This morning has not been a great morning due entirely to the sheer lack of customer care shown by Apple.
I recently purchased an i-phone 5, one feature of which is Apples i-cloud. I had hoped to use this in conjunction with my macbook in order to back-up all my photos, and free up some space on the laptop, only to find that the software on my macbook was not compatible.
Fair enough. We have had it a long time. Time for an upgrade.
Having travelled out to the Apple store in Cribbs Causeway Bristol I was informed by a staff member last month that they couldn’t help. I needed to contact Apple Care about arranging an upgrade.
Ok. Seemed a bit odd but I went home.
I duly rang Apple and after finally getting through their voice recognition system, I really don’t have an accent but there was clearly some problem in understanding me, I was finally put through to a human.
I explained the situation. He checked the serial number of my phone, my macbook and the memory status of the macbook. I was then informed that I needed to purchase the Snow-Leopard software disc at a cost of £18 to install on my macbook and I would then be able to update the software to the desired specification and install i-cloud for use. Hurrah! I duly handed over my card details and was told it would be delivered shortly.
It was and I installed it straight away. I then performed all necessary software updates as instructed and went to install i-cloud.
Only it wouldn’t let me.
I looked at the Apple website, all the support forums I could find, but whatever I tried it did not give me an option to install i-cloud.
Now, call me old-fashioned, but I quite like to deal with real people and thought the situation may be more readily resolved if I brought both my phone, and macbook, into an Apple store and see if an Apple staff member may be able to show me where I was going wrong with these Apple products. Sound reasonable?
So this morning I did just that. I dragged my heavily pregnant self along to the Apple Store in cabot Circus, Bristol. And it was HOT today. By the time I got there I was a bit flustered and very warm so was relieved to get out of the sun.
I was greeted at the door by a nice young chap who asked if he could help. I explained the situation and was told that for this I would need an appointment. Could I come back at 15:45. It was now 11am. ‘Not really’ I replied, ‘Are you sure there is no-one available sooner?’ I asked while scanning the floor currently occupied by several blue-shirted staff members stood about chatting to each other. ‘No, it is a bit like a Drs surgery, you need an appointment’. He then helpfully informed me however that perhaps Apple could help me over the phone and gave me the customer support number again.
So I stood, in the Apple Store, on the phone waiting to be put through to Apple support.
By the time I got through I was starting to feel a bit dizzy and needed to sit down. Having not been offered anywhere to sit I had to head outside and perch on a wall, in the sun. Having explained the situation again to the staff member that I eventually reached I was told that the Snow-Leopard upgrade was not sufficient to use i-cloud, I actually needed to purchase the Mountain-Lion software at a cost of £14 and to get this to work I would also need to purchase extra memory at a further cost of £40.
Ok, I accept that may be the case but why was I not told this initially and sold a piece of software that was never going to do what I had needed it to?
‘I don’t know’ was the answer at which point I requested a refund.
After checking with his superiors I was then informed that as I had opened and installed the software a refund would not be granted.
BUT HOW WOULD I KNOW IT WASN’T GOING TO WORK UNLESS I INSTALLED IT? I was following their experts instructions after all.
Not happy, I asked to speak to his superiors.
To cut a long story short this phone call lasted 53 minutes. I spoke to three different people. I remained sat on the wall outside the store the entire time, feeling increasingly unwell in the sun, and informed each staff member that I spoke to of this.
At no stage did they feel the need to inform a Bristol staff member who perhaps could have checked if I was ok, if I needed a seat, to get out of the sun, a glass of water, or even if I was perhaps in labour FFS! ( I wasn’t, thankfully.)
They eventually agreed to refund the £18.
I am still unable to use i-cloud without spending a further £54.
I had to end the call at 53 minutes to dash to the nearest public bathrooms to be sick and get some water.
Having profited from my purchase of both the i-phone and macbook Apple quite honestly have shown no interest in helping resolve my issue.
I am unsure how to proceed but, having been a loyal Apple customer for many years, their sheer lack of care leaves me seriously considering a switch back to Windows for phone, laptop and desktop.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Do Apple care?