Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Evil Genius Bar

OK, Mama AIN'T happy.

Bay Street GENIUS BAR? On my bad guy list.

Since I am not certified for hardware, I usually send clients who need hardware repair to ComputerLand in Berkeley. As a matter of fact, that's where I take my machines that are still under warranty. But every once in a while, I test out the local stores' genius bars, as many of my clients live closer to the Apple stores. 

Case in point: My husband brought in his MBP, which was exhibiting dead and pink colored pixels intermittently on startup on July 20. When he brought it in, the genius discouraged him from leaving it, saying it would "take a really long time with no guarantee that we can fix it if we can't duplicate the problem". He showed the technician a picture we took on my husband's iPhone, since a screenshot was not available. The system would freeze with no access the cursor. The tech waved away the iPhone picture and said that he could not accept that.

SInce I was on a service call, my husband called me saying, "They don't want to take it in". When I spoke to the tech, he explained that diagnosis could take 3-5 days, to which I replied, "Yes, I know, run it through some diagnostics". According to the follow up email, we were to be called within the 3-5 days with a status report. This never happened. 

Six days later, we went in to pick it up, as according to the sales person we spoke to when we called, they could find no problem. When we entered the store, we were greeted by a blue shirt, who called for the pickup. I showed my business card, indicated that I would like to speak to a service tech to have him or her explain what steps were taken to diagnose the problem. I wanted to know if they had opened up the machine to check for a loose cable, or tested the GPU, which was what I suspected. The guy (named Felix) then got really snarky when he saw the MacMama logo (note to self: NEVER let the Apple employees know you are an IT girl)and said that no one was available to speak to us. I insisted that I wanted to see the notes, and speak to a tech. 

So a technician named Joe came out, and was incredibly condescending and when I showed him the picture of the compromised start up MBP screen on our iPhone, and explained that I am a certified support pro. He actually laughed and said, "We can't accept that, how do we know this is even from your computer?" I looked at him incredulously and said, "Why are you laughing?" . He said,"I'm not laughing", handed us the Mac and we left. Obviously, by this time I was not laughing either, as I had just been accused by this pisher of trying to pull a fast one. I mean, PUH-LEASE. I'm too friggin' old.

Now here's the topper. I have had 3 instances this month where customers have come back from the genius bar feeling belittled and treated poorly. So I am no longer recommending that my clients bring their Macs in for service to the Bay Street store. I will send them to Computerland in Berkeley, where Gus will take care of them, do an impeccable repair job, and is fully certified by Apple as an authorized repair center.

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