Surfing the Riptide of Customer Service, part 2

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Creative Commons License photo credit: MShades

Last time, we talked about the start of an unfortunate experience with Apple customer service.

Let’s continue the story with the joy of a voice mail phone tree. Click here to read part one of this story.

Watch for the one failure point – the one place that takes the customer off the customer service highway and pushes them into the maze.

The young lady handed me a card, said call that number a day or so before I was dropping in, and everything would be cool.

Off I went.

Wednesday night, I was planning on returning to the city. So, Tuesday, while driving around, I call the number on the card. “For this problem, press 1. For this problem, press 2. For this problem, press 3. For an appointment …” so I pressed 4. And the menu started again.

Must not have stuck.

“For an appointment …” I hit the 4 again. The menu starts. I press 4, Bye bye. It hangs up.

Well, I remember my old Windows phones would sometimes not give the button tone on a call and calling back worked. So, I do it again. 4 … menu starts again. I press 0 … hangs up.

So, this time I _really_ listen.

“For an appointment, go to this website blah blah. For anything else, press 5.”


4 doesn’t work. The 4th option is the only option that you can’t press a sequential number for. Somebody in human engineering dropped the ball.

I press 5.

A person in the Apple store answers and I explain I want to make an appointment. “Yes sir, here’s the URL” … uh, I don’t have a computer. I’m in my truck. I just need to make an appointment. “I’m sorry. You can’t make an appointment that way.”

If someone was standing in front of you, would you tell them to go home and get online to make an appointment? Of course not.

You have the customer on the phone and tells them to hang up and do something else to make an appointment? They are right in front of you, just as if they are standing in your store. What in the world would make you think the ideal thing to do is send them on their way?

I hope I don’t have to elaborate on the inane nature of a request like this. Clearly a failure in design of the service appointment process. Employees need to be empowered with systems that allow them to deal with this situation.

Next time, we’ll see where this mess continues and learn another lesson from Apple.