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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Mac Store "Genius Bar"

Mac Store "Genius Bar"
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Apr 17, 2007, 10:58 AM
 
I'm the first person in my family to own a Mac, so there's really no one I can just take my Macbook to when I can't find a solution on the Internet. So I made an appointment at the "Genius Bar" of the Mac store at Keystone.

I've worked retail for many years, so I'm pretty understanding for the person on the opposite side of the counter. But I'm struggling to think of an occasion when I've ever been more thoroughly disappointed with the level of professional help I've been shown in a store.

My Macbook CD drive had been clicking in a disturbing way, and iTunes refuses to complete the importation of select songs on CDs. I'm getting tired of force-quitting iTunes just to eject a CD. After waiting 20 minutes to be called to the "Genius Bar," I explained these problems to the person assisting me.

He hemmed and hawed over it, tried importing a song a few times while he clumsily hit on a girl nearby, told me to try it again while he helped someone else. When he finally got back to me, he was on his way to doing something else and quickly asked if it worked. When I told him politely that it had not, he said, "Um, go to apple.com." Then he sped off again. I went to the URL and waited, thinking he had something specific to show me. Minutes passed. He came back. "Did you find anything to help you?"

I was singularly floored. I smiled. "I don't think the problem is going to be solved here." He said sorry he couldn't help. I nodded, smiled, walked out the door. What a waste of an hour and a half. Has anyone else had a better experience with help at a Mac store when not purchasing an item?
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Apr 17, 2007, 12:51 PM
 
Did you talk to the manager? That sort of behavior is something the manager of ANY store should be made aware of so he can correct it immediately.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
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Apr 17, 2007, 01:08 PM
 
Yeah, speak to the manager so they can hire a new "genius."

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Darien, IL
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Apr 17, 2007, 01:12 PM
 
I am lucky to find that the Apple Store nearest to me is great in customer service and getting the job done.
BlacBook | 2.0ghz core duo | 2x320gb | 2gb ram | mba superdrive
     
Clinically Insane
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Location: Los Angeles
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Apr 17, 2007, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by SLiMeX View Post
I am lucky to find that the Apple Store nearest to me is great in customer service and getting the job done.
Apple Store Pasadena is so packed you can't even get a regular appointment to see someone. Thankfully, Pasadena has Unitek and Di-No too.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Addicted to MacNN
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Apr 17, 2007, 02:33 PM
 
That's terrible to hear. Did you have a chance to get his name? I would be piss if it happens to me as well. Meanwhile, my 'Genius Bar' visits were pretty good and got my problems solved.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 17, 2007, 02:53 PM
 
I'm sorry to here about that and would definitely report that to the store, that is just unacceptable.
I was able to pay for my new macbook
just by trying out products from home.
The pay is great and it's free to join.
Sign up here.
     
Addicted to MacNN
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Apr 17, 2007, 03:02 PM
 
Yeah, you found a jerk. Talk to his boss, and I am sure that your issue will be addressed.
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 04:59 PM
 
It was probably just some kid out of high school, when that happens to me, about two times, I just say thanks and go to the older guy who knows what he is doing.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 17, 2007, 06:25 PM
 
yeah, my macbook (1 week old today) has been making disturbing noises when i insert media into the optical drive. it has been reading the media fine and not causing probs with iTunes, and it hasn't been scratching the media, but is this normal? should i take it in?
     
Clinically Insane
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Apr 17, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
"Disturbing" noises? No, I don't think that's normal. There's no reason not to be completely satisfied with a big ticket item you've just purchased.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Not Quite Phoenix
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Apr 18, 2007, 02:21 AM
 
I love my Macs, but have had brick & mortar Apple store experiences similar to the original poster.

I was charged with replacing my workplace's array of 4 monitors with one big monitor. After much hassle on my own part, I got the boss's blessing to consider 30" Cinema Displays. We're on Windows though and needed to make sure our video card would support the Cinema Display. The Government Sales Specialist at one of my area's two brick & mortars was ZERO help. Like the original poster, he just steered me to Apple.com and invited me to figure it out my damn self.

I'm now at work, staring at a giant Westinghouse monitor.

As I've said in some "How many people have you caused to switch" threads around here, I love my Macs. However, I no longer care if others do. Apple doesn't throw anything my way for helping to sell their stuff, so I don't. I use what works for me and welcome others to do the same.
Jalen's dad. Carrie's husband.  partisan. Bleu blanc et rouge.
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
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Apr 18, 2007, 03:28 AM
 
I had a bad experience with the Genius bar. My PowerBook G4 was behaving erratically with random programs quiting randomly; very unstable...very un-Apple. I took it in and described the issue. It was sent off and in a week I had it back. They said they checked it and couldn't find anything wrong. I took it home--same issue AND my lid was dented. I wasn't happy. So I went BACK in and explained that it was not fixed and it had a dent that wasn't there before.

The genius began to use words like "allegedly" in regards to the dent being their fault. In the end, the replaced the lid and figured out that some 3rd party RAM was bad. After replacing it, my PowerBook was as good as new. I did have to speak to the manager about the genius' customer service. It isn't a good idea to tacitly call the customer a liar.
Chris
2011 MacBook Air, iPhone 4s, iPad 2
     
Addicted to MacNN
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Apr 18, 2007, 12:30 PM
 
I had a horrendous "Genius Bar" experience at the only Apple Store in Indiana a few years ago.

I bought a 60GB iPod Photo. It had a bad hard drive right out of the box. I brought it in, explained to the guy that Windows XP was shitting itself whenever I plugged it in, and running a Scandisk on it failed due to the number of corrupt sectors on the drive.

He had the balls to tell me that I was having issues because I was using Windows. Here's the thing - I know that anyone working in an Apple store is on a whole different plane of Mac Fanboy-ness, but you cannot seriously tell me that the reason a hard drive catastrophically failed was because of the OS I was using. OS != hardware damage.

He was completely arrogant about it, too. I explained to him that I'm no stranger to computer hardware and all signs pointed to a bad drive. He plugged it into an iBook on display. iTunes started syncing up. He says, "I guess it really WAS because you were using Windows, huh? Neener neener neener!" (I added that last part, but you get the picture). iTunes failed with an unknown unrecoverable error, and he finally admitted the drive was bad.

(A) windows figured out right off the bat that the drive was bad, and (B) the so-called genius I worked with was an arrogant asshole. I haven't purchased anything from an Apple Store since. I'm much happier buying my Apple products from Fry's, where I can actually return them without getting snide remarks from the customer service people.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 18, 2007, 09:05 PM
 
You can't condemn a company because of one jagoff. You also can't do it because of one bad machine. That's kind of like saying you'll never buy a Ford because your Uncle had nothing but bad luck with his used F-150.

The original poster should have gotten a second opinion from another Genius THAT DAY in the store. There's NO way I'm spending an hour and a half trying to get a problem fixed and then walking out without some sort of satisfaction. The squeaky wheel gets the grease...so to speak.

I've been to the Genius Bar a total of 5 times for various problems. With the exception of the last time (bluetooth dissapears after 10.4.9 update), which the Genius couldn't replicate, they've handled everything very professionally. This is all in the last 18 months (I got one of the "bad" MacBooks), the first time was for my iPod.

All that being said...the SuperDrive in my MacBook has "issues" with some duplicate, or copied, discs. I'd suggest trying to rip "store-bought" CDs to iTunes and see if the problem persists. I've NEVER had a problem ripping an original CD on the MacBook. The first thing I do after I buy a CD is to make three copies of it. One for the 400 disc changer upstairs, one for the car, one for the basement stereo. A copy that might not import into iTunes will do it fine if I put the original in the machine. The "copy" also would click while in the drive and not always eject.

Hope that helps...
4 "Wintels", a MacBook, an iMac (G3 baby!), and a couple of iPods.
     
Dedicated MacNNer
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Apr 19, 2007, 03:32 AM
 
I am sad to admit that I to have had mixed experiences the genius bar. I've never had them be rude, in fact they were often very friendly, genuinely trying to help me. Rather I am pained by the wait and the lack of knowledge. Often I find that these people know about as much as me, assuming I read the mac support forms, which I usually do when I have a problem. I really wish apple care wasn't routed through the genius bar for service. When my CD drive is dead, it does take a genius to process the request for a replacement. It also shouldn't take 3 days for the new drive to be installed.

All my problems set aside, I am glad apple has a place one can walk up to for support. My family, who are not a computer savvy, have used it often when they can't get me to fix something. This is a much better experience for them then endless hours of over the phone only tech support like many other major computer makers provide. I also like how it is free to talk to them, unlike at other support businesses who charge for a "diagnostic".

All-in-all the genius bar is sub enterprise level support but better than most manufacture provided support.
17" MBP C2D 2.33/3 GB RAM/500 GB 7200 rpm/Glossy Display|-|
17" iMac CD|-|15" PB G4 1.25 GHz|-|iBook g4 1Ghz|-|Pismo
     
Mac Elite
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Apr 19, 2007, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by tinkered View Post
All-in-all the genius bar is sub enterprise level support but better than most manufacture provided support.
They are paid crap, that could have something to do with it. Certainly not even close to enterprise-level IT support salaries.
I do not like those green links and spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
     
Mac Elite
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Apr 19, 2007, 04:50 PM
 
What's the deal with people putting quotes around the term "genius" or "genius bar"? Regardless if you get good help/service there, it's what they're titled. Maybe I'll put quotes around anything I don't like. "President" George W. Bush, "Twinkies", etc. Nevermind, I have to go back to "work".

ImpulseResponse
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Location: Greenbelt MD, USA
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Apr 20, 2007, 10:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mr.Creosote View Post
You can't condemn a company because of one jagoff. You also can't do it because of one bad machine. That's kind of like saying you'll never buy a Ford because your Uncle had nothing but bad luck with his used F-150.
Well, actually I would condemn a company if the founder and longtime CEO were a union-buster and a vicious anti-semite, like Henry Ford.... and most of their products were of unacceptable build quality, like most Fords prior to the original Taurus.... but we're discussing Apple, whose CEO is merely personally abusive while pursuing extremes of excellence.

I actually pay for Pro Card service so I can schedule in advance, and am fortunate to have a choice of three Apple Stores within driving distance --- and yes, there are differences in Genius Bar q.o.s. among them. 80 - 90% of the Genius Bar business now is iPod-related, and unlike the other poster here, the majority of the ones with time-wasting issues (and major attitude problems, from the example I've seen) are Windows users, so it's understandable if still unforgivable if the younger and less tolerant GB types show a prejudice against Windows users. I've found the older Genius Bar folks to be unfailingly polite, even when the customer is painfully clueless; the GB folks really bend over backward to help them --- as one would expect from a service organization: they're the public face of Apple to that customer.

It's nice enough for us fanboys/girls and serious customers (I got Pro service because I have > 40 machines at work, and six at home) to be treated well by Genius Barristas, but that same quality of service should be experienced by the most (and least) clueless of Windows users. I'm happy to say that, arriving a few minutes early for a scheduled appointment, I witnessed that level of service for a total newbie, a lifelong Windows user who needed some Windows-only apps for her small business but had won a MacBook in a contest (yes, not even a paying customer!), and the GB guy carefully took her through everything she would need to use Office 2004, configure Parallels, and how much memory to add (and even agreed with a recommendation of a fellow GB expert not to buy Apple's expensive memory). I suspect that customer left with a very good impression of Apple. That was at the Annapolis, MD Apple Store, BTW.
( Last edited by gurman; Apr 20, 2007 at 10:10 AM. Reason: spelling, quotation)
     
Senior User
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Apr 20, 2007, 11:02 AM
 
I had a bad logic board on my MBP and have good service with the Genius here at the Albuquerque Apple store. What by gripe is I took my MBP with me while they ordered the new logic board. When the part came in they called so I could bring it in. They still had it for 5 days!

What was the point of having them order the part while I continue to use my MBP? I don't think it would be that hard for them to schedule repairs like they do with the bar's appointments. Come in at noon Friday and we'll have it done by 5pm. Something like that. I know you can schedule every repair that way but some you could.
     
Addicted to MacNN
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Apr 20, 2007, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mr.Creosote View Post
You can't condemn a company because of one jagoff. You also can't do it because of one bad machine. That's kind of like saying you'll never buy a Ford because your Uncle had nothing but bad luck with his used F-150.
I've just had bad experiences at the only Apple store in my entire state. I'm not interested in going back. I get better customer service (and a far better return policy) at a place like Fry's.

Originally Posted by tinkered View Post
All my problems set aside, I am glad apple has a place one can walk up to for support.
It is nice, but the fact that Apple sees it as a replacement for free phone support is BS. Like I already mentioned, Indiana has ONE Apple Store. Indiana also has four major universities that are NOT in Indianapolis - IU, Purdue, Indiana State, and Ball State.

Apple targets students as a big chunk of their sales. If I was a student with Mac and had to drive 40+ miles just to get free tech support for my expensive computer, I'd be pretty turned off to Apple.

I just wish they had better phone support. When I called about the dead drive in my iPod, the guy on the phone told me that it was my only free support call. At the time, that iPod was nearly $500! You're telling me that my $500 purchase doesn't warrant more than one free tech support call when the thing is still in warranty? That seems a little customer-unfriendly to me...
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 20, 2007, 11:54 AM
 
You don't actually need to buy ProCare to make reservations, though. You can make reservations on the same day without it (find the store at apple.com/retail), but ProCare allows you to make reservations up to fourteen days in advance and supposedly get priority service once you're actually in the store. Of course, like a restaurant reservation, with a basic genius bar reservation you don't actually get "seated" right at your reservation time, but it's better than signing up at the store and waiting a couple of hours to be served (which happens sometimes at the insanely busy Apple Grove store in L.A.).

As for service, I've always found the geniuses to be helpful and, even better, actually interested in helping. However, I have to admit that there's certainly a smugness about the geniuses with whom I've dealt. Really, with most employees at the Apple Store. They can be disturbingly similar to that old Saturday Night Live sketch where Jimmy Fallon played Nick Burns: Your Company's Computer Guy. I'm prepared for that attitude when I go in, but I cringe when I hear friends talk about their trips to the Apple store and how the geniuses can be condescending.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 20, 2007, 01:09 PM
 
I've done 4 trips to various Genius Bars around L.A. in the last 2 weeks & noticed something interesting: The Geniuses, male or female, spend a LOT of time hitting on attractive customers of the opposite sex. Not overt, but they're spending inordinate amounts of time helping attractive customers with simple issues that should require very little time. One example is a female "genius" doing a bunch of system software upgrades for a customer and watching over it the whole time, just staring at the screen with a little cutesy small talk thrown in. When the guy left to take a phone call, she disappeared into the back room till he came back, then resumed babysitting the update. See worse with male geniuses & female customers. They were 20 minutes late getting to me, partially because of this. Seen it at 3 different stores.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Location: Islandia, NY
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Apr 20, 2007, 01:33 PM
 
I understand that TOP pay for a Genius Bar employee is $25,000. For a full time job, an independant consultant with similar expertise should expect to earn twice that if not three times that. Still no excuse for surly service, but their training is limited. As for service itself, a ProCare card is a good investment in priority service and one-on-one training sessions. It may take 5 days to have a Mac serviced without ProCare, but once the back room staff get to your Mac, they have replacement parts overnighted to the stores and they do try, but can be rather busy. Of the little experience I've had with the local Apple Stores on Long Island, NY, I'm satisfied with the help I can attest to personally and from what I've heard from others in my Mac Users Group. I guess it can't be great in every store in the world. At least Apple is trying. Where can you bring your problems with a Dell laptop? Not the pathetic kioks they have in some malls. The non genius bar staff have also been very cooperative with our user group and have pitched in when we needed a presenter. We have small secondary meetings in the mini-stores we have locally despite a lack of the theater seen in the flagship size stores. Overall I can't complain, locally of course. Good luck to everyone else. I'd have to assume bad service will result in firings and a new staffer before long.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 20, 2007, 01:57 PM
 
Apple retail sucks.
     
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Apr 20, 2007, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibugv4 View Post
Apple retail sucks.
Does that imply that the Apple online experience does not, otherwise your post might have been even shorter "Apple sucks" I've had problems dealing with their online store, but I don't want it to go away, nor do I think the retail stores should go away. Has anybody here had a good experience dealing with Dell's tech support, such as it is over the phone and not in person?
     
Dedicated MacNNer
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Apr 20, 2007, 02:52 PM
 
...
( Last edited by dowNNshift; Apr 20, 2007 at 06:32 PM. )
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
 
I have to fly to my nearest Apple Store, cause it's on another Island. So it's always a big deal when we can go in. I have to say that the four times I've been in, every time I've been impressed. Sure, the waits are long, but we schedule a time and then go hit the mall. The Geniuses are pretty knowledgeable - they're not high level tech support, but they've been able to help me out each time.

The last time we went in I handed them an iPod with an issue I could not reproduce on demand. The Genius handed me back a NEW iPod, telling me since he couldn't reproduce the problem, he couldn't fix it, and he didn't want me to be frustrated with Apple products.

And I've never seen them hitting on their customers. I kinda wish my Genius had hit on me... <grin>
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Apr 21, 2007, 02:31 AM
 
I have had relatively positive experiences at the genius bars in and around Seattle. When they are busy it is only logical for service to wane but overall they seem to be doing a pretty good job. Botom line is that retail is retail and unless a company is willing to dish out some serious coin then the service levels are going to run the full spectrum from good to bad.
Unless you are a Mac expert which I am not it is my suggestion that you fork over $100/yr for Pro-Care which gives you one on one personal care and instruction. Worth it? It is up to you but it has been well worth my money. Good Luck!
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 21, 2007, 05:15 AM
 
Apple's training program for geniuses consists primarily of learning how to navigate their labyrinthine shipment tracking software and knowledgebase (most of which is available to the public). In addition to this, most hiring decisions are made by inept college kids who are more concerned with who will look the coolest than who actually knows what they're doing. I've met with about eight Apple Store Business Managers in California to date and all but one of them has been some pimply doofus who knew significantly less about Apple products than the average customer in the store. The only store I've found to be any different is the one in Palo Alto, and that's mainly because Uncle Steve himself drops in every once in a while.

Be thankful you didn't have to wait five hours for your non-answer. That's pretty much the norm around these parts.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 21, 2007, 07:29 PM
 
I've owned a variety of Macs over the past several Years (Powerbook (Lombard), G3 beige, G3 b&w, 12" and later 14" iBook, MacBook, Mini, on and on) and I've only needed to use the Genius Bar once.

My 14" iBook had a loose battery latch right out of the box, which would cause the battery to pop out occasionally when I was in the middle of working on something. I finally scheduled an appt w/ the Genius Bar. Arrived about 10 minutes early, and was called about 5 minutes late. The genius acknowledged the loose latch and ordered a whole new bottom panel, saying they would call when it arrived and I could keep my iBook until then.

When the part arrived, they scheduled another appointment for me. This time they called me on-time. They took my iBook into the back room and installed the cover in about 15 minutes.

I'm very satisfied with the turnaround and service!
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Feb 2003
Status: Offline
Apr 21, 2007, 08:17 PM
 
I bought my Core Duo macbook last year a week after it came out and when i got home and opened up first thing that happens is the 'A' key ends up in my hands, and also the arrow keys were sticking. So i took it back to the store the next day, not 12 hours had passed since i bought the machine and the genius told me that i had to make an appointment but they were already full for the day. How is it possible that i buy a machine 12 hours earlier and bring it in because of an obvious defect but they will not help me right there and then. So i go home and log into apple.com at midnight to get an appointment for the next day. When i went in the next day for my appointment the genius that helped me was nice enough to just give me a whole new macbook. That was trip #1

Trip 2:
A couple of weeks after having my mabook I start to notice the orange burning discoloration that plagued the first gen macbook so I take it in and they sent it off to service for a new replacement shell. I got my machine back in 2 days with no issues.

Trip 3:
About a week later from getting my macbook back an apple SMC update popped up so I ran it and next thing crazy colored lines appear on the screen and machine does not book up. The firmware update killed the machine. So i make another appointment and take it to the apple store but had to run to the mall during a break from class and got there about 5 minutes into my alloted 20 minute appointment block. I talked to this very rude female genius who did not want to help me because I was late and if she helped me it would go over past the next appointment which wasnt fair to the customer waiting. Granted I still had 15 minutes left in my time block. So i told her that whatever is wrong with it she could figure out in about 10 seconds just from booting the machine up and that it had to be sent to the service center. She argued a little bit with me about it but finally decided to help me. So she boots up the machine and crazy colored lines appear and nothing else happens. She just says "I have to send it off". Total time from when she agrees to help me to time it takes her to say she has to send it is about 30 seconds. Yet she spent 5 minutes arguing with me on my she couldnt help me because it wasnt fair to the other customer. I got my macbook back in about 10 days and they replaced everything. Only thing that was the same was HDD and ram as I had 2gigs in it. Had the machine for almost a year now and it has been running flawless after that. I even upgraded the HDD myself to a 120gig one.

So the moral of the story is that apple service itself is superb based on their return times but as far as the genius that helps you its hit or miss. I guess it all depends on their current mood. Ohh and another moral is that for the most part if a computer is going to break on you, its going to happen within the first 30 days of ownership. Although my wife's screen latch on her also one year old macbook pro has now broke and lid doesnt shut all the way but i guess thats more of a wear and tear thing even though I have never liked the latch mechanism apple uses on the powerbook/macbook pro models. Much prefer the magnetic seal on the macbooks.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Illinois, USA
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Apr 21, 2007, 09:15 PM
 
My iBook G4 had a keyboard problem...a very minor one. For some inexplicable reason the lettering comes off on some of the keys. First the 's'-key, then the 'h', then the 'q' is showing the same symptoms. The paint just comes off. I never learned to type so I need the lettering for my 'hunt & peck'-method.
I took it to the next Apple store (Galleria, St Louis, MO), asked the 'genius' behind the counter. He checked the iBook serial number, took it and came back within five minutes. All damaged keys had been replaced...
Nice store, nice people, nice service!
     
Forum Regular
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Apr 22, 2007, 01:16 AM
 
I would snuff him then leave the store.
     
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Apr 22, 2007, 01:56 AM
 
I've been to the Genius Bar twice:

Once because the line out on my old iPod dock was broken; they replaced it on the spot, which I thought was great since docks cost, like, $30.

The second time was because my 5.5G iPod's hold switch was going erratic (it'd be on hold, but it wouldn't act like it was on hold, despite dozens of restore attempts). The guy at the genius bar and I didn't seem to be communicating on the same wavelengths, but he replaced it anyway, so all is good.

But I've had worse service at Frys. No, that Mac Pro does NOT use a G4. Idiots. And no, AA batteries will NOT fit in my ELPH. GAH.
MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.16 (Black)
iPod classic 160GB
iPhone 8GB
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Apr 22, 2007, 02:23 PM
 
I went to Charlotte with sound (external speakers not working) and DVD write problems. The kid "genius" with his hat turned sideways starts the machine and declares the motherboard needs to be replaced because the red light is on in the headphone/optical port. I explain I live in New England and will deal with it there. He proceeded to restart the computer (not sure why) and then pulled the plug midstream (this is a genius). I got rid of him and asked another genius that looked a bit like Adrien Brody, about a keychain issue with my laptop. He got me started, and then an older fellow (clearly knew of OS 9, and probably as far back as OS 6) solved the problem, even though what I was asking was something he hadn't dealt with before.

I get home and call Apple Care 1-800-APLCARE, and ask about the on-site service that comes with an the extended warranty. The young and too-fast talking lady tells me to call a store to find out if they offer on-site service and if I am with-in their on-site range. I ask if there is a list of stores that I can call locally that do offer on-site care and she says no, she doesn't have access to such a list and I need to call a store to find out.

I call my local Apple store, press two for tech support and get Apple Care again. I explain again what happened and what I was told to do and how I ended up back at Apple Care. The previous young lady didn't bother to write up a case log. This time a more mature lady listens to the problems, finds three stores within 20 miles, and then transfers me to the on-site support group.

This tech guy has the job of troubleshooting over the phone with the hopes of saving the cost of an on-site visit. He is much more savvy and runs me through an SMU reset. After plugging and unplugging headphones, the light went out, but it came on again later and only one of the output options show up in the Sound pref pane (either Internal Speakers or Digital Out, but not both). Next the standard archive and install was requested (it has never solved a problem which I've called Apple Care about in the past) so I'll oblige once I get a chance. I get a case number for follow-up.

Bottom line:
1) The hat skewed "Genius" did more harm than good. Try to hook up with a more mature Genius.
2) If you have Apple Care, call for the on-site support group (only good for desktops and with-in reasonable range of an Apple authorized repair facility) as a) you'll get better help (once you get through to them) and if repairs need to be made, they'll do it on-the-spot. They don't want to come back twice, so they'll bring all the parts.

Apple should consider scheduled repairs in the stores, and not make you wait 2-4 or more days to replace a part that would take them just a short while to repair. If they used telephone support to assess a problem, including running some testing routines, they could save a great deal of trouble for their users and themselves.

Consider Pro-Care if you need priority access to the Genius Bar.

Overall I understand Apple's support is much better than anyone else's, and that is good, but there is clearly some issues with some at their "Genius Bar" and some of their phone support staff.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
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May 13, 2007, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by GSixZero View Post
What's the deal with people putting quotes around the term "genius" or "genius bar"? Regardless if you get good help/service there, it's what they're titled. Maybe I'll put quotes around anything I don't like. "President" George W. Bush, "Twinkies", etc. Nevermind, I have to go back to "work".
Sorry, GSixZero. I'm an editor and can go a little overboard with punctuation at times. But for heaven's sake, be nice about it. Thanks to everyone's comments on here! This forum is so helpful...
     
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Islandia, NY
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May 14, 2007, 09:57 AM
 
... relates to the authors use of sarcasm about the title "Genius" in that their expectations of their dress and behavior and breadth of knowledge were not met by the staffers of that department. Real Mac geniuses tend not to work at the Apple stores and are freelance consultants.

By the way, my Mac expertise goes back even beyond System 6 (before it was called Mac OS) The Genius bar people are given training that only goes back to the iMac days and some people only started using Macs after the iPod came out. Their "expertise" <to use the sarcasm> only goes to the stuff being sold there, so don't expect encyclopedic knowledge about everything that can be hooked up or installed on a Mac. I used to test their knowledge of arcane problems, they did not know the answer and become bored. Nevertheless, I do enjoy talking to someone a tad closer in technical expertise than most of my clients and Mac user group friends.
     
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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May 14, 2007, 06:05 PM
 
I posted this in the MBP forum, but I have a Charlotte experience to share, too, DancingBrook.

I finally bit the bullet today and bought the 15.4" 2.33GHz C2D 2GB MacBook Pro.

Two things... one, I got tired of waiting... I'd been waiting a month already. Two, my CD 1.83GHz MacBook is promised to my mom, and what better present on Mother's Day than a MacBook?

I drove down to the Apple Store in Charlotte, and here's where the good part starts. I also bought an Incase sleeve, Firewire cable for data transfer, Apple Care, and Toast Titanium 8. I had to split this over three cards, but by mistake they did the third split as cash. After refunding both cards they'd charged, they had to restart the transaction, and the refund hadn't gone through, so the main card was declined. I had to call my card company from the store and get it sorted, which took about half an hour. To compensate me, the manager discounted the amount I had charged to the second card so we wouldn't have to call them, too, and I came out of the deal with a $700 discount!



Looks like I can afford to go pick up the new 802.11n Airport Extreme router to replace my 802.11g Airport Extreme... plus maybe get an Apple TV, or a 1TB FireWire 800 drive... I'll have to think about this one. Any ideas?
Rogue
-------

MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/2GB DDR2 RAM & Logitech BT MX1000.
"I can feel your anger... it gives you focus, makes you stronger!" -- Emperor Palpatine, Revenge of the Sith
     
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Sep 9, 2007, 04:39 AM
 
The APPLE STORES are the greatest outlets ever. I'm always lured into the store by the greatest displays. However, all that exciting experience is washed away by the sales people working in the stores. Does anybody at Apple care about training those people? What about replacing them with robots? The robots would be much warmer, friendlier and less sarcastic than the salespeople. Robots would not make sarcastic comments or faces to other robots about their customers. I begged my friends to stop me if I ever mention about going into an Apple Store again. I was doing really well for the last 12 months with my promise of not stepping in any of the Apple stores, until the new iPod Touch was released. Because I still wanted to honor my promise, I decided to call the store to see if they had the product in stock, so I would ask a friend to pick up the product for me.
Here's the phone conversation that I had with one of the sales person at The Apple Store Eaton Centre, Toronto, Canada on Sept 07, 2007 around 5:00 PM.
Salesperson: "ApStoEaCenterrrrr!!!" I was greeted by a not so friendly Mac Genius, and I guess she couldn't say "Apple Store Eaton Centre" after handling so many calls, so she combined the first syllables of each word into one word to express her frustration - "ApStoEaCenterrrr!"

FIRST TRYMe: "Do you..." . Even before I finished my question, she interrupted me by shouting "NOOOOO!".
Me: "Do you..." and she shouted "NOOOOOO!" once again.
Me: "May I..." and she shouted "NOOOO!" again. So I decided to play her game of interruptions, regardless of my mom's advice when I was kid ("Do not talk when other people are talking!!!").
Me: "May I finish my question before you say 'NO'?" I shouted back.
Salesperson: "I know what you are going to ask, and the answer is NO". After that answer, of course I would not ask if the iPod Touch was available in stock, so I thought about asking for the availability of another product such as the iMac, Apple TV, etc, which I know it's in the stores already. However, before I had the chance to start the question, she hang up on me.

SECOND TRY
I was in a good mood that day, so I didn't let that drive me insane. I assumed she had a bad day, but I still wanted to know when the iPod Touch was going to be available in the stores. So I decided to call again... I waited 5 minutes, hoping she would go to the washroom change her "iPad" (see YouTube - MadTV - iPad (iPod Parody) correct aspect), then I called again.
Salesperson: "ApStoEaCenterrrrr!!!" It's very encouraging to hear gibberish that sounds like the real name of the store. I was expecting another pleasurable conversation with the Mac Genius Girl.
Me: "Do you...". and she interrupts again.
Salesperson: "Didn't I say 'NO' before?". The first picture that came to my mind was of a chubby dominatrix with the Apple logo on her chest and a whip on the other hand. She was ready for total domination and humiliation. That may turn-on a lot of people, but I must admit that I'm pretty vanilla, so I replied...
Me: "I'm so sorry to disturb you..." and before I finished my apologetic statement, she hang up on me again. I had a great day and I wouldn't let that spoil my day, so I called it a day.

THIRD TRY
It's Saturday morning on beautiful sunny Toronto. I had to go shopping at Sherway Gardens Mall where there's another Apple store (hopefully with polite Mac Geniuses), and it happens that one of the Mac Geniuses was just coming out of the store, so I approached him with a quick question. I could see the "look of death" in his eyes. How dare I stop him during his break, but he couldn't ran away.
Me: "Do you have the iPod Touch in stock?"
Salesperson: "No". And his body language tells me that he is ready to go for his break.
Me: "Any ideas when it will be available in the stores?"
Salesperson: "At Christmas". How could Apple release a product in the beginning of September, and not be available in the stores until Christmas? The fulfillment process must be really screwed up. I felt like saying that Apple would be out of business by Christmas if they don't do anything about their customer service, but he couldn't care less.
Me: "Do you know if iPod Touch is available in the stores in the USA?" I was willing to drive to Buffalo-NY and get one.
Salesperson: "I don't work in the USA... d'oh. I don't know. " and he walked away before I asked any more questions.

Oh well... I guess Apple can get away with such bad Sales staff. I still think Apple creates great products, but the bad experiences that I had with Customer Service makes me think about going back to the PC World again. I'm already prepared to hear "I told you so" from my friends.

I know it's hard to believe, but you can check the APPLE Customer Service for yourself. Call the Apple Store Eaton Centre, in Toronto Canada, and ask anything about the iPod Touch. You can reach them at (647) 258-0801. I hope you get the Apple Dominatrix.

What happened to the polite Canadians? Where is Apple recruiting those people from? What about sending them for Customer Service training?

Has anybody else had a bad customer service experience like me? I'm posting this message in a few newsgroups and it would be nice to hear your experiences. Have you converted back from Mac to PC? If so, is there any counseling or support group out there? Would the PC world accept me back? Pleeease!
     
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2006
Status: Offline
Sep 9, 2007, 05:24 AM
 
I've actually never had any bad genius bar experiences (I go to the Santa Clara Apple Store, mere minutes away from the Mothership, maybe that's why). But I've seen a couple of not so genius Geniuses.

Me: "My iPod's hold switch is broken. It's not "holding" when it should be."
Genius: "Let me see. (iPod is already on "hold" mode, he presses a button and it turns on) It turns on just fine."
Me: "It's not supposed to, "hold" is activated."
Genius: (looks at hold switch) "Oh. So do you want it replaced?"
Me: (in my mind: No effing ****, Sherlock, why else would I drive for half an hour and endure the worst access roads for any mall in Silicon Valley and face what is literally a shortage of parking spaces to complain about a faulty hold switch? Just for fun?!? NO.)
Not really the brightest of the bunch, I'd say.

On a separate occasion (I posted this one a while back in the lounge):
Getting my MacBook's keyboard replaced (squishy non-tactile "S" key on a week-old MacBook is unacceptable!).
Next to me is some guy with problems with his 24" iMac.
What is the problem?
A DVD got stuck, so he stuck in a piece of cardboard to try to fish out the DVD.
And then the "Genius" asks the guy if his iMac has a SuperDrive.
.... You'd think the people working in an Apple Store would be more knowledgeable about what they sell (or diagnose/fix).

That said, I do prefer the Genius Bar system over the "ship it back and forth until you have no effing clue what's going on anymore". Or "Let's Play Phone Tag!!!" The Genius Bar is my main reason for buying a Mac (not really, but it's in the top 5).
MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.16 (Black)
iPod classic 160GB
iPhone 8GB
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Sep 9, 2007, 12:52 PM
 
My only issues with a Genius Bar have been getting a flipping appointment in the first place. Other than that, they've been more than helpful at the only store here in San Antonio. I've gotten an iPod fixed and then replaced because it didn't stay fixed, I've gotten help setting up and managing AppleCare for both iPods and computers, and I've even gotten some decent, truly technical help there.

Having been in the same sort of business, and having been a manager for that sort of business too, I have yet to see any real problems with this model. Of course I've only had experience with this one store... Hopefully I won't run into the less than stellar kinds of things like the telephone idiocy YYZBear mentions or the "duh" factor butterflyofdoom posted. But I'm not the kind of person who puts up with that sort of thing without at least a store manager getting as involved as I want him/her to be, so that's another issue.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Oct 2, 2007, 03:35 PM
 
I was just thinking, I've seen a few specific complaints about the Apple Store in Indiana. Maybe I should have taken that job as a Genius... Except for the fact that they weren't willing to pay me fairly for my skills, I may have. They would've been falling all over themselves when they saw what I knew, and was capable of. My buddy and I go in there sometimes and just make the line shorter for ourselves by just aimlessly asking people what their problems are and helping them, then they leave, satisfied. It's fun... for us.
     
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Oct 2, 2007, 04:40 PM
 
every time i've been to an apple store and spoken with somebody who was working there or a "genius," they have been arrogant and assuming. this really surprises me considering it's apple and all, but then i come back to earth and realize they're just working retail and really, if they could, don't you think they'd be working at a higher paid job? what can you expect from a retail person.. and i don't mean all retail people are like this, for most it's just a stepping-stone kind of job, but for those who work in it their whole life.. well..

Originally Posted by yehasher View Post
Except for the fact that they weren't willing to pay me fairly for my skills, I may have. They would've been falling all over themselves when they saw what I knew, and was capable of.
exactly! a person as skilled as you isn't going to work in that kind of job
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pensacola, FL
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Oct 2, 2007, 04:54 PM
 
People become a Mac Genius to get the training. Then they go work somewhere else. Mac Geniuses have a high turnover rate.

Personally if it wouldn't void the warranty I'd replace everything myself when I had a problem. Oh and if you ever ship stuff away to get it repaired take a picture before you do and have a timestamp on it.

Have someone watch you take it etc etc. If apple effs it up well you have evidence of what it looked like before you sent it away and then they have to fix it.
Bla Bla Bla
     
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Oct 2, 2007, 05:08 PM
 
i had some problems with the os istalled on my old tibook. took it in, the guy installed, didn't include any fonts or print drivers. had to go in the next day and talk to a very rude genius guy, and he said that i would have to send it into apple for them to do a full install of the os since they only have 15 minutes per "service call" and it takes 45 mins for a full install. 'that doesn't make any sense since you can just do it in the store" we only have one drive per genius and if you're install is hogging up a drive, and another genius needs one for something it'll be your fault that his customer won't be helped."

i didn't have the install disks since they were here in boston and i was at home in cali for summer break.

on a positive note, next time i went into the store i asked to see the genius that was rude to me to update him that everything was working now and they said he had gotten fired for poor customer support.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Oct 3, 2007, 07:58 PM
 
Fortunately, I've always had excellent experiences with the Geniuses. I have been there three times: once for a bad iBook LCD, once for a completely dead iPod, and most recently for the stains on the wristpads of my Core Duo MacBook. All three times, the Genius was polite, friendly, and quick to help. Here's hoping I have luck this weekend with my fourth visit (my brand new iPod Classic is competely dead).

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:58 AM
 
Hello everyone,

I just finished reading all of these posts and everyones problems and positive issues and experiences they had at the genius bar.

I would just like to say a few things here real quick...

first off, for those of you who got customer services from some real *********s... that sucks, and i'm really sorry. bottom line will always be that in the "Retail" environment, your always going to get some bad tomatoes, no matter WHAT company it is, it's just almost literally IMPOSSIBLE to filter out *********s in this world, at that that payscale of a GB Genius, i'm guessing you will just get a higher # of them.

Another thing, I notice that alot of poeple are putting "" quotes around the word "genius" and I can already sense the sarcasim in that, obvsiously the poeple who helped you were stupid and not geniuses, so this is why you do that. but to give some people a little slack, this is retail and some of these poeple might be actually there to improve upon themselves or learn the mac platform a little better. Also from a training standpoint i can understand why a lot of the younger ones are not trained back beyond a certain point, apple usually tends to push forward with technology and leave behind legacy things in the past, Why train the GB's with OS 6? =)

Now, main reason why i am making this post, It seems like alot of poeple are assuming alot of things, and as where a lot of your assumptions are probably 90% correct, do not please do not pre judge most poeple. It seems like everyone is already pre judghing a genius bar tech just because there name is "genius" , so we already go into this with a "oh god, here we go" attitude.

I want to say a little about myself for a moment. I work in DC and make over 90k a year with a day time engineer position. I am heavily involved in IT, and i'm just a huge geek. I also just loves MAC's and IPods, and iphones and all things apple to death.

Now Ive been bored lately and on the weekends, and was thinking about applying for the genius bar just to have something to do on the weekends and thought it would be fun, because everytime i go into an apple store, you can't pull me out of one! lol. I just love being there, so why not just go in, fix some computers help out customers and have a great time on the weekends?

Its obvious im not going to do it for the money, i've already got a huge paying job I just want to go in for fun.

Now with all that said, I would Hope that no customer will be coming in with an attitude towards me that i am underpaid, and arrogant. or that im not a good enough "genius" to help you.

I'm definatly not a "genius" but i do have excellent customer service and i love helping poeple. So with all this said, I just wanted to throw a bone out there and say, give some of the guys a little slack they are all not *********s. I never ever have an attitude that i know more then another person or i'm better then them.

I'm sure theres still some poeple out there like this.
     
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Jun 13, 2008, 08:49 PM
 
Zombie thread.
     
   
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