That Apple Experience
This is what I ordered on December 7, 2016. 👇
My 13-inch MacBook Pro – Space Gray with Touch Bar arrived on December 22, 2016. An early Christmas gift!
After a few weeks of use, things weren’t looking or feeling too good. I figured it was just me getting used to a new laptop.
Then, on January 10, 2017 this is what my new MacBook Pro looked like. 👇
On January 11, 2017 things escalated quickly. 👇
So began my odyssey with Apple Support, challenging everything I have ever experienced with Apple.
A look back, shall we?
With a click of a button, feelings of inspiration and dread washed over me. I ordered my new laptop! I had to wait for my new laptop!
Over the next few weeks, I casually (ahem) checked the order status then the shipment progress. December 22, 2016 was the arrival date and I scheduled to pick it up at a local FedEx store (we were traveling the next day and didn’t want to risk missing it).
I picked up my new MacBook that afternoon, rushed home, took a few pictures then started the migration process. We were leaving the next day for some holiday travels and I figured the flights would give me an opportunity to get friendly with my new friend.
Once complete, I let the new MacBook backup overnight. The next morning, I was ready for a new experience. I even signed up for 1:1 training with my new MacBook. I was really interested in the on-boarding experience and what better way to flex my new MacBook Pro’s legs than with a Facetime call and screen share.
That was my initial reaction. It just felt good. Strong. Sturdy. I’m not sure what the right word is but every time I picked it up, it was overly satisfying.
And it’s fast. As it should be, but it felt robust-fast. As if it was taunting me to throw more stuff at it. “C’mon, I dare you.” It was a lot of fun to open up and work through a handful of apps while waiting for it to get sluggish. Nope. Didn’t happen.
That keyboard though. I’m still getting used to it. I think I made some comment at some point that it feels like typing on cardboard. Similar to typing on a screen. Like an iPad. Almost as if Apple is looking to merge… eh, never mind.
The Touch Bar is really fun and it sounds silly but it’s super helpful. Yeah, I have to look down more with the threat of decreased productivity but I really believe I’m saving time. Anyway, it will be fun to watch this evolve. Can you imagine what Apple can do if they merge… eh, never mind.
The one nit I have with the keyboard is the location of the Escape key. Or button. Or whatever the digital equivalent of a key is called. It turns out, I rest the pinkie finger on my left hand right where the Escape key is. Before, I’d have to push down to trigger the physical key. No more. A simple tap triggers the Escape key, which can be frustrating in certain scenarios. The tapping v. clicking of the Escape key makes me think they might merge… eh, never mind.
My 1:1 training was coming up and I couldn’t wait. The entire experience was fun and Benjamin was terrific at walking me through a handful of new experiences.
And that display. Holy smokes it’s nice!
Except, when it’s not.
Uh, what was that?
A subtle flicker, then lines. Lots of lines. To the point it became unusable. I’m roughly three weeks into this new MackBook Pro. Three weeks! I was hoping for a longer time before I had to purchase another machine. (👈 = sarcasm.)
After a handful of Googling around, I contacted Apple Support. We reset some stuff using some fancy keyboard combinations. We hooked it up to an external monitor. We rebooted into safe mode. We did lots.
I restart but this horizontal band kept appearing at the top of the display. It looked like it was burned into the screen.
After about ten minutes, the screen would flicker then revert to something bad and unusable.
Please help me.
Day two of support and suggestions of reinstalling macOS shifted me into another gear. At this point, I’ve been through multiple support calls, chats, emails and tweets. I live 7 hours from the nearest Apple store. I just purchased my laptop and it’s failing on me. I understand that products fail now and then. I’m not suggesting this was done with any sort of intent.
But my new laptop is failing and my belief in Apple is not far behind at this point.
I thanked the support person for helping me but I felt the onus should not be placed on me, the customer, to resolve this issue. I’ve done enough already, I am not going to reinstall the operating system or drive 7 hours for a possible solution.
There seems to be a lot of confusion.
There’s a gap in between 4:58 AM and 7:56 AM. The reason for the gap? I needed to get ready for work and hang out on the phone for 90 minutes.
It’s on this call (started with Support, escalated to a Senior Support Adviser, then handed off to Sales) where I followed mom’s advice and pleasantly asked for a manager. It worked! (Thanks ma!)
The initial solution was to have me send my MacBook Pro back, then they’d send me a new one. Unacceptable – I’m not going two weeks without a computer.
Next solution: I buy a new one MacBook Pro, then once it arrived, return the old one and be refunded. Nope, that won’t work either. See, I already paid for my computer. I’m not shelling out more money for one laptop.
Then, this question: “Wait, do you know why you are talking to me?”. (“Me” in this case is Hunter, part of the Sales team.) I explained my chat at 4:00 AM that same morning started with support, then was handed off to someone more senior and that senior person said Hunter would be able to help me.
Hunter was confused. Hey! I wasn’t alone!
Frustration then a solution.
Hunter sounds frustrated, then says to me something like “This is ridiculous. I shouldn’t be talking to you. Hang on for a minute and I’ll get this solved.”.
Yeah! That’s the Apple experience I remember!
Hunter comes back on the phone, explains what my next steps are then hands me off to Ovil. Ovil is AWESOME. He walks me through what he’s going to do, then asks me if I have any questions. Believe it or not, I do! Ovil takes the time to answer each question. Then lets me know I will be hearing from him in 24 hours.
Sure enough, the order process kicked back into gear and a week later, a new laptop was on its way.
On Wednesday, I did the migration dance once again and have been using my new-new MacBook Pro. On Saturday, I shipped the old-new MacBook Pro back to Apple.
I’m hoping I can get past the three-week mark without any issues with my new-new MacBook Pro but regardless, I’m back in Apple’s camp. I don’t know if I really thought about leaving Apple products but I’m back in the Apple experience camp thanks to Hunter and Ovil.
I don’t know if there is a moral to this story but sometimes it’s therapeutic to get this stuff online and potentially to help others.
Now, back to my pinky positioning over the Escape key…