kudos to the rochester apple store

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This summer, we promised to buy Lane a new computer. He's been doing a lot of cool stuff with borrowed time on the family computer, and a barely-hanging-on, nearly six-year-old Powerbook, so we wanted him to have a decent machine he could call his own.

Last night we headed out to the Apple Store at Eastview Mall, and headed home with a shiny new MacBook (and iPod Nano, and printer, both of which were free after rebate). We turned it on, and started in on the process of transferring files from the old computer to the new. We watched impatiently as the time remaining dropped from 45 minutes to 30 minutes to 7 minutes...and then stopped. Full stop. No animation on the progress bar, no sign of life whatsoever. We waited. And waited. Finally I tried rebooting...only to be greeted with a flat, grey screen. I tried again. Same thing. I tried putting in the system software DVD and rebooting from that drive, which seemed to work (after a lengthy delay). But two steps into the welcome sequence it froze, and generated a kernel panic screen. I followed the instructions on the Apple web site for what to do if your MacBook won't start. No luck.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I was quite sure that I'd have to (a) wait forever for a genius bar appointment the next day, and (b) end up having to send the machine back to Apple and wait an indeterminate amount of time for them to return it.

This morning we got to the store right after it opened, and I walked up to the cash register with the machine. I explained briefly what had happened, and the young man at the register quickly called over the manager. The manager listened to my (highly detailed) tale of woe and said "Sounds like you did everything you were supposed to. Let's get you a new machine." <blink> So not what I expected to hear.

"But what about the receipt," I asked. After all, I'd been told quite clearly the night before that all the serial numbers had to match up on the receipt for the Nano and printer rebates to be honored. "Not a problem," he replied. "We'll generate brand-new receipts with the new computer's number on them."

Ten minutes later, we walked out of the store with a(nother) brand-new MacBook, which started up perfectly and has been making Lane happy all day.

It's quite amazing how much good customer service can do to turn a bad out-of-box experience into a great one. You can bet I'll be buying all my equpment there from now on. (They even gave me my faculty discount based on my RIT ID!)

3 Comments

There have been studies to show that who have a bad experience, which is then fixed by good customer service actually like that store MORE than if they had never had the bad experience at all.

It's especially good for them if they happen to help out a popular blogger -- and they never know who is going to be that popular blogger, so it serves them to treat ALL their customers that way.

Do you think the Apple Store down here near DC would give me the educational discount if I showed them my RIT ID? (I'm planning on picking up a new Macbook and iPod in a week!)

Yup. You just need to show faculty ID from your school or university. Apple will give the discount online, too.

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This page contains a single entry published on August 30, 2006 8:22 PM.

in praise of rochester: air travel edition was the previous entry in this blog.

i give up is the next entry in this blog.

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