Working with Apple Tech Support
Sixteen tips for getting your Mac or iPhone fixed:
- The contact number is (800) 275 2273
- While you're on hold, go to Google and type: Troubleshoot Mac xxx, where xxx represents the error message you got or the sparsest description of what won't work.
- If those links don't help you, visit the Apple site and choose your product. Under each product is a discussion forum. Search for your problem.
- By now, someone has answered your call. Don't tell them your entire problem. Instead, politely identify yourself, give them the short version and then say, "would you please escalate this call to a yyy specialist?" where yyy is the type of problem you have: wireless or backup or imovie or whatever. Persist.
- When you get a specialist on the line, ask politely for her direct phone number in case you get disconnected. After you describe your problem, ask for a case number. If the person isn't being helpful, politely excuse yourself and start over with a new call.
- Apple gets lots and lots of calls. As a result, don't expect the person you're working with to immediately be willing to skip over all the troubleshooting steps you tried before you called. They have a protocol. It's easier to just take five minutes to follow that protocol.
- If the specialist you're working with is having trouble figuring out what to do next, politely say, "I hope you don't mind, but can you escalate this case to a specialist?" And then wait, patiently, until they do.
- If your product is less than thirty days old, and you've gone through the protocol with no success, say, "I'd like an RMA for this product so I can return it and start with one that works. It's under the return warranty, right?"
- If you found lots of examples of the same problem in Google, tell them. Point out that this "is not an isolated problem" and suggest that others have solved it by getting a new machine sent to them. Be ready with links, because the rep has Google too.
- Engaging in friendly banter doesn't just help you get what you want. It makes the call better for you too. These guys aren't your enemy. In fact, right now, they're the best friend you have in the whole world.
- This is the one I should have listed first: go to the Genius bar at your local store. The guys at the Genius bar are much more likely to just swap out your broken hardware and give you a new machine. It might seem time-consuming, but it's probably faster than waiting them out on the phone. Spending $99 on a One to One card is a brilliant investment.
- At least once a minute, say 'thank you.' If you thought about it, you'd realize that yes, you do mean it. They're being quiet and calm and trying to help.
- If you own a computer, back it up. If you don't, all bad things are your fault.
- I have no personal experience in begging or sobbing, but I'm told that in some cases, this is effective.
- If you use an email program, clean it out. Regularly. One friend of mine had 27,000 emails in her outbound mail folder, including some from 2002.
- Trust me, it doesn't matter how big the readership of your blog is, the folks on the phone are unlikely to care.
Your interaction is a marketing event. Apple is marketing to you. The rep is marketing to you (that's a feature, not a bug). And you're marketing yourself and the problem to them. Clarity and cooperation combined with determination and persistence appear to be the best combination.