Agnes had been busy having playdates with her friends Oswald, Max and Ruby, all of whom I adore because they never leave a mess behind when the playdate is over. They kind of rock like that. She then moved onto her work on Margo's iPod Touch. Said work this morning included playing Angry Birds, deleting a Dora Christmas app, eating virtual cookies and listening to 'Shake it Up!' With all the strenuousness of this work it eventually became necessary for the Touch to find its way to the computer so that it could recharge and I could sneakily replace the deleted apps from the morning's work session.
I went through three Apple power cords before it dawned on me that there *could* be a problem. None of them would plug in properly to the Touch which was a major issue as previously mentioned with the whole deleted apps thing not to mention it was beyond red on the battery bar- it wasn't even turning on. Because I'm super-de-duper smart I took a look-see at the bottom of the device where the power cords *should* be plugging in easily. Looked normal, I thought.
But then I realized that without some neon arrow pointing me to the direction of what the problem could be I didn't really know what ‘normal’ looked like. I picked up my Touch and checked out the plug. Hmmmm. Then I looked back at Margo's. Hmmmm.
I'm writing 'hmmmm' but what I was thinking was, "FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!!"
Where the cord should be plugging in was a little bar for it to connect onto- a portion of the bar was gone...like poof. Likely this occurred when Margo was busily unplugging her Touch to get to a serious round of Pet Hotel.
Awe. Some. We purchased our Touches from Amazon.com so I was like pretty sure Apple wasn't going to really be interested in my plight but I had nowhere to go. I called our local mall's Apple store (in and of itself an unpleasant experience that ended once with an automatic voice demanding my serial number (which I didn't not have as we were now en route to Library Time...which, as it turns out, doesn't start until NEXT week) and one hang-up right as I was the 'next call') and eventually spoke to a girl who actually kind of gave a shit about my story and penciled me in for a Technical Appointment.
After a somewhat frustrating experience at Potbelly's (because I'm old and can't read signs and follow directions) we showed up at the Apple store in our mall. I stood in front of the store kind of mesmerized by the big glowing white apple above the door. We never really buy things at retail so it was a new thing for me to even be walking into the Apple store. The Executive, as you know, is all about bargains and usually a retail store isn't the place to find them. Our iPods and Touches have all come from other retailers- Amazon.com for a good price, Target with a $40 gift card and Costco with a cash-back program at the end of the year.
I was in awe of how many people were in the store on a Wednesday morning just before noon. Do people not have jobs or is their shit broke too? It was hard to tell.
Anyway, I went to the back and found a dude in a blue shirt whom wasn't assisting anyone else and checked in for my appointment. He had this black box that seemed to be pretty important and have more information than an entire library's-worth of appointment books, encyclopedias, address books and other very important information. I went to sit at a totally cool bar-height table and pushed Agnes next to the table. At this point I was coming to grips with the worst case scenario ($200 for a new one...which the 'old one' was only two months old) and the best case scenario (they could fix it in the store and I would only have to pay for parts and labor). I was trying to determine at what cost should I just scrap the old one and opt to buy a new one. You know, if it was going to be $125 to fix it, should I just buy a new one? If it was $75 then yeah, I'd fix it but $125? That seemed to be the tipping point for me I decided.
After a few minutes a pretty hip looking 20-something in a blue shirt came and swooped in next to me with his black box. He had random piercings on his face but he was professional and respectful. I explained to him my situation, focusing on the fact that we hadn't bought it there and I wasn't even sure if he would be able to help me and showed him the broken part.
"This part here is broken off as you can see, now I don't even know if this can be fixed or whatever but I thought I'd start here since you guys are the experts. My husband always looks for good deals, he's an accountant so you know how they are, so we actually bought this on Amazon so again, I'm not really sure you can do anything," I rambled on and on.
"Ah-ha. How did this happen?"
"Well, it's my eight year-old daughter's Touch and I'm guessing that as she was unplugging it from the charging cord it must have popped or snapped or..."
"Wow, and you even have it in an Otter Box too!" he marveled.
"Exactly and the one part that broke is the only part of the whole thing that's exposed, even though it's totally protected by this major thing," I sighed.
I had thought The Executive was being ridiculously over-cautious as usual when he insisted on the hard-core, heavy-duty Otter Boxes for our Touches. They are bulky and a total pain in the ass to plug into docking stations, however they do keep the things from breaking in the occasional fall that happens around our house.
"Alright, I have good news and bad news for you. This cannot be fixed, because Apple doesn't see it as something that would be normal wear and tear. The good news is that I can offer you a new one at half price, so it's normally $200, I can offer it to you for $100," he explained in a sympathetic but again, professional tone.
"Well, this one is broken and cannot be repaired, correct?" I confirmed.
"Alright then, $100 sounds like a deal to me." I answered thankful that I was going to save $100 on the replacement cost.
"But I'll tell you what, I'm going to replace it for free..."
"What? You can't do that. I didn't buy it here," I reminded him.
He looked at me and said, "I can tell you take care of this and it wasn't from rough usage. This is a one-time deal because obviously we couldn't do it again..."
I looked at him and started tearing up.
I could not believe what I was hearing. I wanted to reach over and hug him but I was afraid he would revoke his offer or other blue shirts would think I was attacking him and then again- the offer would be gone when mall security would have been called to take me away.
I know that most people, self-included, have a love/hate relationship with Apple. We LOVE the products and technology when it's working but we hate when the iTunes don't transfer to a new computer or whatever the deal is that's driving us nuts. Today I was totally shocked by the company and the young man (you know I'm old when I start referring to a dude in his 20s as "young man") today...in a good way- thankfully.
It took me a few minutes to pull my shit together and stop tearing up and snotting all over the place. He did exactly as he promised and got a new Touch from the back and didn't try to sell me one. single. thing. Now, I don't know if this is how Steve Jobs demanded his company be run or if this one guy was being ridiculously kind to an old lady but I was impressed. Like SERIOUSLY impressed.
First I was impressed with how much credibility I got from having this silly $20 Otter Box protecting my device. All I kept thinking was, "That was a good insurance policy." Second I was impressed by Apple's integrity in standing by their product even when it wasn't purchased directly from their store.
It's a silly one, but this is my Love Story for the day...which was immediately slapped in the face by reality as some dude approached me in the parking lot asking for gas money and giving me a sob-story about him and his boyfriend and their car breaking down. I thought if he just wanted money he probably would have left the part out about a boyfriend because most people don't 'fake' being gay. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and $5. Apple started it today paying me forward, I gave the would-be con-artist (or maybe legit dude with bad luck)...
The end of the story it this; in one hour I'm going to pick up a pissed off 8 year old because I'm not loading her Touch until tomorrow. She needs to understand that when things break they aren't free to fix (except today it kind of was) and in her case it's going to cost her time to fix her broken toy.
And that, my friends is the end of my Love Story.
Suburbian Siren, who still might be snotting up while writing this...