At this time of year it seems like everyone has a “bad customer service” story. I get to mix it up a little and report a really good one. The guys at the Apple store in Boca Raton, Florida – Steve (manager) and David K. (“Genius”) in particular – really helped us out.
It was an experience that definitely made me feel good about Rocket Matter’s preference for Apple. (We are an Apple-friendly office and we also regularly give talks at Apple stores – like the presentation we gave in New York in October with The Mac Lawyer Ben Stevens.)
My little Christmas tale starts yesterday as I sat down at the office looking forward to taking a look at some year-end data. Inspired by a very cool report released by our friends over at HubSpot, I was ready to grab some advertising and marketing data and hit the spreadsheets.
Then, it happened. Click-click-click-click-FAIL. The unmistakable dying gasps of a hard drive.
The Apple analog to the PC’s “blue screen of death” – the question mark in the center of my screen – appeared, seemingly laughing at me with each flash. Kelley (one of our support folks) started surfing for some fixes and I start looking for boot disks and manuals. The majority of my key data was backed up in the cloud, but we didn’t have any other extra machines laying around and I know that a busted hard drive during Christmas week is not exactly a promising set of circumstances.
Magically I got a same-day appointment at the Genius Bar at our Apple store down here in Boca. I showed up and, as you’d expect during Christmas week, the Apple store was like your worst nightmare at the DMV. Wall to wall people, fire hazard busy, “personal space” violations all over the place.
I checked in and met with my Genius. I was assigned to David K. – a super nice guy who told me he had just started working at the store. (The dude was almost frighteningly calm amidst total and complete chaos.) Somehow my MacBook had mustered up enough gumption to boot up, though it was obviously croaking. We started the “Time Machine” process using a portable drive, and David confirmed I’d need a new hard drive.
So – transfer the data, order a new drive, get the drive installed. Looking around the store, and knowing the calendar, my mind was calculating this was going to be a week or two process, at best. We put in a word with our friend Steve (the manager) and David asked me: “How badly do you need this?” Given it’s my business machine – “ASAP.” I could see the pained look on his face, really empathizing (!) with this gnarly set of circumstances, and he says “I’m here until 7pm, can you come back later? I can’t promise anything – it’s so busy we probably don’t even have the parts – but I’ll see what I can do for you.” DEAL, brother.
I went back around 5ish. The crowd was inconceivably worse. Like, front ten rows at the Van Halen concert worse. I navigate through the mob to the Genius Bar in the back of the store where roughly 1,423 people were hounding the iPad-equipped appointment dude like he was the guy handing out backstage passes, and I spot David. He spots me, I see him grin and – cue Sound of Music and super slow-motion celebration – he gives me the thumbs-up and the “hang on a sec” wave. A few minutes later I get the news.
“You’re set,” he says. “I found one last hard drive in the back room after you left and put it aside for you, and then I installed it this afternoon.” Then the cherry on top: “under warranty, no charge.”
My MacBook effectively died at 8am. By the end of the day, during the Apple store’s busiest week of the year, I was back up and running with all data intact. That is RIDICULOUSLY good.
Gratz Apple, and gratz Steve both for the bump and on hiring David.