaired computer forgot to give me the external hard drive I'd purchased for backup. 

I suppose I could have remembered to ask for it, but then, I'm not a f**king GENIUS. 


Donna said...

This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. One reason I won't be getting another Mac is that in order to have it worked on, Cliff would have to take me fifty miles to the Plaza in Kansas City. When I had a PC, I could take it to a dozen places within a twenty mile radius. I do like my Mac, but between the initial cost and the fear that it will break down and we'll have to make that long trek to KC, I'll be going back to a PC next time.

Nick Sanabria said...

I have 2 older macs, a huge honking G5 that is constantly tapping into the nuclear arsenal to attempt to make itself ruler of the planet, and a little mac mini that actually has just as much horsepower. These are system 10.4, or "You still have one of those?" at the "Genius" bar. Yes, Sparky, I do, because they run flawlessly and I have only had 1 glitch which was with a program, not the box. My wife, (since I am the "genius who knows nothing" bought a PC which is in the shop as much as my Vega. I will ponder what to do when these poop out....when the time comes.

Remo said...

I got distracted by the fact you know someone who still drives a Vega.

I got nothing.

Des and Evan's big daddy said...

I keep thinking of the Road Runner cartoon where Wile E. Coyote keeps referring to himself as a "SUPER GENIUS." Seems like he would fit in well in an Apple store.