After talking with my friend Angeluna, I finally decided it was time to take my MacBook to a Genius.
Now, I have to tell you… Call it arrogance or whatever you want, but I am used to being the Mac genius! I’m the one that my co-workers look to for answers about the Mac. It’s rumored that I can fix anything. (I can destroy anything… including a 320 GB hard drive… But I can fix just about any problem that’s put in front of me.)
So the idea of going to see a “Genius” was kind of weird. But I need my computer! (After a day with my old, broken down HP, I was practically sobbing for my MacBook!)
It was pretty easy to set up. Simply go to the Apple site, find the closest Apple store, and then schedule a time to meet with the Genius. It’s possible but not likely to see a Genius as a “walk-in”, but if I’m going to travel all the way to Fort Worth to see the Genius, I wanted to guarantee my spot.
When I got there, I was a few minutes early. I hooked up my MacBook at one of the tables with their power cords and was pleased to see (again) that the computer would charge with someone else’s charger.
When it was my turn (they had a nifty display that showed who was next in line, so I just waited for my name to pop up), I sat down at the “bar” where several “Geniuses” (geniusi? genius? Whatever!) sat. The guy asked me what the problem was. He asked for my charger and I showed it to him.
That’s when he said, “Oh! That’s your problem! You have the wrong charger!”
Seriously! I didn’t understand how that could be. The thing came with my MacBook and worked for a year! How could it be the wrong one?
The guy said, “Yep… This is a MacBook Pro! It needs a [insert whatever part number he rattled off here].”
Despite the screw up with the warranty, I really didn’t think that was possible. I asked him if he was sure.
That’s when the “Genius” next to him said, “That’s the right charger! It’s the old [insert the model here… more alphabet soup!]. It doesn’t have the higher power graphics card.”
Yeah, yeah… rub it in!
My “Genius” looked rather embarrassed. It must suck to be caught in a not-so-Genius moment.
So then my Genius tried my power cord with my MacBook. No lights, no charge, no action.
Then he tried the cord on a couple of MacBooks that the Genius crew used. Nothing there either. (Believe it or not, I was happy about that. My worst fear was that the problem would require them to take my MacBook from me for a week or two. My second-worst fear was that the cord and MacBook would work perfectly for them!)
Without even blinking, he said, “Let me get you another cord.” Fortunately, they had one in stock (the last one, as it turned out). He brought it out and tried it on my MacBook. Happiness! My MacBook was happy and charging.
He shut down my MacBook, curled up the cord, and handed me a form to sign. Then he said, “That’s it!” They didn’t charge me or even ask for my warranty info. I was so thrilled!
When I left, I planned to go join my knitting pals at the Borders five minutes away. But I’m me, and I don’t have a good cell phone with reliable GPS. I got lost, saw a rainbow in the sky, and followed it back to the highway. I figured that was a sign to head home.
On my way home, I pondered my frustration with Apple. The company has brilliant ideas. The whole “Genius” and “Bar” concept? Brilliant! They made getting someone to look at my Mac as simple as you can get. Looking around the sparkling showroom, I can imagine that they make lots of sales to people who are just sitting around and waiting for their appointment. Their products are fun and easy to use.
But with all Apple does right, they make some pretty foolish mistakes. They give “classes” at the Mac store, but they were really just marketing. I wanted to kick the guy giving the class out of the way and help those poor, confused faces and make them really understand how to use their Macs!
They also don’t stand behind their products or take full responsibility when they make mistakes. Even in a case like my power cord, they didn’t admit that their company may be at fault. Instead, they said, “The cord is not working.”
If they’d just say, “Hey, we messed up!”, I’d love them completely. Heck, I’d be strong-arming people into buying their products. Instead, I’m left in a horrible limbo where I *want* their products, but I don’t *want* to want them.
I guess it’s just another example of a company that could make their business a slam dunk but instead chooses that “good” is “good enough”. What a shame!