In this day and age, customer service seems like a rarity, but I had an experience this past week with the Apple Store that really made me a loyal customer for life. I was filled with excitement 2 weekends ago, because I was in a position where it was time to upgrade to the newest 15″ Macbook Pro. The accelerated graphics and the raw power of the machine would allow me to do some things with 3D that my older Intel Macbook just wouldn’t do. My Macbook was an awesome machine, and I definitely got my money’s worth out it, doing countless freelance jobs, in web and print design. I went into the Apple Store and purchased a brand new Macbook Pro 2.66 Ghz Core 2 duo, and took it home, imported all of my settings and info via a Time Machine backup, and I was up and running within an hour. I was elated with my new machine and how fast it was, and I carried on, business as usual. I have been rather busy lately, so I haven’t had my ear to the ground as much as I usually do, so I literally almost had a heart attack this past Sunday night, when I was up late, catching up on emails, and noticed a new product announcement from Apple. They had completely redone all of the Macbook Pros, and they had been released on Thursday, February 24th.
My heart sank, as I’d just spent over $2,000 on a brand new laptop, which after 5 days, was now half as fast as the new model. They had literally doubled the processor from 2 to 4 cores, the same tier model also went from a 500GB hard drive to a 750GB hard drive, and the graphics card was upgraded, and the RAM on that went from 512MB to 1 Gig. The new models also upgraded to the new Thunderbolt technology, which is supposed to be extremely fast, especially for data transfer, being up to 10x faster than Firewire 800. It was now 10 days after my purchase, and I was left thinking “If I had known, I would have waited 5 days to buy a new one.”
The next day, I called the local Apple Store and spoke to a nice young woman and explained my situation. Thinking that I was stuck with my model, I asked “Is there anything that I can do?”
To my ultimate surprise, she simply said, “Yeah, sure! Bring it in and we will swap it out.”
“What? Are you serious? Okay, well, I wanted to get the same tier model, which is the same price. Will I have to pay a restocking fee?”
She replied “No. Just bring it in. Since it is within 14 days of your purchase, you can return it, and we will swap it out for the new model.”
I was in the parking lot at work, talking on my cell phone, and immediately jumped up and screamed “Yes!!!! That is totally awesome!” I was so excited and happy, that I told everyone I know about my great experience. Monday after work, I went into the Apple Store with my new computer packed back up in its original packaging, their employee scanned it in, asked me what model I wanted, and we swapped it out for the new 15″ 2.2Ghz Quad core Macbook Pro. I didn’t even have to wipe the hard drive of the computer that I brought back. They do that in the store.
I am so overjoyed, and I had to share this story with you. So often now, customer service is overlooked. We are seen as dollar signs instead of people, and that is why so many companies have trouble gaining brand loyalty. If you take care of your customers, and give them a truly wonderful experience, a great product and excellent service, then you will have a dedicated and loyal customer for life. I have never been disappointed or let down by Apple or its products, and I am always happy with their service. It is because of all of these qualities, that I will never own anything but an Apple. I am just glad to know that customer service isn’t dead.