Friday, September 25, 2009

iPhone Broken? Get in line.

Normally, if my GSM phone goes on the fritz, I reach into a desk drawer and dust off an old one.  A minute later, I've moved the SIM card, reacquainted myself with the antique's eccentricities and I'm good to go.  If the broken phone is under warranty, I take it back to the neighbourhood Telco outlet and fight with them about repairs or replacement.  This process worked well for many years.  However, the iPhone breaks this process on several fronts.  Instead of being minutes without a working phone, it will now take 8 days or maybe more.  Thanks, Apple!

Of course, I knew that no mortal hands could touch the SIM card in an iPhone, and I weighed the downside before buying.  What I didn't really count on was the change in the service experience.  With every other phone I've owned, when it breaks, I talk to the phone company.  Why not?  That's where I bought the thing.  And they seem to be rivaling Starbucks in their efforts to secure every possible retail space.  So the nearest outlet is always nearby. 

With iPhone, it's not just the SIM card that you lose, it's the telco support too.  I never thought I'd be suggesting that telco support is preferable to anything - except maybe root canals.  But at least the telco had skin in the game.  With Apple, I'm just an expense.

So here I am, in an upscale shopping district that I usually avoid like the plague.  As usual, the Apple Store is filled to the brim with the worst kinds of computer users: complete newbies, fan boys and zellots.  The woman ahead of me books a Genius appointment for something completely trivial.  Surely they triage these things.  Nope.  It's a purely first come first serve system.

"But my phone doesn't work." I say.
"Right. How about next Wednesday?" the overly happy Apple Store Concierge suggests.
"But my phone doesn't work right now!"
"One pm, or should we make it 1:20?"

1 comment:

  1. Follow Up: After posting this, I found out that you can get the sim card out of your iphone. That's great news, but it doesn't improve my impression of Apple's service.