Saturday, October 17, 2009

Never, ever, ever go to Mac Station. Ever.*

* Unless I get a phone call from the manager in the next few days and he offers me a new laptop at half price, that is.


Six weeks ago a movie-watching program on my iBook G4 froze up, and didn't respond to the Force Quit function. So I restarted my computer (I was in the middle of an episode of Weeds, I believe, and wanted to continue right then).

A funny thing happened on the way to the... whatever is analogous to the Coliseum, I guess. I was asked to log in to my user account, something that has never happened to me in four years of using it. So I did. And nothing happened. I tried again, and again, nothing. So I restarted it again, only to be faced with the same log-in screen.

Several days later (Friday, September 4th, to be exact), after some internet searches for problem-solving tips (all failed, and one leaving me worse off than before (mistake #1)), I took my putey into Mac Station in Vancouver (mistake #2). I left thinking it was a hard-drive issue, fine, may take a bit to rescue the data and order in a new one, etc.

Six weeks later (yes, you read that right, SIX WEEKS later), on October the 16th, I went and got my laptop from Mac Station, and not only was nothing fixed, but the keyboard and mouse button were also broken. What? How did this happen, you ask? I'm confused myself, but this is what I know:

Timeline of events (some dates are estimates):

Sept. 4th - dropped laptop off.
Sept. 9th - called to ask what was wrong (note: they didn't call me to tell me); unfortunately technician C (who was dealing with my computer) had left for the day, I should call back tomorrow.
Sept. 10th - technician C told me my OS wasn't working so good, he could do a data back-up and re-install for $127; seemed a bit steep, I thought I would ask a friend, who counseled spending the money.
Sept 11th - I called back, said go for it, and while they were at it why not change the hard-drive to something a little bigger, as had been suggested to me by them (that was mistake #3).
Sept. 16th - According to someone in sales (service wasn't answering their phone), the hard-drive was ordered and should be in in the next two days (note: again, I had to call; repeatedly.)
Sept. 19th - left message on answering machine.
Sept. 21st - left message on answering machine.
Sept. 23rd - left message on answering machine.
Sept. 25th - talked to manager A, who apologized for the delay, he would ensure that it was looked at right away, etc etc, he would make sure I would see a discount; I felt very reassured (mistake #4).
Sept. 29th - emailed manager A t0 follow up; never heard back.
Oct. 2nd (a Friday, four weeks in) - talked again to manager A, who apologized again, said he would get the technician on it right away; technician M called me in the evening to say his goal was to get me my computer the next day, but that there may be an issue with something, but at the very least he would call to tell me how it went; felt optimistic (mistake #5).
Oct. 3rd - not a word.
Oct. 4th - nothing.
Oct. 5th (may have been 6th) - I called; technician M apologized for forgetting to call; he would do his best to get my computer fixed as soon as he could.
Oct. 10th - called and talked to technician M, told him that the situation was absurd; he gave me tons of reasons why the work wasn't done, some entirely valid, I'm sure, and that he would try to get to it soon but he was really busy (would TRY to get to it? really?); I told him that I would come and get my computer the following Friday regardless of whether it was fixed.
Oct. 15th - phoned to ask if it had been fixed, told no, they couldn't, they were going to wrap it up so I could pick it up.
Oct. 16th - picked it up in worse shape than I left it (see above); left message with store manager asking him to call about the service I had received; haven't heard back.

So, what do I do now? What do I say to the manager if I ever get in touch with him?

Friend R is coming by tomorrow and we're going to try to rescue the data, then wipe the hard-drive and re-install the OS. If that doesn't work, I'll take it to someone that will actually try to fix it (I know, what an odd approach). In the meantime, tell all your Mac-using friends: Never, ever, ever take your computer to Mac Station. Ever.

UPDATE, Oct. 19th:

A Mac Station employee posted a comment below at 12:58pm on Oct. 18th. Here is some of it:

Hello Brenton,

I work for Mac Station (in another department)...

I don't even know the complete details of your work order, but there is no reason a job like this should take that long...

I have forwarded this post to the people that can make decisions at that level...

I expect that a course of resolution will be presented to you very shortly.

It will be interesting to see if anyone does contact me. Thanks for the comment, anonymous employee.

Oct. 20th - nothing.


Anonymous said...

Hello Brenton,

I work for Mac Station (in another department), so I would have never known about this situation had I not been on Facebook this morning checking a few of my colleagues updates. Just in case you were wondering, I learned of your case through your friend Jean's comment to Lucas.

Thank you for taking the time to vent your frustration, and document this timeline. I had only wished that it was properly directed by management before your repair experience when awry.

I can't comment in detail on the factors that were involved in adding up to your repair taking 6 weeks, but I am certain that there are some valid reasons.

You have my utmost sympathy here. The bottom line is that it is totally unacceptable for you to have to wait that long for a repair. Again, I don't even know the complete details of your work order, but there is no reason a job like this should take that long. I can promise you that our service and repair standards are much higher than that.

I am sure you're still quite upset with the individuals involved in your case; and you probably won't like my answer either. I can't wave a magic wand and give you a shiny new computer, so I have forwarded this post to the people that can make decisions at that level. I know you are sick of waiting, but I really have no control in this case, other than bending their ears.

I expect that a course of resolution will be presented to you very shortly.

Brenton said...

Thanks for the comment, anonymous employee. I understand that the service department may be overworked, understaffed, and poorly managed.

What doesn't make sense is the atrocious communication and fruitless promises. If you can't fix my computer in six weeks (or better yet, a week or two), then let me know. They have my email and phone number, and over the six week period I received a grand total of one phone call. Brutal.

So while I'm hopeful that your effort to bring this to the attention of someone who may be able to do something about it, I'm not holding my breath. I'll try phoning the manager again today, and see if he knows what state the service department is in.


Brenton said...

Hello again, Anonymous. If you are getting email updates of comments, I invite you to respond. I have not heard back from Mac Station, despite leaving messages for the store manager. Any guesses why? Is he too busy? Unconcerned that his service department is not providing service?