Last night, I finally called Apple about Sarah’s messed-up nano. Some of you may remember that I had purchased her a black one after she fell in love with my green 8GB, and we even got it personalized with her name and the phrase “World Domination” – because that’s Sarah’s goal.
So let me catch you up on the part of the story that I haven’t shared: while we were on our Mobius trip to Amsterdam, her nano got sick. It started resetting itself spontaneously, and it would no longer play or display a normal screen. We did every reset sequence known to man, including toggling the hold button twice, pressing and holding the menu and center buttons, and redoing the toggle bit and then pressing and holding the center and play / pause buttons. I tried doing a “Restore” through iTunes, but the nano would never stay connected long enough to accept it – even though when it would connect it seemed to be trying.
While still in Amsterdam, Sarah showed her nano to Jenneth and Vincent, who both agreed that the only options available were to either take it to the Amsterdam Apple Store we had seen off one of the tram stops (where Vincent assured me that they would just swap it out for a new one), or send it back to Apple when we returned to the US.
Sarah wanted to wait until we returned, since her nano is personalized; I agreed that we should do that.
Since I had an 8GB touch which Johan from Neuros had sent me for testing with their OSD, I was able to let Sarah borrow that gorgeous bit of electronics, which (of course) lessened the urgency of getting her nano fixed. But obviously I needed to get it done, and last night I finally decided to make the call.
First I pulled up the email which held the receipt for the nano; it had been purchased September 30 (ha – on Gear Diary’s birthday!), with delivery slated for October 9th.
Side note: the trip to Amsterdam was in late November, so she got almost two months use of the nano before it fritzed. It’s my fault that I waited another two months before contacting them, but we are obviously still well within the one year warranty period.
From this email, I got the 800 number to call Apple Customer Service. Once I had selected a few menu options, I was transferred to their Technical Support Line.
When my tech answered, I read him the serial number of my nano, and he told me that it was not showing up in their system, but that was okay – he had some simple steps he would like me to try.
We went through each of the resets I had previously attempted, and each time the nano’s screen would show the Apple (indicating a reset), and then it would either gray out completely or it would show the color menu for a moment and then gray out; over and over, the nano would continuously reset itself, showing that dratted apple.
I tried to tell the tech that I had already done all of this, but I was also willing to humor him and go through it all again. I know the drill, and I know they have to at least try.
We did each sequence twice, with the same results.
Then he asked me to connect the nano to my computer, which I did. When the nano was not immediately detected, he asked if I was using an Apple nano USB cable; I said of course. He said there had to be a problem with my USB cable, to which I said that wasn’t possible – I am also using the same nano cable with my other nano, the touch, and my iPhone – it works perfectly.
The problem was obviously with the nano, and that seemed to stump him for a moment.
He then insisted that I didn’t have the latest version of iTunes installed; when I told him it was 22.214.171.124, he acknowledged he was wrong. I once again told him that I had other iPods and they were all up to date and syncing fine. My problems were with the hardware of this one particular nano.
He kept telling me we needed to try one more thing.
I kept asking if he could just give me an authorization to send mine in for repair. To which he would reply – “okay, but after we try one more thing,” which I humored him on no less than five times.
But I was getting frustrated, and honestly – more than a little bit pissed. It was obvious to me that he was reading from a script, and he was disregarding everything I said if it did not fit within his script’s confines.
So back to trying “one more thing”: Miraculously, during a connection through my “faulty USB cable”, the nano finally showed as a disk on the computer, and so he told me we were going to change the name of the drive. I wasn’t going to argue with him, so I did it – we changed it from G to V.
Then I had to reset my laptop. When my computer finally rebooted (I had at least five programs running, as well as windows for a current review open at the time, so it was a bit inconvenient and it took a while), the nano again took its sweet time being recognized, but it did eventually show as drive V. I never saw the point of that particular exercise.
During one of the nano’s sporadic moments of recognition in iTunes, we attempted a “Restore”. This time we got a 1416 error along with a message that the nano was “corrupted”.
He wanted to try one more thing again, again I told him this was not a problem of the nano connecting to my computer, it was a problem in and of the nano itself.
“Just try one more thing” he said, and once again I humored him.
Oh, if I only had a recording of that conversation…
The next thing he wanted to try was to format the nano through Windows. After assuring him that it was showing as a Fat32 device, I started the format…and my freshly restarted computer froze.
When I told him what had happened he. started. laughing.
That’s when I lost my cool: “Look, this isn’t funny, I have been telling you that the problem is with the nano itself; tell me now how to send it in to you, or let me speak to your supervisor!”
I kid you not, he said “okay, if you will try one more thing. If that doesn’t work I will tell you how to send it in.”
I told him NO. Imagine my gritted teeth as I said “get. your. supervisor. for. me. NOW.”
So he asked me for the serial number again.
This time he was able to find it in their system, and he said I would be getting a return box in the next five days. I was given a case number and a repair status number.
Why is it that people won’t listen? I understand having flowcharts and scripts for “if this, then that,” but it was as if this tech didn’t listen to anything I was saying – and I refuse to blame my poor customer service experience with Apple on the fact that English was obviously this tech’s second language.
When we finally ended the call, 59.22 minutes later, I was so frustrated and angry that I vowed until I live in a town with an Apple store I will never buy an Apple computer. And it pains me to say that, because I truly do want one.