Moms Rising now has 1 million members. BlogHer is having it's biggest convention, ever. Green Mom Groups are growing like spring grass and Womego is launching it's online version of 500 women owned magazines (36,million subscribers). That's a lot of online women performing a lot of online work. Many of us work out of our home offices without IT departments. If you're reading this and are ready for an office makeover, get yourself a Mac with the Apple service plan and their incredible staff.
I've been a die hard PC user since before 28.8 dial up days. I purchased a Gateway from Best Buy on the last go around. When I took it home and fired it up, the space bar didn't work. I immediately went back to the store and that was the beginning of customer service agony that cost me two days, numerous phone calls as well as talking to an endless stream of Best Buy employees - all very nice, but none of them would step up and help me solve the problem only pass me on to another.
By the time I repeated my story for the 13th time... While I applaud Best Buy's WOLF project (Women's Leadership Forum), all the women in the world can't overcome poor store polices.
Compare that to what I just experienced in the Irvine, CA Apple Store.
I wandered into an Apple store a couple weeks ago while strolling the mall. I'm noise phobic and Best Buy's noise level drives me crazy, but looking into the very crowded Apple store had the reverse effect. I wanted to be in THERE with the rest of the kids and parents and grandparents. They were having so much fun!
An hour later I walked out with my first Macbook and matching ipod. I wasn't under any pressure to get a Mac, my Best Buy Gateway was "ok', but I hated it. Not only did it give me pains in my hands as the bars still need to be pounded on to work, it was a constant reminder that awful 48 hours of consumer hell that Best Buy put me through.
But that's not the whole story.
Shortly after buying the Mac I fell down some cement steps and the Mac didn't bounce as well as I did. The recyclable aluminum casing folded in right around the CD drive. Any other place would have been fine, but it had to be there. Bummer. I had no choice but go see what they could do to fix it.
With sadness in hand I returned to the store and learned that it would take three days to get it fixed. I didn't have three days. That's when Shawn (in the picture) looked at me and said, "I want to make you happy, let me talk to the manager." He came back with the most amazing offer, if I agreed to pay the $129 re-stocking fee, I could have a brand new computer. DONE!
And since they now had a promo to go with new MacBooks I could have a new printer/scanner/copier for $100 along with the $100 rebate (that's right, FREE) DONE AGAIN!! And then with a store full of lunch crowd people milling about, he unboxed the new computer and transferred all my files over to the new one. Meanwhile I barely broke my work pace as I continued to write blog posts and answered email on the Mac next to it.
My new best friend Shawn held my hand and helped me through the entire process taking me from self-loathing into being a productive, happy person again. He not only transferred all the data in between other customers, he also filled out my $100 rebate card. Look at that picture again, that's the face of a happy, very satisfied customer.
What's not to love?
I was out of there in under two hours with a new computer and plastic protection case. The best part (for me) is that ALL the employees I've intersected with in that store have been outstanding. Shawn wasn't a fluke, he was the norm. BTW - In all my excitement I left the store missing one cord. By the time I got home, Shawn emailed me that it will be at the Genius desk with my name on it. Thanks again, Shawn.
If you want your own private IT staff and service center on top of an simple and seamless machine to use, don't wait for current computer to go south, buy a Mac now. The MacBook also has a Gold Epeat
rating making it good for the environment as well.