Apple of my ay yi yi

Old Sparky is back on the job.

Rarely do the multinational corporations come in for praise here at Ye Olde Chuckle Hut.

They routinely claim to stand behind what they sell, but often can be found standing directly behind the customer, wearing a predatory expression and not much else. Just who exactly is the “end user” here?

That being said, here’s a tip of the Mad Dog sombrero to the support folks at Apple. They got right on the twitchy 2014 MacBook Pro I sent them, found a fault in addition to the one that I had diagnosed, repaired both, and shipped the sucker back with alacrity. Saturday delivery, before noon. Booyah, etc.

There was one small hitch in the gitalong, and in the end (har de har har) it proved to be no hitch at all.

When support notified me via text of the second fault and asked permission to fix it (for an additional three hundy and change) I was unable to approve the additional work online, either via Mac OS or iOS. Couldn’t get an active link on the “Git ’er done” page. God damn it all anyway, etc.

So I rang ’em up. Mind you, this was on Tuesday last, when the product barkers were pitching the brand-new iPhone 12 to the rubes. Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry! I was expecting a long wait and a short reply that proposed my going and doing something to myself of which I would not approve.

Nope. My call was answered promptly, the support person kicked me to his supervisor, and she sez to me she sez, “Lemme handle that for you.” Including covering the additional cost.

Frankly, I was dumbfounded. The tab was not unreasonable, a whole lot less than buying a new MacBook Pro, and I was prepared to pay it. But all I had to spend beyond the initial repair estimate was a simple thank-you for the generosity.

“Yeah, you gotta lotta Apple product, been with us a long time,” she replied cheerily. Right on both counts, with everything from iPods to iPhones to iPads, MacBooks to Minis, PowerBooks to PowerMacs, going all the way back to 1990 and that first Mac SE.

Frankly, the only way the experience could’ve been improved is if they’d given me a loaner to drive while my MacBook was in the shop.

“Here, take the keys to this 16-inch 2.3GHz 8-core MacBook Pro with the 16GB of memory and the 1TB SSD, take ’er for a little spin while we work on the auld fella here.”

I guess they figured I didn’t need the bait. I’ve been on the hook for 30 years.

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13 Responses to “Apple of my ay yi yi”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Our Applebox TV controller went south for the winter last week. I expected to fight a land war in Asia to get it fixed under warranty since the retailer said “its between you and Apple”. But like you, it was a cakewalk. Nice guy at the other end of the phone line and bada bing, bada boom, a replacement on the way as we speak.

  2. Shawn Says:

    That is great that a manufacturer recognizes and dutifully supports a loyal customer. Good fur ya and good fur Apple! If you’re listening Apple, I am taking this fine customer service into account when I buy my next Apple product.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Nowadays it’s almost a shock to the nervous system when a company either does you a service favor or even backs up their defects. Hell for that matter evens answers their phones. As I just bought an upgraded Apple TV gizmo and a year ago my first iPhone, I am impressed with how well they work in the hands of an impatient troglodyte. As the saying goes Patrick “Every dog has its day” Glad Apple tossed you a bone. I also have two ancient iPods that won’t die and an old iPad that even though new apps won’t load and there is no IOS updates, still finds use as a music and radio player.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I’m glad to hear they appreciate long term customers. Been with them since 1994, I think. First buy was a blue see through iMac.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Make that 1998, one of the first “bondi blue” translucent blue jobs. And, we bought it at Sears.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        In August 1990 we took out a $2,500 loan to buy that first Mac SE (plus software and an HP DeskWriter printer) so I could moonlight as a freelancer for VeloNews. Paid the loan back at $84.23 per month. I didn’t become a full-time rumormonger until fall 1991, when I added a laser printer, a Hayes 1200-baud modem, and a Sharp fax machine to the pile and went full-on neo-maxi-zoom dweebie.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, Herb, you go into these customer-service deals with your mitts up, and it’s a surprise when you don’t have to go at least three rounds with someone.

      You pay more up front for the Mac stuff, it’s true, but you make it up in reliability and longevity. I’ve had a couple disappointments, but like Subarus and Toyotas, my Apple products have almost always returned good value over the years.

      My first iPod finally croaked this year (drive failure), but the second (a first-gen iPod Touch) still works … as my kitchen timer and music player. I use the 2006 MacBook to do any semi-elaborate Photoshop work, and booted up the 2005 G4 PowerBook the other day just to see if it was still with us (it was).

      I used the 1999 Power Mac last week to color a cartoon for Bicycle Retailer, and retreated to my 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro for day-to-day stuff while my 15-incher was on the bench at Apple.

      When we were working our way down the ballots we had my 11-inch 2012 MacBook Air parked on the kitchen counter for research purposes (this little sumbitch is a great travel laptop). Tonight we watched the season-three finale to “Better Call Saul” on Netflix via second-gen Apple TV.

      Shit, no wonder they cut me some slack. I got more product than some of their stores.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I remember setting up my first home office in the Way Back. Only because I have pictures to stimulate some (but not all) of these dormant neurons. Jeez my printer was the size of a stove and the old fax machine a refrigerator. Email was not a thing yet so I ended up with a goddamn printer the size of a Volkswagen that spent most of its life in the repair shop trying to stop the hemorrhage of toner. As my bedroom was next to my office I could hear the fax machine hacking and coughing in the middle of the night as incoherent messages came in from our Japan office. Of course you just HAD to get up and check them right? Maybe some of you remember trying to nurse your supply of thermo paper which was being devoured by the fax machine like pizza at a frat party. You might also remember the “invisible ink” effect of thermo paper faxes.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, indeed. My first laser printer was the size of a commercial clothes washer and even noisier. The fax machine? Don’t get me started on fax machines. The wrong numbers at all hours (my fax had a dedicated line). The reception of other people’s faxes (usually some Realtor sending a client a few thousand pounds of nuts and bolts).

      Remember the early modems? When you could see each and every pixel as it squeezed through that tiny pipe leading from Here to There? Time after time, once I started sending cartoons via the Innertubes instead of FedEx, I saw the transmission fail about 80 percent of the way through the hours-long upload.

      There was a powerful temptation to shoot various uncooperative devices. But we were not wealthy and lived in the boonies and new devices were expensive and service for bullet-riddled ones quite some distance away.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Ah, as Billy Joel said, “The good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” Keeping the Faith.

  6. SAO' Says:

    It’s been a hundred years since we’ve had any serious repair work a-needing to be done. But there was a motherboard that literally fried on an early iMac, and of course it happened two months after the apple care warranty had expired. Took it to the physical Apple Store, as folks were want to do in the Before Times, and the customer care tech just said, “Hmmm, the warranty seems to be up … let’s see … type type type … looks like you just got accidentally on purpose renewed for another six months. We’ll take it from here.”

  7. SAO' Says:

    Now that all the silicon is chirping away, how about this Forester upgrade?

    • Shawn Says:

      I respect what they did in the Subaru, but why take up so much space with hard wood cabinets and a bed base. Why not simply purchase from a thrift store, some soft suitcases or backpacks that you can shift around and use as sleeping supports, etc. You could segregate the bags with specific items such as dry food, hiking gear, etc. A sheet of foam with a fabric wrap would work as a bed, or you could pickup three or four blankets (purchased at the earlier mentioned thrift store) and use them to make a multiple layer sleeping pad. The main point, is that as any climber will tell you, you need to be able to shift gear around and having said gear in soft bags is a preferred advantage. One real important item for long range travel or adventure in a small vehicle is a roof top cargo box. They are great for the gear that you really don’t need in the car. But new car top carriers are exorbitantly expensive. Perhaps that is the area where you build a shaped wood box to mount on your cars roof rack. Or, better yet, you could return to the thrift store and purchase a hard-shell suitcase and Flex Tape it to your Subby’s roof. I bet you can hear the tune for National Lampoon’s Vacation now…

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