So I walked into the office this morning and the girl at the front desk said immediately ‘I need your help, this is happening every morning and I can’t fix it!!’ Well good morning. Her computer wasn’t working and she had Apple on the phone to try and help. I quickly took over, knowing that she isn’t very computer literate at all. What was happening was that the Bluetooth assistant was coming up looking for a wireless keyboard when it should be detecting the one plugged in, and therefore nothing was working and she couldn’t log in of type anything.
A person good with computers would try a few things before calling apple support. The major one would be to test and make sure the keyboard actually works. Her first step was to call Apple and say her computer was broken. I’ve had people like that, and I get the frustration with dealing with customers like that.
Because she already had him on the phone, I took over. I knew that I would be able to talk to him more coherently then she would, so I figured that was the best option. Normally I wouldn’t have got on the phone with someone unless I did some basic troubleshooting, but hey, he was already there.
Here’s where things went really sour. I introduced myself, told him exactly what I was looking at on screen, and asked politely what could cause it. Instead of answering, he told me to re-start the computer. I said we already had, five times, but sure, I’ll do it again. He then told me to log in… Sir, the keyboard isn’t working, we can’t log in. That’s why we’re calling. He said to change the batteries… I said the keyboard wasn’t battery powered, it’s a USB plug in.
Then HE got upset with ME because the ‘last girl’ had told him it was wireless. For a couple of minutes he spent time telling me she’d told him the wrong thing. Okay… well it’s not wireless, so how about we go from there and try to figure this out?
I got a little frustrated that he was being so short with me after that. He continued to blame me for him not understanding that it wasn’t wireless. Because I’m also in customer service, I kept myself calm and apologized for the misunderstanding, but this is the real situation, so let’s try to fix it. It was odd that me as the customer had to keep him on track.
He told me to go to the the apple in the left hand corner of the screen. Okay, two minutes ago I told you we couldn’t log in, so… no apple in the left hand corner still.
We finally get somewhere when he starts to tell me about activating the apple support. I think great, he’s going to have a look. ‘We’ll have to activate your apple support, so you’ll need a credit card.’
Wait… WHAT??? Are you saying I have to pay for basic customer support? Seriously???? You want me to give you credit card information to pay for you to help me see why my keyboard isn’t connecting? You’ve done nothing but be snippy with me this whole time, and now you’re asking for money despite not listening to me, blaming me for you not understanding, and promptly forgetting everything I tell you as I tell you??? Wow… just… Wow.
So I hung up on him. I told him I was hanging up on him and I certainly was not happy with the way he spoke to me. I hung up.
Because I now had the reigns, I did what should have been done at the beginning and tested the keyboard. If my colleague had waited until I got in, we would have figured it out right away, but she was trying to fix it on her own, which I do respect in a way. Problem solving is not her strong suit, so she decided to get someone on the phone for help. That’s totally fine.
I tested the keyboard and it didn’t work. The Mac was trying to connect to wireless because it couldn’t connect to the one plugged in. I pulled out an old keyboard, dinosaur ancient, and plugged it in. Took me two minutes to set it up because it’s not a Mac keyboard, but it works just fine. She felt a little stupid that it was such an easy fix, but hey, sometimes we just skip over the obvious when we don’t know much about the product. I bet next time she’ll wonder if there’s anything she can try before she calls someone.
The whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s not that the problem was minor and her reaction was over the to. It was that I spoke to a support person who could have figured out super quickly that she was not good with computers and started at the very bottom. And when he got a new person on the phone that is good with computers, he should not have taken his frustration out on me. It was some of the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced.
But wait. Really? The worst customer service ever is at apple?? Really??? It wasn’t that he didn’t help, it’s that he didn’t even try. He was so rude about the whole situation, and just when I managed to tell him exactly what was happening, he asked for money. Really? You can’t ask me to check my keyboard or plug it into another port? You can’t say ‘these are the most common things that bring up that message’??
I work in customer service. I deal with clients on the phone every day. And yes, sometimes I get someone who doesn’t know a single thing about their computers but thinks they’re super smart and I can’t get a single thing out of them. But I know that calmly trying to understand where they’re at makes a huge difference. And if they put a second person on the phone, I don’t take my frustration out on the next person and blame them for the first persons explaining things wrong. I re-start, try to figure it out, and help the second person try and fix it. At the end of the conversation, no matter how frustrating it was, they should not walk away thinking I was rude.
I’m giving apple support a big thumbs down on this one. I don’t expect everyone to go above and beyond with customer service, but a simple ruling out the basics before you ask for money is not too much to ask. And whoever this guy was should not be dealing with clients. I’m pretty sure that on every single ‘to-do’ list of customer service, blaming the customer ALWAYS comes up as a big NO!! Even if he couldn’t help us, the way he went about it was seriously unprofessional.
Uncool apple. Uncool.
**A little P.S. I am a Mac user at home. I’ve always loved my computer. I’m not complaining about the product, I’m complaining about the support. You’d think a big company like that would put some financial support into making sure their customers are taken care of. Especially because they charge so much for their product. I don’t usually deal with their support because if something goes wrong, I usually fix it myself. And I find that not a lot goes wrong on my Mac. But bad customer service like that will make me consider buying a different product when it’s time for me to upgrade.