Great products but terrible service - in Germany only?

Hi, sorry for the lengthy posting!

Honestly, I am getting increasingly fed up, angry, upset and totally … with the level of service Apple provides in Germany and this is not a new experience but has increasingly gotten worse over the last three, four years. Considering their insane price policy since the last major release of products I must say that quality of that poor service process justifies those prices and vice versa. The latest financial news might be a result of a combination of of these and a complete arrogance towards customers.

End of 2017 I have bought a MacBook Pro, 13 inch with Touch Bar – it seems to be one of those models that does have problems with the keyboard. So it happened a two months ago that a key tab refused to work sufficiently which forced me trying to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. Big mistake!
For the last six weeks (!) I looked daily into the reservation system and cannot find one (!) single service slot. The system is only available for the next six days and these are always (!) fully booked - which gives some hint about the recent quality of the products.

So I ended up going to the Apple store without an appointment, where I was told that the problem is known and that I can turn the MacBook Pro in, however, I have to wait 5 to 6 hours because I showed up without an appointment. Telling them that I was not able to make an appointment for the last six weeks, they told me that they are aware the situation, which is due to the great popularity of their products.
They asked me to wait until the end of January. My question how to work with the keyboard with the key tab N not working they obviously did not have an answer for but they clearly did not care. Calling their Hotline service I was told that I can send it in, however, it will not be serviced by Apple but by a third party. Asking for a reason, i was told that sending larger items like a notebook it is more likely for those to be damaged during transport and they do not want to be in charge of that(!). My point that this will not be different sending these to 3rd party service providers was agreed to but ignored. I don’t know about other Apple users, but I think for these prices they ask for, I can ask for an Apple service.

I am fundamentally disappointed about the organizational service level being provided - the quality of the service might be good but getting there is in my opinion a disaster and a fundamentally broken process. This in combination with an insane pricing policy begins to raise questions within me whether I am still willing support their behaviour on the market and continue to use their products!

Germany is a service desert and I am wondering if this is a unique Apple behaviour for this country or if similar experiences can be made elsewhere?

Nah, it is not Germany, it is Apple and their miscalculated repair capacity. The only time where I was in Apple Store (in Berlin Ku’Damm) I was told by the guy at the genius bar, that I can give my notebook in, but it would take 10 days to repair. He advised me to use a third-party repair service, which I did. They managed to do it in 2 days to my full pleasure. You also should not be afraid of third-party repair services, as long as they are authorised. Apple controls them pretty tight, I would say.


Holiday season can be a factor too, I guess.
I can’t complaint of the service in Italy: booked an appointment at the Genius Bar 3 times in my life and have always been satisfied.
They changed me an iPhone 6s and an AirPod (both still under warranty) and the dreaded MacBook Pro keyboard: they also told me that there was a 10 day period to repair, but then they have done it in four.

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Why not just leave the MBP and pick it up next day?

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Would have loved to - but to turn it in, I was asked to wait 5-6 hours because of the „acceptance-process“, completely out of sync with any level of service understanding!

Really? So, instead of the whole conversation wouldn’t it just be easier for them to accept the MBP? Weird. I would have threatened the moron with the robust customer protection laws in your country. Also, write your case to c’t. They have category in the magazine or shitty customer service.

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My GF left her laptop at Apple, who sent it to a repair facility in Memphis (here in the US). Apple-authorized, but not “Apple” per se. I’m not sure that Apple does any repairs themselves. So whether you leave it at the Apple store, or send it to a third party they recommend, it would probably wind up at the same place.

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I’ve had my issues with Apple taking forever to repair things too.

I live 800Km from the nearest Apple Store, so genius appointments mean nothing to me, but I’ve found their online help chat service to be very good, but anything that requires a repair means that I’ll be without that device for at least a week.

But, to answer one of your questions: If you have to wait until the end of the month, while keeping possession of your MacBook, one workaround is to use an external keyboard for that time. It’s not ideal, but you’ll be able to work until they can get to your repair.

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Drobo also sucks, but I repaired it by myself: Shut up, noisy Drobo!