The personal website of Chris Coyier

The Team at the Pioneer Place Apple Store Got Me Squared Away

Perhaps you’ve noticed I’ve been a little annoyed at Apple’s customer support. I had this situation that I felt like I could explain pretty easily (I’m trading in an iPhone as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program, it has damage I need to pay for, the website will not take the payment) but nobody over phone support or social media support could help me. They said they would, they said they did, but they didn’t.

The advice I got from others was “go to a store”. But I can’t easily do that, as I live in Bend, Oregon and the nearest store is many hours away. As fate would have it, I knew I would be in Portland, Oregon a few weeks after this was all going down, so I tucked the broken phone (that got returned to me 😤) away and brought it on this quick trip.

I made a Genius Bar appointment for 4:30 pm, but the big reason for being in Portland (a medical thing) meant I had to cancel the appointment as the medical thing was running long. I was able to scramble over to the Apple Store at 5:38 pm (they close at 6:00 pm, so I’m a huge dick) with no appointment just to see if anything could be done. I was cheerfully greeted at the door. The second I walked in the door another fella came to talk to me and he attentively listened to my little story and understood exactly what was going on. He didn’t know why the errors happened and said he couldn’t promise anything but would try to sort it out. He immediately got to work on the situation (without ever disappearing). During the process, he ran it by two other Apple Store employees who happened by, and they also understood the situation immediately. One wanted to see the emails and such so they understood this particular flow better, which of course I was happy to show. It felt so nice to have people so engaged in the problem they not only wanted to solve it but thoroughly understand it.

In the end, the fella got the old phone’s serial number, tap tap tapped away on his phone, was able to take my payment, and the saga was over.

The problem? The guess is that it was a price change. The website quoted me $29 to do the back glass replacement. Apparently, this is a fairly new price. The fella in the store had to charge me $99. So in the end I’m out an extra $70, a long haul trip, and maybe 5 hours of dedicated time trying to sort it out. But I’m very pleased with the in-store support that I got in the end. That team clearly knew what they were doing. I wish I got their names to thank them more clearly and publicly (so I’m a dick twice).