Friday, April 1, 2022

Apple Sales Support and Apple Card

I ordered a Studio Display as soon as it was announced, but it wasn’t slated to ship until around March 31. That estimate seems to have been accurate because yesterday I got an e-mail saying that I needed to update the payment method. It ended up taking about an hour to get Apple to fix the order.

At first glance, everything looked OK. The order status page showed that it was billed to my Apple Balance—I had collected a bunch of discounted gift cards in anticipation of hardware purchases this year—and then my Apple Card for the remainder.

I still had a gift card balance, and my Apple Card was well below its limit. I tried selecting the Apple Card attached to my Apple ID again but got an error that it was “invalid.” I tried actually entering the number of the Apple Card (from the Wallet app), and that also failed. Finally, I tried entering a Bank of America card (also well below its limit) and got an error there, too.

I started a chat with Apple and explained the above. After investigating for a while, I was told that the problem was that between placing the order and when Apple decided to bill for the display, my iCloud subscription had reduced my balance by $2.99. (The Mac App Store app, a week later, still shows the old balance, even after rebooting.) I guess since the iCloud charge changed the amount that would go on the card they needed me to confirm the card again. (Given the number of customers Apple has and how long they’ve been aggressively pushing subscriptions you’d think they could predict this sort of thing in advance or have a streamlined flow to fix it, but no.)

The chat agent directed me to update the payment method at the Web site that I’d already said didn’t work. In fact, it was on that page that I had clicked the link to get help. I then found out that the support department that they payment method page had directed me to did not actually have the power to fix payment method problems.

So the chat agent offered to have the appropriate billing support person call me. Not to worry, all the information about my case would be entered into the ticket so that I wouldn’t have to repeat it. They tell me this every time. It has never been true.

While I waited for the call, I downloaded the chat transcript. Most companies give you a .txt file. Apple gave me a beautiful PDF file. It was larger than 1 MB and contained no text that was searchable or copyable.

My phone rang. Indeed, it was not true. The agent had no idea what issue she was calling me about. I explained it all again and then found out that the she was from the media subscriptions department. They can’t help with hardware orders.

She transferred me to Apple Store support. I explained again. The store agent tried to put the order on my Apple Card and said it was declined because of the limit. She asked me to check the limit. It’s an Apple Card, so I can easily do this in the Wallet app. It said I had several times the required amount available. I don’t autobill anything to that card and had no other recent purchases. She didn’t know what to make of that, but she could transfer me to the right person at Citizens Bank to investigate why the charge was declined. Ah, something only Apple can do, since the store and card are integrated so. But…Apple Card is issued by Goldman Sachs, not Citizens. No thanks.

The reward points are not worth it. Can they just put it on my Bank of America card? I gave the number over the phone, and somehow that worked despite failing multiple times in Safari. Finally.

“It will ship in 4–6 weeks.” Huh? The order status page still says it will be delivered March 31–April 7, like it always has. (It now is March 31; there’s no way it will be delivered the same day.) But, apparently, the Web site is wrong. The store people use a different, more accurate system. I should expect weeks.

An hour later, I received 4 e-mails saying that my order’s payment method had been successfully changed.

Today, I received a notification that the order had shipped and would arrive tomorrow. The Apple Store app and the order status page still say that it is “Preparing to Ship,” yet it might still be delivered on March 31 (yesterday). There is no tracking information available. I guess I’ll see what happens tomorrow.


Update (2022-04-01): A few hours later, I received an e-mail saying it would be delivered on April 5. A tracking number was included, which indicates that it hasn’t shipped yet. The order status page still says March 31–April 7, with no tracking number, and it recommends visiting “Track Shipment,” which isn’t linked.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

I tried to order food from ulcer eats once. I had the equivalent of $20 off discount offer.

Somehow my payment never went through.

I know that any half clever online store uses metrics other than "is the amount available on the card" when they process payments, and I suspect Uber just didn't want to foot 75% of the bill for an order across town.

This was my roundabout way of saying that maybe Apple didn't want discount money for their computer.

I'm glad that only Apple payment systems can be used on the App Stores because only Apple can provide such a flawless purchasing experience

I tried to buy a new iPad Air when they went on order. I used my Apple Card to get the 0% equal payments. Despite my current address being associated with my card and showing when I paid, my old address was somehow stored somewhere (I had been on support with Apple for half a day shortly after I moved “fixing” this because your address can be stored in like 8 different places within iOS and various apps) and set as the shipping address. I didn’t see this until I got an alert that the Apple Pencil was shipping. I was on support with Apple for multiple hours updating the address on the order. They could not explain how my old address was used. They assured me it was fixed. Until the next week when I got an alert that the iPad was going to ship… to my old address! AGAIN I contact Apple Support for multiple hours to fix; they assure me the iPad will arrive at the correct address. It doesn’t. The person that lives there now refused the shipment, but they didn’t have to, luckily. So eventually it got back to Apple after UPS tried to deliver it TWICE. Now I’m just so pissed I don’t want an iPad anymore.

I wonder how this rating can possibly be legitimate given the many experiences such as yours.

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