Monday, August 28, 2017

Mac Attack Chapter 5- The Drop Off

As originally posted on my FB page:

One quick update to share about my Mom. She was supposed to come home from the hospital today, but because she was running a fever, they decided to keep her one more day. The possibility of her being released tomorrow is looking good and other than the fever she's doing well. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and thanks again to all who have expressed concern and words of kindness during this challenging time. It has meant a lot. Now onto Chapter 5 of the #Hackmymac saga: The Drop Off
I'm not sure exactly why i was so nervous walking back into the Apple store today. I think it's because i was afraid that after all of this drama, Apple still wouldn't be able to help me. What would that mean for my business? Would i have to start from scratch? Starting a business is hard enough, but could my business bare such a set back? I hadn't really pondered that idea until now and as it slowly dawns on me, the thought of starting over sounds daunting if not downright scary. But in business there are set backs and if I wasn't prepared for that, I shouldn't have started my own business in the first place. The show MUST go on!
As i walked back into the store, it was noticeably less frantic. I'm guessing because it was a weekday. I was nervous, but also more sure footed having a better idea of what to expect this time and coming prepared with proof of purchase, my hacked Mac and even the box my Macbook came in. I walked up to the first available associate (are they called "geniuses"?) and told him i had an appointment at 5:05. I was 10 minutes early this time which also made me feel more confident and I knew where i should sit so that my personal "genius" could find me easily. I was wrong about one thing i realized right away. There were no cushions on the blocks I sat on. Guess they don't want people getting too comfortable!
On the big screen this time, there was some sort of digital artist display taking place. This seemed a bit odd to me and even odder that the "artist" kept zooming in on the crotch area of the C3PO drawing he was working on. Did he not realize that was kind of inappropriate i thought to myself, but chose not to express that thought outloud. At approximately 5:05 a "genius" approached me and sat me next to the "genius" who supposedly was going to be my #hackedmac saviour. I'm guessing it's customary because they have so many people to help, but again i was put in close proximity of another customer he was "helping"and was told to wait until he wrapped up with them. That was an additional 5-10 minutes, but that was fine as long as he would be able to help me access my #hackedmac.
I didn't overhear exactly what the issue was for the customers he was "helping", but it sounded as if they were dealing with something similar. Why Apple thinks it's a good idea for other customers to overhear what issues another customer is having is mind-boggling, but it seems a bit insensitive to those customers and sends a message to a waiting customer that Apple products have all kinds of problems. Not a good business practice, Apple, especially for a company that refuses to acknowledge publicly that any issues exist at all. If this is Apple's attempt at transparency, I question the "genius" status they've enjoyed since Steve Jobs took back the reins God rest his soul. I wonder if he would approve of that business practice?
My "genius" this time was a younger white male who didn't really stand out in any way other than the fact that he had a pretty serious dandruff problem. Could be some sort of medical issue so i won't dwell on that detail. He took a look at my screen and the first question he asked me was "who's e-mail address is this?" referring to the e-mail address the ransomware hackers had provided. I could already feel my temperature rising, but said calmly "i've already explained my issue to at least half a dozen support technicians. I'd rather not have to explain it to you too. There should be notes in your system about why i'm here." He nervously read through some notes on his tablet and then said "yes, i see now. Sorry about that. Do you have proof of purchase with you?" I handed him my documents and explained that i had purchased my #hackedmac from my previous employer. I also stated that the last support tech i spoke to over the phone said that my proof should be sufficient. "Okay yeah, all right. This should work." He pulled up my personal info using some sort of serial # on the back of my #hackedmac including my name, phone #, e-mail address and physical address and i thought why in the WORLD would they have not been able to verify this info with just my picture ID as i was originally told they'd be able to do?! I kept this question to myself.
"Now do you have your hard drive backed up?" he asked. Very discouraging! If my response is no is that game over? I answered honestly that i did not and of all the mistakes made throughout this Shakespearean melodrama, this is the only one I'VE made. Oslo 1, Apple 12! "Okay." he responded feeling just slightly ever so superior. "Good. Takes some of the pressure off Apple and shifts it to this @sshole" i'm sure he was thinking. His reprieve would be short lived!
He asks me to take seat while he goes to the back with my proof of purchase in hand saying he'd be back shortly. I chose to remain standing. While i waited, a couple of younger dudes walk in and take a seat on a wooden block behind me waiting for their turn with a "genius". A couple seated across from me looked beleagured, but i didn't see a single "genius" "helping" them the entire time i was there which was approximately 45 minutes all told. Come to find out they were having a similar issue to mine and had been in the store since 1:20! I was speechless. Another customer showed up while i waited having problems with an iphone he had only had for 4 months. Turns out this was his 3rd iphone in the last year!
My "genius" finally returns and asks if he could keep the copy of my PoP. Sure, whatever. And then comes the question neither one of us was wanting him to ask. "Can you leave your Macbook with us overnight? The person who handles these types of issues is already gone for the day." Umm, excuse me? Aren't YOU supposed to be the person who can handle this?!
At this point it hardly seemed worth it to push back hard on this request. I was exhausted from dealing with this, from my long drive to and from Richmond and my mother's surgery. But push back i did. "Listen, i know you're just doing your job, but this is assinine. I will have made 3 trips to get this resolved and have been without my primary computer for almost a week and you're telling me it'll be at least another 24 hours before you'll even know if you can fix it?!" His tear wells began to swell, but he held it together somehow to his credit. "I live 20 minutes away" i continued "and don't have the kind of time to be wasting on getting this fixed. I have a business to run and this whole thing is costing me business and income!" "I live in Lenoir City so i understand about long drives here" he said proudly. "But the difference is you CHOSE to work here. I don't have a choice is what you're telling me." i answered landing a clean blow. His tear ducts began to fill again, but again he fought back the urge to break down. This guy is resilient, i'll give him that!
"I'm sorry sir, but i can't fix this problem myself so you'll have to leave your Macbook here and come back to get it tomorrow." "What time do you think it'll be ready?" i asked impatiently. "Not sure, but definitely not before noon." Comcast is more specific than that! "Well, there's a queue for these types of problems." "Really? How many people have had this problem?" i asked thinking holy cow Apple, how widespread is this issue? "Well not the same exact problem, but similar ones." he said backpedaling. "If you have so many people with the same problem, why is there only one person working here who is capable of fixing it and why isn't that person here right now?" Yet another #applefail.
"I could fix it, but don't have the authority or trust to do so." Wow, really Apple? Way to empower your people!
At this point i was wasting time and energy and begrudgingly accepted this option. "Can i get a receipt?" i requested thinking there's no WAY in he!! i'm leaving my laptop in Apple's "care" without proof of doing so. "Yeah sure, i can print it and it'll be e-mailed to you. There are terms and conditions you'll have to sign off on as well." Oh boy, here we go! "One of the terms is that Apple doesn't take responsibility for damages or loss of data while in our care." WHAT?!?! You have GOT to be kidding me! To be continued...

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