Miriam Gomberg

the customer is not always right.

This may sound cliche but I am a customer experience junkie. Everywhere I go, I am internally gauging the level of service I receive as a customer, so that I can truly understand client needs.

Last week, I had an expensive lesson in service when I killed my new laptop computer. It started as an ordinary morning with my marketing group at Starbucks. We were working on a presentation due the next week.

All five of us were gathered around a table, sipping coffee and tapping away on our computers; no big whoop.Tap, sip, tap, sip until batteries were mostly drained After 30 minutes, we switched tables so that we could all plug in our chargers and re-gathered our stuff.

This is where everything slowed down and sped up simultaneously, as I reached for my still hot venti coffee with soy milk. Inadvertantly, I knocked the cup over sideways, spilling the cup’s contents both across my lap and my laptop keyboard.

Somebody get me a towel!!

Completely in shock, I shot out of my seat, asking the barista for a towel to try to save the laptop. The barista not only tossed me a towel as soon as I said something, but he arrived within moments at our table toting several more towels and a mop to clean up the floor.

He was apologetic as he helped me sop up the hot mess in the hopes that I would remain calm. I was unusually zen-like (not me at all) when I reassured him that it would be ok because I purchased AppleCare with my laptop 4 months earlier (yup, it was that new). It should all be covered under the plan. After drying myself off, I headed over to the local Apple store with my coffee-ridden laptop in tow.

There is no care like AppleCare

With my pants still damp and smelling of coffee, I entered the Apple store and found the nearest associate, handed him the wet computer and alerted him as to what happened. The next available genius appointment was not for another day, so he took the piece into the back to see if there was anything that could be saved.

After roughly 10 minutes in the back, he re-emerged and told me the bad news, I killed my precious laptop and the only thing now would be to replace everything inside leaving only the original shell for $750. My heart sank and I felt slightly indignant about the outcome.

What, what, what?

What about the insurance bought through them? Why did I pay extra for AppleCare when it was no use to me now? Was this really happening? Suddenly, my calm exterior gave way and I did what I do best; started crying. Turns out that AppleCare only covers manufacturers defects and has nothing to do with morons who pour hot coffee (with soy) on their keyboards. Well, they didn’t call me a moron, but I felt like one all the same.

Once I stopped the water-works, I realized that I had no choice. I couldn’t replace the darn thing for $750 so I was stuck (note how precious laptop became darn thing in an instant). I signed my life away and was promised it would be back in 3 to 5 business days.

Lesson learned; it is not Apple’s fault I was a moron.

 I realized, while bawling, that it was not Apple’s fault I had fumble fingers. What from that incident entitles me to a new free laptop or discounted/free repairs? had I read the fine print when purchasing AppleCare? Of course not! No amount of tears was going to remedy my error. In reality it could have hurt my chances of receiving good service.

Being a difficult customer does not always get you what you want. Sales/customer service associates are there to assist if you have problems, but if you become a crying raging lunatic, you forfeit the priveledge of good service. Believe me, no one likes helping those who feel entitled.

For now, I use an old laptop that belongs to my 13-year old. We have parental restrictions set, so I can’t visit my regular sites (I feel so juvenile). The battery doesn’t hold a charge and the track pad is broken, but it is still functioning. It could have been worse. I could have spilled coffee on someone else’s computer and have to pay to fix theirs. Lesson learned; drink coffee with a screw cap when on the computer.

 

This entry was published on October 31, 2011 at 11:14 am. It’s filed under Customer Focus, Personal Brand and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “the customer is not always right.

  1. Oh my Im so sorry!! What a bummer… Not the best time of year for that to happen either.. Definitely a screw cap is 100% required from now on.. and don’t sit near anyone else, just in case LOL… Hope you have a great week.

    • It was not my best day. We are buying a house right now and don’t need the added expense. It makes me appreciate the computer even more because I hate the one I’m using now. Thanks for your concern Shauna!

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