Menlo Park


Apple Genius Bar Is Filled With Idiots 17

Usually I am all for buying things online and even talking to customer service over the phone or online instead of physically going to the store to deal with a matter. For some reason, when my headset for the iPhone stopped working I decided it would be a great idea to go to the store to get a replacement instead of trying to see whether they could mail it to me.

I walked into the Apple Store at Menlo Park Mall and was immediately greeted by a nice guy who asked me about my problem. I ended up going to the Genius Bar desk where I went on to describe that recently my right side of my headset stopped working. I probably could have lasted longer with my headset but that is also the side with the microphone that I use to talk on the phone so the problem escalated in priority for me. The first lady who looked at my headset went back to ask a “technician” whether this was covered in the AppleCare Protection Plan. On their own website, it clearly states that the plan “covers iPhone & iPhone Bluetooth hands-free headset and included accessories” which I think is fair to say covers my problem.

Initially, they tried to scheme me into admitting that I physically broke my headset by either stepping over or not “properly” using it. I was there with my brother where we both argued what is the point of the Protection Plan if it does not cover a simple problem like the headset? After being quite disappointed with the level of customer service I walked out and ended up calling Apple Customer Service before I even reached my car. The guys (Brian & Scott) on the other end were very friendly throughout the entire conversation. All he did was ask me about my problem, asked for my serial number and told me to wait 2 minutes while he asked someone whether he could help me out. 2 minutes later, he came back on the line to tell me that he was ready to mail me my new headset.

Since I was already out when I called, I asked him whether I could just pick it up at the store instead of him having to mail me and having to wait a couple of days before I could have this problem fixed. He told me some CS code or number and gave me his direct line in case the store employee gave me trouble.

I walked back in the store and lady that initially told me that I couldn’t have a replacement listen as I explained that I called Apple Customer Service and they issued me a code that I can pick up a replacement headset for free. A couple of employees including the manager there at the time looked me like I had 3 eyes on my face or was an alien or something. They seemed to have never heard of this number issued by Customer Service to customers. The lady took the phone number and the CS code and walked into the backroom saying she would be right back. About 10-15 minutes of waiting later, she walked out saying she could not reach the person and was only getting his voicemail. I took the piece of paper back from her, dialed the number myself and reached him immediately – which makes me question how much she really tried to reach the guy. So I ended up calling Scott and had the in-store manger talk to him as he explained what he had done for me.

After having this discussion, I thought my troubles would be over and they would simply just hand me a headset… and I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.

Turns out even for a simple replacement, they needed me to schedule an appointment where they needed to fill out paper work for the replacement equipment and needed a “technician” to come out and replace the part for me. I just cannot believe that they needed a technician to issue me a new headset and somehow the person behind the Genius Bar couldn’t do a simple parts replacement. The manager tells me to wait until the next technician which he couldn’t give me an accurate estimate on how long it would take. He estimated it would be 10 to 15 minutes and after a 20-25 minute wait later, a guy named Dan who I presumed is the “technician” called me up, entered took my name/email/serial number and printed out a receipt along with my replacement.

So about one hour, two phone calls to Apple Customer Service and talking to five different Apple employees later, I painfully and finally got my replacement headset.


The Dark Knight: Why So Serious? 2

Why So Serious?

The Dark Knight is the first film I can remember in a really long time that lasted about 2 and a half hours but did not a dead scene or left the audience asking: When is this movie going to end?

The promotional campaign leading up to the release of movie was remarkable and certainly there were some (albeit a few) but some doubters who wondered whether all this promo would actually yield a decent movie. After seeing it yesterday, I can definitely say this movie has one Academy Award winner if not more. I bought the ticket online just to make sure it wasn’t sold out and even though I got stuck watching it in Menlo Park, it was still a packed house.

Read an excerpt below from Peter Abraham’s Yankee Blog on his review of the movie which accurately sums up what I was thinking.

Director Christopher Nolan starts with a gripping scene and there’s one after another right until the end. There’s no building to a climax here.

Mark down Heath Ledger for a posthumous Academy Award. The Joker is his greatest role and he was better than Jack Nicholson, which didn’t seem possible. Christian Bale does the brooding Batman thing better than the previous Batmans and adds a nice touch of irony.

The supporting cast is over-the-top good. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are the wise old heads on Batman’s staff. Gary Oldman is the incorruptible cop. Also dug Eric Roberts as a mobster. Maggie Gyllenhaal is the girl in the middle, Batman’s secret love.

The third man in to the Batman/Joker battle is Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. He’s the key to the whole film from a story sense. The Dark Knight isn’t remotely a goofy comic book movie. It’s a classic battle of good against evil where the protagonists happen to be comic book characters. This film has much more the tone of Michael Mann’s Heat in that it’s about Gotham and it’s internal struggle. Things have to get worse before they better in Gotham and do they get worse. The city (Chicago, never looking more sinister) is a character in the film as much as any person.

The obvious theme that becomes clear right from the start is that you cannot trust anyone. Cops are bad, criminals at times make the better decision, trust kids to do the right thing and no one is safe. No one.

The Joker easily steals the show in this movie and at first I thought all the hype that i had heard and read about leading up to watching this detracted from his Oscar-worthy performance but the more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that he deserves the awards. As Peter wrote, “The most amusing moments are from Ledger, whose Joker is equally a sadistic anarchist and comedian. He makes blowing up a hospital hilarious. This is not a flick for the kids. It’s complex and disturbing at times.”

Don’t flip a coin, go see this and if you get a chance, go see it in IMAX.