How To Do Customer Service

by How To Mommy on 02.11.12

How Not To Do Customer Service:


It’s really sad when one of your very favorite places to go turns into a place you never want to step foot in again.

I’ve loved Apple products for nearly a decade.  I’ve always been pretty vocal about my love for all things Mac and would gladly recommend them to anyone.

I’ve had an iPhone since a few months after they were released and instantly, I was hooked.  I literally can’t imagine my life without it.  That sounds sad, but I am serious.

Lately I’ve been having problems with my phone so I made an appointment and took it to the Apple Store.  Just being there makes me giddy.  I love walking in and could stare at their products for hours.

Yesterday’s visit did not fix my phone, so I bundled up my children, took them out in the arctic temps and went this morning to see what they could do to help me.  The Genius this morning never asked me about my problem with the phone because she “read it in the notes,” quickly looked at a screen and said, “Sorry, we can’t do anything.  The battery shows it’s fine and applications quit all the time.”

I wasn’t satisfied, so I asked to speak to a manager.  Michael Hollman.  Even his name makes me cringe now.  Michael came out with an attitude from the get go.  He never asked my name, never asked what was wrong, and never pretended to care that I’d been inconvenienced with a broken phone and had to make two trips to their store in less than 24 hours (one of them with two kids in tow).

Within two minutes of speaking I explained I wasn’t happy with the solution they provided (civilly, calmly, respectfully) and he replied, “You can replace your phone or I can call the police and have you escorted out.”

I’m sorry, WHAT!?!?!  Was I swearing, screaming, causing a scene?  No.  Did I have two children with me and just wanted an answer that I was satisfied with so my phone wouldn’t be broken?  Yes.

Unacceptable.  I continued to try to explain myself, he continued to be a jerk (don’t believe me, another reviewer discussed Michael’s behavior here) and I left upset and still had a broken phone.

How To Do Customer Service:


After two unsuccessful phone calls with Apple’s customer service, I reached out to my last hope – AT&T.  The two gentlmen (Brian and Paul) I spoke with were nothing but helpful, respectful, informative and courteous.

Paul, the supervisor, moved up my upgrade and mailed me a new iPhone 4S {Yay, Siri!} today.

Brian listened to my issues and immediately escalated my complaint to someone who could help.  Paul again listened to the issues, apologized for Apple’s behavior, and fixed my problem.  He continued to provide me great information regarding all the products and services and made sure I was satisfied with the solutions he provided me.

I was glad there was a glimmer of light after a horrible morning.

Melissa & Doug

I’ve mentioned before the awesome customer service I’ve had with  Someone else I’d consider having superior customer service is Melissa & Doug.

I bought the Bake & Decorate Cupcake Set for Little Miss R for Christmas.  She loved it!  However, I think we got a bad set because the wood was cracked and the paint was chipping on our chocolate cupcakes.

I sent an email, received a call the next day and new chocolate cupcakes were sent my way.

While waiting for the chocolate cupcakes to arrive, I noticed the vanilla cupcakes were starting to do the same thing.  I emailed Yvonne in customer service to let her know.

She called me immediately, apologized profusely, and told me they would just ship me an entirely new set that will be hand inspected by the home office before they go out to ensure they’re perfect.  And she said I could keep the extra chocolate cupcakes for my trouble.

Wow.  That is how you make a loyal customer and keep them.  It’s also how you stand behind the quality of your products.

Yvonne, perhaps you could call up Michael Holman at the Apple Store  in Omaha, NE and teach him a thing or two about customer service.  His number is (402) 970-4477.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy February 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

LOVE Brian, Paul, and Yvonne!! Thank goodness your day ended better and with some answers!


2 How To Mommy February 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I was very happy as well. 🙂


3 nikki February 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Yay for good customer service!! I hope Michael gets repremanded somehow though for his horrible behavior!


4 How To Mommy February 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM



5 whiskybaker February 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Amazing how easy it is to provide good customer service – and yet how rare it is. Definitely hope someone with some authority over that Michael Holman does something!


6 How To Mommy February 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM



7 Kirsten February 11, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Oh my gosh, how absolutely horrible. I would most certainly be writing a letter discussing Michael Holman’s disgusting behavior, with a link to this blog.

So glad AT&T helped out… I’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences with them!


8 How To Mommy February 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Thanks! That’s a great idea.


9 Meg@Domesticated-ish February 12, 2012 at 5:39 AM

Woopsie Michael Holman!
Good for your for standing up! I’m so glad your issues were rectified properly, and don’t worry if karma doesn’t get Mr. Holman, looks like you might =)


10 Laura February 12, 2012 at 6:25 AM

That is disgraceful! Customer service seems to be on the decline in many companies. It is such a shame. It is so much easier to keep a loyal customer than it is to lose one. I know for myself that if I have a bad experience, I tend to not go back. I used to love Boston Proper. I had a bad experience with my last order. Now when the catalogs come. I automatically throw them in the trash. I would think in this day and age, every customer counts. I sure hope Mr. holman gets reprimanded in some way.


11 Rachel February 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

You ought to print out the reviews from that link too. I can’t believe Apple would be happy with that many negative reviews on one store. I’m sorry you had to deal with that!


12 jaclyn February 12, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I hate apple, and would never purchase their products because their customer service is horrible. My husband’s trackpad stopped working. He called apple, and they told him to bring it to an authorized service dealer. He dropped it off, the authorized retailer kept it for a week and returned it even though it was still broken.

I decided to take his mac to the genius bar in a mall an hour away. I made an appointment for 3, showed up and they said, “oh, I can’t find your appointment here. It can’t be cancelled, because it’s 3 o’clock. Oh, wait, sorry. It’s on the cancelled list since according to Apple’s computer its 3:06, and your appointment is automatically cancelled after 5 minutes.” I don’t really understand why Apple doesn’t warn people that they cancel appointments after 5 minutes when you make the appointment. I told them I had a one year old baby at home and that it would be really hard for me to come back, but they refused to help me. They said they would make sure they had a new trackpad in stock and call me when it was in. They called a few days later, and I made another appointment the next week, and I traveled another 2 hours roundtrip.

When I showed up for my appointment, the genius bar employee told me his people were too busy helping customers on the floor to replace a trackpad. He told me that a computer is like a car, and you can ‘t expect anyone to fix a car right away. Thankfully, the manager I asked for said he would fix the computer in an hour, but apple’s customer service is a disgrace and I hope to never have to deal with them again.

The only useful information I can give you if you have to deal with them is to make more than one appointment in case you are running more than 5 minutes late so they don’t refuse to help you. You can try to make one appointment under a nickname and one under your real name? On my second visit, I made one appointment under my name and one under my husbands in case there were any problems. You also have to be rude and interrupt a salesperson who is helping someone else to check in, since if you miss your five minute window you are screwed.


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