The Eagle Has Landed

December 4, 2006

My Mac battery arrived December 1.

That's 3 months and 4 days after I complied with the recall.

I am less than impressed with Apple customer service. Don't get me wrong - I love my Mac. Apple customer care, not so much. And DHL? Lame doesn't even begin to describe them.

Here's the full story:

I ordered the battery on August 26th. I was told there would be a 4 to 6 week wait.

According to DHL tracking information, here's what happened to the first battery shipped to me:

2006-09-19 13:47 Returned to Consignor DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-19 13:46 Returned to Consignor DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-19 07:40 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-18 08:12 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-15 07:15 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-14 07:53 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-13 06:48 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-12 07:07 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-11 07:26 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-08 13:48 On Hold DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-08 07:33 Not Home DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-07 08:10 Not Home DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-06 08:00 On Hold DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 19:47 On Hold DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 13:48 Bad Address DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 09:56 With Courier DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 09:23 Arrived at DHL facility DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 09:18 Arrived at DHL Facility VANCOUVER, CA
2006-09-05 07:10 Depart Facility SEATTLE WA USA
2006-09-03 16:45 Depart Facility WILMINGTON HUB OH USA
2006-09-03 16:30 Depart Facility WILMINGTON HUB OH USA

The battery shipped to me 8 days after I ordered it. The address Apple had for me was correct, so I assume DHL's record of Bad Address is because I live at a marina, which confuses some people. But Fedex manages to find me. So does UPS (but they suck for other reasons - don't get me started on brokerage fees). What I love is the "Not Home" entries. I have an intercom. I was home on at least one of the days mentioned in the tracking log. There is even an office manager to accept packages when I'm not home. DHL never contacted the office over the intercom. DHL never left me a note (which UPS and Fedex seem perfectly able to do), so I never even knew the battery was in the city. DHL - you bite.

Now let's get to Apple. After 6 weeks of waiting for my battery, I called Apple customer service, either the week of October 2 or October 9. I would be attending a conference the 19th, so I really wanted that battery. Apple told me THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHY MY BATTERY HAD NOT SHIPPED, even though by this time it was back in their warehouse. The woman I spoke to said she'd put me on the critical list, but I might still expect to wait another 4 to 6 weeks for the battery. At no time was I given a tracking number during this call.

Being a polite Canadian, I waited. And waited. And finally got fed up and called Apple back the week of November 20. This time, I told Apple (still very politely) how pissed off I was. The woman I spoke with put me on hold then gave me a tracking number. But it was my responsibility to figure out from that where the battery was, and to call back their direct shipping line myself to sort things out. So I told her I wanted to log a customer service complaint. While she was busy typing that up, I logged onto DHL's site and discovered the details above. At this point I went through the roof. I told her Apple had been sitting on my battery since Sept 19, and wanted to know why I wasn't given this information in October when it could have saved everybody a bunch of time and frustration. So she patched me through to Direct Shipping and they shipped a new battery to my workplace. Direct Shipping told me I shouldn't have given a home address to begin with. Nice of them to tell me that when I placed the order.

So, big customer service lemon to Apple. At all times, they had my e-mail address and contact information and when the battery shipped it would have been a simple thing to send me a shipping confirmation. Or if that was too much due to the size of the recall, at least an error notification when the battery came back to them. There is simply no excuse for the complete vacuum in response to my October inquiry.

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