I’m sitting in the mall waiting for my iPhone 6sPlus to be repaired. I switched to an iPhone in February when we changed cell carriers and haven’t regretted the change for a single moment. The customer service experience is just one of the reasons why.
I have an Otterbox case for my phone, and one of the hard screen protectors (I think it’s an InvisibleShield product); purchased at the Sprint store where we bought the phone. Neither the case nor the screen protector have ever been off the phone (*see below) and I’m pretty careful with my phone so I rarely drop it.
The other night, trying to carry too many things (including my phone) while opening my car door, I dropped my phone. It fell face down on the pavement. I checked and it worked (phone, text, email, apps) so I went on my merry way. The next morning I was going to take some photos to post on social media and noticed my camera didn’t work. I rebooted the phone (twice), tried the camera in a few different apps, and then took the case off to see if I could see if the lens was cracked or damaged. (*this is the only time my case has been off my phone). No go.
I look up a couple of links to see if I can fix it myself, but none of the suggestions work. So, I look up iPhone help online, expecting that I’ll get a faceless web page with lists of community help points that don’t resolve my issue (Ahem, Microsoft Customer Support). INSTEAD, I get the nearest Apple Store “Genius Bar” listing. With a LOCAL phone number. I call the number and, after a few phone-tree selections that made sense, and a voice recognition of my problem that ACTUALLY HEARD MY PROBLEM I’m transferred to an actual human being, named Jorge. Jorge walked me through a couple of steps, checked out a couple of other things, and finally, after 45 minutes of trying told me we’d need to reset the phone. He explained how to do that, and gave me my claim number so that “if it didn’t work, I could call and schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar to have it fixed”. Unfortunately, the reset didn’t work, so I called the number, gave them my claim number and was immediately transferred to the Genius Bar in Bellevue who made an appointment for the next date I could get in. No muss, no fuss, no “I’m sorry, we can’t help you”, no script.
I’m a bit in shock here. I’ve had numerous issues with Microsoft products (links below); both phone and PC. EVERY TIME I needed assistance from Microsoft I’m expected to read through pages of community help boards (that aren’t helpful). There’s no phone number to actually get in touch with a human — I had to search through several pages of “help” and “contact us” to get a phone number for customer service. When you actually get a number, you have to wade through several levels of hell phone tree button-pushing before you get to a customer service representative. And then you have to wait , on hold, for a long time. When you FINALLY get a human, they are either 1) unintelligible (even though they have an ‘American’ sounding name 2) following a script 3) not helpful because they aren’t really listening to your problem 4) unable to actually resolve the issue. I have had a CSR at Microsoft actually tell me SEVERAL TIMES on several occurrences that they are unable to help me. Or blame it on some app or my laptop (not their precious OS).
The last time I had to contact MS Customer support was after I’ve upgraded to Windows 10. The initial upgrade was ‘fairly’ simple, but about two weeks after I booted up my computer “Windows couldn’t locate Cortana” and put me into a swirl of reboots that never resolved the issue (plus locked me out of using my laptop). Using my phone, I found MS Support and tried to resolve through the online support community. Nope. Finally get a number for MS Support only to have the CSR tell me (after 30 minutes of script) he didn’t know how to solve my issue and I’d just have to wait until it resolved itself. EXCUSE ME? I ended up using the “Phone a friend” option and getting an in through a series of f-buttons and coding strokes. From a non-MS employee, just a friend who’s figured it out on his own. Problem solved in less than 15 minutes — through my friend — after no help at all from MS and a cost of about 2 hours of phone time
Back to the Apple Genius Bar. The woman asked when I could come in and she laughed when I said I couldn’t come in until the weekend. I think she said “You just made my day. Most of the time people are upset because I can’t get them in immediately.” So I made an appointment, gave her the pertinent details and waited for my appointment date to come up.
I missed my phone. I was attending a concert in the evening and had several times I could have used my phone over the roughly 3+ days I was without.
So this morning, I drive into Bellevue and am greeted at the Apple Store by a very friendly employee who seats me at a bar. I waited maybe 15 minutes before a representative greeted me, went over my claim with me and tried a couple of new things to diagnose the issue. No go, so she says to me “well, your phone is under warranty” and she was checking to see if they had the part in stock. It will take roughly an hour to repair, she makes sure I backed everything up (I had already), turns off my security settings, takes my password to my phone and has me sign the agreement. No hassles, no fuss, no “sorry we can’t fix it”. In fact, if they can’t fix it I’m getting a new phone. ONE hour later I have my phone back, repaired and am on my way.
Based on the customer service of Apple vs. Microsoft, I’m converted. In fact, even though it may cause a rift in the time-space-marital-continuum, I may switch completely to Apple products. Because when customer is king, it’s a win for everyone. Apple CLEARLY respects it’s customer base and doesn’t ignore the single user in favor of the corporate.
BTW, I did find a use for my old Windows phone…I used it as a camera at the concert I attended. But that’s the only use I can find for it now…other than a reminder of which company really appreciates their customers and values their equipment.