Monday, October 31, 2011

Major Props to the Genius Bar

I love most Apple products. I have a MacBook Pro. I have an iPod.

But I've always found it odd that a good portion of every Apple Store has been dedicated to fixing problems with Apple products. And no matter what time you visit the Genius Bar, it's always full.

Some friends have countered my point by saying that it shows Apple's dedication to customer support.

In August, my trusty MacBook Pro wouldn't turn on. I thought the hard drive had died. I took it to the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, and after running so diagnostic tests, it was determined that the Logic Board had died, not the hard drive.

It was a $310 repair and my laptop took a vacation to Texas.

Four days later, on a Sunday, I got a call alerting me that my laptop was ready to be picked up. When I got there, and turned on the machine, the hard drive had been wiped clean. I had be warned that might happened. There were also tool marks near the disc drive that made it look like it had been pried open. The keyboard was different (the volume keys were in a different spot) and the trackpad wasn't smooth like mine. I figured because they had to replace the logic board, they must have had to install a brand new keyboard and trackpad.

I took the laptop home and started re-installing all the apps and putting my files back on it.

Two days later, while at work, I got a call from someone at the Apple Store informing me that there had been a mistake and that I had been given the wrong laptop. They had my laptop at the store.

On my lunch break, I went to store and made the switch. I was upset that a mistake like that could be made, but I didn't blow up them. To make up for their mistake, the manager on duty told me that they were going to reimburse me for the cost of fixing the logic board. She gave me a 10% discount card for any purchase at the Apple Store. As we were wrapping up the switcheroo, she asked me if there was anything else she could do for me. I showed her the screen on my laptop. It had a scratch in the middle of the screen, presumably from the keys scratching against it while in my bag. I told her I'd like to get it replaced.

After a few minutes, she told me that they would replace my screen for free. I told her I couldn't do it right away because I needed my laptop for work. She told me it was a $300-400 repair. She told me she would put a note on my Genius Bar account and if I came in within three or four months, they would repair my screen for free. I was a bit skeptical, but I took her word.

Last Tuesday, I noticed a crack on the bezel on the left side of my screen. By Wednesday morning, I was worried that the screen might break.

So I made an appointment at the Genius Bar. Part of me expected them to say that no note was every made on my account or that the offer had expired. But to my surprise, the offer still stood. They were going to replace my screen without charging me.

Today, I went to pick up my laptop. When the manager gave it to me, she told me that not only had they replaced the screen, but they had replaced the top case, the bottom case, the keyboard and the trackpad...all for FREE. Then she handed me the paperwork.

It was actually a $1240 repair! I was shocked!

Needless to say, I am a believer. I will never question the Genius Bar again.

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