I’ve been having a wee bit of trouble charging my iPhone recently. I suspected it was my power cord, but it is three years old, so I sort of had to accept the possibility it was my battery. As in, time for a new one. Which in my case is a major pain in the ass, because my phone is my office, my life, my lifeline, not to mention my alarm clock. My only alarm clock. And a battery can’t be replaced instantly in the store. The phone has to be sent away for anywhere from three to five days.
So yes, I’ve been putting off dealing with it. But over the weekend the matter was taken out of my hands. Procrastinating was no longer an option. Because no matter
how much I fiddled around with the cord I could not charge my phone at all. And there I was with only 35% battery life left. Decreasing more and more and more with each passing minute.
So what choice did I have? I had to go to the Apple Store. On a Saturday no less! Nothing worse. It’s a zoo most days, but Saturdays are impossible. Especially in the store I go to, which is in the Eaton Centre, in downtown Toronto. For those of you who live elsewhere, the Eaton Centre is a H U G E, multi-level indoor shopping mall. It’s a nightmare first thing Monday morning, let alone noon on a Saturday.
There was no alternative.
Girding my loins, off I went, saying my prayers. Praying it wasn’t the battery because my phone was not backed up. Well, it wasn’t backed up recently. And now I didn’t have enough juice to do it. Very risky. Stupid, stupid me. What can I say? I’m a menace to myself.
In the past I would have shrugged the whole thing off and just bought a newer model phone. In the past I probably wouldn’t have had the same phone after three years. But I’m reformed now and I know I don’t have to be the first to have every new gizmo that comes on the market. In fact, it’s much better to let them iron the kinks out first — something I learned the hard way with a car.
And frankly, not everyone who owns the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is ecstatic. There are some very mixed reviews. So I’ve been taking my time.
Which doesn’t excuse my negligence in not replacing my power cord which, I must confess, was in a dangerous state because the plastic coating at the top of it was gone and the wires were exposed.
Never mind. Back to the task at hand.
As expected, when I arrived there was a mob scene in the store. There’s always a mob scene at the store, regardless of which day and what time you get there. If I’d known for sure what the problem was, I would have booked an appointment at the Genius Bar. But because I knew it could have been the cord I didn’t. No need for a ‘Genius’ to get me a new one.
You’d think, therefore, that I’d be stuck there, in Purgatory, for hours waiting to be served.
And you’d be wrong.
One of the ‘greeters’ at the door asked why I was there. He was typing my sad tale of woe on his iPad as I explained. He directed me where to go, where I was immediately greeted by another staff member, also carrying an iPad. They all have them and it’s not just for show. They use them because it makes them more productive and efficient — which means you don’t waste your time sitting around forever and a day, repeating the same story to countless people.
Within seconds she plugged her power cord into my phone so we could confirm whether or not that was the problem. Thankfully it was. Before I could blink someone arrived with a new one and a portable thing-a-ma-bob so I could pay for it right then and there. I was done in less than 10 minutes. Way less.
Seeing as how I was there anyway I decided to do some research on a new phone. The gal who helped me with the cord had a sales guy over to me in an instant. On the spot he checked, and verified, that I was eligible for an upgrade from my service provider and he gave me the details of exactly what I was entitled to. He did suggest I go home and back up my phone first, which I had planned to do anyway. He also suggested I give my provider a call to see if I could get a better deal and told me what to say and which department to call. He also advised me to get an Identification Code to ensure they deliver whatever they promise me — because it’s not something you can assume will happen. A whole other story for another time.
We were on a roll so I decided to ask him about the new Macbook they just introduced. It’s lighter than the Air, which is what I have and it has this extra special, state-of-the-art retina display blah blah blah and I was curious about it. I’m probably not all that far away from needing a new laptop either, or so I thought.
First he asked what I use my computer for, what I do for a living. He told me I didn’t need the new Macbook, that I was better off with the Air. And then he told me my computer is still fine and that I probably have a year before I’ll need a new one.
Can you believe that? And that mirrored each and every experience I have ever had dealing with Apple. And I have been buying their products since the late 80s, early 90s.
That’s a very long time to be consistently satisfied. To always have your expectations exceeded, never mind met.
Yes, I love Apple. I love their products. And I especially love their customer service. It is unmatched; and for me, it makes spending more money on computers and phones and whatever else I’m buying well worth the added expense. They don’t want to sell you what you don’t need. They don’t try to upsell you and end up pissing you off. They want you to walk out the door happy. They want you to keep coming back.
Why oh why, then, is it such a drag to do business with everyone else? Not just for technology, for everything. Generally sales help are rude and ill-informed. They’re lazy and really don’t give a shit. They do not care.
And then there’s Apple. If they can get it so right, why can’t anyone else? God knows it pays off for them financially. You’d think that would be enough of an incentive, but what do I know? I’m just a customer who is willing to pay extra for a product that works well and for good, friendly, polite customer service from enthusiastic and helpful people who actually know what they’re doing and certainly give you the impression they love their job, they love the products they sell and they love the company they work for.
What a concept.
Doesn’t sound like rocket science, does it? And yet …