Why Apple Support is Crap



Apple PowerBook G4


After installing Apples own software patch the machine will not wake from sleep mode. The only way to restart it is to remove both the PSU and the battery, wait a few moments before replacing and then re-boot.


How Apple Support fix the problem:

The initial call to Apple Support lasted over an hour I was talked through changing a number of settings and running some diagnostics. The call was also transferred to A Product specialist, who talked me through more settings changes and more diagnostics. At this point I was asked for some diagnostic routines on the installation discs, as I did not have these we made arrangements for myself to call back.


When I had the installation discs and phoned back having to go through the usual “Your name ? “,  “What’s the serial No.”and “What’s the problem with the machine”. In a Tone which said he couldn’t be bothered he told me to go to my nearest Apple repair centre which is on New Oxford St. Fantastic just a short walk away I took it straight down to them, only to be told the case reference No. I had was meaningless as their systems didn’t talk to each other. The icing on the cake being a two week waiting list, bring it back in two weeks. Considering this PowerBook has an Apple extended warranty I thought there must have been a mistake.


Back at the department I made another call to Apple. Yes I had to answer all the questions again, even with a case reference No.

At this point I was told that this machine belonged to Anne Gilligan of Oxford. I repeated that my name is Nicholas Turpin from University College LONDON, based at Gower Street London. After some umming and ahhing on their part he said I have found it “it is registered to University of Plymouth. Again I told him my name and company name and address. It was eventually agreed that I did have this PowerBook in front of me and was given a new case reference No. We also agreed that Apple would send me a program to capture data from the machine and I would email the results back to them. This happened without to many problems.


A week later 17th January I phoned Apple for any news to be told they have a back log and it would take about five days, after pointing out that it had already been a week he reminded me that they have a back log. I thanked him for his help and hung up.


Partly due to the Christmas Holidays this has now been going on for over four weeks. Every time I phone Apple it leaves me with the feeling of having spent the whole time banging my head against a brick wall.


Jan 25th Just phoned Apple to see if they have any results fro the file I sent them. As they could not find the right person I agreed to let them email me. Ten minutes later the email arrived telling me to upgrade the OS to 10.4.4. As I am not very familiar with Apples I’ll give this a go tomorrow.


Jan 26th I have now updated to 10.4.4, it was surprisingly easy, they have managed to get one of there support services right. Unfortunately it didn’t fix the problem so I have mailed back to the person from yesterday to contact me, I suspect he’ll get back to me when pigs learn to fly.


Feb 1st No pigs haven’t learnt to fly, I phoned Apple myself. This case has been escalated to the engineering department, who will call me back.


It must be my birthday they just phoned back and asked to speak to Paul Murphy, after pointing out there is nobody here by that name but I may be able to help I was advised to try installing 10.4.4, disabling Bluetooth and trying to logon as a new user. I explained I had tried 10.4.4, but had a go at the new user and disabling Bluetooth. Neither worked. Next suggestion was to go back to the original installation but miss out 10.4.3 and 10.4.4 and wait for 10.4.5. I am sure they could have come up with this six weeks ago.


Feb 2nd Found out that Paul Murphy is our account manager at Apple. Phoned Apple to attempt to get them to repeat yesterdays advice in an email, Instead I was put straight through to tier 2 support for more questions and lots of rebooting and button pressing. Finally did a disk erase and have been left re-installing the OS Apple will call back in an hour to see how it went.


They did call back and talked me through more button pressing and installing the 10.4.4 patch from CD as it is not connected to the network. This didn’t work but Apple support said this could have been because I was downloading to a CD and not straight to the machine, I find this a little hard to believe as I have down loaded the whole file from there web site. As I am away for a few days they will phone back on Tuesday.


A different Apple engineer phoned back the same day to ask if I have tried doing certain resets he said someone will phone back Tuesday.


Feb 8th  another call from Apple They have decided that there is nothing more they can do over the phone and will have a company come to collect it. I consider this a Major step towards getting the powerbook repaired, It has only taken just under 2 months.


Feb 9th The PowerBook has been collected by UPS


Feb 14th Just received an email informing me that it has been repaired and is on it’s way back. It should be here in 2 days.


Feb 15th It has returned. It works. They have replaced the MLB (Main Logic Board (Motherboard)). If you have paid a company for an extended warranty I can’t help feeling that once a repair has been reported the machine in question should be collected and repaired in less than 2 months. There is also the question of the hours that I have spent on the phone to Apple and carrying out there diagnostics and re-installs surely this must be The most expensive notebook in the department. I am also still  receiving emails addressed to Paul Murphy, who is a member of their own sales team. Dealing with Apple has been frustrating and slow, they are one of the worst technical support company’s I have dealt with comparable only to Sony.