We’ve Got You Covered

by albertopolintan

MBP Key Cap

My MacBook Pro has been problematic after the warranty ran out. A new logic board – which was faulty and never replaced. A faulty RAM clip which means it’s running off a single stick of RAM. A key cap breaking. Now with the free Mavericks OS update, the thing just runs like an office-issue Windows XP laptop. 

But in order to get someone to look at it, you need to go to the Apple Store and see a “Genius”. With the brand being so mass market these days, traffic through that place is horrendous. While the online booking is fairly straightforward, there isn’t a clear sign where you need to go in this packed meat store. Finding the concierge service (a staff member with an iPad who appears to manage bookings) has to be found. If you had no idea that this is what you needed to do first, how would you get there? Go to the Genius Bar, of course where they’ll shuffle you to the iPad-gifted person who will slot you somewhere.

For my last problem (the faulty key cap), I thought I’d book a time with a Genius and buy the key cap in store. No biggie. Re-inserting the part looked straightforward and I could see where the fault was. I’ve done this change on many XP laptops before, surely this would be a piece of cake? The Apple answer to that is no. The Genius mentioned that they couldn’t just sell me a replacement part – I needed to bring the machine in so they could determine which keyboard set I had and if it was a particular build, I would need the whole set of keys replaced. What?! I’ve ranted at the Apple Store before and their tactic is to just let you go berserk. They know that you need to let off steam and they just say nothing. So, you rant and rant and rant. Once they think you’re done, then they get to it. I knew better this time and just left and would Google for an answer later.

Of course, they were right. There is no easy fix if you have the wrong keyboard and the cost of replacement for the “wrong” part is about a hundred bucks. (What?!) The whole problem here is that I think I’m reasonably capable with computers. This keycap issue could have been remedied if I wanted to fix things (I could order the part online and do the surgery myself). But for the average user, going to the Genius is all they need. The treatment is magical. Problem with computer, a person who knows more than I do fixes it. This mirrors the user experience. Finger goes across, screen screen unlocks. Magical.

The problem with users like me is that I’m somewhat more self-sufficient and comfortable with what’s in the box. Yet, the company still chooses to treat me just like everyone else. I was once an advocate but today, not so much. Maybe because they thought they had me covered that I would be there forever. I guess not.