After finding OS bugs with a brand new laptop, Apple Store employees went above and beyond to find a solution.
It’s not often these days that you have a truly amazing customer service experience. And it’s even rarer to have such an amazing experience that you want to tell others about it. This past week, I had that rare moment that is worthy of sharing at the Apple Store Oxmoor in Louisville, Kentucky.
Let me start with a little background. I live in Evansville, Indiana. It’s a moderate-sized city but it does not have an Apple Store within 100 miles. The closest location to us is almost 2 hours away in Louisville, KY. A few weeks ago, I decided to update my MacBook Pro to a 2018 model with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. The ‘specked’ out laptop is usually a special order, but I as I was to find out, the Apple Store at Oxmoor keeps a few of those high-end MacBook Pros on hand in the case of a business needing them. This past Saturday, I decided to venture over to Louisville to pick up a new machine and enjoy a brief day trip out of Evansville. I walked into the store, told the employee what I was looking for and within about 15 minutes my transaction was complete and I was on my way.
Now, I did have the foresight to turn on the MBP before I left, but I didn’t mess around with it too much until I got home. We arrived home very late that night and Sunday I was busy backing up my old system so it wasn’t until Monday when I really started working with the new laptop. I installed Mojave on top of High Sierra instead of doing a clean install (the laptop came with High Sierra pre-installed) and I started experiencing some odd bugs.
First, I found that the system was lagging quite a bit. When I would log into the computer, the profile images would slowly fade out and then stutter back on. I could log into the computer but then there was a lot of drag when it came to moving the mouse around the screen. I tried to do a quick shutdown to see if rebooting would make a difference and I found a second bug — the dock would freeze as the computer was shutting down. Since I was experiencing some strange anomalies, I called Apple. I thought that a laptop that was only a few days old shouldn’t be having these type of errors. The Apple technician on the phone instructed me to boot the system into ‘safe mode’ by pressing/holding the SHIFT key upon startup of the computer. The MBP was completely shut down. I pressed the SHIFT key and before I had a chance to press the power button, the Apple logo appeared on the screen indicating that the laptop was starting up.
So after discovering three bugs that I could not find any explanation for and upon the suggestion of the Apple Care Tech over the phone, I decided to return to the Apple Store Oxmoor to exchange the laptop. I had two concerns with this. First, would they exchange the laptop without doing a full system diagnostic and two, would they have the laptop in stock anymore? I was taking a chance with the 2-hour drive, but what I found when I got there was nothing short of miraculous.
I called ahead and was told that I had nothing to worry about. The laptop was in stock although they couldn’t tell me what quantity they had and that they would complete the exchange since it was well within the 14-day return period. Even though one person had told me this, I still had doubts based on past experiences. Still, I went to the Apple Store to see what they could do for me.
The first employee I spoke with simply completed the exchange. I attempted to show him what the issues were and he said, “I believe you. If you are having issues, we can complete the exchange. We want you to be happy.” They brought out a brand new 2018 MacBook Pro specked out the same way the first laptop was and again, I was on my way within about 10 minutes. I went to have dinner and before I headed back to Evansville, I decided to run the laptop through some tests. At that point, I still had time to go back to the Apple Store if something happened to be wrong with this second laptop. As it turns out, I was right to test it out. I was still having the same issues (startup with the shift or caps lock key and the dock locking up upon shutdown) that I had with the first laptop.
I called the store back and they said, “Come back in. We’ll have a Genius take a look.” So, not only were they willing to help me out, but they took my case without having a Genius appointment. I walked right into the store and they sat me down at the Genius counter. I described the issues I had with the first laptop and what I was seeing with the second. After some basic troubleshooting and updating the system to Mojave, we did the testing process again. I still had problems with it. The Senior Genius I was working with, Bob, was extremely polite and did everything he possibly could to provide solutions to the problems we were seeing. The Senior Manager, Justin, came out at one point and apologized for all the inconvenience and even offered us a case for the laptop since we had to travel and be held over for the malfunctioning laptops.
After about an hour, the staff decided it would be best to try and find a MacBook Pro that had Mojave pre-installed since at that point we had only been trying a system with the updated software and not a clean install. Justin did some research and they pulled out the MacBook Pro that was the newest. It did not have Mojave and was experiencing some of the same issues. At this point, it was closing in on their closing time. Bob never once made me feel rushed and I apologized several times for how late it was getting. He said, “I’m here until you’re happy.” They really went out of their way to try and find solutions for issues that turned out to probably just be bugs in the operating system.
At the end of the evening (30 minutes past their closing time), another manager came out to talk with us (I didn’t ever catch his name though). He said that the shift/caps lock key to start up the computer was, in fact, something that was built into the 2018 MBP model and part of the new keyboard design and that all the keys would start up the laptop. The dock freezing up on shutdown was deemed a ‘bug’ that was probably never caught during testing — because how many times do you do a full shutdown on your laptop? Finally, the slow, stuttering profile image was determined to likely be a problem with the auto graphics switching. When we turned off the auto switching for the graphics card I was able to log in and out without the slow graphics or the stuttering of the mouse. But when I was to restart the machine, it did stutter. With the graphics card switching on using log out it would still go slow with stuttering so they deemed it to be a bug and not hardware. The problems were happening on multiple machines. We know it wasn’t linked to my profile because we saw the same issues with a TEST account, too. At the time of posting this article, no update has been released to fix the slow bootup or freezing dock issue.
The attitude and the service from the Apple Store employees was nothing short of exemplary. They were positive, helpful, and they never made me feel like I was doing something wrong. They wanted to see me happy when I left there. I’m not sure that I will ever have service like this again from anyone. I do hope that at some point, everyone is able to have an amazing customer service experience like I did.