Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Worm in My Apple: Part 3

Today marks the end of my ninth month with my Gold Apple iPhone 6+ and to celebrate, I spent another four hours on the phone with Apple Care. To say this journey has been a disappointment is a vast understatement. Calling it a nightmare would be more accurate.

I told Nikthia, the very nice and very helpful rep who helped me tonight (one of FOUR reps I spoke with tonight) that  I could have given birth during the time it is taking me to try to get the issues resolved.

Apparently I got a defective iPhone last December. When Apple convinced me it was my carrier and NOT the phone, and persuaded me to leave T-Mobile and go with the pricier Sprint, they gave me a new Sprint compatible phone and had me restore my old data from a backup. Apparently the bug was passed along with the backup making my 2nd phone also defective, but it has taken months to figure this out. I have been calling Sprint every few weeks asking them to help me reset my phone because I would lose my ability to connect to the internet when I was away from my WiFi. Sprint kept telling me I shouldn't have to call them so often, but I knew Apple was not going to want to hear I had a defective phone again.

However, gradually the bug spread. Not only was I frequently unable to connect to the internet when I wasn't at home, but I stopped being able to back up my phone. Then Siri stopped working.

I run a VIRTUAL BUSINESS from my phone -- it isn't just "inconvenient" not to be able to use it -- I lose money when I can't use it! 

Finally I had to call Apple last month to let them know this phone was also defective, but it has taken a month -- first to get them to take me seriously and then to get the software checked. Sure enough, after another 45-minute drive (one way) to the Genius Bar, they ran a diagnostic and found a problem with the software.

Then I had to try to back up my phone but as I mentioned -- I have had issues backing it up for months, so I was on the phone for hours trying to get it backed up. Finally I got the new phone after another hour and a half round trip to the Genius Bar and a 10-minute appointment that turned into an hour and 25 minutes and caused me to be terribly late for a business meeting.

They sent me home with a new phone with older software, so I had to upgrade, but a problem with the wrong phone number in the system. which just became a problem last May and was supposed to have been corrected last week, had me on the phone again last night with Apple Care.  When we finally got the software updated, we had problems getting the download to start... and when we DID get it started, it said it would take 17 hours to update! So once again I had no use of my iPhone for almost a full day while I waited for the backup.

But the backup didn't go through, so I had none of my data on my new phone all day and it was back to square one tonight -- four hours of square one - four more frustrating hours stolen from me trying to get a phone working which SHOULD have been working last December!

Really, Apple, this is NO WAY to run a business. It is INEXCUSABLE to make a customer jump through so many hoops for so many months and have them pay a higher carrier fee because you convince them to switch carriers and tell them over and over the problem is NOT the phone when the problem really IS the phone. Samsung Galaxy is looking better and better all the time. If I had not been a Mac user for 30 years I would have switched over to Samsung last January.

I have a couple of case workers looking at the situation, and we shall see where it goes from here, but I am pretty much over the iPhone at this point. There has been a worm in my Apple since I first got it, and I am about ready to toss the Apple out.


Michael W. Smith Announces Return of Nationwide Christmas Tour with Amy Grant in Select Markets -- Christian Activities

Two of my life-long favorite artists are combining forces again this year for their popular Christmas Tour.  Michael W. Smith will once again bring holiday cheer to arenas, coliseums and theaters to more than a dozen markets this holiday season through his nationwide Christmas tour. Smith’s long-time friend and fellow GRAMMY® winner Amy Grant will co-bill with him in select cities including Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, St. Louis, Atlanta, Greensboro and Fairfax.

The evening will feature favorites from Smith’s latest Christmas release Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas, which includes an all-star lineup of guests – Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Bono and Michael McDonald.

Article at: Multi-Platinum Selling Singer Michael W. Smith Announces Return of Nationwide Christmas Tour with Amy Grant in Select Markets

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whirlpool Fails Again

Right before the Nashville flood my water heater went out and was still under warranty but Whirlpool would not replace it, so I went without hot water for a YEAR! It was a short in the thermostat system and the heater just would not heat. I boiled water like a frontier woman for a little over a year, because I knew Whirlpool was supposed to replace a defective heater that was still under warranty, and I didn't have the money to buy a new water heater after all my flood losses. 

Finally, after a year, Lowes was able to get Whirlpool to do the right thing. Well, that relatively new hot water heater is now spewing 2 gallons of hot water everywhere every couple of days although I keep releasing all the pressure at the pressure valve which I do every year anyway. Once again Whirlpool does not want to replace it although Lowes says that much water every other day indicates a defective heater, and once again I have turned to Lowe's to help me get results. So far I have been disappointed with everything I have purchased from Whirlpool/Kenmore in recent years where customer service fell by the wayside a long time ago....

Lowes, please work your magic for me again and consider carrying a new line of water heaters.

Also see: Don't Get Mom a KitchenAid for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Home Depot Price Checker Can't Be Bothered to Check a Price, Calls Customer "Liar"

Home Depot offers customers the opportunity to write a public review of their recent experience and then after the customer takes the time to write the review, follows up to say they are "not quite ready to display store reviews."

Since Home Depot #0722 won't display my store review from last week, I will do it for them. This experience is another reason I prefer and recommend Lowe's:

Your opinion is very important to us and the Home Depot community. Thank you for taking time to provide feedback about your experience in our #0722 Nashville store. We are not quite ready to display store reviews on homedepot.com, however, we are working to build this functionality which will be ready soon. Once the new functionality is available, we will proudly display your feedback on the #0722 Nashville store page. In the meantime, we will share your review with the Store Operations Team. Thanks again!
Extremely Poor Experience
The store was fine, the cashiers were great, but one woman ruined what had been a pleasant shopping experience. I found a box of cushions marked $9.10 & added 1 to my cart. When I checked out, it rang at $16-something. The cashier got on the phone, had to come back to the cart, got some numbers, returned to the phone & finally came back saying we would have to wait for a price. 
Whoever was on the other end of the phone dropped the ball & never came, so people had to keep leaving our lane to go get in the other cashier's lane. Finally the cashier said we had waited long enough, marked the cushion $9.10 & I checked out, but I paused to talk to another woman for a few minutes. That's when PriceChecker finally showed up -- maybe 10-12 minuted after we called. She started interrogating the cashier, came over to my cart, checked the numbers on the cushion, went back to chewing out the cashier & I left. 
I came back 2 minutes later to get some mulch -- in time to hear PriceChecker telling the cashier I was LYING! I said, "I wasn't lying & I'll show you the box." PriceChecker had not checked the cushions yet, because there was the box, just as I described it. She pulled another cushion out & said, "THIS is the one for $9.10." I said, "Fine, I'll take that one. It looks just the same." The cashier was there & she said, "It IS the same cushion." 
 PriceChecker was very slow to respond to our call for pricing help, and when she finally made an appearance, she was unpleasant to both the cashier and the customer (me), unprofessional, and didn't check the marked pricing before calling me a liar in front of two cashiers! 
So when I went out to pick up my mulch, there was PriceChecker, waiting to check my receipt although there was someone else there to wait on me! She couldn't make it out to check a price for us, but she scuttled down post haste to the mulch section to make sure I didn't rob you blind of mulch in my small car! She made me feel like a criminal over a $9 cushion and a $2 bag of mulch.
Home Depot PriceChecker's attitude
 Why Home Depot allows one power-crazed associate to lord it over other cashiers and customers like she does I will never understand other than she puckers up for management, but she is single-handedly giving your store a black eye, no matter how nice everyone else is. I did not insist the cashier give me the cushion for $9.10 and I didn't berate her for how long it took for someone to do the price check. The cashier was simply trying to provide good customer service and clear her line. How hard would it have been for PriceChecker to check the display before she told the cashier I was LYING? If she wasn't going to check the price, how hard would it have been for her to have said, "Maybe the customer made a mistake" or "Maybe our signage is wrong" or "Thank you, Cashier for providing good customer service and taking care of it." 
But instead of doing HER job and providing the price check, PriceChecker acted like the cashier and I both did something wrong and was so grossly unprofessional as to say I was LYING. Thank goodness there is a Lowe's just down the road.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Worm in My Apple Gets Fatter: Ongoing IPhone Problems

After my ongoing problems with Apple, I finally got an appointment with the Genius Bar set for the past Monday. I had a conflict, so I called and canceled my appointment last Friday and tried to move it to the following Monday. Apple Care said they could not set an appointment more than a week out and arranged a call for me today.

Sure enough, an automated call came in at about 3pm, but when the representative picked up, he had no notes and no idea why I was on the line. In addition, he didn't speak English well and I had to repeat myself more than once. At the end of the long call, he said he was sending me an email with the notes and confirmation. When I got the email, it had no info. The case number didn't pull up anything but an error message that said the case number and email did not match, so I had to call Apple back.

I spoke to Yilka who said she didn't show any call for today, and I said, "Hold on, I have a case number right here," and I gave her the number that had the error message. Sure enough, the number DID pull up some info, but it was incomplete. Why did Yilka not see the previous call or older case number in my case files BEFORE I gave her the number?

Yilka was very nice and got my new Genius Bar appointment set up. Then I asked to be transferred to Customer Service, so she put me on hold and the phone was disconnected! I made my third call to Apple this afternoon a little after 4 and am still on hold with Eddie, a Senior Adviser.

Apple, you badly need to get your act together! I have been a faithful Mac user since 1992, and I saved up to get an iPhone after using a track phone for several years. I want to LIKE Apple iPhones, I really do, but this has been a tremendous hassle for almost a year!

Today I was on the phone for almost an hour on two calls just trying to make a new appointment at the Genius Bar. In the old days, I would have called the Apple Store directly to change an appointment. That call would have taken 5 minutes -- 15 minutes if the store was insanely busy.

Instead I had to call Apple Care on Friday to cancel the appointment, and THEY  had to contact the Genius Bar to cancel. Then we set up a phone call to move it to the following week. Then I had to go through the phone prompts today to get to the iPhone department and then I had to try to explain the entire scenario to a rep who didn't speak English well and sit on hold while he apparently set up the new appointment with the Genius Bar. And after spending 1/2 hour on this call --  absolutely NOTHING was accomplished but getting a case number with no info and NO APPOINTMENT. So it took a 2nd  call and almost as much time to get the appointment moved--almost an hour to do through Apple Care what I could have done myself in 5 minutes.

Now I am still on hold with Eddie, who has listened to the entire story and is supposed to be trying to transfer me to Customer Relations. I figure I have been on the phone about an hour and 45 minutes at this point and we still haven't gotten my phone working.  Today we have just been trying to reschedule my appointment to try to get me to the Genius Bar to see if they can figure out WHY my phone keeps having to be reset.
Hey, Apple, I have an idea. Why don't ***I*** make my OWN appointments with the local Apple Store, and you take your cumbersome and ineffective Apple Care out of the middle?
If I had been able to call the store myself and not had to go through Apple Care, this appointment would have been taken care on on Friday in ONE phone call! This is worse than waiting for Sarah to connect your call on "The Andy Griffith Show." Have we really regressed so far with new technology that the old days of phone operators now look more efficient?

This is my new case number 929659417. Let's see where it gets me. So far 30 minutes of funky hold music is all I have achieved with it.

Also see: A Worm in my Apple! Anyone Else Having Ongoing iPhone Network Problems?