Today I bought a Mac.
After spending the week with the good folks of Graphing Social Patterns East (aka Apple Fanboys) - I had to see what all the hype was about firsthand. So, today I took the plunge with a friend (and fellow Microsoftie).
Walking into the store I knew what I wanted - just a simple dev platform - lowest end MacBook + 1GB of RAM. Once we got in, we got a little distracted playing with all the toys - they do make it attractive. However, once we decided we had to hail down a sales person - harder than finding a Cab in the suburbs. With 30 floor employees (all with shirts denoting rank by armband) nobody seemed to know what was going on. Eventually we got service (how hard it can be to give people money these days) - and were "walked through" (read assailed) all of the options that I could buy with my mac - including AppleCare - their extended warranty which only covered the machine if THEIR parts broke and cost more than a quarter of the actual computer. On top of that, we had to wait for more than an hour (in increments of "just 15 more minutes") for them to add the 1 GB of memory. I had time to go to a Starbucks a few blocks away get a drink come back, play Starwars Legos, check my email and still be bored as hell. Take out battery, unscrew, swap ram repeat = 5 mins...wtf were they doing for the other 60? Strike One.
Once we finally got them home mine had some sticker residue on it which never came off. Strike Two. But what really put them out of the game was when my cohort hit his power button:
Was all we heard - no screen activity. FnA. Ok - try again. And again. No luck. Selling us a F*ing lemon = Strike 3. Apple store can bite me. We schlepped our way back to the store to go through another waiting period to talk to another know nothing "I-wear-too much gel-frat boy-specialist". Finally we found an apple employee (the manager) who deemed us worthy of attention. He performed the diagnostic (hit the power button). Same beeping. Tried to reseat the RAM. Still beeping. We sit there for a while longer while they write up an incident report and replaced his computer (another 30+ mins). In the end, after sitting there I let the manager know my disappointment in the experience - he offered a 57$ credit. For about 3+ hours of out time. Thanks Apple - totally made me feel better.
All of the applets I talked to had one mantra:
"It just works"
When I walked into the store that's what I was expecting. You pay a premium for the service and a premium for high quality hardware. I expected competency and customer satisfaction - not Dell hell.
The whole thing just left a sour taste in my mouth.