Let's get this straight. I love apple products. I use them both at home and professionally with my work. My wife has a macbook, I use a macbook pro at home, we use macs at work for video editing among other tasks. We've used various flavours of iPods over the years, and I even bought my parents an iMac a couple years ago. Love the products, in the past I've also loved the company and it's support system. Then, out of the blue, came along my iphone 4 experience. It's not a good one. And as of this message, it is still not resolved. Mainly I'm sharing this because it's a method to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Putting pen to paper can be therapeutic and believe me, therapy is quickly becoming needed for this apple user. For the record, this is not an attack against apple, or any of their support team. Every Apple employee so far who has tried to support me in this episode has been nothing but courteous, attentive and polite. The problem is that so far, none of them have been able to resolve the small issue of me still NOT having the phone I bought and paid for almost two months ago. The story may in fact bore you dear reader, but for me, sharing my story is the road to recovery. I can only hope this road will soon end with some sort of rainbow at the end of it.
Here we go.
After waiting over a month trying to buy the iphone 4 from local retail stores, and after waiting in long lineups at different stores in both Ottawa and Toronto only to be told they didn't have any stock left, I finally decided to hold my breath and place an order directly from Apple. My order was placed on September 7th. Today's date is November 2nd and I still don't have a working phone in my hands.
I should note that one of the main deciding factors for me to go with the new phone 4 was because our Canadian phone carriers were offering a special, time limited offer on data rates ($30 for 6gigs of data, plus the regular voice/text charges). This offer expired a short time ago, but long after I initially order the phone, which I still don't have. This in itself is a big financial disappointment that will end up costing me an additional $360/year for the same service, but the story and disappointment doesn't end there.
On the web site Apple stated that iphones would ship within three weeks. After ordering, I received a message telling me it would be approximately four weeks until it would ship. Four weeks later, the phone arrived. With a scratch right across the front display. I called apple, they e-mailed me some return labels and asked me to ship the phone back for a replacement. I was told that I would not have to wait an additional four weeks for a replacement, rather it would be shipped within days. Finally, three weeks later a message appeared in my apple account, stating they had received my returned iphone4, and that a new phone would be shipped by November 4th. Hallelujah! It had taken another three weeks but still-- at least I was finally getting a new phone. It was a short lived celebration.
A couple days later, I received an e-mail message from Apple saying they had never received the phone back from me and so they were now cancelling the return. In the mean time, the mysterious "November 4th delivery confirmation message" disappeared from my apple account.
I then placed the first of a long list of phone calls to Apple. Just to be certain, I have both a signed receipt from the shipping company, plus the shipping company also has a record confirming the phone was returned by me and received by Apple. After explaining the situation to an Apple rep over the phone, I waited on hold for a long time, until the Apple rep tells me that his system is 'down' and so he couldn't help me. Please call back later. I call back later.
After re-explaining the whole situation to a new Apple rep and waiting on hold for a long time, I'm told "the system just went down, please call back later. Try again...maybe after two days". Two days, I ask? Yes, after 48 hours please. In slight disbelief, I call back a couple days later.
Two days later, after re-explaining the whole situation to a new Apple rep and waiting on hold for OVER 45 minutes (I time it this time), I'm told.. "the system is down, I can't help you." My patience is wearing thin at this point.
The rep tell me that she is now 'elevating' my call to Customer Relations. Remember, I've been on this particular phone call for over 45 minutes at this point. I'm happy to be elevated. She says she is going to transfer me, please hold the line. I hear a faint "click", and the line goes dead. Hello? We've been disconnected. I consider starting to smoke cigarettes again, it's only been 20 years since my last one.
Somewhat self-punishingly, I call Apple a few minutes later. After re-explaining the whole situation to yet a new apple rep (re-explanation number four) and waiting on hold for a long time, I'm told that the situation is important enough to be elevated to Customer Relations. I'm happy to be elevated yet again. Over 45 minutes into this phone call and I'm told that unfortunately he can't reach the "Customer Relations" manager and that it will take some time to resolve the situation. So, can I call back after a couple days to see what the status is? Maybe 48 hours? Instead I suggest that Apple calls me, to explain to me what the status is. The apple rep agrees and promises to call with an update.
Two days later and hearing nothing from apple, I call apple support and rexplain the whole situation. The apple rep tells that the situation is important enough to (say it with me now) elevate to Customer Relations. I'm eager to be elevated. The manager comes on the line and I re-explain the entire situation and suggest that I'm growing somewhat frustrated. He agrees it's a frustrating situation and offers his direct, long distance phone line and full name should we get cut off or if I need to reach him directly. This is appreciated. After going through all the necessary exchange of info, shipping/tracking numbers etc, I'm told that the situation will be looked into immediately and to expect to be contacted again soon. The situation being this: Apple somehow lost track of the phone after it was confirmed to be shipped back to them.
The following day I've still heard nothing so I call the manager around 8:00pm. I call him collect. He explains that nothing has been resolved as of yet, and because it's his day off tomorrow can I please call him back in two days. After expressing some frustration (me), he resolves to have another apple employee call me the following day with an update. This last phone call was just a few minutes ago.
I wait with bated breath.
Please, please please Apple... do the right thing and resolve this. It has now been almost two months since I first ordered the phone. You've had my money all this time, you've lost my phone, and now you're starting to lose my heart.
Today's therapy session has now concluded. To be continued.