Thank you for doing an “internal investigation” and finding no reason to correct any single critical point that I raised in this previous post. In fact, you have confirmed to me verbally and in a written email that my narration of the events was factually correct. In the same manner that staff from Apple’s own call center likewise did after they spoke to staff of Power Mac.
For those of you following this issue. I wrote a post about a service experience at Power Mac last week. At the time of writing the post, I had spoken with one member of Power Mac’s staff (and had requested that I speak to her supervisor but was never patched through to him/her) and two members of Apple’s “Singapore” call center. Shortly after I published the post, after a few readers had apparently passed the post to Power Mac management, a call from Power Mac’s Technical Services Director was received at my home. I was out and by the time I had returned it was after office hours, thus I did not return the call. After checking my email, I received this:
It has come to my attention about the incident you narrated on marketmanila.com. I tried reaching you through your landline (xxxxxx) this afternoon, but unfortunately, according to the person on the other line, you were not available.
Kindly give me some time to get into the bottom of this issue and let me get back to you after. Rest assured that what had happened was not a normal practice.
Please do accept my sincerest apology for all the inconveniences you experienced with our service. I will be communicating with you soonest and I would be more than glad to meet you in person.
(TSD – Technical Services Director)”
Within two hours of TSD’s email, I responded by email:
Thank you for your email. I have far more detail with respect to the incident and would be happy to discuss it with you if it would help. I am headed to Cebu on Monday but will be available by phone. Please email me if you need further information.
To which TSD answered a couple of hours later, still on Friday:
I will surely get in touch with you this coming Tuesday as I’m on leave Monday. I would be very much interested on the details you might like to feed me.
Have a safe journey then. Thank you.
On Tuesday morning, from Cebu, I dialed the telephone number of Power Mac several times and got busy signals. So I sent this email to the TSD:
I have tried to reach you this morning on 725-1411 but it has been constantly busy (as it was several times during the repair issue last week as well).
Please call me at 032 xxx xxxx or 032 xxx xxxx when it is convenient for you.
TSD then called me in Cebu soon after I sent that email. He mentioned that they had done an “internal investigation” and would like to see if what they had discovered matched with my narration of the events and the critical issues raised. I offered to give him a summary of the service encounter and started from the beginning. We cordially agreed immediately that if the answer was that I was not eligible for a new battery based on Apple circulars, they should have stated that right at the start or at the latest, after the battery had been forwarded to the Central Services Office. The issue, was clearly not the battery, nor alleged Apple’s delayed response. It was the excuses, lies, and 16 days of sitting on the issue that characterized my particular service encounter.
July 27 : I dropped off the battery at Makati Power Mac. It was subsequently forwarded to their San Juan central service center.
July 30 : I called San Juan, and spoke to “Fabulous” who confirmed the battery was received the day before and who confirmed that the issue of replacement would be escalated to Singapore by email. She indicated that the normal timeframe for a response would be 2-3 days.
Aug 03 : I called San Juan again, and the call was answered by Ms. Fabulous, who assured me that “the case had already been escalated to Singapore,” but they had not yet received a reply. (The first fib, apparently).
Aug 12 : I called San Juan again, and the call was answered by Ms. Fabulous again, and after some checking, she informed me that Apple Singapore “had just sent their reply the day before and the battery replacement was denied.” (The second fib, apparently) I said okay. But asked for documentary proof of the escalation and the answer. I was placed on hold for some 20+ minutes while discussions ensued. At some point, Ms. Fabulous responded that her supervisor said it “was against company policy to release such communications.” (Another fib, because at that point there were NO communications with Singapore yet.) And more minutes on hold ensued. At this point, and ONLY at this point, was the matter escalated through a chat system to Apple Singapore who responded with a denial.
After the final word that there was a denial, and that they would fax documentary proof, I ended the call and decided to call the Apple Singapore Service call center directly. To make a long story short (more than an hour on the phone with Apple call center), their customer service representative expressed “extreme frustration” with Power Mac’s answers. And they confirmed to me that no escalation to Apple Singapore had occurred between July 27 and Aug 12, until just when I called Power Mac on Aug 12 in the morning. In other words, the issue had been pending without action with Power Mac for a total of 16 days. Essentially, the TSD did not refute any of the key issues raised, but did apologize profusely for the inconvenience. We did go further to discuss constructive ways to improve service, such as immediate notification to customers for issues that clearly had a standard answer from Apple. A discussion about queueing of repairs and triaging basic and serious repairs occurred.
A few hours after we spoke on the phone, I received this email from the TSD:
Thank you for your time speaking with me over the phone.
It was indeed unfortunate that all these had happened to you. There was a breakdown in communications and internal escalation process with you and with Apple. While your expanded battery was considered an outright rejection as per Apple internal technical bulletin, it was not an excuse for us not to exert extra effort to confirm Apple’s decision on the matter. You were right in saying that such was a simple case of battery and that escalation or notification should have been done right away.
From this experience, I have instructed my Customer Service Head to implement preventive measures like collating all Apple product defects that fall under outright rejection (if beyond the the warranty) that must be properly explained with affected customers at the INITIAL transaction, enforce separate repair lead time for main units from accessories/consumables, and feedback system to clients. The CS staff (Ms Fabulous) with whom you spoke with several times is no longer allowed to handle incoming calls and is relegated to less critical admin functions effective immediately.
Complaints and commendations are part of after-sales service & we in the management are grateful to those who may raise their factual issues with us, the way you have done it. I just would like to believe that by bringing such to our attention, the customers are actually giving us a chance to rectify things and improve our service delivery.
I dont know at this point how much we could make it up to you, but the best thing to do is to move forward and deliver excellent service our customers want or demand from us – with or without complaints.
Again, kindly accept our sincere apology. And if there would be time you will be needing after-sales service for your various Apple products, I hope you wont be hesitant to come again to our Service Center.
Many thanks to you.
I am glad that the TSD looked into the matter. I am glad that we were able to speak at length to discuss the issue. I trust from his responses and email that something positive has been done to improve service for customers with the same or similar problems who go to Power Mac Service Centers in future. I hope that customer service staff refrain from fabricating answers in future to avoid a similar situation. And as always, I firmly believe in a well-crafted and factually based complaint. A few new readers have come onto this previous post on Power Mac obviously due to the topic at hand, not because they visit marketmanila.com regularly for 95+% food programming, but because they are concerned about the ramifications of publicly posted service complaints such as these. I suggest that they read a little more of this blog, and get a better feel for it, understand the concept of credibility, before you assume I only write these things with negative intentions in mind. If the service at Power Mac Center during my encounter with them was reasonable, honest and timely to begin with, there wouldn’t be bad experiences and posts like this. The more consumers hold service providers to reasonable levels of service, the better for everyone concerned.