Apple pulls a Dell?!?!?!

I was shocked! After much hemming and hawing over which way to go for future purchases, I convinced my wife we should get a Mac – the Mac is the only platform I don’t really “know” – we need a laptop, and the budget is there. She always came up with excuses but finally, she agreed, and we ordered a Macbook Pro – C2D, and she got the iPod Nano using her school discount. $2500 into debt, we are actually excited…she has been wanting an iPod for a long time and I’ve been begging for a laptop.

To make a long story short, the iPod shipped first and we received it today. After about an hour of trying to connect it and make it sync myself I had performed countless softwre uninstalls/reinstalls, and 1418 errors, I googled results and reinstalled USB drivers, then tried restoring the device, all to no avail. Being in IT, I do not like giving up, but I am new to this – let’s see that stellar name of Apple deliver.

So I call Customer Service. Another 4 hours of dropped phone calls, (no callbacks) and one agonizingly long final call with a qualified tech, his supervisor and billing, here’s what happened: We performed troubleshooting on multiple USB ports, at least 5 installs and reconnects (on multiple computers), and no resolution or restore works. The Apple tech declares it DOA and says he’s going to ship me a box to return the iPod. Great, I say, so when the replacement and return box should get here when? He says, “No, just a box…after we get it back, and verify it doesn’t work, we’ll send a replacement out. So, 5 hours of troubleshooting, 4 disconnected calls, and now I have to wait another two weeks to get a measly $200 piece of peripheral? Um, no…

I ask for the supervisor who confirms. Apparently Apple RMA’s don’t send you replacements on a verified bad system (even though they already have your money). This is very much unlike the rest of the industry, everyone I have ever dealt with from Dell to IBM, to HP, to Sony, CDW, Newegg, Crucial, and all others in between, replacements are sent with instructions to return the bad one in the packaging with their apologies. Not Apple…they want to delay things a little longer…just to be sure.

Yeah Apple, that’s my scam. I sit on the phone for 5 hours trying to get a $200 DOA iPod to work in hopes you’ll just let me keep it and send a replacement. In 5 hours I could have done my blog posts, checked my web maintenance, hit my photo sites, spent some family time with my wife, played with my dog, watched some evening television and be in bed now. There is a reason I am leaving Dell – crappy customer service.

Apple has long been lauded as having superior equipment, superior service, and superiority complexes. Having thought I’d “seen the light” on why they feel superior, I convinced myself and my wife to buy into it. Now, all that’s left is a series of rude, untrained, half-literate telephone calls, missed family time, and an entire evening lost due to the “It just works” company showing its true colors as just another multi-million dollar business with no interest beyond taking your money.

The iPod is being returned and the MBP has been canceled. At least with Dell I know where I stand…

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