Thursday, 4 February 2016

(Not) my trip to the genius bar ...

I have a Mac Book air that I bought second hand from one of these people who sell ex lease machines. And I have to say, despite my protestations of the adequacy of my Xubuntu netbook for many tasks it's a really nice machine to take travelling, even if I still use my Chromebook for surfing and my old windows laptop as a desktop replacement when the Chromebook won't do and the Air needs charging, which it does with monotonous regularity.

And thereby hangs the tale. The charger, or more accurately the wall socket adapter for the charger was one affected by the recent recall. And being both responsible and someone who plugs their charger in at airports and the like I thought I'd better go and replace it.

On to Apple's website - it was the day of the recall announcement and they said I had to go visit the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Personally I thought that was complete overkill but, hell, I've never been to the Genius Bar, so I thought, well let's go see what Apple's support was like.

So I duly made the appointment.

In the meantime the Apple dealer we used to use for work emailed me to say that if I had one of the bad adapters, just to drop by the store and they'd swap it for me. I was tempted to do this, even though my Air hadn't come from them as they'd never know and probably wouldn't care, but no, I thought I'd see what Apple could do.

In the end I never did get to the Genius Bar. Aussie pragmatism had clearly won out. When I went to the store the greetperson said 'Nah, you don't need an Genius appointment. I'll cancel this and Matt'll sort you out'.

Matt duly did, and even asked me if I needed an extra replacement for a colleague, which was thoughtful.

There's a lesson here. When J's HP laptop had a recall on power cables, we had to go and interact with a website that required us to find and type in several multi digit identifying codes to confirm it was affected. HP then mailed out a replacement cable, but the process was fairly clunky and I suspect that a lot of people found it all too much. Apple went for the simpler, human powered approach, which even with their faux pas over the genius bar appointment which reduced the barrier to getting the faulty thing replaced.

HP could claim that they don't have a retail presence like Apple, but Apple have also go their dealer network involved - HP could have done the same and had the same personal touch that Apple had ...