December 24, 2016 at 11:48 AM by Dr. Drang
It’s been nearly two weeks since I left you hanging midway through the thrilling tale of the iPhone 6S battery replacements for my wife and me. In our last installment, we learned that my replacement went well, but since I hadn’t been having the sudden shutdown problem, it was my wife’s experience that would be more interesting. She’d been having the sudden shutdowns for a couple of weeks.
In short, she’s had a new battery for about 10 days now, and the shutdown problems have disappeared. The battery replacement solved the problem.
As I said in the last post, our local Apple Store didn’t have replacement batteries in stock on the Sunday when we first went in. They arrived on the following Thursday, which, as luck would have it, was when my wife was leaving town for a few days. Because the stores will only hold the battery for you for 5 days, I told the Apple Genius about my wife’s situation when I went in to get my replacement and asked if they could start her 5-day clock on the following Monday when she’d be back in town. No problem, I was told, and the Genius typed something in on her iPad.
But on Tuesday of the following week, the day after her 5-day clock was supposed to start, my wife got a voice mail message saying her 5 days were up and the battery would be given away to another customer if she didn’t come in. That’s one strike against the store.
Rather than call back to argue, she went in and handed over her phone. She was told the battery switch would be done in 2½ hours. This is longer than the 2 hours for my replacement but not bad. When she returned in 2 hours, it wasn’t ready. Give us another 20 minutes. She returned in 20 minutes and was sat at a table. After a while, she had the sense that they’d forgotten she was there and flagged down a store employee. The phone came out almost immediately. I’m not sure whether to call this one more strike or two.
I’ve never had bad service at an Apple Store before. They’re very busy, and service is never instant, but I understand that and have always been happy with how I’ve been treated. This, though, was a pile-on of what used to be considered very un-Apple-like behavior. Whatever system they’re using to track customers and service requests failed 2–3 times on the same request. Both my wife and I wrote about the problems on the customer feedback forms we got from the store.
Is this whining? If I were dealing with a discount store, I’d say yes. But expectations for Apple are higher, commensurate with the price you pay for their products and the quality image the company projects.