Saturday, 6 October 2012

APPLE - Great products, Dreadful Service. What does Tim Cook CEO Apple UK think?

Serious Complaint about Apple UK

I am so, SO frustrated right now.

Back in late August, I made the decision to switch from PC to MAC.  We have two Imacs for the business, I have an iphone and ipad and so it really made sense to upgrade.  We are apple-aholics and I wanted to integrate a laptop into the overall technology strategy that we have in both the business and home environment.

I called Apple direct, where, after a long chat with a sales consultant, I decided to go for a refurbished 15" macbook pro that had a higher specification as this suited the nature of my business as a photographer.   I also took out Apple Care and paid the balance in full.

The macbook arrived and I was really pleased to see it came with a "transfer assistant" which would painlessly transfer the data on my PC to the macbook pro.  This was scheduled to take 32 hours but got stuck with 32 minutes to go.  I tried this 3x before calling Apple.  They advised me to do this via an external hard drive, and advised me to buy a Seagate Go Flex for PC and MAC to help with the transition.  This cost me an additional £140.  I then spent another day waiting to set this up, and again the process did not work.

Finally, in frustration, I called Apple who advised to try a cable to cable transfer.  The cable cost £2 and again, this took a full day to make the transfer.  Finally, after a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing across a period of a week, I had all my files on the macbook Pro.  Happy days!  Or so I thought.

Everything seemed to be working until I put my SD Extreme card into the port.  This crashed the macbook pro as well as erasing ALL data on the SD card.  The data was my children training with the England Rugby team and this once in a lifetime opportunity is now lost forever.  My children are devastated.  I put this down to "one of those things" and carried on using the macbook pro.  Cost of SD Card £40, Value of images lost: Priceless

The following week, my business partner gave me some files to edit (we are photographers) and when I put the USB stick into the MAC, it went into "Kernel panic mode" erased all data and shut down.  I called Apple (again,spent hours on the phone) and we then tried interesting a brand new USB stick.  Again, the computer went into panic mode.

We then re installed the system and tried yet another brand new (different make) USB stick and again the computer went into panic mode.

Apple then accepted that the the re conditioned macbook pro I had been sold had a hardware issue concerning the port entries and agreed to replace this with a like for like replacement.

The following week, myself and my business partner waited in (me on the Wednesday, her on the Friday) for delivery.  We had NO calls, no delivery and NO cards in the door.  Yet, "apparently" delivery had been tried.  Eventually, the driver left the replacement macbook pro with a neighbour which I collected yesterday.  Days taken of work to wait in for delivery: two,  Monetary value £500.

I then went to set the new (replacement) Macbook pro up, and was just about to start transferring data from the original macbook pro to the new one, when I noticed that the specification was NOT the same.  It was a downgrade.  I called Apple who again admitted this was a mistake and that I would be sent a newer replacement with an upgraded specification.  They admitted that they were at fault for a second time and that the time and effort was inexcusable.

I was assigned as a PRIORITY1 and then the courier farce began.  My business partner and I both waited in at our respective homes, on different days for delivery.  We had NO cards in the door and NO delivery, despite the courier company saying this was the case.  This happened 3 (!) times before they left the replacement with a neighbour of my business partner.

I wrote an official letter of complaint at this stage - if any of you have done this you will know that you are guaranteed a reply within 24 hours.  Did I get one?  What do you think? NOTHING.

At the same time, they were also keen to collect the faulty macbook pros - the first courier came with NO id and I refused to hand over the macbooks as advised by Apple.  In the end, they organised a one hour courier for collection.  They now have NO record of this despite authorising it themselves.  

The third macbook pro (again, refurbished) arrived, a newer model with a similar specification.  I then spent another 3 days transfering data from my old laptop to the new macbook pro.  Everything was working beautifully until (yep, you guessed it) I inserted a USB stick.  Again, the macbook shut down into panic mode.  

By this stage, I am beyond furious.  I email the CEO of Apple UK as well as the head of PR.  

Guess what, I then get a phone call from the Executive Department who want to talk to me about the "issues".  They admit they are in the wrong, they admit mistakes have been made and they admit that there are problems.   They offer me a solution.

This was it:

"We will offer you a full refund and you can then go into an Apple Store to purchase a new one.  We will give you a £200 discount".  So at my own expense, I have to travel (hour away) to my nearest apple store and spend yet MORE money on a new one? (Cost approx £1,500 less £200 discount so I'll have to still pay out more!)

So, you admit your company are at fault, you admit I have been sent two faulty products, you admit and accept that I have spent in excess of 80 hours trying to resolve this situation and you say you are very "sorry".  WEll I am sorry Apple, that doesn't cut the mustard with me.

I am absolutely disgusted at the level of incompetence show by Apple.  Firstly, a refurbished MAC isn't checked properly and yet still sent out with faulty ports and secondly, whoever is meant to check the spec is like for like is also at fault, then a third macbook pro is also faulty.  Not to mention the incompetence of the delivery service.  You admit ALL of this, but still only offer me £200 in compensation.

The total cost to me (so far)

SD Card: £40
3 USB Sticks: £60
Seagate Goflex as recommended by Apple: £140
2 days off work waiting in for courier: £500
More than 40 hours spent on the phone to apple trying to sort this out: £2,500
Cost of losing photographs: - PRICELESS.

The inconvenience and incompetence shown is incorrigible.  I find it incomprehensible that a company such as Apple is providing this level of service and I want to highlight that despite having an amazing platform and product, that the service offered to us consumers is diabolical.  I was even offered FREE help from a senior technician, but of course, I pay for applecare so how is this free?  Ridiculous.

In the recent case between Samsung, Tim Cook, CEO made a special note of Apple's ethos being less about money and moe about values and he said:

"Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens."

Exactly what I hope this blog post will do.

So, please leave your comments of support below, please tweet using the #applegate and stand up for the ordinary consumer - to be fobbed off like this is beyond all reasoning.  

Thank you for reading this.

Kind Regards

S.A.M xoxo


  1. Absolutely appalling customer service! Will be sharing this and hope that you get it sorted asap!x

  2. Unfortunately, Apple are notorious for terrible customer service but because people seem to be addicted to Apple products, they don't care.

    Let's face it, they've spent the last few years churning out mobile device which are technologically inferior to most other things on the market and for twice the price, and people still queue around the block for 48hrs before launch day, just to get their hands on one. Their PR team must be utter geniuses. I reckon it has something to do with the fact that they only release a few at a time, so when shops run out people get frenzied, it's like the percieved exclusivity whips people up into doing anything to get one.
    Anyway, sorry, ranty! I'm glad you worte this to highlight their dastardly deeds and I really hope it all gets sorted out for you.

  3. That is appalling. I shall be waiting to see what happens with interest, given I'm about to take the plunge and buy a MacBook. Or at least I was until I read this!

  4. This is beyond disgusting. So typical of a giant organisation, it's usually these types who have extremely poor customer service. And £200 is simply an insult. I think everyone, including Apple staff themselves, will say you should be offered a brand new top of the range all singing and dancing machine. With a substantial cash back in compensation. This really is appalling. Shame on Apple. I've never been able to understand their technical gadgets, though I do use an iPad. But I won't buy an iPhone because I think they're a rip off.

    CJ x

  5. Disgusting. That is the word for it. These big corporations trade on their products and don't give a damn about customer service. This is appalling.

    I cannot imagine how you feel losing those photos of such an important life event, which cannot be replicated.
    I have no faith in Apple. Something similar has happened to my dad who, like you, decided to make the switch to an iMac and its the shrugging of the shoulders "oh well, here's a discount" that annoys me.

    As I read your post I was checking my emails and saw something from Amazon. I contacted them yesterday about a failed "next day" delivery. I told them it was for a gift for a party last night and I had now had to go into town and buy it from Smiths so it was now, effectively useless. Well it would be when it turned up.

    No argument, no discussion, a simple email that said "birthdays are important and we are sorry" and they refunded not only the delivery fee but the cost of the book. It might only have been £10 in total but that level of customer service is sadly lacking from so many big corporations these days.

    I hope you get somewhere with this. Please copy it into Watchdog, too.

  6. I had issues with them deducting money off my card for what should have been a free replacement which took me overdrawn and left me with no money one weekend! Eventually they refunded and gave me an iPod shuffle in compensation. I never used the discount they gave me. Not good on after sales service...

  7. Bavarian Sojourn6 October 2012 at 10:03

    So sorry you lost all your pictures, and for having to go through this debacle, it's terrible that such an organisation has behaved like this... I can't stand Apple and will admit to being slightly obsessive about this. Needless to say, no Apple products are allowed in my house... :D

  8. That is absolutely awful! Their offer of 'compensation' is laughable and an utter disgrace. Sorry you had to go through all this. Like you, I love a number of their products but as a company I think they are horrendous, have awful customer service and the fact that their repair fees are so hefty for known faults on their products (namely iPhone screens!) is shocking.

  9. If you have the pc still and the sd card i can send you a link to a free recovery tool to get the content off the card.

  10. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 13:11

    Thank you so much for commenting and sharing!!

  11. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 13:12

    I couldn't agree more. Thank you SO much for commenting and sharing #applegate

  12. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 13:13

    Thanks for commenting - it is disgraceful behaviour and I am now sticking up for the consumer

  13. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 13:13

    I thought Apple would be different - how wrong was I? It seems they are more concerned with the bottom line rather than consumer satisfaction. I can't believe they are doing this.

  14. Awful, but on another note, there are recovery programs for wiped SD cards which can get pics back. I will ask my husband about it as he's a photographer and has used them before

  15. If they don't change their courier service after this there really is something wrong. So awful to lose time, money but most of all precious memories. I do hope this is the end of the story for you and that everything will be completely resolved and fast!

  16. Awful service by a company..... but the bigger they get the less they care!

    I'd expect a written apology, brand new mac book and compensation for the loss of earnings and time etc! Hope you get an answer!

  17. That is so awful!
    I never tried to copy my files from the PC to the Mac. But now you've put me off it completely! Darent insert a USB now just incase everything gets cleared :|

  18. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 15:32

    that is all I was asking for. Bearing in mind Apple has a turnover of billions, I was disgusted that they thought £200 was acceptable. Especially as the ADMITTED they were at fault!

  19. I've never had problems with Apple but have always gone into lakeside or Bluewater to see them face to face. The only Apple problem I've had was buying a display MacBook from John Lewis and ended up having to take it to Middlesex to a computer shop (as directed by John Lewis) and they completely messed up my mac so took it into Apple who sorted it. Ill never buy a apple item that's not brand new after that

  20. This is really disgusting, I am currently sitting looking at new laptops and i'm afraid apple will be being crossed off my list!
    I really hope you get it sorted and they give you the compensation you deserve!

  21. Wow. If I treated my customers like tat I wouldn't ave a business :( what a royal disaster :(

  22. wow, this is disgusting. My dad bought me a macbook pro for when I was uni years ago and we had major agro with issues we had with that. My dad has vowed never to buy anything from Apple (and hasn't) due to the very poor customer service. They seem to want to take your money and run pumping most their money into marketing! No substance in my opinion. Hope you get the compensation you deserve *waves fist* xx

  23. Nice to know they're just as bad as PC World. Once they've made the sale none of them give a damn. Too difficult to fix and too easy to ignore - useless!

  24. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:50

    Thanks so much for commenting and RT-ing!!! This is gaining momentum and although I am sure Apple really DON'T give a stuff, at least I can rest easy at night knowing that I did all I could to stand up to the big corporation. I am interested to see what their response is to watchdog.

  25. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:51

    absolutely - same here Merry. I would never, ever dream of treating a client like this. It is a disgrace and almost as if they think "yes we admit we are wrong, but hey, we are worth BILLIONS so we actually really don't care what one person thinks". The fact I had to escalate to the CEO in the first place to even get a response is shocking enough.

  26. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:53

    It is such a shame that they have brushed this under the carpet. They REALLY don't give a stuff, and as much as I adore the operating systems the service is beyond a joke. Sadly, they know this, don't care and just keep their eye on the cash registers.

  27. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:54

    I wished I never had bought refurbished. The fact they are now advising I buy a new one (albeit it with a £200 discount!) means I have to spend over £300 to do just that!

  28. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:56

    Of course they are now dealing with this "internally" I won't hear back again re the courier debacle.

  29. Super Amazing Mum6 October 2012 at 19:56

    Thank you - we are already looking into this

  30. It's unbelievable that the products were so consistently faulty, they couldn't resolve the issues (or even deliver!) AND they have so little regard for your time/expense. Massive fail from Apple.

  31. I definitely agree with Jane. Apple have traded on the innovation of their products for a long time. Yes, they are generally fine but the mark of a good company is how they react when things do go wrong (and they will, it's inevitable). People understand things go wrong, they just want them fixed. A company with good service will do their utmost to put things right. I was always taught that you put things right and do more than you should because that is worth more than any other advertising. People will tell others about brilliant service, as much they will about bad service, as your post demonstrates.

  32. I have emailed this to my husband who works for an Apple reseller, I am pretty sure they would never treat a customer like this (not saying Apple themselves don't as they obviously do). If you are looking to get another one then feel free to drop me an email and I'll let you have details (don't want to look like i'm advertising or anything). They often have discount items and their customer service team simply wouldn't treat you like this I'm sure. I hope you get it sorted, I really do and that you can get the images back, as someone else has mentioned I am sure there is software/companies to do this. x

  33. I have been mucked around by Apple and PC World for TEN months and have thus far not blogged about it but after reading this I will xxx


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