Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Apple's ProCare is BS for Professionals


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I make no secret of the fact that I'm a Mac user, and in general an Apple fan, but I have one serious bone to pick with Apple.

I own a lot of professional Apple equipment, some Mac Pros, a G5 Quad, a Mac Book Pro, Apple screens, and scads of other iBooks, and PowerMacs. (At the moment I think I have about 12 macs total.) In general I purchase professional level machines for professional work. Problem is when something goes wrong with one of them Apple makes no differentiation between a consumer level machine or iPod; and a professional machine, in their treatment of your needs. You pay a professional price, but get treated the same as someone who bought an iPod Shuffle or a Mac Mini.

What do I mean? If you need service on your professional machine you have to get in line and wait for an Apple Genius. All service in an Apple store goes through the Genius Bar, iPods, iMacs, everything. Let me paint the picture, teen agers in the latest trends, bohemians in fashions of yesteryear, lots of people with iPod issues, iMac issues, and in general non-professional issues.

Yes, you can make an appointment ahead of time, but these are advisory at best. I have never once had an appointment taken within an hour of the appointed time. Instead I've been accused of being late, when I was sitting in front of the Genius Bar waiting for my name to be called, only to have it called an hour past my time, and then admonished as to where was I when it was my time.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who doesn't like this. So, some "genius" at Apple came up with ProCare. The executive summary is, "pay us $99/year and we'll treat you like a professional." ProCare gets you priority for your repairs, appointments and other stuff.

My question is why did I buy a professional machine from Apple, only to have to pay again to be treated like one.

I currently have a Mac Pro that needs repair. I have an open ticket with Apple Care. I still need to make an appointment for a Genius, and hope that it doesn't take over an hour past my scheduled time. All so they can fill out a form and take my machine, an operation that will take all of a few minutes.

Apple it's time to wake up and start treating your professional customers like professionals and stop charging them for the privilege. We are the people out in the trenches who have stuck by your product, who advocate your product, and support others in their use of your products. How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Buy real support

So why aren’t you buying “professional” support?

Seriously.

Sure ProCare gets you ‘better’ service, and heaven knows it’s lightyears better then any GeekSquad buffoonery, but it’s still a counter in a retail operation.

If you want/need serious support you hire it. That means one of two things: Getting to know your local Mac-specialist support company or calling Apple and getting a serious support contract. Yes, they have it, just not in the shop next to the iPods.

But yeah, real support will cost you. On the other hand if your work is really is important to you then it’s worth paying for support. (And possibly tax-deductible.)

But complaining about counter-help, even $99/year counter-help, that’s a bit unfair.