Working with Apple Tech Support

Sixteen tips for getting your Mac or iPhone fixed:

  1. The contact number is (800) 275 2273
  2. While you’re on hold, go to Google and type: Troubleshoot Mac xxx, where xxx represents the error message you got or the sparsest description of what won’t work.
  3. If those links don’t help you, visit the Apple site and choose your product. Under each product is a discussion forum. Search for your problem.
  4. By now, someone has answered your call. Don’t tell them your entire
    problem. Instead, politely identify yourself, give them the short
    version and then say, "would you please escalate this call to a yyy
    specialist?" where yyy is the type of problem you have: wireless or
    backup or imovie or whatever. Persist.
  5. When you get a specialist on the line, ask politely for her direct
    phone number in case you get disconnected. After you describe your
    problem, ask for a case number. If the person isn’t being helpful,
    politely excuse yourself and start over with a new call.
  6. Apple gets lots and lots of calls. As a result, don’t expect the
    person you’re working with to immediately be willing to skip over all
    the troubleshooting steps you tried before you called. They have a protocol. It’s easier to
    just take five minutes to follow that protocol.
  7. If the specialist you’re working with is having trouble figuring
    out what to do next, politely say, "I hope you don’t mind, but can you
    escalate this case to a specialist?" And then wait, patiently, until
    they do.
  8. If your product is less than thirty days old, and you’ve gone
    through the protocol with no success, say, "I’d like an RMA for this
    product so I can return it and start with one that works. It’s under
    the return warranty, right?"
  9. If you found lots of examples of the same problem in Google, tell
    them. Point out that this "is not an isolated problem" and suggest that
    others have solved it by getting a new machine sent to them. Be ready
    with links, because the rep has Google too.
  10. Engaging in friendly banter doesn’t just help you get what you
    want. It makes the call better for you too. These guys aren’t your
    enemy. In fact, right now, they’re the best friend you have in the
    whole world.
  11. This is the one I should have listed first: go to the Genius bar at your local store.
    The guys at the Genius bar are much more likely to just swap out your
    broken hardware and give you a new machine. It might seem
    time-consuming, but it’s probably faster than waiting them out on the
    phone. Spending $99 on a One to One card is a brilliant investment.
  12. At least once a minute, say ‘thank you.’ If you thought about it,
    you’d realize that yes, you do mean it. They’re being quiet and calm
    and trying to help.
  13. If you own a computer, back it up. If you don’t, all bad things are your fault.
  14. I have no personal experience in begging or sobbing, but I’m told that in some cases, this is effective.
  15. If you use an email program, clean it out. Regularly. One friend of
    mine had 27,000 emails in her outbound mail folder, including some from
  16. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how big the readership of your blog is, the folks on the phone are unlikely to care.

Your interaction is a marketing event. Apple is marketing to you.
The rep is marketing to you (that’s a feature, not a bug). And you’re
marketing yourself and the problem to them. Clarity and cooperation
combined with determination and persistence appear to be the best