Matt Diamond, on 02 February 2016 - 10:31 PM, said:
My takeaway is, AppleCare isn't a classic helpdesk where everyone shares your case history and moves the ball forward. They could all see the history, they just didn't care. None of them respected the previous case workers' conclusions or promises.
I really account for problems in customer service due to varying degrees of competence, especially
Applecare. The extent to which the agents differ in competency is massive, and how your issue will be resolved largely depends on who answers the phone. The iMac I recently purchased had a problem in partitioning with Boot Camp. The Computer failed in the middle of the verification process, leaving me with a Fusion drive that was missing 1tb (the space that was allocated to the Windows partition).
There wasn't much useful information online that was easy to find, so knowing what needed to be done (use terminal to tear down the logical storage group and reset it to formatted drives, then re-build it and after re-install the OS) I thought I should call applecare. The first person had no idea what I was talking about, and didn't really try hard enough to solve the problem with tools available, they escalated it and I was offered a replacement. Not only is this a backwards solution that would leave me without a computer for nearly two weeks (5 days to be received and then a new CTO order would need to be placed and later shipped), it is massively wasteful of both company resources and c02 emissions...
I called back and tried my luck again, the second girl didn't understand, but actioned it perfectly. She took notes until she understood the issue enough to be able to explain it to someone else, and farmed her colleagues until they found the right person. I got on to a second tier person from Singapore, perfectly understood what I needed, positioned that he was good with issues pertaining to fusion drive but even he was lacking, yet assured me we'd find the solution. He called back within 30 minutes with the Terminal commands I needed and helped me execute them.
It all leads into my second point, competence is key, but the customer also needs to know how to help. Some customers will always have unrealistic expecations or desire to achieve a goal that wouldn't normally be possible. But if you are assertive in a way that isn't vindictive, it will always lead you to a successful outcome.
Another example, a friend had broken his iPhone screen, he had been denied a repair at the apple store as the damage to the casing would make it impossible to fix the screen, only option was a replacement of the entire phone at triple the cost. I called pretending to be my friend, and basically positioned that it was a popsnizzlety situation to be in, that I had broken the screen yes (something i'd be happy to pay to have fixed), but the small dint in the casing meant the repair solution was now way out of my price range. Never on the offence, I merely asserted myself, explained how I was left in between a rock an a hard place, eventually was put on to a manager who was happy to not only meet halfway, but arranged to have the entire phone replaced at no cost. Had I have called up and acted like a nasty prick, I am certain there would have been no solution other than to have the phone replaced at the full cost when I could afford it.
The person on either end of the system plays a massive role in the effectiveness of customer service.
Oh P.S the LAW does in many places too. Australian consumer law offers massive protections for consumers in Australia, particularly with electronics rendering the applecare protection plan nearly irrelevant. Apple after being placed under scrutiny for years by consumer groups now goes much farther than they need to in Australia. By law the retailer must replace a product if it experiences a major failure within an unreasonable time frame irrespective of manufacturers warranty, Apple takes this a little further and upholds those rights irrespective of place of purchase (I don't think they are so generous with Mac's, so best to buy from Apple)