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Busy Day

December 7th, 2003

You may have noticed I’m not commenting about politics much lately; a lot of that has to do with the fact that such commentary takes time, and my time has been kind of occupied lately, what with final exams and all. Today, we had the graduation ceremony (probably the topic of tomorrow’s post), and after that I had some errands to do.

One of them led to a rather unfortunate experience with Apple. I bought this Powerbook G4 (800 DVI) in April last year, so it is about 20 months old, and the battery is wearing down–less than an hour per charge now. Not too surprising, and not bad by itself–I use this thing rather constantly. The problem: well, you’d expect that having sold maybe millions of these computers, and that the batteries of a great many of them would be wearing low about now, that Apple would expect and meet the demand. For some bizarre reason, Apple failed miserably. No electronics shop I went to today had any in stock, and a few even said that Apple had even stopped making them.

The Ginza today. On Sundays, they block off traffic and it becomes a pedestrian avenue with tables for people to eat and rest.

So I figured, hey, Apple just opened a new store in Ginza! However, it was a bit of a trip over there, so I figured I’d call first (using my mobile, 10 cents a minute). First mistake. I wound up on hold for about 20 minutes, never to be answered. Apple Store Ginza seems to have skimped on either (a) people to answer telephone inquiries, (b) a voice mail system that gives you a hint of how long the wait would be, or (c) both. Quite frustrated, I nevertheless wanted the new battery for the trip home, so I went over–and met with more frustration. After plowing through the huge crowds and finding someone to help me on the 4th floor, they told me apologetically that they did not carry that battery. “But this is an Apple Store, isn’t it?” I asked. “You do carry Apple accessories, right?” And I explained the whole thing about how all the people who bought the same computer would be needing batteries about now. The salesperson at least had the grace to admit that they had been getting a lot of people asking for those, but they had only been open for one week, so….

He told me to go to the Genius Bar, giving me the full expectation that they would be able to grab such a battery from the repair people. So I went downstairs to the 2nd floor and waited 15 minutes for a spot and then 45 for the person to help me–all of which ended in his having me order a battery from the online Apple Store. If they answered their damned phones, they could have saved me two and a half hours and a hell of a lot of frustration and simply told me at the start. Now, they claim that the battery will be delivered in the next day or two–less than a perfect solution, as I will be out often–but looks like it’s the only way. Let’s hope it works.

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