apple support is oxymoronic and sucky

a rant.

i don’t have a mac — i have a pc. but i’ve been wanting to switch over at some point. i’ve really been held back by one particular piece of software i have to use that isn’t mac compatible, and runs somewhat less than perfectly with pc-emulator software.

but i’ve always held apple in the highest esteem on every front — technology, design, forward thinking business approaches, products, and much more.

until yesterday.

as i do all the time, i downloaded a cd (damien rice’s new one: 9). one of the songs wouldn’t download. every time i tried to start that particular song’s download again, i got an error message. clearly, the problem is not on my end, but on the end of the itunes store. mild frustration, since i’d already paid for it, right? and i thought i’d send them a little email or online customer service notice, and assumed i would get a perky response in the next 48 hours telling me it had been fixed and i was invited back to download the cd i’d paid for again.

but get this: forward thinking apple, amazing apple that should be smoking all competition, fast and quick to market apple, only seem to care about getting amazing products out the door. once you’ve bought them, apple is done with you. after spending a half hour trying to find a way to email them about my stupid little problem, i found there is no way. you can read online faqs. you can go into user forums and ask the cult and hope someone responds (which is fine, i suppose, if your question isn’t “the song i paid for didn’t download; can you let me know when that’s fixed so i can retry?”). apparently, to apple, technology is for sales — but not for customer service.

it’s only one song. so it’s not a big deal, right? but it’s the principle of the thing: they gladly took my money, and didn’t deliver what i paid for; and are now making me jump through stupid hoops to play their game of getting it solved, in a way that is easiest for them, not me. that just blows.

[[oh the irony: immediately after i saved this post, my pc laptop froze up.]]

20 thoughts on “apple support is oxymoronic and sucky”

  1. Hmm… I don’t own any Apple products (yet), but my dad has gone through 3 iPods in the past three months (they’re not not working right) and Apple replaced every one for him for free with almost no questions asked. I thought that was pretty generous. (Of course, it would be better if the iPod just worked out of the box like it’s supposed to in the first place.)

  2. Dude, when you find the fix please post it.
    I had this happend with Lost and Found CD I downloaded from itunes. 4 of the songs did not download.

  3. Marko,
    Though it may take a few minutes, just take it to your local apple store… they’ll do it for you.
    Beware, once you’re in there, you’ll most likely just want to get the better product (mac) anyway!
    (Macvangelist- Brian)

  4. brian — you are making my point for me. they (apple)want me to get help on THEIR terms and on THEIR turf, rather than MY terms and MY turf. this is why i said it was oxymoronic — it’s antithetical to everything else about apple, because this is an old skool, controlled, top-down approach to customer interaction. if their customer service were congruent with everything else about their company and products, they would let us customers seek customer service how we want it and when we want it. who cares if they’ll be really nice to me in the store, if they actually make me go to their stupid store!?

  5. dude. i feel for you.
    iTunes customer service is weak.
    i’ve never had any problems on my MAC, but my copastor on his PC has unlimited problems. therefore, i think it’s got to be on the PC end.
    but i AM a blame shifter.

    as far as the “one program that you only run on a PC”, i have two comments:
    1. what program is it? is there not a “MAC-quivelant” that will probably be even better?
    2. BOOT CAMP. i’m not sure if you are familiar, but it was designed for people like you in mind. for that “one program that’s holding you back from switching”. you can run Windows natively on your intel based MAC. it is available as a download add on for th ecurrent 10.8 OS, but will be packaged in the next OS 10.9, due in the beginning of 07… and that’s got some super-sweet new features rolled into it.

    make the switch man.

    once you go MAC, you never go back.

    you know what i’m saying?

  6. Marko-

    Go here:

    I’ve had this happen a couple of times, and they have always been very helpful. In fact I have gotten a few songs for free because of the inconvience. I LOVE iTunes.

    By the way. I found this site just by clicking on “support” on the iTunes home page. They take to to a list of troubles and then click on “download problems”. Pretty easy, actually.

    Sorry you had trouble!

  7. Marko,

    You can get help on your terms and on your time by calling 1-800-APL-CARE Their tech support people will help you personally and walk you through the fix. At least they always have with me. But, since I am a mac owner, i don’t know if they helped because I have my warranty with them – but it is worth a try – it’s only a phone call away.

  8. marko…

    i really want to encourage to take a look at the new macs with the intel processors that are able to run windows and windows programs natively on the mac… very exciting for those like you wanting to come to the side of love and goodness!

    i have had the same problem, only it was with one of Chris Tomlin’s cds that i downloaded. i immediatly emailed the folks at iTunes and they got the problem fixed within a day or so.
    here is a link i found for you:
    it gives you the instructions on what to do!
    when i had my problems, they responded quickly!

    enjoy life… become a mac owner!

    and yes it is true… once you go mac, you never go back!

  9. long time reader-first time commenter :)

    Mac is not perfect for sure-I think they are having some growing pains. But, I can tell that every time I’ve had a problem with my iBook, they have helped me quickly…Of course, I’ve only had 1 problem in 4 years.

    I think their itunes support is lacking compared to the rest of their products.

    It’s kind alike going to a church once or twice, don’t let one issue sour you on the whole product.

  10. Marko,
    I too had this same problem and tried to call, email, etc.
    Oh wait, it was on my church-issued PC (Piece-o-Crap), and it was Windows Media and that’s right there wasn’t anyone to call.
    And last, it wasn’t a download, it was a CD that it didn’t even recognize was in the drive.
    So I switched to MAC!

  11. we’re all so predictable, aren’t we? the post that gets the most comments of ANY in several days is the one related to mac’s and pc’s. apparently we’re all just so eager to share input on solving these issues — whether it’s a short-term customer solution or long-term platform issue. quite amusing, i guess.

    for the record, i’m a proud mac owner who’s never had 1 issue with his ipod in 2 years of ownership. my 17-inch imac has had no issues in nearly two years of ownership. my gateway pc (owned by my church) has been sent to the shop 3 times in the last 7 months.

    but weak customer service, from any company, does suck. i’m sure we can all agree on that.

  12. I just got a new MacBookPro. Should be pulling it out of the box tomorrow! I’m pumped about it. There is a program I’ve run on PC that doesn’t run on a Mac…and that’s MediaShout!

  13. What makes MediaShout so great? I went by their booth at the Austin convention, and to me (a Mac user) the UI looked horribly complicated to me. It didn’t help that they told me they cancelled their Mac version when Apple switched to Intel chips..

  14. Dear Sir: I have purchased over $50 of iTunes about 2 weeks ago. As of now, only about 20% of the tunes have been downloaded. When trying to work with you system the same message appears from the iTunes store. “There was a problem downloading…the network timed out”. This situation is unacceptable to me as I have been charged and paid for all I ordered. I would like a response from you as to what your plan is to remedy this situation. Joanmarie Piazza,MD

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