Customer service

posted 22 September 2005

A timeline:

October 2004:
After a month of faffing, I finally buy my birthday iPod. Woo!
June 2005:
After 6 months of happy podding, disaster strikes. iPod is iBroken. Heart-wrenching wails are followed by sending it off to Apple to be fixed. This is entirely free and done via FedEx, but the round trip still takes about 3 weeks including the repair time.
July 2005:
Returned iPod is shiny and happy.
August 2005:
After a month of declining performance, iPod gives up the ghost, again, in exactly the same manner as before. Assuming that I had mistreated it earlier, I had been extremely careful with it subsequently, to no avail. Disappointed, I sent it back to Apple yet again. Another 3 weeks.
September 2005:
iPod is returned, shiny yet again. This time, however, it fails to work the moment it is taken out of the box, before it's even plugged into my PC. Other iPods plug into my PC without dying, so it's clearly the 'pod at fault.
September 22nd, 2005 12:30pm:
Annoyed, I head to the Apple store on Regent Street, determined to be the Loud Unhappy Customer, with printouts of the Sale of Goods act, etc.. I am fobbed off with a Genius Bar appointment at 6.15pm.
September 22nd, 2005 6:15pm:
I return with my anger on ice, having seen a few people act like Loud Angry Customers while waiting at 12:30 and seen the disdainful looks they got from Apple staff. After a 5-minute wait I am seen by a friendly Genius. He looks tired. I explain what's gone on, and hand over the paperwork. He looks up the serial number of the iPod in his Special Apple Database, and apparently sees more than they told me about what went wrong with it the previous 2 times.
"What would you like me to do?" he asks. "Just replace it." I say, "I don't need the engraving, but I have a transatlantic flight next week and I need it to work on the plane."
"No problem," says he. He disappears into the back to clear it with his manager. 5 minutes later he returns.
"No 40 gigs left. So we're giving you a 60 gig colour one. Is that okay?"

So now a shiny new 60 gig colour iPod is charging on my desk. If the damn thing doesn't work when I plug it into the PC, I'm just going to cry.

Update 2005.09.23: iPod is iBack.

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