September 16th, 2008
I had my first experience with the Apple “Genius Bar” today after having some issues with the touch screen on my iPhone.
I surprised myself that I had never gone through the experience before since I have been working with Macs and other Apple products as my main computing devices for at least 6 years now. I guess it is because I am one of these people who thinks they know everything about computers so doesn’t need “help” from some young kid who just got his first job out of university at the Apple Store. In actual fact that is just the external face, behind close doors us know-it-all types need to do some frantic research to make sure we can come through on said promises of knowing-it-all.
Two things I learned from this experience of using the “Genius Bar” to get my problems solved :
1) Book Ahead
The Shibuya Apple Store serves not just the Shibuya area, but probably more like the whole west half of Tokyo, so especially if you try to go on the weekend, you are looking at waiting a long time or being asked to put down your name for the next available slot to get a “Genius” to speak to.
2) It is a great customer experience
If you were smart enough to book ahead and not be pre-frustrated by the long wait, the customer experience is very good.
In my case, I had an issue with the hardware on my iPhone. My touch screen stopped responding to touches on some areas. The “Genius” was able to work out that I was not pulling his leg and had a legit issue in about 30 seconds without me feeling like I was being accused of being a bad customer as I have had the feeling elsewhere from time to time. He checked that I had tried the obvious things like restoring the system without making me feel like an idiot, and within about 5 minutes he was transferring my USIM card into a new shiny iPhone.
The whole process took less than 10 minutes and was totally stress-less.
On the tail end, I still had to restore my phone from the backup when I got home, but this was not a big deal since the backup and restore process is very smooth… just takes 1 hour of waiting.