Apple Culture Gear Society

Apple Makes Good

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With the tiniest of coaxing, my local Apple retail store replaced my wife’s ailing iPod mini. My daughter and I purchased it when the store grand opened, day before Mother’s Day, 2004. At the time, iPod minis couldn’t be purchased anywhere. But the store had a few in stock for the event.

Battery ran down over time, even though I took great care with the recharging. We’ve owned more than a half dozen iPods in the house; first one with battery problems. Few months back, when my wife eked out about two hours of playback, I took the iPod mini in to the store’s Genius Bar. The good folks there tested the device, which barely passed. Damn. 

Summer behind us, and battery life had diminished to about an hour per use. Friday night, my daughter suggested a visit to the mall, and off we went with the iPod mini—after I got online and scheduled an appointment at the store’s Genius Bar.

I had to speak to store manager Alex, but he authorized a trade-in for exactly the same model and color iPod mini.

I felt for Alex. On our way from the front counter to the Genius Bar, a customer accosted him. The apparently rich white guy was either too ignorant or too impatient to figure out how to reserve an appointment at the Genius Bar. Alex, who is black, really tried to help this customer, who enraged and grew downright belligerent, accusing Alex of giving him a hard time. Alex was polite.

I sensed racial resentment, or maybe angry impatience, seething from the white guy, who I wanted to punch. Alex took the abuse well, kept calm, and walked the customer through the very simple process of reserving a spot at the Genius Bar. Way to go, Alex.

Apple delivered excellent service, Alex’s cool composure not withstanding, with the iPod mini exchange. I purchased an extended warranty back in May, when the music player squeaked by the battery test. So we had an in-warranty exchange.

Quickly, in other Apple news: my daughter decided that she, too, wanted to go back to the Mac. I hauled out her iMac G4 and bartered her almost-new Averatec 1000 (plus a few extras) with my buddy who took her 12-inch PowerBook from me in August.

Considering the PowerBook hadn’t left the closet where he stored it, my buddy probably won’t miss the computer that much. As I’ve seen other times when moving my daughter to a Mac from a Windows PC, her computer use jumped. Within hours she started mixing music in Garage Band and editing video in iMovie.

Photo Credit: Beth Punches

Editor’s Note, Oct. 19, 2014: My wife’s iPod mini was green, but I don’t have a photo. My camera always focused on her, not her gear.

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