My buddy Rick has been Apple crazy lately. He’s bought a iPod, an iPod Shuffle, a Mac mini, to finally a Powermac G5 Dual processor system. Unforturnately, he’s had some on and off issues with his hardware. Here’s his story about getting his problems resolved.
One thing that was mentioned in the comments to Rick’s article was the Indian tech support. I’ve had my share of run-in’s with these people, and very rarely have I been able to get satisfactory answers. The companies that I’ve dealt with that use these support centers have been major companies like Bellsouth and Dell. Because of the lousy tech support, both companies are not high on my recommendation list anymore. Part of the problem is the companies that hire the call centers. To control how people interact with their support, the company gives the call center people a script to follow. If they don’t follow the script, the tech person can get into a lot of trouble. Take Bellsouth, for example. Every time I call them with a problem, I get the same run around, which takes 15 – 30 minutes of time. My problem is that I have a flaky line. When I call, I cannot get the people on the other end to skip steps 1-30, and go directly to ‘have a tech actually LOOK at the box’. This has been going on for a LONG time. You’d think that they’d at least LOOK at the history… Oh well, I guess that’s all I will get for paying $40 a month for high speed service.
Back to the topic… Apple’s tech support right now is the best in the business, at least from the experiences I have seen. They have good techs who can actually work on the computers in every store, and they make a real attempt to fix the problem. (I’ll not go off on my Best Buy/Compusa rant about what THEY do to fix a computer). There are several reasons that Apple is good at tech support. One, they have very controlled hardware. Only one company makes the computers. Everything is DESIGNED, not just put together. There are not too many variations on the basic models. Finally, they are more expensive than the market norm. This adds up to make for a computer system that is relatively easy to service, and enough money was made when the product was sold to cover the maintenance costs.
PC’s are different. Everybody and their brother makes parts for PCs. There’s no baseline standards, no standard ANYTHING… Just being able to get some computers working is a minor miracle. This actually means that a good PC technician must know MORE than their Apple counter part. More knowledge = higher salary. How is a company supposed to pay a good tech when they sell the computer for little more than the cost of the parts?
Something to think about when you think the price of the computer is ‘too high…’