Rating Apple: Quality “0” Customer Service “1”
The Mac shipped on June 24th from Toronto. I had expected it to get to her Missouri home on Monday, the 28th. The tracking number Apple sent me showed it in St. Louis on the 28th. And it didn’t arrive at her place on the 29th. I called Apple late that afternoon, the customer service staff called the carrier while I was on the phone, and assured me the eMac would be delivered to her the next day. It was. A very courteous driver dropped it off at her house and even helped her unpack it.
That was the end of the good news. The eMac would start (they could hear its start up chimes and the music of the OS X Welcome) but the video screen stayed black. Marty, one of Connie’s nephews, is pretty good with computers, he got Apple Support on the phone; they reset the PMU (power management unit) on the motherboard and zapped the PRAM, all to no avail. I had Marty zap the PRAM using a slightly different technique and we unplugged the machine for 15 minutes and plugged it back in but nothing changed. My feeling was that the video was D.O.A. (dead on arrival), and I told them so. Once again, Apple had validated what I have been saying in these blogs, i.e., THEY NEED TO GET A HANDLE ON THEIR NEW MACHINE QUALITY CONTROL.
NICE IMPRESSION, APPLE!
That said, Apple pulled it out the fire with their customer service. They are sending my mother-in-law labels to use to send the eMac back to them via FedEx. Once Fed Ex picks the eMac up and gives her a tracking number, she can call Apple, relay it to them, and they’ll send her a new eMac. My mother-in-law commented how nice they were, and that matches my experience as well, except for one time. Unhappy about the noice the case fan in my new Mirror Door Drive PowerMac was making, I talked to a snarly tech support guy who refused to send me a new case fan even if I would pay for it and tried to troubleshoot it by listening to the fan over the phone! (I did replace the fan on my own, and it runs much quieter now.)
It’s somewhat likely I may buy a G5 PowerMac this year, and it’s very likely I’ll buy another eMac for someone in the family close to me. If Apple’s customer service had given us one iota of trouble, that latter eMac purchase would not even be a blip on my radar screen. The G5 is because I live in a city with an Apple Store. Apple would do better to tighten up their quality control and make “save the bacon” customer service calls unnecessary or at least very rare. Otherwise, their tiny little market share will remain tiny, no matter how much innovation they do.