Thursday, February 24, 2011

A happy afternoon at the Apple Store in the Upper West Side

Unfortunate for me, my MacBook Pro's battery exploded and it was time to make a visit to one of the Apple stores for a replacement.

I made an online appointment to visit the UWS Genius Bar instead of the madhouse SoHo Apple store or the tourist infested 5th Avenue store to help me save time. I arrived at the store 5 minutes before my appointment, but since there was a waiting list, I still had to wait another 20 minutes before I saw an Apple Care - Genius guy. In my head, I thought - then why did I make an appointment? Oh wells.

But, this is where Apple is very smart with their customer service.

To keep your mind off your watch and the inevitable long wait time, why don't you play with the MacBook Pros that we've left for you on the table? Yes, let time pass as you surf the net, play a game of solitaire or experience the power of the MacBook Pro and maybe you'll want to buy one after your wait.

It worked on me and the elderly lady sitting across from me (see photo)! The time flew by as I surfed the internet and caught up on news. And after 20 minutes, I wasn't annoyed or angry like I would be if I was waiting at the DMV. Very smart Apple!

And it gets better! I don't doubt the aptitude of the Apple Care guys and their ability to resolve issues, but wow, my Apple Care guy took one quick look at my battery and he gave his speedy judgment!

Apple Guy: "Do you leave your battery cord plugged in all the time?
Me: Um, yes.
AG: That's the reason why the battery exploded -- overuse. You're not supposed to leave the cord connected to the computer after you've reached 100% charge.
M: Oh, no one told me that! ... and I've been in here before about my battery problems.
AG: Its in the manual.
In my mind, I thought - who reads manuals? Eeks!
M: Dang it! Ummm, I have Apple Care ...
AG: Yes, since your computer is no longer under warranty and you have Apple Care, we'll exchange your battery for a new one. Only this one time.
Finally, an extended warranty comes in handy!
AG: With the new battery, do not continuously charge the battery, otherwise, the same thing will happen. You have to let the battery go up to 100%, disconnect the cord and then let the battery deplete itself and then recharge it.
M: Ok, good to know.

The transaction took about 10 minutes and I had a new battery. Whew, I saved myself $99 and for once, extended warranty came in handy (though, I do admit I haven't broken even on that extended care warranty yet! Oh wells, peace of mind). And then, as I was putting away my belongings, I forgot I had an issue with my iPhone too and as I tried to ask him, he politely said to me that since there is a waiting list, I won't be able to help you. Bummer. So I put my name back onto the list.

Fortunately, iPhone issues are even faster to resolve, so the waiting list was shorter than the computer issue. I sat down, took a look at the MacBook Pro, and then realized my name was just called. HOW COOL! That was uber fast.

So I explained my situation and the Apple Care Guy #2 ran a series of tests on my iPhone and realized the battery was "consumed" and the tests weren't working on my iPhone. So there was something definitely wrong with my iPhone. After a few more test checks, he realized it was time for a new iPhone. What?! But to my pleasant surprise, he looked up my account and said he could replace it for free. Phew. All of that also took about 10 minutes! Yes! this makes for a happy afternoon at the Apple Store!

Alright, are you bored yet? I am, and I am writing this. So lets just get to the gist of the reason why I am writing this.

1. If you live in New York City, make a visit to the Upper West Side location to get your issues resolved. I believe the lines are faster, the attendants are nicer (since there aren't as many people hassling them), and you will go home faster. The 14th Street location may also be a good location to try out.

2. I'm not sure how making an Apple appointment helps you (since I still had to wait 20 minutes in line without being bumped to the next available attendant), but I guess you can still do so.

3. Be nice to your Apple Care - Genius Guy - you just never know what they can do for you when your product is broken.

4. I didn't think of this until now, but for travelers, you can get free internet access at the Apple Store... Although, I would be careful inputting any passwords, but that's just me.

Have fun! and p.s. I think the new iPads are coming out next week! will FLASH programs work on it? we shall see!

To check the nearest Apple Store to you, click here.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...