Friday, 8 September 2006

Griping about AppleCentre service

Just got off the phone with a very frustrating experience with the AppleCentre@Orchard people. Basically, last Friday when I took my Macbook in, they said that it was probably a logic board problem, and that logic boards were out of stock and would take 2 weeks to ship in. But they promised me that they would do the diagnostics, and if it did turn out to be the logic board, I could take back the Macbook for those 2 weeks while the thing was being shipped in, and then they would call me in to get the part replaced. And they promised that they would call me to tell me if the logic board was out of stock.

So, fast forward a week, and no word from them. Finally I decide to call the service centre. First, of course, I was put on hold, which was fine until some computerised voice said "you have exceeded the number of tries" and promptly disconnected me. Bad sign #1.

Second try, got through. Asked about the status of my Macbook. The guy at the other end went "oh, we're waiting for the part". What part, I ask, knowing what the answer will be. "The logic board". Which set me off. I proceed to tell him that I was told that I would be contacted, and that the data on my Macbook is important to me and I would actually like to have my computer back. He replies without a single "sorry" or apology that he is not responsible for what his Customer Service Officers (or whatever CSO stands for) have promised, and he cannot check every single request. I add that I have the Customer Service Request form in front of me, and it clearly says "pls inform user if logic board is out of stock", and that that is unacceptable (I throw in "pathetic" for good measure). I also have to then ask, "so, can I clarify, can I collect my Macbook now and will you call me once the logic boards are in?" Where finally he just says "yes".

Of course I know noone can follow up every single case. I don't even mind that there are screwups in the handling of my repair. But it matters to me that when I tried to call, the person on the other end did not seem to see fit to try to apologise, did not seem to realise that not having my computer was important to me, and did not resolve my problem by at least saying I could collect my Macbook (not very hard, was it?). All he was interested in was avoiding personal blame for the fact that I wasn't contacted. Which is pathetic, really - I don't want excuses, I want some resolution.

I only regret, really, that I was so ticked off in my haste to end the conversation I forgot to get his name.

Edit: I've just realised they changed their name to EpiCentre@Orchard.

My approach with CSOs is to get their name first before launching into my spiel, and to address them by name during the call.

I find that it makes a difference. Perhaps those who take some pride in their work appreciate it and respond accordingly; those who don't are put on notice that the customer KNOWS THEIR NAME.

I sympathise. However cheer up, this still cannot beat Tinymich's Air France rant. :-)

I'm frustrated, my hands are tied
I'm frustrated, my brains are fried
I'm frustrated, no place to hide ...

I prefer to deal directly with the service centre in Ang Mo Kio (around the corner from the Yio Chu Kang MRT station --- yes, the geography and names don't quite make sense). I've not dealt with them over the phone, but they're helpful in person.

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