Apple India: Broken Service Process

In India, Apple service doesn’t work well. As far as I know, most of Apple customers in India end up paying more to purchase the same products than someone in USA or other countries.

Why are we treated as second class citizens?

Anyway, the current Apple support process in India seems to be:-

  1. Register service-request with Apple India over phone
  2. Take your Apple device to nearest apple-authorised service-provider (AASP)
  3. Give the case-id given by Apple India Support(in step #1 above) to AASP
  4. AASP would run the diagnostic tests, if required, get the parts and fix things.

You might think, that’s a nice process and should work fine?

There are some issues in above process:-

  • Apple India might not register your request and can get away by saying your hardware is overused and not covered in warranty anymore. Unless you are confident and technical enough to explain them things. Not everyone can do that.
  • Not all cities have any authorised service-providers
  • AASP might not be trained enough to deal things as per Apple standards.
  • AASP might have broken process within their organisations, i.e. it takes them days to get details/approvals from their own headquarters and bosses.
  • AASP might miss a step or two required before they can order the parts. If they do it, later Apple makes their life miserable by asking many questions. Eventually a customer suffers.

My recent experience with Apple support process has not been good.

Apple Macbook Pro (within warranty) Battery Problem

I bought my Macbook Pro in June 2009.

Somewhere in July 2009, I realized battery is not lasting as it should be (for 6 hours) and also machine shuts down instead of going into stand-by.

I registered my complain with Apple India Support. I was suggested to go through various support article and try the various things (battery calibration, resetting smc, pram, etc). They also suggested to take my nearest AASP. Unfortunately at that time, there was no AASP in my city. I couldn’t go to other cities due to my busy schedule.

In November 2009, when I had some free time from work, I wanted to get battery problem fixed. I called Apple India support, explained the problem once again.

The Apple India support agent asked me some questions (cycle-count, full-charge-capacity, current-charge-capacity, etc) and decided upfront that battery is overused and I have to purchase new battery.

I got very upset, hence I had to remind her about July-2009-case-id and told her this problem had been there since I bought the machine. I also told her that battery-cycle-count was 114, still less than 300 (or 500), so device is qualified for battery-replacement. She consulted with her superior and came to realise that I was right. She suggested me to go to AASP, they would place the order for new battery.

Fortunately, by this time there was a AASP in our city, so I took my macbook-pro to them and they did some calculations using numbers shown by system-profiler’s power-section. They assured me that battery is defective and they would place order, and I would get a new one in three-four days time.

Three weeks passed and I didn’t get any battery-replacement, I never got any calls from service-provider to update me what’s going on. I was the one, who kept following up, where I was told, battery was on its way but got stuck due to some forms (state-government requirements).

I called them again, after some days, to know the status. I was told to bring my macbook-pro to them and they would run the diagnostic tests. I asked, what did they do three weeks back? Why they kept saying battery was on its way and would be delivered soon?

They said, they didn’t run the tests and attach report while demanding new battery. Now Apple  is asking all kind of questions to this AASP, why they didn’t run the tests before ordering the parts. Eventually, I am suffering and yet to get the battery after spending so many hours sitting in and visiting service-center.

Apple Cinema (20 inch) monitor, broken LCD

I bought Apple Cinema in 2007 for INR 35,000 and it’s not in warranty anymore. Last month, something knocked the LCD screen and it’s broken internally. I wanted to know how much it would cost to replace the LCD screen.

I called Apple India Support and asked how much it costs to replace the broken-lcd-screen? They told me they can’t provide all that details and I should visit some autorised-service-provider.

I took my Apple cinema to AASP, who assured to give me cost-estimate in two days time. Three weeks passed and no details were given to me. I have been calling them and I was given same reason “we have sent email, but have not received any response”.

I called them again after some days, where I was told the LCD screen would cost around INR 30,000. I asked them to make an official estimate/quotation, they couldn’t do it. I came to know, Apple told them to give me current price of Apple Cinema (20 inches) as cost-estimate. Weird?

Anyway, I brought back my Apple Cinema with broken-lcd-panel. I don’t think I would want to spend INR 30K to get it fixed.

I hope, Apple gets serious about customers in India.