SUICIDE OR CUSTOMER SERVICE? CLOSE CALL – Marilyn Armstrong

Just as I was thinking I finally had it all more or less under control, Garry’s iPad decided to NOT work this morning. This is probably because they put a new operating system on it last night. I know this because I went to use my mini and it was getting a new operating system, so I assumed Garry’s was getting one too if not at that precise moment, then sometime really soon

So, when Garry went to use it this morning, nothing worked. It refused his password, didn’t recognize his email. Basically, it was gone. Garry has zero patience with all things mechanical or electronic. The only reason he no longer kills every vacuum cleaner instantly is because I threatened him with permanent injury if he broke another one.

I don’t care how he feels about dirt. You have to empty it even if it is inconvenient and will make the process take an extra five minutes.

Computers? Oh, that is so much worse. I do not believe he is nearly as technologically inept as he seems. He doesn’t like technology, doesn’t want to deal with it, and has no patience with it. He wants to turn it on and after that, it’s supposed to work. Without any problems, ever.

He handed me his iPad. “I don’t have time for this,” he said. We had no plans for the day. It’s just he wanted to take a shower and watch some baseball. What he meant was “You always have time for this, so fix it. I’ll be back later.”

If there was one thing I didn’t want to do, it was call Apple customer service. My eyes rolled back in my head. I pretended I was dead. That didn’t work, so I looked up the number and called Apple. After bypassing the robot (why do I even try to talk to them?), I got a Person.

I told him that I was not in a good mood, that my recent encounters with his colleagues had not been positive, and I wanted this to get fixed really fast or I was going to stuff it back in the box and send it back and then they could figure out what to do with it. I’d had enough.

It didn’t take the 15 minutes I hoped for, but eventually, with repetitions of doing the same things we’d done before (and before and before), eventually, we got it to work. Without a password and no credit card. Loaded with Chrome. Garry’s iCloud email was deleted and if not deleted, no one will ever use it because the only people who know it exists are me and Garry and we aren’t talking.

Meanwhile, Microsoft tried to insert the broken download again. It failed. I ignored it. When they get it to work, I’m sure someone will let me know. Or it would install. I should mention that that’s the last time I let Microsoft mess with my computer. I had to completely revise my sound and they left all kinds of little applications laying around my desktop. If you’re going to borrow my computer for your research, clean up your junk when you’re done.

The Apple guy on the phone this morning was very nice. It was just that he was maybe the fifth or sixth Apple tech in a couple of days — and I’ve had it. NO tolerance left with anyone saying “I know it’s awkward, but that’s how Apple does it” after which he admitted that personally, he uses a PC and finds Macs annoying. Too many fiddly security things.

I said: “Thank you. So far, nothing I’ve done on a Mac has been easier than it was on the PC and as for photography, it’s at least 50% more difficult to do the simplest stuff. I understand about security, but at some point, most of us will ease up on security with the aim of just sending the email without having to enter one more (“Please make it something you will easily remember”) password.

This was also before I discovered my own little mini 4 was going to need to be fixed, too … but by then I was pretty good at it. I’ve had quite a lot of lessons in Mac management the past week.

I think we got it done. But that’s it. I can’t take any more. I’m finished. Not merely is dealing with these people infuriating, but it is incredibly boring. I may not do much with my days, but sitting on the phone arguing with people who know less than I do about computers is not on my list of choices.

You could drive a gal to suicide this way, you know that? I’d rather get my teeth drilled before I deal with customer service again.

Except my doctor’s office. I love them.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

24 thoughts on “SUICIDE OR CUSTOMER SERVICE? CLOSE CALL – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. You certainly seem to have bad luck with your ˋì stuff. I also got the upgrade for my phone and iPad and had no problem. Even my old iPad got it. I have never needed Apple help, but had to call help to organise emails on my MacBook when it was new. Since then I really only deal with mails on my iPad. I have a gmail address but rarely use it and prefer the local browser

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    1. I need to also ask you: did you set up your machine in the first place? Because I do all the setting up around here. Garry not only isn’t helpful, he usually finds a good reason to leave home for several hours while I take care of whatever needs taking care of.

      Apple/Mac has a lot of very fiddly annoying security questions involved in setup. Also, there was a problem fwith Garry’s machine from the get-go, which was that they asked for Garry’s email address, then refused to use it because they said it was already in use. Well of course it was — he was using it. They forced me to register him under a new iCloud address. I figured I’d just add a second email address later, something I’ve been able to do with EVERY computer I’ve used and that’s what I did, but when they downloaded the new iOS, they knocked out all the identifying information. It wasn’t there anymore. They then downloaded a new OS two days after downloading the first one which probably meant there was a problem they were trying to fix … and that one day later, they did it again is a pretty strong clue.

      All of which could have been solved if they had CALLED me when they promised. Since they didn’t call me the first time, I re-booked for a few hours later — and they didn’t call me then, either. So I had to call them and I got a woman who didn’t know what I needed to know and spent hours and hours making me reload the operating system which didn’t solve the problem (I knew it wouldn’t) and THEN she let me talk to the guy who fixed in in like two minutes. It wasn’t an equipment problem. It was a software issue and a failure — on their part — to live up to their promise.

      You make a date to call, you call.

      Without help — and I knew I wasn’t as familiar with Macs as I am with PCs, I winged it. I should have known when they wouldn’t let me use Garry’s actual email address as his real email, we had a problem. When you start with a problem, it always gets worse. If they had CALLED WHEN THEY PROMISED, it would never have happened.

      It isn’t a problem with the equipment. It is a problem with their customer service.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always get scared when I think I have to call Apple! They are horrible (for whatever reason I got the new iPhone when it came out – missing my android) and take S.O. L.O.N.G, as you’ve found out. It seems like every 3 weeks there’s a new update.

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    1. They are not quite the hot shots they advertise themselves as being. I found it really difficult to work with them. They are so stuck on doing whatever they are told to do, they simply don’t LISTEN. I think this is America’s biggest problem. We do not listen. We just jabber endlessly and then seem surprised when it doesn’t work. They wasted HOURS AND HOURS of my time for no reason except a refusal to listen to me. And those update, OMG. Each time, it’s like starting over again with each device.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It only seems like 50% more complex because you’re still thinking like a PC user. I used a PC at work, at my desk, for 20+ years and it always seemed to take 3 or 4 moves, on the PC, to do what 1 or 2 would accomplish, on the Macs, in the edit suites. So I just switched heads when I switched computer platforms and I didn’t have any problems. Frustration will get you every time. However, one thing about Mac updates, OS and iOS, annoys the crap out of me. Seems everytime you perform an update they want you to go through the security thing all over again instead of just transferring the info from the previous version.? Maybe they think that they are helping you protect your device? I feel they mean well, but it IS a pain. You just need to answer the trick questions again.., each time.

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    1. I suspect the older machines are simpler than the new ones. And each time they send another iOS — which seems like it’s every other day — it’s like starting over again. Enough with the questions about first grade. Some of us have lived a whole life. Who the hell remembers their kindergarten teacher’s name?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh? first grade.., kindergarten teacher’s name? Again I say HUH? Where did I say anything about that stuff??? BTW, great picture of Garry with his tablet leaning against his leg. I can only imagine he’s waiting for it to die.., or figuring out a way to kill it?

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        1. That was one of the easier question. They wanted to know what I wanted to be when i was in third grade. Did I want to BE anything? When setting it up for Garry, I found a couple of things I knew the answers to so I hoped HE might know them too … but when they flipped the OS, it lost the whole thing. It took a lot of fiddling to get the information to come back up. Three OS updates IN ONE WEEK? Seriously?

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    2. And this is assuming I actually remember the question OR the answer. You know kindergarten was 66 years ago. It’s not dementia. Just time. The people who create these questions clearly can remember kindergarten because — they just graduated from it.

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  4. If nothing else, you’ve provided some sound information about why people should avoid Apple products. That sounds insane. I bet Garry is glad he has a ‘techie’ for a wife!

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    1. If I didn’t owe money on it, it would be gone. It was supposed to be simple, but EVERY time I pick it up, they are installing another version of the operating system. What the hell is wrong with them?

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  5. So well written! I’m there with you or should I say how did you get into my house my brain? I think I did throw my iPhone across the room during tech support call.
    As for security my elderly Mac Book and iPhone can’t remember my email password no matter what I do so my tablet is all I have left. I guess I won’t do the update anytime soon.
    1800 666-0070 Suicide Hotline # 😉

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    1. They really get to you. First of all, they are children. I don’t mean that figuratively, but literally. They obviously hire kids right out of school and they set up the security questions which might make sense if I were 16, but don’t make sense at 71. And they never let you talk to anyone who might really know the answer because probably they get rapped on the knuckles for not being able to “handle the call themselves.” This wastes HOURS of time for them and us and is a really stupid policy. Either train them so they know more, or get more upper level people into the process. But I literally have spend HOURS on the phone with these people — and these were NOT hard questions. They were easy to answer, once I got someone who knew the answer.

      I’m keeping the Suicide Hotline number on my desktop. I may need it.

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      1. I got a Jamaican girl who was reading from a script and couldn’t sound out the word character 😱
        Once I started treating her like a 7th grader in special ed I got what I needed which was just to reset a password with more than 7 char-act-ters….
        I keep my old phone just to keep from resetting. Thanks for a place to vent

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  6. Every time I update Skype, it won’t accept my password either, so now I do not update Skype ever. Microsoft seems to be the same way. Drives me crazy. And those damn update notices pop up every day and freeze anything i’m doing until I get rid of them. Can they not leave their damn programs alone for over 24 hours? So frustrating.

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