Our tale begins with an end; the end of a phone call with Cindy at 5:35pm on Monday when she called me to let me know she was on her way home from work. As I clicked "End Call" on my iPhone screen I noticed that the battery still had 71% power, so I laid the phone on my desk next to my laptop. Four and a half hours later after dinner, TV and doing some work on the laptop, I picked up my iPhone that had not been used all evening and plugged it into the charger. In the past, whenever I plugged in the cord the iPhone would vibrate and the screen would light up...but this time nothing happened. I tried pushing the "Home" button and swiping the screen, but it just sat cradled in my hand; still, dark and unmoving.
I left it plugged in overnight in the hopes that its lack of response was a glitch that would resolve itself while I slept, but when I leapt out of bed the next morning and checked it before even giving Cindy a good morning kiss, it was still just as dead as Rush Limbaugh's sense of humanity.
After trying some things in David Pogue's "iPhone-The Missing Manual" as well as some that were suggested by a Twitter friend to no avail, I decided I would need to make a trip to the AT&T store on East Colonial. That was something I dreaded because it has always been one of the worst experiences in customer service (or more appropriately LACK of customer service) Cindy and I have ever had, but I did not think I had any other choice.
However before I left for the store, Cindy sent me an e-mail from work. Turns out one of her co-workers had a similar problem and found out she HAD to take the iPhone to an Apple Store for any possible hope of repair because the AT&T store would not offer any help. I was thankful that I could avoid an unnecessary trip to the AT&T store, but also a little reluctant to step foot into an Apple Store. Not because I had heard anything bad, but because I did not want to be tempted to buy that new MacBook Pro I want, lol. However, I also wanted my iPhone fixed because I was already going through some feelings of withdrawal.
I arrived at the Apple Store in Millenia Mall around 10:40am. The place was packed with customers and in spite of that I was still almost mesmerized by the product displays bathed in blue and white lights. I had already told myself before arriving to turn a blind eye to the MacBooks and just concentrate on getting my iPhone fixed, but that was easier said than done. Of course you have to walk past all those beautiful products to get to the Genius Bar in the back, lol. That's just good marketing and product placement.
Having never been in an Apple Store (and not looking at anything else on their website other than the address), I was ignorant of the fact that you need an appointment for these kinds of things. The nice young lady at the concierge desk was visibly disappointed to tell me that they were completely booked with appointments until 7:20pm that night. As I was asking if she could check the appointments at their Florida Mall store a nice young man walked up and said, "While she's checking into that, let me try something real quick to see if I can help." (Do you get the feeling all the employees are young? Well, they actually do have some older employees as well whom I saw in action) He then tried to do the reset process that I had tried to do at home and I didn't say anything because, hey you never know, I might have been doing it wrong. But he had no luck with it either. The nice young lady then told me that there was an opening at the Florida Mall store at 11:30am, but also asked me to wait while she had one of their techs try to fit me in between their appointments.
I was then introduced to Cindy at the Genius bar who told me she would like to try and fit me in if I didn't mind waiting just a few minutes to see if she could help me. Of course, how could I say no when they were trying so hard to help me? She tried the same reset process and just about that time her appointment walked up. Cindy then proceeded to work on both our iPhones at once. After a minute or two she sent the other customer's Phone to the back for a simple soldering job on a connection (her multi-touch screen was locked) and then said to me, "Your phone is toast so I'm going to replace it with a new one, if that's ok."
"...if that's ok." I guess if you didn't have your iPhone backed up at home it might NOT be ok but, other than a couple of pictures I had recently taken that were not all that important, all my apps, contacts, podcasts, music, etc. were sitting safe on my laptop, so of course it was ok.
Cindy brought out a new iPhone, updated my bar codes, activated my iPhone and sent me on my way within 15 minutes of my walking in the door. Better yet, she sent me on my way as a happy first-time customer who was duly impressed with everything that each employee that I had contact with had done to make my experience a positive one. As I said to her before I left, "Thank you for making this so painless." When I made a comment about how difficult AT&T is to deal with, she even apologized for THEM, saying she was sorry my interactions with them have not been to my satisfaction.
I spent the next 5 minutes of my time in the Apple Store gazing lovingly at the 15" MacBook Pro. I was SO tempted to buy one...
One thing is for sure; my initial experience with the folks at the Millenia Mall Apple Store was an extremely positive one and gave me one more reason (if I needed one) to switch my PC laptop to a MacBook Pro. I hope that when that time comes it is as great as this one was. Thanks to the staff at the Apple Store Millenia Mall and especially Cindy the technician!