So, I called Apple on a Monday and they were perplexed that a box had not arrived for me to send my iBook to them in. They overnight me a box. I get home the next day and I find a box that is full of water and soaked. Good job, DHL and Apple! I dry the box out and it’s workable. I pack up the iBook and drop it off at a DHL place to go to Apple.
A day passes and I get a nice e-mail telling me the iBook is at Apple’s service center and being worked on. Another day or so passes and I’m sent another e-mail letting me know it’s been repaired and is on it’s way back. Now I am starting to think that maybe Apple is really on the ball and things are working smoothly.
The last e-mail told me to wait two business days for delivery of my iBook by DHL. It’s a Friday so I figure it’ll show up on Monday. Monday comes and goes, nothing. Tuesday, same thing. I call Apple and they give me a tracking number and direct me to DHL’s “missed delivery” number. It’s a little depressing to think they have a single number for this one type of problem. I give it a call and they tell me that someone has tried to deliver it twice now. I let them know that if they did try, they didn’t leave anything to let me know. That’s pathetic. So I have to schedule to pick it up at the local dispatch center, which is luckily near where I work.
What a let-down. Apple might have had a good support system but their dependence on DHL makes it unreliable and frustrating. Many people have said that it’s DHL’s fault and not Apple’s. But Apple continue to uses a poor carrier. Overall, it makes Apple’s support feel only average between their great coverage with Applecare and their horrible support in action.
This is a post from a long time ago that I feel is still relevent today. I wrote this when playing Asheron’s Call 2 and it applies to World of Warcraft, too.
Hate is the new cool and it’s got all new packaging so it’s flying off the shelves! Some people with a vision create a product and no matter how much better it is than what has come before, it’s nothing but crap. Or, at least that’s how vocal fans paint it.
I’m sure that when someone decides to create a PC game, they imagine that having some forums would allow them to open lines of communication with their consumer base and/or fans. The thought of hundreds of people logging into your official forums to voice praise, point out flaws, and read your own views on their topics is a welcome idea. It would almost be foolish to NOT create an official forum that is centered on your new venture. But if you actually think any of that, you’re still living in a fairy land and wearing gumdrop hats while you dance with pixies and leperchauns.
The reality of the PC gaming community is that no matter how much work you put into your product, or how `good’ it is, people are going to line up to punch you in the stomach for ruining their lives. That’s right, I said `RUINING THEIR LIVES’. Little do you know that by fabricating a new game with the intent of providing enjoyment for many people like you (and make some money to feed and house yourself), you’re actually forcing people to purchase, play, and experience every single flaw with your game. A rational person might argue that a few problems or bugs can’t possibly ruin someone’s life, but these consumers are nowhere near rational. Every single flaw in the product causes them physical pain not unlike having their nuts in a workbench vise while being hit in the chest with a sledge hammer. Not owning and playing the game would mean certain death. Stopping AFTER you start to play would be even worse (however that’s possible). How does anyone know this is the case? Simply read the official forums of a PC game, such as Asheron’s Call 2. It will become obvious that even when you set out to create a fun, exciting, evolutionary game, what you are in fact doing is forcing people to buy it, then ENDURE the pain of playing your game. The developers few bumps in the road to the ideal game are life-shattering, nerve-wracking, moments of pure torment that will never end for the forum posting game player. Nevermind that your new game might offer tons of features that make it more exciting and enjoyable than any other game like it. Put aside the thoughts that all your patches and fixes to the game have been based on forum posts and customer feedback. You’ll never be good enough and nothing you do or say will change that you are the worst person to ever have lived. Even the smallest word from you or anyone involved in making the game will be turned into bona fide evidence of your conspiracy to spit on people’s hard work and to make their lives meaningless. Don’t even bother trying to argue against the vocal minority of the forums. Your pathetic attempts to appease anyone will be swept assunder in the waves of constant bitching, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
But won’t these people just quit? Oh no! Even if, by some miracle, they decide to actually stop playing your game, there’s no reason for them to not keep posting to the forums. They must make sure that no one else is ever lulled into enjoying the game or purchasing another copy. These valiant souls will throw their every waking hour into keeping others from ever possibly having to experience the game that ruins people’s lives. And probably to also make sure you never forget how bad the game was for them to play. That’s some real dedication.
A little over a year ago I purchased an iBook on eBay. I got a decent deal and with the new OS X operating system, it gave me a UNIX based laptop with a nice desktop interface. It didn’t take long for me to pretty much abandon my Windows XP system for the iBook for everything I do except playing games.
That is until my iBook ceased to function. So, I head over to the Apple website to check on the Applecare I received with the iBook to see if this disfunction is covered. Nope. The site says my Applecare is expired. A friend at work mentioned that some iBooks had defective main boards and I should see if the extended recall on them applied to my system. The page on the website didn’t clearly explain if the repair extension still applied to my iBook so I called Apple to find out. Turns out my Applecare coverage won’t expire for another six or seven months and I can get it repaired. Now I’m waiting for them to send me a box to send my iBook in for repairs.
I saw that the status of my repair was “Dispatch Sent”. I hit google to see if I could find out exactly what that meant since the Apple site didn’t have a definition. Of course, the first thing I find are pages about how poor Apple’s service is. How the website never shows the right data, it takes forever to get anyone to tell you what’s going on, etc. This was all kind of a let-down for me. I’ve been pretty content with the iBook and OS X. I can’t say Apple support has really sucked, but repairs without coverage are very pricey and so far the website has not been very helpful. I can’t even say that the support person I spoke to was very good.
I’ll just have to see how things go.