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T O P I C     R E V I E W
tweety
Member # 3890
 - posted November 08, 2005 22:15
Okay, I want to start out and say this, I have been directly responsible for purchasing computers in the past. I have bought and/or directed someone else to buy from 4 different computer makers. Apple, Sony, Dell and HP. I never had any problems directly related to the manufacturer with, well, 3 of those systems (although the Dell is too new to say). The one I have had problems with came from HP. Not only is the machine a piece of junk, but their customer service is nonexistent. At this point, though, I don't think that there is an original part left in that POS, outside of the power supply. Which, I think, is the root of all evil in the machine's case.

Before I slide into a nasty little rant about HP and their subpar computers (I like their calculators, though), I want to praise Apple. (Sony gets good marks, the machine I bought from them ca. 1997 is still running, I think, and their customer service was always superb when I had to speak with them.) Recently, I purchased a Mac mini. Middle of the line machine, 1.42 GHz G4, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB HDD, Airport Extreme, etc. Nice little machine, gets the job done. Outside of my recent font issues (half of my own making, although a lot of credit does go to Suitcase) I haven't had any problems. Well, yesterday I decided to take my new little friend to the Apple Store in Woodfield Mall (Schaumburg, IL for those who don't know) and have his memory boosted. Now, first things first, I need to set the mood. Before heading to the Apple Store I went to IKEA to get some small items that were in stock a week earlier. No go. I wanted some inexpensive paper file holders (the magazine holders, actually), but they were out. I was quite disappointed, especially since the drive isn't all that short, and, well, gas still is twice what it used to be last year. Anyway, this event put me into a bit of a sour mood because of the drive, which I will have to make again, and blown expectations.

I left IKEA a bit frustrated as I really don't want to have to drive down again for a $5 item, but it's something I need, and none of the stores nearer to me have anything equivalent. When I arrived at the Apple Store I was really hoping that my shiny new 1 GB memory module would be there just waiting to be installed into my new little friend. The sales guy went to go check...and he was gone for a little while...looking around...still gone...I started to get worried, and upset. If the Apple Store didn't have what I needed than I just wasted an entire evening in Schaumburg, and worst of, not only would I have to make the trip back to IKEA, but, I would also have to come back to the Apple Store. But, wait, what's that I see? Yes, it's the nice Apple Store guy bringing me my shiny new 1 GB memory module. Now, when I purchased my new little friend he came with PC3200 RAM (400 MHz) instead of the slower, and less expensive, PC2700 (333 MHz) RAM. The nice Apple Sales guy informed me that because the memory was of the faster variety it normally sells for $200 (and the box says $300), but, he would sell it to me, and have it installed, for the same price as the PC2700 RAM, $100. That made my night. It was a nice thing to do on the Apple Store's part, as well as the sales guy's. I was also able to replace my speedier original memory with speedier new memory. I know, the mini can't take advantage of the extra speed, but, it's still nice to know that it's there.

So, in short, my experiences with Apple have been very positive. Shopping in their stores is an absolute pleasure, unlike most anywhere else (including, by the way, the Sony Select store). If I could I would work there, but it would have to be part time. Their products are rock solid (still have a Yikes! G4 running everyday) and their staff friendly and knowledgable. Now all they need is to carry my company's stationery. I think it would fit in well.

There have been only two other tech company's that I can say treated me well, Sony and Iomega. I once called Microsoft with an issue and the tech guy, after he told me he couldn't fix my problem, told me he was Googling for the solution. Which is what I did for 3 hours before I called. I've decided not to waste Microsoft's time anymore with questions I appearantly can answer on my own. (If you're curious, I called Microsoft about a printer issue. The printer is from HP, and I called them first, and they directed me to Microsoft. I love finger pointing in tech support. It's oh so helpful.) Apple seems to be doing a lot right, and it's a pleasure to a customer of theirs.
 
spungo
Member # 1089
 - posted November 09, 2005 08:07
Yeah, yeah - we hear you, Mr Vested Interest. Gee - I wonder if all those with defective ipod Nanos enjoy the same kind of support - maybe they won't have to join the growing lawsuit after all.
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted November 09, 2005 09:36
That's all well and good...but right now, I'm in an ongoing battle with a certain Cupertino company about the repair of a cheese grater that's misbehaving these days. I have had a tech in FOUR times, contracted out by their tech support. Each time, he brings one part, and each time, it doesn't work - it's actually worse now than when he started. The thing sounds like a 747 on takeoff - all the time. You can hear it down the hall, with no applications running...I am not happy at all about this. Now he's going to come back for a fifth time to try and replace the power supply. If that doesn't work, I'm told that I can get a Mini temporarily while a local shop repairs it. I cannot begin to say how much time and effort has been wasted on this. *grumble*

Sorry...I have a love/hate relationship with that company - they make really cool stuff...but generally don't give a fsck about their customers. (Exceptions like these are very nice, and the ones you hear about most of the times...not war stories, like mine. [and I have many more...])
 
Steen
Member # 170
 - posted November 09, 2005 10:30
It's probably significant that tweety wasn't dealing with customer support, but with sales and was purchasing stuff. Sales people are usually accomodating since they're trying to get you to hand over money. Support people are less accomodating because you've already handed over your money.

To be brutally honest (and I've been involved in support centers for 12 years now, so I know what I'm talking about for a change), most support people couldn't care less if your problem is fixed. They just want the case closed and you off the list of people they have to deal with.
 
dragon34
Member # 997
 - posted November 12, 2005 17:19
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
That's all well and good...but right now, I'm in an ongoing battle with a certain Cupertino company about the repair of a cheese grater that's misbehaving these days. I have had a tech in FOUR times, contracted out by their tech support. Each time, he brings one part, and each time, it doesn't work - it's actually worse now than when he started. The thing sounds like a 747 on takeoff - all the time. You can hear it down the hall, with no applications running...I am not happy at all about this. Now he's going to come back for a fifth time to try and replace the power supply. If that doesn't work, I'm told that I can get a Mini temporarily while a local shop repairs it. I cannot begin to say how much time and effort has been wasted on this. *grumble*

Sorry...I have a love/hate relationship with that company - they make really cool stuff...but generally don't give a fsck about their customers. (Exceptions like these are very nice, and the ones you hear about most of the times...not war stories, like mine. [and I have many more...])

Coming out of my lurker hole as the Apple Tech.... Having had about 5 of those Cheese Graters do the 747 impression, all but one of them just needed to run the apple service diagnostic to re-calibrate the thermal sensors. It took about 30 minutes. One of them had a bad logic board and processor, but the others were *much* quieter after the calibration. If it didn't work the first time it was time to replace the processors (one at a time) the thermal sensors, and then the logic board. If he didn't try booting off of a CD he had with him, the guy doesn't know what he's doing, and after the processor is replaced, you'd still need to run the calibration. Watch him the next time. If he doesn't boot of the cd after replacing a part, call apple and let them know that the tech wasn't following procedure. What model? I can get the exact steps he should have followed....
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted November 12, 2005 17:35
dragon34: They refused to even give parts the first time around, insisting on the diagnostics. I'm quite certain they've been run every time. Naturally, they tell me "Oh, the diagnostics passed." I love the impression I get sometimes that "You must be hearing things." Actually, yes, I am hearing things - I'm hearing the noise of a 747, and it won't go away! Mind you, the diagnostics run the fans at full tilt, so barring the calibration, they're fscking useless for my problem.

*grumble*

I might PM you that #. Thanks.

And I'm sorry for the ill humor above, but I am really at my wit's end about this problem.
 
garlicguy
Member # 3166
 - posted November 12, 2005 17:48
Well, dman. If the machine wants so badly to be a 747, why not let it be a 747? Check the insurance policy, open the window, utter Mork's famous line, "Fly! Be Free!" and give it a gentle push.

If it lands safely, it's a 747. If not, it's had a nasty little "accident". Either way, you won't have to listen to it any longer.
 
Demosthenes
Member # 530
 - posted November 17, 2005 06:59
I both love and hate seeing these types of testimonials, because on the one hand, it cracks me up...on the other hand, it makes me sad to realize that Mr. Jobs's marketing scheme is really working.

Everyone who works at an Apple Store is trained very rigorously in the art of bullshit. Even the cashiers in my store know how to dodge questions and make it look like they're very experienced with computers...when in actuality, they're ushering you back to the repair bar, because they haven't a clue what they're talking about about 70% of the time. Every item in the store is marked up, to account for the amount of money we'd otherwise lose by "making exceptions" and price cuts for people making large transactions. It's a trick to make you feel special, we're trained to do it, and you fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

(Demos is more than a little jaded about her job today...Concierge went live yesterday after about eight hours of kicking and screaming and answering phone calls from people wanting to know why they couldn't make their appointments online. [Mad] )
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted November 17, 2005 08:19
I'm pretty good at detecting BS in the field of computers, and I've got to say, I've dealt largely with rather savvy folks at my Apple store. To me, the main thing is that they're not annoying and presuring. I can look at the shiny toys, and if bored, ask reasonable questions of their people, and usually get reasonable answers. I also know at least 2 very sharp people employed by them, and someone smart who wants to work for them, so I do give them a lot more hope than CompScrewSA.
 
maximile
Member # 3446
 - posted November 17, 2005 08:50
Last time I went, they were happy to admit that they didn't know if the wireless card I was considering would work on a Mac, but assured me that if it didn't then I could bring it back and be refunded. I was impressed.
 
nerdwithnofriends
Member # 3773
 - posted November 17, 2005 09:24
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Well, dman. If the machine wants so badly to be a 747, why not let it be a 747? Check the insurance policy, open the window, utter Mork's famous line, "Fly! Be Free!" and give it a gentle push.

If it lands safely, it's a 747. If not, it's had a nasty little "accident". Either way, you won't have to listen to it any longer.

Do you mean to say, he should defenestrate said computer?
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted November 17, 2005 09:34
Whoa...I didn't realize that was a real word.
</stupid>

See the thing is, I'd like to throw to the ground and [see it] miss. [Wink]
 
drunkennewfiemidget
Member # 2814
 - posted November 17, 2005 09:56
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Well, dman. If the machine wants so badly to be a 747, why not let it be a 747? Check the insurance policy, open the window, utter Mork's famous line, "Fly! Be Free!" and give it a gentle push.

If it lands safely, it's a 747. If not, it's had a nasty little "accident". Either way, you won't have to listen to it any longer.

Do you mean to say, he should defenestrate said computer?
Is it bad that I know what that words means without even following a dictionary link to it?

(In my defence, french for window is fenêtre )
 
Serenak
Member # 2950
 - posted November 17, 2005 12:04
You mean there are people over 12 who don't know what defenestrate means???

OMG WTF BBQ !!111!!

[Big Grin]
 
GameMaster
Member # 1173
 - posted November 17, 2005 13:09
I suppose not many people are familiar with the Defenstration of Prauge then? I thought that it was tought in any decent Western civ. class.
 
Serenak
Member # 2950
 - posted November 17, 2005 13:35
Ooohh Errr GM... You just tripped the spelling alarm...

Run and hide... the spelling police are on the way...

I can hear the sirens now...

[Wink]
 
Grummash
Member # 4289
 - posted November 17, 2005 14:01
I always thought that if you wanted a word that meant 'throwing someone or something out of a window' then transfenestration would make much more sense.
 
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted November 17, 2005 16:08
/me has visions of the Daleks of Prague...

YOU WILL BE DE-FEN-ES-TRA-TED !
 
Maggs
Member # 4682
 - posted December 13, 2005 12:18
Has anyone ever used Safeware as a computer insurance policy.
 




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