Apple – You suck worse than Samsung

Dear Apple,

I would like to formally lodge a complaint against one of your resellers, Mac City Malaysia, specifically the service center located at 1 Utama Shopping Center, Lot S330, 2nd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Center New Wing.

My iphone 5 Serial number C36JVVUUDTWF is eligible for the sleep/wake button recall at https://www.apple.com/my/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/

I have been living with this issue for some time, and finally found time to go to this service center. Once there, they did their checks and agreed it was eligible. They asked if I backed up my data and when I said yes, we agreed to do a wipe and they would replace it, after a few days.

Then, after consulting with his senior ‘technician’, a person by the name of Calvin, they informed me that I am not eligible for this recall because my volume button also appeared to be faulty. One of the volume button (decrease volume) required some extra strength to use it because it has also been semi-stuck. I didn’t have a problem with that, my problem is my sleep/wake button, which has caused me to misdial different people because I didn’t lock the phone. They insisted that until I fix my volume button (for around SGD450!), they will never accept my phone for sleep/wake recall. I argued that it’s the same controller, sitting on the same ribbon. I couldn’t believe that I was teaching an Apple ‘technician’ rudimentary knowledge on their own products. Of course, if the controller is faulty, those connected to it will naturally have issues. It’s not as if these two issues are not related. They are on the same RIBBON!

However, they refused to accept my reasoning, and completely disregarded any more attempts to even try or help me. Their attention then focused on another unfortunate person unlucky enough to come to this ‘service center’.

My complaints are this:

  • The service I received was bad. While they were not rude or anything (I need to be fair), the only word to describe these people were: soul-less. Like robots, who kept repeating that the policy from apple is that if anything else other than the sleep/wake button is not working, Apple will not accept the recall. They told me to fix my volume first, then send in for recall.
  • The senior technician had no knowledge on his product. By reasoning, if I fixed my volume button, that would mean replacing the ribbon, which would also fix my sleep/wake button. Isn’t that the point? Did he not know they resided on the same controller? Instead, he demonstrated an absolute lack of knowledge, which even me, a non technical customer knows. It’s embarrassing.
  • They do not understand customer experience. A guy called Steve Jobs said: “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” They weren’t interested to solve my concern and problems. I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief and ridicule from them as I turned away to go. No, they were only interested to sell products but not to service them.
  • The worst of all – They DO NOT REPRESENT THE SPIRIT OF APPLE. This is the worst sin of all. I am a lifelong Apple advocate. I have Macs, I use IPhone first gen till now, I never jailbreak my phones, and I have multiple apple Ipad, Ipad Minis at home. It’s very tough to understand how Mac City can take an institution like Apple and basically stampede the life out of it, and represent one of the world’s best brand with this vapid, emotionless, incapable service paralysis. I am in shock that someone is allowed to do this to Apple, and I am afraid your Reseller quality program needs a re-look.

What to do next? I concede, Mr Calvin and his team in Mac City Service Center @ One Utama might be an anomaly. I’ve been to Apple Stores all over the world, and in US, their service would be ridiculously good. Even in Singapore at your center in Wheelock, they would never consider treating a customer like garbage as I have been treated here in this service center. They would at least consider to help and with a good reasoning behind it, create the ‘customer experience’ that Mr Jobs founded this company on.

I think Apple Asia needs to relook at their resellers. Most of these resellers are interested to ‘sell’. Their culture is never to treat the customer with respect, but always attach a number to them. A price. A value. That’s not Apple. Maybe you should rename them Apple Authorised Re-Service-rs. Please do not sell out your brand. In times like this with the Chinese brands, Korean brands and what not coming in, Apple must be the bastion of quality and supremacy, and must always remember, without your customer base, amazing products will be left on the shelf. Improve our people, improve your support personnel, because the battle is always won in the hearts of your consumer.

I will give Apple another chance, but please consider this letter. I took so long to write this because I care for the brand. I will pay top dollar for quality and service. But you need to relook at resellers like Mac City or remove/revamp their extremely poor service center in One Utama, and relook at how to win us back. Be devoted to us fanboys, as we are devoted to you. Thank you.

p/s – I have written to Mac City regarding this complaint but as usual, I expect not a word from them in response. I will need to live with this problem with my Iphone until I change it. Or perhaps, finally after years of resistance, give Android a chance. It’s just sad, that it wasn’t Samsung or HTC or Xiaomi who won a customer, but it was Apple who lost it.

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