Monday, August 02, 2010

Oh Apple...how I hate thee!

Years ago, I pledged that I would never fall prey to the lure of Apple, saying that my CD’s were good enough for me, and that iPods could all suck it as far as I was concerned.

But then I married Leo. And he gave me an iPod to make me feel better after a particularly rough day once. (Just a Shuffle, but that was all I really needed, anyway.) And then this past year, I got a bonafide iPod in the form of a Nano for Christmas, I think it was. It’s nice, I guess. I like it well enough, even though the Shuffle was awesome in its little clippie way and all. Made workouts a little easier. But I can put a specific workout mix into my Nano, which gives it that little edge.

Anyway, when I received the Nano, suddenly the cord that I had in my car that connected it to my stereo system didn’t work for charging purposes anymore. It works fine on the Shuffle, but not the Nano. ::sigh:: Great. And over time, it became apparent that having the charging capability within the car was a handy option. And I needed a new cord to serve that purpose. Fine. Gotta go to Apple, I figured.

So I went, and I looked at the options, and basically they had two that applied to my needs. Yep. ONLY TWO. I have to hook in through my radio signal, because in 2002, it wasn’t common for a BMW to have any kind of MP3 player capabilities. It was an additional option, if I recall correctly. And I always thought that I’d be fine with my CDs, and I was for a long while! But I didn’t have a boyfriend/husband at that time that would prove to be the downfall of my Apple boycott.

Fast-forward to the beginning of July. I finally get my ass into the Apple store, and have to deal with their idiotic way of helping customers, as well as their dumbass, fucked up “no check out counter…we’re too cool for a check out counter” way of paying for products. I found what I thought I needed on the wall, and then was approached by a guy who had appeared to be on his way to the back of the store to check on something when I finally held my hands up in the air in my “anyone able to tell me what I’m supposed to do NOW?” gesture of helplessness. “Do you need help?” Well, yes. Yes I do. Glad my gesture of helplessness was actually successful! I asked him to confirm that the product in the box was what would work for my car, and he did after a bit. And then I was all, “Ok, I guess I need to buy this, then.” He said he was actually helping someone else, so he’d find someone to check me out of the store.

???

Why the fuck did he stop to ask if I needed help if he was already helping someone else? The problem being that he now seemed to be blaming me for taking him away from this other customer. It was the tone in his voice that did it. The whole “you’re wanting to buy a $70 iPod connector, and I’ve got someone else I was helping to buy a computer, lady…who do you think I’d rather be with right now?” kind of tone. Yeah, I don’t need that shit. So I said, “Oh, I’m sorry! Why did you stop to help me, then?” And he said it wasn’t a problem and I said that it sure seemed like I was inconveniencing him, and then he found a chick who was able to check me out, and I was finally able to leave.

Fucking hoity-toity assholes. (I hope that everyone has actually been in a busy Apple Store, and knows what I’m talking about with all of these references. Basically, it’s hard to find a salesperson that’s free, because they all always seem to be helping other customers, and then they look right through the customers that aren’t being helped as if we don’t exist. At least, that's how it is in the Leawood store that I was visiting. I initially made eye contact with a chick that had appeared to be free when I was first looking for help, and she said, “I’ll find someone who can assist you.” And then never did. Awesome. So that’s what I mean with my description of the whole experience. In case it wasn’t clear…they just all come off as being jerks, is the thing.)

It became apparent after only a week or so that the new connector wasn’t going to work in my car. My old connector had been receiving a bunch of static (“They’re all going to get static, ma’am,” the Apple Store douche had told me, in his oh-so-superior-to-me voice that he must practice at home in his bathroom, or something), which was also something I was trying to clear up, hopefully. But it was only worse with the new connector, and I wound up switching back and forth between the two in order to charge my iPod in my car, and then listen to the music through the old connector.

Basically, the new connector was a stupid purchase. I wanted to return it.

So I planned to return it, and then got busy at work, and I wasn’t able to get out at lunch the way I’d wanted to for a good week. I figure I have 30 days to return the damned thing, so I didn’t worry too much about my scheduling issues. Plus, I fucking hate that store, so going in there isn’t high on my want-to-do list, you know?

Finally, last week, I pull out my receipt to make sure I have the right one and didn’t accidentally throw it away. Got it in tact. Good deal. Then I spy a little odd line on the top of the receipt. “Return date: July 23, 2010.” Huh? Return date….? So I flip the receipt over to read that their fucking DUMB AS HELL return policy requires returns to be made within FOURTEEN DAYS of purchase. WTF? I was pissed. There’s nothing on there about getting store credit (that I likely wouldn’t use anyway) if it’s after that date, or anything. Just 14 days, and that’s it.

So I ask a friend of mine for advice on the matter. Her husband works at an Apple Store in Ohio, and I thought maybe she’d have some insight for me on the matter. She gave me some tips (tell them I was out of town and didn’t realize the return date had come and gone already, and be really nice about it), and thinks that the refund will be given. I decide to give it a shot. After all, it had only been a few days since the return date had come and gone…surely they can be a little lenient about it in cases like that!

I hated that I had to go back in there again, but I sucked it up, and went in on a Wednesday during my lunch hour. By then, I had also bought a new car that would have MP3 connectivity in it, so the cord was completely obsolete to me anyway. I approached a woman that appeared to be available to help, and told her my story. “I had no idea the return policy is within 14 days! I don’t shop here often…my husband does. I was out of town and wasn’t able to get in here anyway…” She takes the receipt to her manager, and asks for permission to refund my money. She obtains the permission, and I thank her profusely.

And then begins the fucking TEN MINUTE LONG process of returning a single $70 iPod stereo connector cord at the damned Apple Store! She was punching in numbers and scanning my product’s UPC code, and then goes over to a manager for a signature or something, and then comes back and stares at her little check-out gizmo some more. So I try making small talk. “Man, that 14 day policy sure seems tough! I mean, I was really surprised when I saw it!”

“Well, it IS right on the receipt. And it’s standard in our industry to have a 14 day return policy.”
“I didn’t pull out the receipt until I knew I wanted to return it for sure, and by then, the date had passed. Again, I don’t shop here very often! Target and all the places I buy clothes from…they all have a 30 day policy, so that’s what I’m used to.”

“Yes, well the technology industry usually has a 14 day policy.”

::me nodding:: “Mm-hmm…well, I’m glad to know about it NOW! ::big grin:: Thanks again for your help with this!” Waiting, still, for her to finish the damned transaction already!!!

Another minute passes, uncomfortably...and then: “Have you ever heard of Best Buy?” she asks me.

::whatthefuck look clearly painted across my face…I couldn’t help it!:: “Yes. Yes, I’ve heard of Best Buy.”

“They have a 14 day return policy, like we do,” she explains.

“Oh. Well, we usually buy products from them that would require a warranty of some sort, so I guess I just was never aware of that. Good to know.”

Seriously, did that bitch just ask me if I’d “ever heard of BEST BUY”??? I mean, honestly, do they teach a class on how to talk down to their customers in there? Or are they just prone to hiring assholes and douchebags to work for them? I know that can’t be the case, because my friend’s husband is a nice dude, and HE works there, so really I’m just honestly confused about the two experiences I’ve had in there. Maybe they’re just really good at reading my poor disposition towards them all, and they’re reflecting it back at me when they deal with me. I’m not sure.

But I fucking HATE that place. I told Leo that’s he’s in charge of shopping there from now on, should we ever have need. It’s clearly a mistake for me to even attempt it at all!

8 comments:

Nuke said...

I never go in there unless I can't get what I need from Best Buy or Target (even Wally World).

Because you are right, it's a whole different philosophy and they don't fucking hand you a guide book at the door. And don't go in expecting to get tech support. You gotta make a damn appointment online.

I love how my products by Apple, but the rest of the culture pisses me off,

Ms. Pants said...

Professionalize this (yes, I made that word up) and send it to the store manager and headquarters.

I love Apple products. I only go into the Apple stores when I'm in NYC because I know they have public restrooms. So I piss in the Apple stores, that's it. Anything I need, I'll get online. At Amazon.

faithstwin said...

Due to the inherent need of my children I have had to use the actual Apple store more than a couple of times. I have purchased their products elsewhere (Target has had an amazing 'buy this apple doodad and get a free giftcard!' promo that makes me think, "I can get a really nice bottle of wine just for buying an iPod of some sort... groovy!") and because of tech probs of some sort I have gone to the store and asked for their help- we have gotten a brand new iPod each time as they have never been able to fix whatever the problem was. Nice.

I reffuuuussee to go in if it seems crowded at all.

I agree with Ms. Pants- send this on over to people who can do something about the attitude. No matter WHAT your disposition is towards them (as long as you aren't wielding a machete or something...) they should be cool with you.

It's all much better now that you can use a $14 connector you can get at Best Buy (ha!)- mine never has static and works like a charm in my 'aux' port.

Faith said...

Indeed. Leo already had a connector, so I didn't even have to buy one! :D

Another thing my car does? Records CD's and stores them in it's memory. It's only 2 Gigs, but apparently it'll hold up to 600 songs, the salesguy said! I'm so happy...

faithstwin said...

oHhohohooo salesmen!

I really don't know- salesmen and their sheit just crack me up.

I may have been taken by an a/c salesman today. However, he would have to be REALLY good at being kinda gross and spazzy and smart with his explanations to have done as much.

Long story. I hope it translates so I don't look like a fucking idiot later...

Good deal on the Leo front! Is he willing to share, though? I mean, that works for Oldest and I as we are ALWAYS in the same car at the same time for obvious reasons. But you and Leo have diff cars. Diff timing. Diff needs- no? (For the record: Oldest and I share chargers. She would never subject me to the 800+ songs on her iPod, nor would I want to be subjected. Besides, she hears the 'this is MY car, MY iPod, MY choice' argument if she ever tries...) There is the occasional moment when she wants me to hear something, however, that it comes in handy that we only have one car this goes on in...

Faith said...

I asked him about the cord yesterday after you brought it up, and he said that it was an extra from a charger he had in his car that broke somehow. He's just gonna use the old charger that I had in my car instead now. It works fine on his version of iPod, for some reason. :/

faithstwin said...

I don't know what you are talking about as far as chargers go- the connection to the 'aux' option in your car is a little pluggy thingy that you stick in where your headphones go normally, then you plug the other end into a special spot in your dash.

Faith said...

Nuh-uh. In my car, it's a USB port. So I needed a USB cord that connected between the car port, and the special kind of USB port that an iPod has at the bottom. It's kind of like what you use to hook it up to the computer to charge or load it with new music. It's weird. Which is why I was glad he had one to spare!