Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Apple Service Experience

Sometime last year, I purchased an iPad. And that was purchased outside the country. All went well until one fine day the little one somehow managed to get gravitys attention to it from the sofa. Gravity, promptly pulled it towards the center of the earth. Luckily, the fall was broken by our floor. And coincidentally, post that the 'home' button stopped working. And for good measure, the iPad refused to recognize electricity as well - it stopped getting charged.

Our iPad was bricked more or less.

Taking it to the US was out of question and we thought of exploring some local service options. After all, a company like Apple would have some service center somewhere in Bangalore. Turns out they do.

Now, one does not expect an Apple product to fail. And in any case, most companies do not have anything called an international warranty. With the foresight that comes with experience, I had destroyed any proof of me having purchased the iPad. The chances that I will find the receipt when required tends towards zero in any case, so I dont bother keeping receipts.

So, we landed up there half expecting that nothing will work. But it turns out, Apple does have an international warranty. They took a look at our product and confirmed that a problem did exist and they will come back to us. Sure enough, they called - they had figured out that it was still a few days before a year ran out - and the warranty expired - and as per the warranty terms, hardware issues mean that the product will be replaced.

And here is the point. They could have easily sent me away since I did not have a receipt. Or if I did, they could have sent me away saying that since I purchased it in US, I would have to go back to US and get it serviced, at my own expense. And, it was after all damaged by us or so we thought - and that was reason enough for it to be turned back.

But they did not. And obviously for me that was a great service experience.

This is not a unique case. Please.

I had an HTC phone. Purchased in the US. The chap in India refused to open the phone (some lengthy debate about how they could not or were not allowed to ensued  - with the same result). I sent it to Singapore - same result there as well. And I have that Google phone lying on my desk as a paperweight - a great way for geeks to showcase their sunk cost.

Another friend had some e-reader device. That got replaced after she managed to nearly break into two - but it had to be returned to the country of purchase.

Even in India, for simple purchase returns they look at the preserved receipt and then look at you as if you made the receipt in your house and are trying to swindle money out of them.

Ultimately, you either have a great customer experience or you dont. Apple does. The rest, have, excuses.

Update: I visited a Canon service center in Bangalore and while I waited I heard the person there give some huge excuse to someone on how there is no international warranty and excuses like that. If you are Canon (and really, Canon is a big name in cameras), this is your time to get your service levels to that of Apple!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be Civil. Make nice!