Adventures in Customer Service: Apple = Awesome


Only a card-carrying fanboy would entitle a post something like this right? Maybe, but read the post, and tell me how many companies would have done what I witnessed a short time ago.


I just had to make an emergency stop at my local Apple store. I did something stupid with my iPhone (no I won’t go in to detail), and despite it being out of warranty they immediately fixed it for nothing. They had every right to charge me but they didn’t. Love Apple!

That, however, isn’t the reason for this post. This is!

While I was waiting, there was a woman and her two small children there with a first generation iPad. The iPad had a good number of dings on the back; clearly it was “well-loved”. The Apple representative went to the back to check something, and I joke with the woman, “Upgrade to the iPad 2 – you’ll love it.”

“Oh no,” she replied, “this isn’t my iPad. It belongs to my husband who is stationed in Afghanistan. He sent it home because it broke, and I’m trying to get it fixed and send it back to him as quickly as possible since it will take over two weeks. It’s the best way for us to keep in touch.”

She went on to tell me that this is his third tour (the first two were in Iraq), and he has currently been there since December.

She took her kids to see something and the Apple store representative came back.

“You know that that belongs to her husband who is serving in Afghanistan right?” I said

“Yes” he replied.

“What an amazing story. Well obviously this is beat up and out of warranty but you’re going to take care of her right?”

“It is way out of warranty.” he said “but there’s no way we’re not replacing the iPad.”

He stepped away briefly and returned a few minutes later with a pristine iPad 1 refurb for her.

How much do I love Apple!

Yeah, I’m an Apple fanboy, and sometimes they remind me why.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

6 Comments on "Adventures in Customer Service: Apple = Awesome"

  1. Okay, yes, I’m a sentimental doofus, but that *genuinely* brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Dan. (And Apple!)

  2. I, too, have my own Apple Store story.

    Let me preface that I am an admitted Apple Fanboy.

    I bought one of the new aluminum 24″ iMacs when they had first come out several years ago. It was used primarily as a gaming machine. After about 9 months, the hard drive crashed. I didn’t want to take it in and be charged for a new drive at Apple’s prices, so I decided to change it out myself. After the HD replacement, things were good for about another 3 months. Then, I had another system failure, although when it crashed, it didn’t really act like a HD failure. In any case, I tried changing out the drive again but this didn’t solve the problem. So it took it in to my local Apple Store and had them work on the computer. They told me that the graphics chip had gone bad and they had to replace the main board. They commented on the non-standard drive but didn’t really hassle me too much about it and repaired it under warranty.

    Another 2 months goes by and I have another system crash. Once again, I take it to the Apple Store and let them take a look at it. They basically replace all of the components as they couldn’t seem to find the faulty component individually, but after changing it all out it seems to work. Again, it is considered warranty work so I am not charged. I take it back home and use it for another 2-3 months and it crashes AGAIN. So this time, it takes me a month or two to take it back to the Apple Store as I am starting to get frustrated with the machine. Once again, the Apple Store replaces all of the components under warranty. The computer is fixed but when I pick up the machine, the Genius Bar manager tells me that this is the last time that they are going to be able to repair the computer under warranty due to the presence of the non-standard drive. I told the manager that I understood, but I asked why none of their repairs seemed to be fixing my computer. I expressed my concern that if the computer crashed again, and I paid for the repairs, what guarantee would I have that the repairs would resolve the problem, seeing as none of the previous repairs performed seemed to have fixed the problem? I was told in as many words that I should “worry about that when/if it happens again.”

    I then moved to a different city, and a few weeks before the move, the computer crashes YET AGAIN. I didn’t have the time to take it in to the local Apple Store so instead I packed up the computer and took it with me, as the city I am moving to has an Apple Store as well. I take the computer in to the new Apple Store and proceed to tell the Genius Bar employee my tale of woe. I explain that I don’t mind paying for a repair, seeing as how I had voided the warranty by installing a non-standard drive, but I was concerned about having the computer crash again and having to pay for the repairs over and over again.

    So the Genius Bar employee walks into the back to talk to his supervisor, and after about 20 minutes, he comes back and tells me, “I know you’re sick of having to deal with this machine, and we are sick about it as well. We are going to replace your machine with a new iMac of comparable specs.”

    I was stunned! The machine was nearing 2 years old and they were just going to give me a new computer. I recovered quickly enough from my surprise to ask if I could use the price of the replacement computer towards the purchase of a top-of-the-line iMac 27″ and he told me that I could.

    Long story short, I got a new 27″ iMac to replace the computer that had given me problems for the previous 2 years and only had to pay a few hundred dollars! It’s because of service like this that I will continue to support Apple.

  3. I bought a new Ipad 2 the first day it went on sale, and carry it around where ever I go. I was coming back from lunch and took the back stairs to the office. (indoor, cement steps). As I was grabbing the door, someone opened it into me from the other side. My Ipad was under my arm, and it sailed down the entire flight of steps! (My wife contends that I had a brief thought of attempting to leap out into space to attempt to catch it… I won’t say she is wrong!) The Ipad was beat up, and the back had separated from the glass, but amazingly it worked!

    That very same night, we were at a restaurant, and I pulled the Ipad out to make a note. A waiter came along and bumped our waitress who was filling our water glasses, and she in turned dumped entire pitcher of water on me and the Ipad. After drying it off… it still worked! About two weeks later, I was at my local Apple store, and was telling the sales rep about my tougher then nails Ipad, and showed him the beat up thing. I was not asking for a replacement, repair or anything. He asked if I wanted it replaced. I said I know it isn’t under warranty, and he said that he had some leeway in that regard. I now have a shiny new Ipad 2 in an Otterbox case! Apple may charge more for their products, but their products top notch, and so is their customer service!

  4. Christopher Gavula | August 19, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    I have regularly (with one notable exception at their suburban New Orleans store) had excellent customer service from Apple and the Apple stores. Nothing as dramatic as the examples already mentioned here, but they have regularly gone “above and beyond” in their support of products I have purchased from them. Are they perfect? No. Are their products perfect? No. But the fact that they treat me like they actually value my patronage is a big part of what keeps me buying and advocating their products. It really is that simple.

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