this is something of a frustrated rant. i understand that apple techs are young and groovy and convinced of their innate superiority based on the simple fact that they’re mac…but…they’re very often completely full of shit.
i’m not sure where apple techs get their confidence from. i’ve seen them fail time and again and i’ve seen their products fail. obviously apples have the same warranty problems as other products. i wont judge them because in my industry i tend to see more faulty computers than the average person. my hit rate for faulty apples is pretty high, about one-fifth of apples i’ve seen lately have gone back under warranty, but given that i’m often called out precisely because a problem exists i can confidently say my figures are unreliably skewed. the point here is their product is not the new messiah nor immune to the frailties of technology.
but…when mac techs can’t even configure their own products you begin to question if they know anything at all. for instance, a customer of mine spared nothing with the purchase of his new mac and bought several hours of mac help with the mac god as part of his package. the only task the mac tech completed during his many hours was to install mobile me. unfortunately when he finally synchronized the accounts he deleted every single contact the customer ever had, all gone from his google apps account, his iphone and his macbook. wow. this customer had to pay someone to manually enter his contacts from a hard copy back-up.
another customer bought an hour of tuition with a mac tech from the robina apple store as part of his package. the tech so completely failed to help him with even the most basic tasks that he demanded and received his money back. as a final act in the comedy the farcical and hopelessly embarrassing and americanized applause a customer receives when they leave with their new apple was withheld by the downcast and embarrassed apple staff.
so based on this i wonder how apple staff have the gall to comment so injudiciously on the thing i do. let us examine a few cases of their misinformed ramblings.
customer 1 had an macbook that refused to stay on the network. rather, it stayed on the network but you had to turn off the airport and then turn it on again or no data flowed. not even a ping. the network had two other windows computers on it and they never had a problem. we swapped the wireless router and did all manner of testing with apple until they finally admitted they had a problem and it needed repairing under warranty. the apple tech who reluctantly replaced the offending part told my customer that i was at fault because i should have used a static ip, a piece of advise so stupid it was easy to discredit. macbooks are kinda mobile, laptops generally are, and wireless networks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and many many different subnets. a static ip would render the laptop useless in all but one or two places. or the owner could learn how to update her own ip every time she connected to a new network, though how she gets information about IPs from the qantas lounge or local wireless hotspot cafe is beyond wondering. is that what the apple tech wanted?
customer 2 was actually on his way to the apple store when i returned his call. we’d been pretty busy and he hadn’t heard from me, he was not yet a customer of ours but had been recommended to us. he was going to apple reluctantly, his reluctance due to the phone attitude of the young apple tech. this hipster thought it okay to call this esteemed gentleman “buddy” and other such familiarities. customer 1 turned his car round and waited for my arrival, based purely on the poor phone manner of the apple dude.
case 2customer 2 was actually on his way to the apple store when i returned his call. we’d been pretty busy and he hadn’t heard from me, he was not yet a customer of ours but had been recommended to us. he was going to apple reluctantly, his reluctance due to the phone attitude of the young apple tech. this hipster thought it okay to call this esteemed gentleman “buddy” and other such familiarities. customer 1 turned his car round and waited for my arrival, based purely on the poor phone manner of the apple dude.
this customer has been with us a long time and was given an apple ipad for his 70th birthday. he needed his emails configured — a simple pop3 account — so he took it to the apple store, it clearly not being worth a call-out fee for such a simple task. he took his macbook with him as reference to the current settings. when the apple techs couldn’t figure out how to do this most basic of all IT tasks they accused me of having set up mac mail on the macbook incorrectly, this despite the fact that the macbook was clearly sending and receiving emails. it’s a bloody pop3 email account…how hard can it be…!
customer 4 had made a mess of her imac and it was running incredibly slowly and unreliably. the browser worked when it wanted to and the printer wouldn’t print at all. on investigation i found that customer 4 had been saving data into the applications folder, among others. too much damage had been done so we did a back-up and restore and returned the imac in perfect working order and we tried our best to educate the customer of proper procedures — though clearly she hadn’t really understood what had been wrong or what we’d done to rectify it. tech clearly wasn’t her cup of tea so we didn’t labour it, she was happy enough that everything worked and promised to only save stuff only in her personal folders. customer 4 was a home user and something we’d neglected to re-install — skype? — had her down the apple store with her imac. the brave young mac tech looked at this perfectly functioning apple imac and declared that we had no right to take it away and work on it and that everything we’d done was unnecessary because clearly the appple was working beautifully. i love this logic. next time i get my car tuned i’m returning for a refund based on the fact that my car now doesn’t need tuning. customer 4 was absolutely incapable of relating the pious young apple tech what it was exactly that had been wrong with the computer or what we’d done to repair it and yet the apple moron still found it within themselves to defame us. customer 4 returned to us full of moral outrage and way too much of my precious time was chewed up placating the customer. unfortunately i was unable to contact the apple tech nor get my hands around his/her scrawny neck.
in our industry customers pass through many hands, from ISPs to sales staff and back to us. i’ve found in a few cases some of these people make life difficult for us or our customers. in most cases it’s a negligent and poorly trained ISP help desk staffer who blames the firewall for all the problems — even if three computers on the same network also have no internet and the ADSL light on the modem is blinking on and off sporadically. in all my 20-odd years in IT i have never come across a single group of people who have caused more problems and have so negligently and casually defamed and blamed us, and so incorrectly and stupidly misdiagnosed or supposed, than the local gold coast apple techs. in the few cases i’ve highlighted above and in the many others i haven’t bothered to elaborate they’ve proved themselves too stupid and incompetent to even realise just how stupid and incompetent they really are.
as a tech i inherit many strange and incomprehensible problems from other techs and in all cases i think the prudent and professional thing to do is to be diplomatic about the motivations and abilities of the techs who came before me. even in obvious cases of neglect and incompetence it is unnecessary and unprofessional to take cheap shots at my predecessor. a recent example was a site that had several new computers installed over the last year by another tech. that tech had used cracked copies of office 2007 even though the customer had a volume license for office 2003. i suppose he didn’t know how to recover the key (which the customer had lost). i recovered the key but the customer could not yet afford the labour costs of converting back to office 2003 immediately so for the moment they’re putting up with the window that tells them their copy of office is not legit. i tried to contact the previous tech but he’d moved on to canberra for a cushy job in the public service. even in this case i found it within myself to be polite about the motivations of my predecessor and explain patiently and politely how and why my customer found themselves in their current situation. i can easily imagine that the previous tech didn’t know how to recover the lost key and had simply done what he thought was expedient based on his somewhat limited knowledge of the industry. whatever. he’s gone and having a few cheap shots at him would help no-one.
if only there existed a single apple tech on the gold cost with the manners and insight necessary to keep their stupid mouths shut.