So this afternoon I was working away on my 15″ MacBook Pro, purchased in April 2006. This computer has been averaging about five to six hours of operation daily with higher uptime on weekends every day since it was purchased. I would surmise total uptime would be about 6,800 to maybe 7,000 hours. Anyway, in the middle of designing a Keynote (Apple iWork presentation software) presentation, the computer freezes. ACK!
I try rebooting the system but all I get is a blinking folder with a question mark in the middle of the screen. Mac users know this is not a good sign, but it may still be rectified by inserting the Install disk and using Disk Utility to try and rebuild the header file for the HDD. Unless the hard drive has died. Well, I use Disk Utility and attempt to Verify the Disk. No can do. The header file is bad. Then I try to Repair the Disk. Not going to happen. The drive is four legs pointing straight up.
Of course, still recovering from using Windoze boxes for the better part of 20 years, I am thinking of all the long drawn out conversations with so-called tech support. I’m remembering how I explain all the steps already taken only to be told to do it again to make sure I do it right or some other such degrading comment. But, I decide to start with Apple Support on their website.
As I’m looking at the page I see a box in the lower left corner that reads:
New in Support. Speak to an expert. Arrange a phone call with an Apple Expert who specializes in your exact question. Talk to us now or later at your convenience. We’ll even call you.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Did I read that right? Nah, can’t be. This only happens in the fantasies of computer users. But I click on the link. And I am taken to the world of thinking people where I can actually schedule a time when I want to speak with a technical support person … even like right now. This instant! They will call me.
I try it … They did call me! WOW! Just wow! Is this real, not some dream I had. I’m talking to a real, live person who speaks real English and has read the information I included in my issue report. And he actually helped! He told me what I had done to try to get the HDD to be recognized was absoultely correct and the error messages I had put into the issue report were indicative of a dead drive.
Then he actually scheduled a time for me to take the notebook to the Apple Store in Menlo Park so I could have it repaired. So I now have an appointment for repair on Saturday afternoon. I could have had one tonight, but it it Good Friday after all.
Amazing stuff here. In the “old days” it was called Customer Service. Maybe the Smell (read Dell) and HP might get a clue that their customers are all the people who buy their products, not just “major corporations” who shell out on those Blade servers and large-scale purchases of desktops.
So thank you to Apple for actually thinking of every customer as a customer and making the experience painless and memorable for good reasons.