New from Apple?: iLate

December 3, 2009 by  

2009-12-03.ilateOn Saturday, November 21 (12 days ago, 9 Canadian business days, 8 U.S. business days, because of Thanksgiving) I ordered my first Mac. From all accounts, it will be a wonderful machine…if it ever gets here.

First, Apple told me that they had a problem with my credit card billing address. They said they had two different addresses. The representative said that the matter would have to go to a special department within Apple that deals with verification. Then he mumbled something in the form of: “Hmmm, this one says 459 Johnstone Avenue, Apartment 566, and this other one says 566-459 Johnstone Avenue…that couldn’t be it, could it?”. He wasn’t asking me, he was talking to himself. He then said he would be transferring me to the verification department and that I must leave all of my information or else they won’t do anything and I’ll be “put to the back of the line” or queue or what have you. I left my message and awaited my call-back. I didn’t get one. Instead, I got a cryptic message:

Thank you for your recent order with the Apple Online Store. We appreciate your business.

Action has been taken on your order and we will be shipping to
you at the earliest opportunity. Any prior communications requiring
action can now be disregarded.

Apple Online Store

Now, this message was entirely ambiguous. I had already received other parts of the order (software and a mouse). And I had spoken with the Apple store probably 3 or 4 times already, and received numerous e-mails from Apple about the order. Which “prior communications” were they referring to? What “action” were they taking. Sure, it might be the verification issue, but the e-mail did not say so. Back on the phone to Apple I went. They confirmed that they had sorted out the verification issue on their end. My bet: yup, the issue was an inability to recognize that 459 Johnstone Avenue, Apartment 566, means the same thing as 566-459 Johnstone Avenue. It wasn’t a big deal, I suppose, but I have a low tolerance for such time-wasting idiocy: I normally bill $200 per hour for my time and I’ll never get that $150 to $300 of my time back from Apple.

Next up: the failure to ship on time. From the beginning, I made it clear to the sales person, and to every rep I’ve spoken with since first contact with Apple, that the Order was time sensitive and urgent. I’m trying to put the final touches on a movie about Marc Emery, a Canadian freedom advocate who is now perhaps hours away from a decision by Canada’s Justice Minister about whether to extradite him to the United States where he would face hard time for selling cannabis seeds…an “offence” that, in Canada, usually is met with a $200 fine. A person selling the quantity of seeds that Emery has sold could face the death penalty, for the exact same botanical offence, in the USA, home of the War on Drugs. I’m trying to get this movie out before it is a done deal, and delays by Apple are not only disappointing, but stressful.

Have a look at the screen grab above (I’ve covered up the order number and moved the Apple Store button into view so that you can see it as well as the Order. My Mac was to have been SHIPPED not later than yesterday, if we allow for the U.S. Thanksgiving as a non-business day. When I called yesterday, I was told that “Well, it is to ARRIVE not later than December 9th, and that still might happen”.

Might? You do know I’ve spent nearly $7,000.00 on this order (including software) right Apple?

An friend of mine in the U.K. suggested that Microsoft might want to make a commercial. He said he wondered if their ordering and inventory system runs on a Mac. Good point, good question, and good campaign idea.

I’ve even got the punchline: iLate.


2 Responses to “New from Apple?: iLate”

  1. Paul McKeever on December 4th, 2009 4:06 pm

    Update: I woke up this morning to even WORSE news. I had received no explanation, but the Order Status on the Apple web site had changed such that, now, the computer was to arrive between December 14th and December 18th. I called Apple. They could not provide me with any explanation for the change. To their credit, they did give me an iPhone charger for my troubles.

    Minutes later, I refreshed the Order Status screen on the Apple site and something had changed: “Not Yet Shipped” had been changed to “Prepared for Shipping”. I called Apple again. This time, I was told that, once it says “Prepared for Shipping” the customer service rep has no ability to do anything with the order. However, I was advised, the computer shipment is being expedited.

    I just checked my e-mail and found another Apple Order Status update: my computer’s status has been changed to “Shipped”. Woo hoo!! Still late, but hopefully it will be delivered well before December 18th…perhaps even by December 9th (?), which would mean that Apple had *delivered*…on time, even if it was late in getting things shipped initially. Tick tock. Fingers crossed.

  2. Ben Atkin on December 11th, 2009 3:07 am

    That annoys me for two reasons. First, they just aren’t doing their job properly. Second, that discourages people from using the shorter (and superior, IMO) form for addresses.

    I hope they finally got it figured out!

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