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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

New Experience Challenge Week 6: Dealing with Apple

On Wednesday I went to the Apple store to take some time at their genius bar. I host pub trivia nights at the Barker Hotel in Mt Barker for a company called Quiz Meisters. Part of the show involves using an ipod to play videos and games on the pub's TV screens. So two weeks ago I plug my ipod into my computer to put the slideshow on it and nothing happens. There's meant to be a little button that appears in itunes allowing me access to the ipod, but it wouldn't appear. I even got one of the players who works in IT to take a look at it before the quiz, but he couldn't figure it out. That week I had to use an emergency quiz that was already on the ipod, so this week I decided to get someone from Apple to take a look at it.

Now I've heard stories. The kids at Apple have a notorious reputation for being condescending and exclusive. So when I went in on Tuesday wondering how this was going to go down. I went up to the first staff member I could find and told her my issue - that itunes won't recognize my ipod anymore. She informed me that you have to make a booking to see a tech person, but said she'd try and find someone who could see me for two minutes now. I thought "That's very nice, she doesn't have to do that..." They were winning me over so far.

A boy came up to me a couple of minutes later and introduced himself. He said I'd have to book a time for later because no one had time now. Okay so they lost those bonus points, but that's okay, that's their system. I can't just walk in and get helped out ahead of everyone else... right? So we worked out a good time to come back. I wouldn't be available again until the next day, which was good because that would bring me into a new week and I could make it my new experience ;) He took me over to a mac by the wall to look at their booking system. They were all ten-minute slots, which made me a bit concerned. Did they really think they could solve any problem in 10 minutes? Then he told me to use my Apple ID to make the booking. I told him it wasn't my ipod and he said 'That's ok, just use the ID that's connected to the ipod.'
'No, I don't know the password.'
'Well that's a problem.'
There it was, the condescending attitude. Suddenly I was wasting this guy's time. He told me I could make the booking at home and left to handle his other appointments.

Not completely put off yet, I went home, found out the password to make the booking and made it for ten-past-one the next day. I got there, gave them my name (or rather the name of the guy who owned the ipod) and they said 'Ah, that's great. Someone will be with you shortly. Would you mind seating in that seat over there and face that way?'

I'm sorry, what? This all seemed very weird to me, what did it matter which side of that specific table I sat on? But they said it all with such friendly smiles and welcoming attitudes that I couldn't really seem to fault them. I sat down, got my ipod and laptop out and set it all up. After five minutes, no one had come to meet me yet - keeping in mind that I supposedly only had ten minutes with these people. Then a girl comes out and introduces herself as Erin. She seemed to be the friendliest person I'd met so far. I told her my problem and she said,
'Ah yes. I'm not too good with Windows 8, but I've heard some grumblings around the store about its latest update. Let me just ask someone in the back.'
And so she got up again and left me for another three minutes to wonder if they were going to try and convince me to buy an Apple computer instead.

Eventually she came back out with her own laptop and said,
'Yeah, we've had this problem a lot lately. It's the latest update of Windows 8, you have to reinstall one of the ipod's drivers. I've written this website on our card, it will take you through every step you have to take to reinstall the driver. Then your ipod will start working again! Thanks for coming, and thanks for setting up your laptop for me' (referring to the laptop that she hadn't even looked at).

I wanted her to do it for me herself, but again they just seemed so friendly that I decided to trust her that I could do it myself and that it would fix the problem. As my watch ticked over to twenty-past, I packed my stuff up and went home.

Once home, I went to the website and boy, were those instructions detailed. They sent me around all sorts of pathways, into sub-folders of sub-folders of sub-folders, looking for options that would only appear if I did things in the right order and eventually into the deepest, darkest corner of my hard drive where there was a lone drive there named 'Apple Drive'

It's as if it was there, waiting for me.
With anticipation, I double-clicked the driver...

And shit went down.
It ended up fixing the problem perfectly. But I still can't decide whether or not the service I got was good. They were all very friendly and helpful, but there was still an air of "This is our program, get with it or leave." What do you think?

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