My hard drive died on Friday. Friday morning I was using my PowerBook for email and web while waiting for my tower to do work. Suddenly it started making this click, click, click sound. It didn’t sound at all good so I shut the thing down. I was going that direction anyway so I decided to take it in to the Apple Store. I learned several things in this episode.
I arrived at the Valley Faire Apple Store, signed up for an appointment and settled in to wait. Some 40 minutes later it was my turn to talk to the Apple Genius.
“What can I help you with today,” says Mr. Genius.
“I think the hard drive died,” I replied.
“Let’s take a look.”
Of course, initially the PowerBook boots right up. I explain that it was making a clicking noise. The Apple Genius takes it, does some magic and the clicking noise starts.
“Is your hard drive backed up?”
“Go back up your hard drive,” says Apple Genius like he’s talking to the maid.
“How am I going to do that here in the store?”
“Go buy a drive…”
I managed to convince Mr. Genius that I wanted to continue the conversation on the assumption that I didn’t mind losing the data but it was an effort. The Apple Genius offered no indication that the Apple Store had any capability for backing up the hard drive. Mr. Genius’ arrogance was really frustrating me. Instead of helping me to understand my situation and the available options, Mr. Genius was bossy and argumentative. Frustrated and angry I decided that I really did not want to do business with him or that store. Mr. Genius had left me to think about my predicament while he helped some one else. Presently, he came back and asked what I wanted to do. I had already started packing up the ill computer having decided that whatever I was going to do, I wasn’t going to do it at this store.
“So, is everything OK,” asked Mr. Genius.
“No, but you can’t help me with the back up.”
“Well, we can but it is $150.”
I had some knowledgeable friends take a look at the drive. They confirmed that it was indeed dead. OK, so, what’s lost is lost. Let’s get it repaired. Fortunately, the PowerBook is covered under AppleCare. No longer willing to do business with the Valley Fair Apple Store, I went to the Palo Alto Apple Store. The difference was night and day.
I waited an hour or so. Mr. Genius was friendly. As I had already determined that the hard drive was dead, we discussed the issue of back up only long enough for me to discover that it would only be $50 at the Palo Alto store. Huh. Why is there a $100 difference in price between the two stores? Mr. Genius took my PowerBook and the relevant information. That was Friday night around 9:00 pm. And the Palo Alto store asked if I’d like to have the computer shipped directly to my residence so I wouldn’t have to come in and pick it up. The Valley Faire Apple Store didn’t offer that when I had my iBook fixed there.
Early this afternoon my PowerBook was delivered to my door. Two business days. That’s pretty sweet. The computer had nothing but Jaguar on it. I got out my Tiger DVD, installed the OS and began rebuilding my system. I’m about half way there. On the Real Soon Now shopping list: a large hard drive for backing up mine and my wife’s computers.
I still need to file a complaint about the Valley Faire Apple Store. I’ll never shop there again.