Friday evening, at approximately 10pm, my iPhone fell and was badly injured. It’s face was cracked and looked terrible. Fortunately, it still responded and I could use it. Saturday, after checking, I was still under a long contract with AT&T, so no cheap replacement option there.
I knew from reading, that Apple was offering screen replacement services in Apple stores across the country, so I called up the closest store in Charleston, SC. After talking with them there, the Apple worker confirmed and told me that the best way was to make an appointment online before driving the two hours and then I’d have a definite time slot to come in for my repair.
I made my way to the Apple store in Charleston’s website and in about 2 minutes had myself registered for an appointment that evening. I can’t tell you how incredible it was to book an appointment and know that I could just walk in a few minutes early and someone would be with me quickly. Its better than a doctor’s office — let alone an ER. Doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists should really all take note and offer similiar services online – its not hard.
Walking into the store around 6pm that evening, I was told to see a woman in an orange shirt. She then asked my name and with her iPhone, looked me up and changed the slider to notify the Apple Geniuses that I had arrived for my appointment. My name was on the board with other customers who had upcoming appointments at the Genius bar. How ingenious, you can see what order you are in the queue… Doctors – take note!
Shortly after, I was called up to the bar and the Genius examined my iPhone. Not only were they knowledgeable and professional, they were also NICE and joked, seeming to have a very good time working in the store. I know from my few days in retail that if you promote a good attitude, many customers have one back to you – kudos to them. Also, considering I was a nervous papa whose iPhone was broken, their upbeat attitude definitely inspired hope in me too.
The Genius helped me rule out an upgrade and possible resolution after checking my account through AT&T. We moved on to screen replacement – the price $199 – I was more than willing to pay to get it fixed. A lot of people say its a big cost to replace the glass, but in all honesty, I’m not sure its that big of a price to pay. A new, non-contract reduced iPhone would run upwards of $500 or $600 and a cracked screen is out of warranty-type replacement, so $199 to me seemed fair.
The Genius took the phone, disappeared into a service room and re-emerged about 15 minutes later with my working, repaired iPhone. A nice new protective cover around it and my family and I were ready to walk out of the store.
While all this was going on, my wife and daughter were busy playing Dora in the kids area on the iMacs setup there. Looks like we’ve found a birthday present for her… The whole experience took less than 45 minutes, including some additional shopping. All said, I’m extremely pleased and once again my positive impressions of Apple are completely reinforced.