Since some people seem to think I’m simply complaining about not getting my phone replaced, some clarification: I am angry simply because I was treated so poorly by the employees at this particular Apple Store. I asked for a replacement, yes. Because if you don’t ask, you have a 100% chance of getting “no” as an answer. I only asked once with each person I spoke with. I DID ask why I wasn’t being offered one when others were. I was not rude to any of the employees. I asked questions to clarify what I was being told and WAS NOT GIVEN ANY ANSWERS.
My issue is plain and simple: Customers should NOT be treated like I was at the Mall of Georgia Apple Store.
A chain of events has occurred which I wish I could completely erase from my memory. I just got home from the tail end of it and I’ve got a headache and feel nauseated from the stress. Tears have been shed and angry words have been spoken.
All because of my iPhone.
It all started yesterday afternoon. I came upstairs and plugged my iPhone in to charge and set it on my nightstand. I went and took a shower. I had somewhere to be at 6pm. I wanted my phone charged before I left so I could keep in touch with SuperDad, who would be staying home with our three girls. He kept the girls downstairs with him so I could bathe uninterrupted. Not a common thing around here these days.
I got out of the shower and came into our office, which is right off the bedroom. I sat down at the computer and pulled up Facebook. A friend from high school had posted a funny picture of her daughter and I commented on it. So did a bunch of other people. I could hear my iPhone vibrating from the notifications from all the new comments. Since I was at the computer, I was reading them from my browser. After a few minutes and many new comments on that photo, I heard a slight thunk in the bedroom. I got up and walked in to find my iPhone on the floor. I went to go pick it up and that’s when my stomach dropped. The screen was shattered. Not just cracked. The glass looked like I had decorated it for Halloween with a massive spiderweb. There were tiny chunks of glass missing and I even got a shard in my hand just by picking it up. There were slivers of glass on the laminate floor of our bedroom.
I screamed. Loudly. SuperDad thought I’d seen a huge rat or something. I was sick to my stomach. How could this have happened? I took the phone downstairs to show him. I took HIS iPhone and took a picture, which didn’t even begin to capture the true damage to the screen. I posted the picture to my Facebook. I got a bunch of comments and messages from people who were trying to help me figure out what options I had. I heard from three different people who had something similar happen and they all told me to make an appointment at the Apple Store and take it in. They had had their phones replaced at no cost when they accidentally dropped theirs. One of those people dropped theirs off a 7th floor balcony. Seeing as how I wasn’t even touching the phone when it happened and it was a function of the phone itself that caused it to fall, I thought it would be covered by the warranty.
We made a 3:40pm appointment at the Apple Store at the Mall of Georgia. We got up the next day and chaperoned a field trip for CityGirl’s class. After school, we took an hour drive to the Apple Store and even got there a little early. I checked in and waited. And waited. I was told they were running a little behind. I finally got called up to the Genius Bar, where a guy whom I believe was named Chad, shook my hand and then immediately started looking at his computer screen. I explained what happened with my phone when I checked in and they put notes in the system. Chad didn’t even look at my phone when I sat down. He just looked at his screen and said, “Oh, good news, I can offer you a reduced price on a replacement, it will only be $149.” I looked at him and said, “I’m sorry, you haven’t even looked at the phone. I wasn’t touching it when it fell. I wasn’t even in the same ROOM with it when it fell. It vibrated off my nightstand. As far as I’m concerned, that’s normal usage, which should be covered under the warranty.” That is when he finally looked at my phone. LOOKED AT IT, mind you, he never touched it. “I can tell from looking at it that there are multiple points of impact.” I said, “Well, unless it hit the floor a couple times after it fell, maybe. But I wouldn’t know since I wasn’t in there.”
That’s when he looked at me and said, “That does not look like damage caused from falling off a nightstand.” I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Are you calling me a liar? I’m not trying to pull a fast one here. I have spoken with THREE people who have had their screens cracked by their OWN NEGLIGENCE and they had them replaced. I set my phone on a flat surface and the vibrate feature in your product caused it to shimmy off my nightstand. There has got to be another answer.” He then started the broken record treatment, “The best I can do is $149. The best I can do is $149. The best I can do is $149.” At this point, SuperDad was at the front of the store with the girls. I couldn’t text him, obviously, as my phone was sitting on the counter and a simple swipe of the screen would get me splinters of glass in my fingers. Chad then said, “So, are we going ahead with the replacement? Let me get that started.” I said, “No, we are not. I am not paying $149 to replace a phone for which I paid $75.” This is when he lost me completely. He laughed and then scoffed, “The iPhone 4 has never been that price.” I said, “Again, you are calling me a liar?” I got up, took my phone and walked out. I was livid.
(Point of fact: I upgraded to the iPhone 4 in December of 2010. Radio Shack was offering a trade in of $75 for an iPhone 3G with a $50 instant rebate, bringing the price down to $75. So yes, I did pay $75 for my iPhone 4. It was my Christmas present from SuperDad. I had to be put on a wait list for it and got it on December 31st.)
At the front of the store, I asked to speak to someone else as I was very unhappy with the treatment I received from Chad. The young lady asked me if I had an appointment. I said yes and she said, “Did you miss your appointment time?” I told her I had not, I was there early and they were running behind and I had already spoken with the Genius. A guy in a black shirt was called over and I explained the situation and the treatment I received. He just said, “Well that’s not covered by the warranty.” I said I understood that, but knowing that people have received replacements for instances that were their fault, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t being offered any kind of assistance and was being treated so rudely. He said, “We’re not saying this is your fault.” So I asked, “Who’s fault is it then?” He repeated, “We’re not saying this is your fault.”
I despise the broken record treatment. DESPISE IT. I looked over at SuperDad and said, “Let’s go, this is ridiculous. I don’t want to sit here and continue to be treated like this.” We walked away from the store and I sat on a bench and called Apple. After a 15 minute hold, the representative on the phone asked me how I was doing and I said, “Well, not good after just spending the past hour in one of your stores.” He said he was sorry to hear that and asked me to explain what was going on. I told him and he said he was sorry for the rudeness and repeated that the damage isn’t covered by the warranty. When I mentioned the people I know who have had a free replacement, he said, AND I QUOTE “Well, maybe you just got someone who was having a bad day.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked him, “So, basically what you just said is that because one of your employees is having a bad day, it’s ok to treat me with disrespect?” He said no, but maybe that’s why I wasn’t getting more help and maybe I could try to come back another day. Seriously. So if I had come in and Chad had seen a double rainbow on the way to work that day, I might have gotten my phone replaced? What kind of customer service is that?!
SuperDad had gone to talk to AT&T (our carrier) while I was waiting to see Chad and they told him I was eligible for a discounted upgrade to a iPhone 4s. After discussing it, we decided to go ahead and do that. So I went BACK into the Apple Store and told them I wanted to upgrade. I waited again for someone to help me. The young man who helped me asked me how I was doing and I showed him my phone and said, “Not very good.” He laughed and said, “Oh that sucks.” I cut my eyes at him and said, “I’m really not in the mood for jokes, I am not happy about spending this money.” He put in the request for the phone and then said someone would bring it out to us. He continued to make lighthearted comments about my broken phone and said, “Guess you’ll be more careful with this one, huh?” Again, I said I wasn’t in the mood for jokes. It was at this point that he told me that Apple Care made some changes recently and NOW it covers accidental damage. About 10 minutes later, another employee came up and that’s when I was told they were out of the 16GB 4S in both black and white. Would I want to go ahead and upgrade to the 32GB for $100 more? Uh, no. He laughed AGAIN and said, “This day keeps getting worse for you, huh?” At this point, I started to cry. He kept poking fun at all the misfortune I was experiencing and I had enough. He AGAIN laughed and said, “Well you can always reserve one online, but you have to do it at 9pm or else they’ll all be gone.” I was in shock at this point. I just walked out.
I was called a liar twice and laughed at on multiple occasions. I just can’t understand how so many people told me how great Apple customer service is and this is the treatment I received. I was willing to pay money to upgrade and then felt ridiculed while trying to do that! Ridiculous and completely unacceptable.