Apple Care Support Centre

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Last week I had this rather surreal telephone conversation with an employee at the Dutch Apple Care Support Centre. It was regarding my recently purchased iPad which appeared to have a dead pixel. After spending ten minutes on hold at the cost of €0,10/min, I was connected to “Mick”. Now I have often spoken to very friendly, competent and patient Apple Care employees, but Mick rubbed me the wrong way from the start with his incessant interruptions and patronizing tone of voice. This is more or less how our conversation went:

Suz: I have a dead pixel on the iPad that I bought 6 days ago. What’s Apple’s policy on that?
Mick: Now, I’m going to say something you won’t like. We will not do anything about that.
Suz: I have a brand new iPad with a dead pixel and Apple does nothing?
Mick: Apple has a policy that 1 pixel is not big enough of a problem to be repaired or replaced.
Suz: So how many pixels does warrant a replacement?
Mick: I will not give you that information.
Suz: Pardon me?
Mick: Apple guidelines state that we will not disclose our policy on how many pixels need to be faulty to take it in as a repair. It has to do with the surface area of the product.
Suz: So you’re not helping me with anything?
Mick: I am not enjoying this conversation either, but I am going to make a very valuable suggestion to you. If you listen closely I shall explain. I see here that you do not have extended Apple Care. That means that you have a very limited warranty on the iPad. If you buy Apple Care through me, right now on the phone for €99, you get 2 years Apple Care and if something goes wrong with the iPad, which I hope of course, it doesn’t, we would send you a replacement straight away. That would solve your pixel issue too. But if you buy Apple Care in the shop where you bought the iPad, we don’t send you a replacement because the shop will take your iPad and send it to us.
Suz: So if I buy Apple Care it will cover the dead pixel?
Mick: No. One faulty pixel is not enough to warrant a repair or replacement by Apple.
Suz: So how does this help me?
Mick: Well, let me explain again. If your iPad were to develop a hardware problem, which I hope of course does not happen…
Suz: Yes, thanks, I got that bit. So basically you’re telling me that I should buy Apple Care in case something ELSE goes wrong with the iPad and that then the pixel issue would be solved because I’d receive a new iPad for the other problem?
Mick: Yes.
Suz: €99 for one extra year?
Mick: Yes. And if you buy through me, right here, right now, we’ll send you an iPad the moment there’s a problem.
Suz: So, if I buy Apple Care from you now and then tell you that my iPad won’t start, you’ll send me a new one?
Mick: Well, no, you must be honest. But if you told me that 5 pixels were faulty, I would send you a new iPad.
Suz: So 5 pixels is the minimum to warrant a replacement?
Mick: I was just giving an example, madam.
Suz: I’m not going to pay €99 for one extra year of warranty – so forget it.
Mick: OK. You can always try taking the iPad back to the shop to see what they say.
Suz: Yes, thanks very much for your help *sarcasm dripping from my voice*

This morning I received an e-mail from Apple politely asking me if I might take the time to give them feedback on my recent contact with “Mick” from Apple Care. As you can imagine, I was itching for the chance to give that feedback, but to my disappointment the survey consisted of just three multiple choice questions which didn’t concern the actual contact with Apple Care at all:

So even more frustration with Apple for me. With a survey like this I am beginning to think that Apple has become so arrogant that they really aren’t interested in anything their (usually very loyal!) customers have to say anymore.

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3 comments on “Apple Care Support Centre

  1. Sounds to me like he was suggesting you “help” your iPad develope a hardware problem, to game the system and get a new one for $99.

    Most manufacturers have a minimum number of pixel defects. I couldn’t return my Dell screen when I got it because it has only one defect. It usually is in the small print though, not a company secret.

  2. Possibly. But really, he didn’t come across as particularly smart or friendly. He was simply pushing insurance!

  3. Apple Care s*cks in my opinion. It’s way over priced and not really sure if it has changed but when I bought an PowerBook G4 there was not one place where you could find what was covered paying about 300 more. There are much cheaper ways if you want some insurance for your goodies.

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