Hi there. I’ve got good news and bad news this month. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the good news first.
Last month, as you will recall, I very calmly and rationally discussed my views on the subject of calling Technical Support and the various pricing policies that different companies “offer”. I, in dignified manner, explained, in eloquent fashion, my overwhelming disgust for such practices. In short, I was ticked off with having to pay almost $30.00 per “incident”. Yeah, right.
Well, I must quickly offer the flip side of Technical Support and that is the “Customer Service” department of these different companies. In early September, I had a customer come to my office with a PowerMac 6100 that needed a hard drive upgrade. She had purchased the drive from one of the popular mail-order companies, MacWarehouse. Unfortunately, it was a DOA part, in other words, it didn’t work right from the start.
I called the Customer Service Department of MacWarehouse thinking to myself, “this is gonna be a long drawn-out hassle”. I expected to be on hold for a while, I was, and that’s normal, but when Carol Brackman answered the line things moved quickly. I had already called two times prior and was not in the best humor, but when I explained my situation she immediately got the wheels turning and set me up with a replacement on the spot. I wasn’t going to have to go through the rigors of explaining myself to yet another Tech support person and for that I was most thankful. Carol was responsive, friendly and most of all CARED. One of the things I have learned over the few years that I’ve worked in Service is that you have got to care. Carol, you get two thumbs up from this writer! Make sure you show this to your boss!! ;^)
Okay, now for the bad news… Every month, Authorized Apple Service Providers get a book that is sacred to their business. It’s called the Service Price Pages. Just as it says, it’s Apple’s book on parts pricing.
Okay, late August I received the “August” price pages (don’t ask me why it’s so late) and in it was a yellow piece of paper. On this piece of paper was a lengthy list of computers that were no longer going to be serviced by Apple. I looked at things like “Mac Classic” and “LaserWriter II” and the LC Series. Forgive me for seeming dramatic, but it felt like the sun was setting on an era. All of these items were what I cut my teeth on. It seemed funny to see over 30 or so items that were not going to be serviced by Apple anymore. Instead of listing off everything here, I can tell you that basically, if it’s older than the 68040 series, then you’re not gonna be able to get parts from Apple. I did, however, look into whether other companies will be carrying Apple service parts and I found a couple that will for a while. Pre-owned Electronics in the Boston area (1-800-274-5343 extension 4411 Gary McNamara) carries vintage Apple parts. PC Service Source in Texas (1-800-PC PARTS) does, too. Tell your local Apple service guy about these two places. (Update: Ed has the list which has been updated and divided into 2 categories, Obsolete and Vintage. According to the update, the Vintage parts are available ONLY for current AppleCare contracts and in California, due to some statute there. Ed will forward the list to those readers who email him and request it.)
You know, I feel kinda sad that we’re seeing the older Macs losing their importance to Apple. I understand why they feel the need to change their service policies… really I do… Of course, I wish they wouldn’t do that but, you know, it’s progress, right? Maybe I’ll give them a call.. Oh yeah, I gotta get my credit card!
I am, as always, da Mac man.