Never piss off a 12-year-old

My son is really pissed at losing his MacBookPro. So, now what is he doing? Research on Google. He finds new articles from others who are having trouble, like this guy is, and he brings over his computer (I loaned him a ThinkPad) and says “read this.”

If I were Apple I’d take care of these problems better. You’re pissing off your best customers (and, up to yesterday, your most loyal).

Here, let’s practice this Google thing again: Apple MacBookPro crashes.

Not a single email from an Apple employee. Is anyone from Apple listening? Does anyone care?

But, no, I guess the mainstream press is just gonna lap up Steve Jobs’ latest keynote and hype up whatever he talks about.

Hey, Walt Mossberg or Steven Levy, why don’t you call up my 12-year-old son and write a column about Apple’s customer service failures instead of giving them tons of praise about the new iPod cell phone that’s gonna come out at MacWorld in a week?

Apple should listen to Regis McKenna, the guy who got them started.

182 thoughts on “Never piss off a 12-year-old

  1. It all comes down to one simple ideal. If you dont like the way businesses handle their problems and customers, start your own company and do it the way you feel it sould be done. We must remember that this is America and if you dont like the way things are done you have the right to do it your own way. Besides, if the service here is so hard to bear , try getting better service somewhere else and see how well that turns out. This country is a giant service industry and all we ever manage to do is whine about how someone else cant do it right. Oh one more thing try microsoft there real great service has won over millions of still dis-satisfied customers. So it comes down to one last thing. That is the fact that no matter how great tecnologies becomes there is always some spoiled little brat whos mad at his mommy and his computer because he cant beet his pudd while your out at the grocer!

  2. It all comes down to one simple ideal. If you dont like the way businesses handle their problems and customers, start your own company and do it the way you feel it sould be done. We must remember that this is America and if you dont like the way things are done you have the right to do it your own way. Besides, if the service here is so hard to bear , try getting better service somewhere else and see how well that turns out. This country is a giant service industry and all we ever manage to do is whine about how someone else cant do it right. Oh one more thing try microsoft there real great service has won over millions of still dis-satisfied customers. So it comes down to one last thing. That is the fact that no matter how great tecnologies becomes there is always some spoiled little brat whos mad at his mommy and his computer because he cant beet his pudd while your out at the grocer!

  3. Hahabob: Patrick got straight A’s and saved up for his own computer with a subsidy from me for his straight A’s.

    But, I’m not going to debate parenting skills with someone who can’t even spell very well or use his/her own name. Have a good one!

  4. Hahabob: Patrick got straight A’s and saved up for his own computer with a subsidy from me for his straight A’s.

    But, I’m not going to debate parenting skills with someone who can’t even spell very well or use his/her own name. Have a good one!

  5. why des your 12yr old have a macbook pro anyway? lemme guess….he already has a cell phone and a midnight curfew or later? oh wait, that’s right, you are a divorced parent who couldnt keep the house together long enough to raise a kid properly, so you just give him crap now to make up for bad parenting. oh yeah and he is “pissed” as you say…what a f-ing brat. raise them right, then you would never nee dto post this blog cause he wouldnt have turned out like a little POS wanting/geting anything everything. stupid 12yr old with a $2,500 computer. idiot parents!

  6. why des your 12yr old have a macbook pro anyway? lemme guess….he already has a cell phone and a midnight curfew or later? oh wait, that’s right, you are a divorced parent who couldnt keep the house together long enough to raise a kid properly, so you just give him crap now to make up for bad parenting. oh yeah and he is “pissed” as you say…what a f-ing brat. raise them right, then you would never nee dto post this blog cause he wouldnt have turned out like a little POS wanting/geting anything everything. stupid 12yr old with a $2,500 computer. idiot parents!

  7. RB: looks like everyone is sticking it to you. But honestly..I bet these people would have a fit too if it was there machine that broke down

  8. RB: looks like everyone is sticking it to you. But honestly..I bet these people would have a fit too if it was there machine that broke down

  9. Searously apple has the best tech support that i have ever seen just go to microsoft and try to get them to do anything other than ruin computers

  10. Searously apple has the best tech support that i have ever seen just go to microsoft and try to get them to do anything other than ruin computers

  11. Uh oh. While I posted comment #80 (above) days ago, it almost foretold one of yesterday’s big keynote announcements; the discontinuation of the word “Computer” in Apple’s corporate brand/name.

    May add even more to the point raised above about Apple being something other than the “company that built the Mac”….

  12. Uh oh. While I posted comment #80 (above) days ago, it almost foretold one of yesterday’s big keynote announcements; the discontinuation of the word “Computer” in Apple’s corporate brand/name.

    May add even more to the point raised above about Apple being something other than the “company that built the Mac”….

  13. Dell’s customer service is on par with Apple’s. But my personal experience is that Apple is better when hardware fixing or replacement is necessary!

  14. Dell’s customer service is on par with Apple’s. But my personal experience is that Apple is better when hardware fixing or replacement is necessary!

  15. I’ve had… little experience with Apple support, but what I have had I just didn’t like:

    I have a G3 Lombard with a broken keyboard, DVD drive and power socket. OK, so it’s well out of warranty being nearly 8 years old.

    The local store won’t supply the parts for a self repair, instead wanting £53 /per incident/ to repair the laptop on top of the parts (each counting as a single incident.

    Now, considering I can pick an OEM laptop DVD burner for £45 or so brand new, they wanted £90 not including the incident fee.

    They wanted £135 for a new keyboard. I can source one of those for £30.

    As for the power socket; £370 for a new mainboard. Only way they’d do it. I’ve spent the last three years repairing laptop power sockets and gotten bloody good at it. £0.35 for the required component.

    The other thing I have is a 20″ aluminium Cinema display with a damaged cable and no PSU.

    For the modest(!) sum of £90 I can get a new PSU from Apple. Provided I furnish them with a serial number (WHY??). Thing is I bought the panel secondhand, the PSU lasted a month and fried the cable when it went. I’ve tested the panel and know it still works, so all it needs is the PSU and cable. Apple will not supply me with a new fifteen Dollar cable.

    Sorry, Apple, but that just won’t do.

    On the x86 side of the fence, I have a few Dell laptops. My C640 recently developed a motherboard problem. I asked Dell tech support about options, and after reading them the service code on the unit I was told that even though I had bought the unit secondhand, it was still under Platinum warranty. Two weeks later it was returned to me by courier with a spanking brand new mainboard and two new batteries. All at Dell’s expense. Can’t beat it.

  16. I’ve had… little experience with Apple support, but what I have had I just didn’t like:

    I have a G3 Lombard with a broken keyboard, DVD drive and power socket. OK, so it’s well out of warranty being nearly 8 years old.

    The local store won’t supply the parts for a self repair, instead wanting £53 /per incident/ to repair the laptop on top of the parts (each counting as a single incident.

    Now, considering I can pick an OEM laptop DVD burner for £45 or so brand new, they wanted £90 not including the incident fee.

    They wanted £135 for a new keyboard. I can source one of those for £30.

    As for the power socket; £370 for a new mainboard. Only way they’d do it. I’ve spent the last three years repairing laptop power sockets and gotten bloody good at it. £0.35 for the required component.

    The other thing I have is a 20″ aluminium Cinema display with a damaged cable and no PSU.

    For the modest(!) sum of £90 I can get a new PSU from Apple. Provided I furnish them with a serial number (WHY??). Thing is I bought the panel secondhand, the PSU lasted a month and fried the cable when it went. I’ve tested the panel and know it still works, so all it needs is the PSU and cable. Apple will not supply me with a new fifteen Dollar cable.

    Sorry, Apple, but that just won’t do.

    On the x86 side of the fence, I have a few Dell laptops. My C640 recently developed a motherboard problem. I asked Dell tech support about options, and after reading them the service code on the unit I was told that even though I had bought the unit secondhand, it was still under Platinum warranty. Two weeks later it was returned to me by courier with a spanking brand new mainboard and two new batteries. All at Dell’s expense. Can’t beat it.

  17. Kathy: I was in the store. Just not at the counter with him. My son loves Apple stores. They are the highlight of his life.

    By the way, turns out his Mac is fixed and is being shipped back to the store. He might have it back on Friday. So, at least they get kudos there.

  18. Kathy: I was in the store. Just not at the counter with him. My son loves Apple stores. They are the highlight of his life.

    By the way, turns out his Mac is fixed and is being shipped back to the store. He might have it back on Friday. So, at least they get kudos there.

  19. So, Robert – why didn’t you (Santa?) buy the machine at Fry’s? You keep using them as an example, and they do sell Macs.

    As someone else pointed out, buying from the Apple store is not the same thing as buying from a big box retailer, on many levels.

    I realize that Patrick is smart and fairly comfortable with adults – but Robert, he’s a kid. He went without any adult? I’m amazed. [Note, I'm not a parent.]

    Oh. And Costco’s return policy at the Biz store in Lynnwood and costco.com is six months, not a year.

    I have owned seven Macs — four desktops and three laptops. My first one was a PowerPC desktop back when Apple did house calls. Yes, this was the 90s and they sent a tech to my house and he fixed the machine under warranty. And it was an open-box online purchase. I had no problems with the other three desktops.

    I always buy extended warranty for laptops. Seems like I had a screen issue with the first one. And this G4 Aluminum had power issues. I dropped it off at the Lynnwood WA Apple Store and picked it up there. They notified me by e-mail each step along the way.

    And, like the person above who talked about HP — I got a sales person who was empathetic — who diagnosed a warranty problem that I didn’t know I had (pixel loss) and who told me what would happen and how long it would take. And I watched another employee on another day apologize to a couple who had a problem with their iMac (as I related above).

    So there are employees who are good representatives of the company and employees who are not.

    And if you have a way to ensure that every employee is an excellent customer service rep EVERY hour of the work day, maybe you need to write another book. ;-)

  20. So, Robert – why didn’t you (Santa?) buy the machine at Fry’s? You keep using them as an example, and they do sell Macs.

    As someone else pointed out, buying from the Apple store is not the same thing as buying from a big box retailer, on many levels.

    I realize that Patrick is smart and fairly comfortable with adults – but Robert, he’s a kid. He went without any adult? I’m amazed. [Note, I'm not a parent.]

    Oh. And Costco’s return policy at the Biz store in Lynnwood and costco.com is six months, not a year.

    I have owned seven Macs — four desktops and three laptops. My first one was a PowerPC desktop back when Apple did house calls. Yes, this was the 90s and they sent a tech to my house and he fixed the machine under warranty. And it was an open-box online purchase. I had no problems with the other three desktops.

    I always buy extended warranty for laptops. Seems like I had a screen issue with the first one. And this G4 Aluminum had power issues. I dropped it off at the Lynnwood WA Apple Store and picked it up there. They notified me by e-mail each step along the way.

    And, like the person above who talked about HP — I got a sales person who was empathetic — who diagnosed a warranty problem that I didn’t know I had (pixel loss) and who told me what would happen and how long it would take. And I watched another employee on another day apologize to a couple who had a problem with their iMac (as I related above).

    So there are employees who are good representatives of the company and employees who are not.

    And if you have a way to ensure that every employee is an excellent customer service rep EVERY hour of the work day, maybe you need to write another book. ;-)

  21. Sad, but true.

    I had an eye-opening experience with Apple support a couple of weeks ago. Like you described your son as being, I think (thought?) of myself as a huge Apple loyalist and likely even, bigot and have bought only Apple product since January, 1984 both for myself and my various business ventures.

    I always found Apple to be not only more innovative than its PC counterparts, but the quality of the workmanship to be unmatched. Moreover, I fount the customer care to be just that, CARING, sympathetic, and urgent. Until now.

    I had a recent problem, albeit, not critical, with my new MBP. I could no longer get Front Row to start as it seemed to disable itself each time I installed it. I brought it to the Genius Bar at my local mall store where I was dismissed as having an OS problem and was sent packing until I agreed to reload the Operating System.

    Not believing the OS was at fault and remaining convinced it was a hardware failure, I went to a different, further, mall store where I was greeted reasonably promptly (I am, after all, a Procare customer) and the system diagnosed as having a cable failure connecting the IR card. When I was told it would still take 7 days to fix, I was shocked, since I rely on the laptop as my principal computer and would be crippled without.

    Where bad went worse, I inquired why (how) they could fix iPod problems with far greater sense of urgency, when in fact nobody’s business relied on a working iPod, the Genius replied “Sir, iPods ARE our business!”

    It hit me like a ton of bricks.

    Apple has changed. They have transformed from a low-voume, high quality PC manufacturer to a high-volume, lower quality consumer electronics company.

    The Mac has become an afterthought to Apple, it seems, as their futures seem closely tied to the success of the iPod, and everything else is an alsoran. Or so it seems to me.

    Sadly shocking. Undeniably true.

  22. Sad, but true.

    I had an eye-opening experience with Apple support a couple of weeks ago. Like you described your son as being, I think (thought?) of myself as a huge Apple loyalist and likely even, bigot and have bought only Apple product since January, 1984 both for myself and my various business ventures.

    I always found Apple to be not only more innovative than its PC counterparts, but the quality of the workmanship to be unmatched. Moreover, I fount the customer care to be just that, CARING, sympathetic, and urgent. Until now.

    I had a recent problem, albeit, not critical, with my new MBP. I could no longer get Front Row to start as it seemed to disable itself each time I installed it. I brought it to the Genius Bar at my local mall store where I was dismissed as having an OS problem and was sent packing until I agreed to reload the Operating System.

    Not believing the OS was at fault and remaining convinced it was a hardware failure, I went to a different, further, mall store where I was greeted reasonably promptly (I am, after all, a Procare customer) and the system diagnosed as having a cable failure connecting the IR card. When I was told it would still take 7 days to fix, I was shocked, since I rely on the laptop as my principal computer and would be crippled without.

    Where bad went worse, I inquired why (how) they could fix iPod problems with far greater sense of urgency, when in fact nobody’s business relied on a working iPod, the Genius replied “Sir, iPods ARE our business!”

    It hit me like a ton of bricks.

    Apple has changed. They have transformed from a low-voume, high quality PC manufacturer to a high-volume, lower quality consumer electronics company.

    The Mac has become an afterthought to Apple, it seems, as their futures seem closely tied to the success of the iPod, and everything else is an alsoran. Or so it seems to me.

    Sadly shocking. Undeniably true.

  23. People bet their lives on their machines. Imagine a business who gets this kind of response?

    Dude, perspective much? Unless you can show me someone who will DIE WITHOUT A LAPTOP, you need to stop confusing a laptop with a life. I know it’s hard, but there is in fact a difference.

    I do have Macs that are running critical services. Oddly enough, I have purchased the appropriate support contracts. Are they standard AppleCare? Um..no. A bit more expensive.

    Keep in mind that Patrick knows more about Apple than any Apple store employee I know. If you ever meet him that’ll become instantly apparent.

    Dude, please, a guy hired by Apple two weeks ago can spank you on Mac knowledge, so your claims here are shall we say…inane?

    Secondly, wtf man, you let a kid, smart though he may be handle this? Lame much, or do you just like watching shit break when it’s a Mac so you can prove a point. Would you leave him to the wolves if it was a Thinkpad or a Tablet?

    Survey says: Oh Shit No, you’d become THE SCOBELIZER so fast it would leave scorch marks.

    Man, that’s just lame. You know there’s a dozen ways to handle this without treating either the employee or Patrick poorly, and you let someone just twist in the wind. Then again, you did that enough with MS employees when you worked there, so it’s a fairly standard modus. I just figured you’d not do that to your kid. Good job man. Way to lead by example.

    Face it, the only reason you did this was to mask your own inadequacy with regard to Macs, and that you can’t pull any strings here. It would be fun to see you whining about how Patrick told you “Figure it out your own damned self” the first time you needed help from him with a problem with your MBP. Sheesh dude, learn some leadership.

  24. People bet their lives on their machines. Imagine a business who gets this kind of response?

    Dude, perspective much? Unless you can show me someone who will DIE WITHOUT A LAPTOP, you need to stop confusing a laptop with a life. I know it’s hard, but there is in fact a difference.

    I do have Macs that are running critical services. Oddly enough, I have purchased the appropriate support contracts. Are they standard AppleCare? Um..no. A bit more expensive.

    Keep in mind that Patrick knows more about Apple than any Apple store employee I know. If you ever meet him that’ll become instantly apparent.

    Dude, please, a guy hired by Apple two weeks ago can spank you on Mac knowledge, so your claims here are shall we say…inane?

    Secondly, wtf man, you let a kid, smart though he may be handle this? Lame much, or do you just like watching shit break when it’s a Mac so you can prove a point. Would you leave him to the wolves if it was a Thinkpad or a Tablet?

    Survey says: Oh Shit No, you’d become THE SCOBELIZER so fast it would leave scorch marks.

    Man, that’s just lame. You know there’s a dozen ways to handle this without treating either the employee or Patrick poorly, and you let someone just twist in the wind. Then again, you did that enough with MS employees when you worked there, so it’s a fairly standard modus. I just figured you’d not do that to your kid. Good job man. Way to lead by example.

    Face it, the only reason you did this was to mask your own inadequacy with regard to Macs, and that you can’t pull any strings here. It would be fun to see you whining about how Patrick told you “Figure it out your own damned self” the first time you needed help from him with a problem with your MBP. Sheesh dude, learn some leadership.

  25. Bobby, you keep going on about this Best Buy return policy but it’s the same as the Apple policy, 14 days from purchase for computers. Best Buy has a 15% restocking fee, Apple 10%. As for Dell, it’s a 21 day policy with a 15% restocking fee. The return policies are similar as are the warranty service policies.

  26. Bobby, you keep going on about this Best Buy return policy but it’s the same as the Apple policy, 14 days from purchase for computers. Best Buy has a 15% restocking fee, Apple 10%. As for Dell, it’s a 21 day policy with a 15% restocking fee. The return policies are similar as are the warranty service policies.

  27. I don’t think your son is whiny at all. I bet the same people bashing your kid would have a meltdown if their Starbuck’s barista effed up their triple grande non-fat no-whip three pump extra hot mocha.

    Duh we’re a pampered society and expect results.

  28. I don’t think your son is whiny at all. I bet the same people bashing your kid would have a meltdown if their Starbuck’s barista effed up their triple grande non-fat no-whip three pump extra hot mocha.

    Duh we’re a pampered society and expect results.

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