One Month ago today I Drove 70 Miles to the Omaha Apple Store to purchase a brand new Macbook Pro for myself.  The 15″ model 2.53GHZ with 4GB ram.

I could have went to the best buy 5 minutes away from my house to buy the same computer but we have a corporate discount code with Apple and we only get to use it for purchases at the Apple store.  Its not a ton of money but in the last year its saved us at least $25,000.00.

So anyway I get back to Lincoln and fire up the laptop.  I played around with it a little bit but I had to fly out the next day to go to Phoenix so I did not get much time to play with it.

5 days later I get home from phoenix and finally have a minute to try to migrate stuff over from my Macbook AIR to the new Macbook Pro.  Being the Macbook AIR does not have a firewire port my only option was to migrate over a wireless network.  This did not go so well and I had to abandon ship midway through.  2 days later my Elite Retreat conference started and so I put off the migration until I got back from that.

7 days later I finally get to play with my new laptop.  As I am copying things over though the machine keeps locking up for 5-10 minutes at a time.. WTF?  Not cool.  I check the system log in /var/logs/system.log and it shows a disk IO error every time the machine comes back from one of these lockups. I start researching the issue online and find a few helpful threads on the Apple support forums.  I tried everything……. even reformatting the drive zeroing out the data so it will move the bad blocks (WTF BAD BLOCKS) on the hard drive.

So after 2 reinstall and only about 10 hours of actual use (of which 9 was reinstalling/formatting) I am f’ing pissed off.  Not really because the computer is DOA…  but because after calling the Apple store they tell me there is nothing they can do for me over the phone and I need to set a meeting with one of their “geniuses” at the “genius” bar so he can take a look at it and figure out whats wrong.

OK THAT SUCKS.  Guess what is going to happen?  I can already picture it.  I am taking 4 hours out of my Saturday to drive to the Omaha Apple Store to sit down with some high school kid who thinks he knows everything cause he just got his MCSE.   He is going to do all these retarded tests and tell me nothing is wrong with it and I am going to go back and fourth to the Omaha store for the next month.  Nevermind the fact I have been a UNIX admin and Apple user since this pimple faced kid was born AND I KNOW exactly without a doubt its a bad hard drive.

Well I scheduled an appointment with one of these “Geniuses” for this morning.  I talked to my wife last night and told her how much I WAS NOT looking forward to the trip and how this kid is going to super piss me and yadda yadda yadda and she told me, “just chill and let them do their job”.  Now I had no experience with Apple “geniuses” before but was just going by my experience with every local chain like Best Buy,  Circut City,  or remote support like Dell where their answers drive you insane with things like “Have you rebooted?”

I had my appointment at 11am… checked in the store and sat down at the “genius” bar.  A kid named Chase came over to me and asked me what was going on with my laptop.  I explained that it randomly locks up for 5-10 minutes and everything I had done to try and fix it.  He asked if he could check it out for a minute.   Right away it locked up on him and he checked the system log which showed the disk IO error.

He then said, “Man I really apologize I bet this was frustrating.  Would it be OK if I just get you a brand new laptop?”


WOAH…  I was not expecting that.  He went into the backroom to check on something and came out and said there was a issue.  (O boy).

He said that they were out of the same model that I had but would it be ok if he went ahead and upgraded me to the new 2.66GHZ model (which is about 400$ more)?  I said sure and what I just pay the difference in price?  And he said no no we will just do a even swap is that OK?

I just was about knocked over with this.  Unreal customer service.

So I know what some of you are thinking.  They did this because we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with them….

OR because they knew about Davids macbook pro birthday cake my wife made that got lots of mainstream press including some attention of some Apple execs

OR because they must have read the post about Best Buy that was featured on the 20/20 show about how people complained about crap customer service and got stuff done.

Nope.  All Chase knew was that I was Jeremy and that’s it.

On the way home from the Apple store I called my wife and told her about my amazing experience.  I also said I felt bad not only for prejudging the “geniuses” but also putting myself through such agony…

I left the Apple Store feeling more proud then ever to be an Apple user.  Thanks Chase!

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

108 thoughts on “My Trip To The Omaha Apple Store”
  1. So the lesson is that Apple laptops are not the bastions of stability that Apple geeks like to brag about? Every day on my Twitter I hear of another Apple geek having to reformat and reinstall their OS.

    Good thing they have good customer support. I imagine it would be difficult to forget the terrible experience you had with your new laptop, if not for them being willing to swap a new faster one free of charge.

    1. Incorrect Carl, this author simply got a DOA unit, not an unstable machine. Apple did the right thing, and customer was ecstatic.

      And we know you’re lying since formating and reinstalling the OS is not a troubleshooting step on a Mac… that’s done on a Windows PC. In extreme cases, you would do an “Archive & Install”, but never a format and reinstall.

      oops! we can tell you are lying.

    2. No computer is perfect, but when us Apple geeks brag about the stability it’s generally the stability of the operating system.

      My Windows machine may lock up a couple times a day when I’m using it (not completely, but for a few seconds, and a program might crash) but with my Macbook Pro those problems are very rare and mainly occur because I try to open a ton of programs at once.

  2. Proves the theory that a well handled customer complaint can result in a higher level of satisfaction than if a problem hadn’t occurred in the first place. Weird, but true!

    1. Well, if it is any encouragement, Shoe’s will likely be one of the slightly-more-affordable refurb’s available from either Apple’s website (or maybe Apple stores sell refurbs as well?)

  3. ” feeling more proud then ever to be an Apple user”

    WTF?! Proud to be buying a brand of laptop.

    I hate f’ing fanboys…its a LAPTOP shoe, not a f’ing religion.

    A laptop that didnt work right out of the box at that…crock of shit.

      1. Well I am really surprised to see that you have invested your precious time to this. Instead of this you can send your staff and he/she will care about it.

        Your time is precious mate … don’t you think so 🙂

        1. You make a good point.

          I don’t think he has all that many staff to do this though.

          Maybe a secretary?

      2. Then you’d definitely need to tell us more about this religion.

        Is Steve Jobs your “god”?

  4. Same thing happen to me with my iPhone and they swapped it out after seeing the issue and trying to fix it for 5 minutes. Apple rocks!

  5. That’s great news! Wow, I’m impressed. Makes me want to go ahead and run to the Apple Store now. Been “waffling” on getting an IMac or a MacPro. Thanks for sharing.

  6. You know, as hard as I tried to hate Apple I had the same experience with my gear. When stuff is relatively new they just swap it out, no questions asked. If you have Apple Care this lasts basically forever.

    1. That’s the mantra of long success. After sales service and support.

      This service will kept you ahead from your competitors.

  7. Shoe,

    Glad to hear they’ve stuck close to their awesome customer service commitment. I’ve the exact same thing happen the two times I’ve needed their help in the 15 years I’ve been a mac customer.

    Did you hear that? I said mac customer not mac devotee or cultist. I buy things because they help me get work done and because the companies that make them value their customers.

    I’ll have nothing to do with the supposed Mac VS PC “war” but I do bristle a little bit when I hear people ripping Apple because of a product defect. Like all of the 80 billion PCs manufactured went off without a hitch.


    1. Thank you for this comment.

      There is no need to associate yourself with a side, every product has a different market, and it depends on your need.

  8. Kudos to Apple for doing what they did for you Shoe. It’s funny you referred to Best Buy in the article, because as I read your post, I could only help thinking, wow, if this were a laptop purchased at Best Buy, it would have been an entirely different and nightmarish experience.

    What’s nice to is that they did this for you not based on who you are, but based on the value of the customer experience.

    1. What’s wrong in their OS. This one is pretty cool once you get habituate of this.

  9. did the same thing with my macbook.. i bought a refurb and it had some problems with the screen out of the box.. i called and they didnt have the same model in a refurb available….. they offered a discount on either a new macbook or a refurb.. (i got the 2.4 2gb originally which was the top spec offered on this gen)

    i settled for a 2.2 1gb with a good discount but a day later one just like i bought appeared so i called apple and within a day i had what i ordered in my hands no problem… very satisfied with their products and service…

    I work in wireless and understand that its just a fact that electronics are not bullet proof and the sheer volume that are sold a few are bound to be DOA… considering i was buying a refurb at a large discount i was really surprised at how painless they made it especially since we dont have an apple store i lexington..

    good job apple

  10. Damn you got lucky!

    But most people’s computer problems aren’t really problems, they are user errors, so I understand why most computer techs first ask someone if they’ve rebooted or not.

    My company works with mobile and web software for farmers and we get tons of these crazy questions everyday that is easily fixed by rebooting.

    1. I read somewhere that rebooting solves 98% of all errors or something like that.

      If only most people knew that.

      1. Yeah I’ve heard of it but I think Shoe’s problem falls into the other 2%.

  11. […] a corporate discount code with Apple and we only get to use it for purchases at the Apple store My Trip To The Omaha Apple Store – 03/08/2009 One Month ago today I Drove 70 Miles to the Omaha Apple Store to […]

  12. I’ve been thinking about the kind of anti-Mac backlash commentators have already made here, and I think I’ve figured part of it out: It’s an issue of identity.

    These people include “computer-savvy” as part of their self-identity; they think they know everything about computers. They probably are quite smart, and quite knowledgeable, but usually they’re thinking “computers=windows”.

    They can’t engage on a discussion about Mac vs. Windows without feeling a need to defend that identity. If Macs truly are superior for some jobs, it means their view of themselves as all-knowledgeable about computers is incorrect (and it’s easier to deny/argue than it is to adjust one’s identity).

    Paul Graham had a good essay about the dangers of absorbing concepts wholesale into your identity–Google for “Paul Graham identity” to find it. I think that’s what happening with the Mac vs. PC flames.

    And for context, I run a 6-person game dev shop that switched to all-Mac in the last year (we make the games you see on

      1. What.Windows advertising copying Apple.. Apple just keeps getting better and better and more people will continue to move over as they get sick of trying to get customer service from someone who doesn’t speak their language!

  13. another score for apple. Sadly even after hearing these types of stories from my friends in the years past, I opted to get PC with Vista and cant wait until I get another laptop this summer…I see the light finally and have accepted the word of the Apple

  14. Hey just saw that apple book cake … that was simply great … white and brown combination … 🙂

  15. I had the same experience with my iphone.. they gave me a new one, no questions asked. impressive.

    1. I’m on my fourth Apple…. Mad love to my MAC……. I. don’t have an iPhone though, maybe when they are not exclusively on AT&T….. I hate AT&T…. to you hear that Apple… Switched iPhone to run on all networks….. Get rid of AT&T…

  16. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Good job Chase for just letting it go. I wonder if that’s how it works there or if it just happened to be Chase.

    1. I guess must be the unique Apple service, they need to have something better than the competition, something they cannot easily beat.

    2. That is really the way it goes, BUT Chase is pretty awesome to work with. He really knows his stuff

  17. My father had a similar experience. He had an internal board failure, they fixed it like right now. a few months later the same thing happened, he just asked to have it fixed, they did. It crapped again a few months later and this time was just outside the Apple Care 3 year warranty. They gave him a BRAND NEW 17″ iMac to replace his 3+ year old 15″ iMac, and apologized for the problems. They swapped all the files over, etc.
    This company KNOWS how important customer service is. And here is the kicker… My father lives in a pretty upscale golf-centric 50+ community, and since his great experience with Apple the next day one of his neighborhood buddies mentioned he was looking for a new laptop to replace a windows machine. My father became an Apple Evangelist and touted the experience he just had. The neighbor went to the Apple store, and plunked down the cash for 2 new 24″ iMacs and 2 Mac Books for he and his wife.

    Thats how it works: satisfy a customer who will tell his peers and create raving fans. Those who call it a religion, simply need to stop worshiping at the Gates Alter!

    1. Yep I always heard that negative comments run faster than positive ones. But here positive got the maximum points.

  18. That’s awesome, but did you call the store and tell a store manager about your experience?

        1. If they do, you may giveaway in a contest or something, ti would be cool to win one. 🙂

          1. Hey Make Money …

            No hints of getting free stuff and you started to thinking about your share as well. Lollzz

          2. Is that really ethical reselling a free gift? I mean come on Shoe doesn’t really need anymore money he’s “Rick James, B****. He’s Rich.” Unless he was going to buy his wife a scooter as well…

      1. Good idea. Too often, people are vocal about bad service and quiet about service that is better than average. It’s good that you took the time to write about it and let them know because that type of service needs to be rewarded and used as an example to other support staff.

  19. The staff at Apple store offer great personalized service which is unique to Apple. My only complaint is that I went to the Apple store yesterday to buy their new iMac 24″. I knew exactly which model I wanted and figured I could just go in there, pay $1500 and take it home. Nope. I had to put my name on a waiting list and wait for over 1 hour for the next available customer service rep just so I can give them my credit card and get the iMac. That experience really turned me off to the whole Apple store, I’ll probably just buy my next computer online. Not like it makes any difference to Apple of course!

  20. I had a really similar experience withy my iPhone, on the first day I got it the microphone wasn’t working so nobody could hear me unless I had the handsfree set on. Went into the store without an appointment, they felt bad for me because I need my phone for work so they saw me right away, and they just swapped it for a new phone! Great way to keep me coming back for more of their products. Plus they probably just send those ones back to become refurbs anyway, they probably don’t lose much.

  21. Grats on the new system, Apple service is truly top class. The fact that their computers are 95% incapable of getting viruses speaks for itself.

  22. I’ve made two trips to the Apple store over the last 24 hours and plan to hopefully make a final one tommorow. Luckily it’s only a 1/2 hour away but it does suck either way to deal with. I’m glad to hear things worked out well for you in the end though!

  23. It seems like every one of the Apple stores has a personality. Some bend over to be cool and some want to be too cool for school. You found a good one!

  24. Thats exactly the comp I want it. I may someday have it, but I prefer the 17 in version, its awesome.

  25. Wow, that’s pretty sweet.

    But, really, shouldn’t that type of customer service be the norm (or very close to it)? Unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to CRAP service.

  26. Last month, one of the fans on my 3 year old MacBook Pro 15″ started getting noisy. Under Applecare, Apple sent me a box and I Fedexed the computer back to them. Evidently it arrived at their repair depot with a damaged LCD. Although breakage like this is not covered by the Applecare warranty, the supervisor went ahead and approved the repair of the LCD as well as the fans. AND, when I got the computer back 3 days later, the hard drive was upgraded to a 200GB model instead of the original 100GB. I’d say that’s pretty good customer service.

  27. I don’t think this should be surprising. You pay way more when buying an Apple product. It is built into the price of what you buy. You don’t act extra happy when your car comes with an engine; it should be expected. So yes, great customer service but you already paid for it with the product (or others did and never cashed in on it because nothing went wrong with their purchase).

    Also, I thought it was interesting that you may still be right about their the lack of knowledge of the workers. Kudos to Apple for making you forget, but it doesn’t take a genius to give away a new product.

    So again, great job Apple but to be proud that you got what you paid for is a bit odd. That sort of stuff is ALWAYS built into the price of the product.

  28. I think thats a lesson we can all learn from:
    customer service is paramount for long term success – webpages just tricked out for Adsense and squat for the user is like a DOA MacBook and crappy customer service. 😉

  29. […] My Trip To The Omaha Apple Store […]

  30. lucky you since you born name Jeremy with a destiny of ShoeMoney.I congratulate it over the Macbook trouble ,wish I were on that Shoe;I certainly always get ,the best product with the best service from the the customer care

  31. I had the same problem with my computer when I first got it from Apple, and had probably the worst customer service experience with them on the phone ever. After several days and untold hours on the phone with them, someone finally came on and apologized, said he thought it was a bad hard drive and that I should go to the genius bar and have it looked at – if they found the same problem he thought it was they would replace it for me.

    Lo and behold, I got great customer service in person, they took about 5 minutes to check things out and confirm the bad hard drive and another 5 to replace my laptop.

    The lesson here, is never call customer service if you can help it.

  32. Customer service can be a pain, but I haven’t had too many problems at the BestBuy in Lincoln, they are just really slow to get to you. So how is the new computer? Is it better?

  33. If only all companies were so understanding of the customer relations experience.

    1. Definitely agree – its all about customer service, and if you make as much money as apple does, theres no sense in stiffing your loyal customers over a few bucks!!

  34. Jeremy,

    That’s why I switched to Macs about 5 years ago and will continue to be a proud Mac user.

    That is customer service, bar none. THAT is the way to do business and treat your customers!

    Bravo Apple!

  35. Here’s another real Apple success story…
    My daughter’s Macbook blew out the “N” key about one year after purchase. I took it into the Apple store figuring on a service charge to get it fixed. Long story short, even though about a week out of warranty and having bought the machine at Bestbuy, the the Apple store manager installed a brand new keyboard for free on the spot.
    People talk about the “Apple tax.” I gladly pay it for the quality of the machines and the great customer care.

  36. It seems like every one of the Apple stores has a personality. Some bend over to be cool and some want to be too cool for school. You found a good one!

  37. I think decent company that has halfway decent customer service would have done this. I mean, it’s cool, but but it sucks that it was broken in the first place.

  38. That’s awesome! As a customer service rep for Amazon I use to do the same type of thing (sometimes i got in trouble for it lol.) but that’s the kind of thing that keeps your loyal customers coming back.

    1. just to big… You cant open it on a airplane because of the vertical size of the screen. Even in first class and being I use this 90% of the time while traveling kind of defeats the purpose.

  39. Great post, even though I am not sure how much help an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is to you when you own a crashed MAC..

  40. Also: That is awesome service, but don’t try to pretend that it’s not what you pay for when a 4GB memory upgrade on the new Macbook Pro 17 is an extra $4.000

  41. That’t tight. You had me hooked in that story, I was waiting for you to tell me that they messed the whole thing up…but great job apple. There’s nothing like great customer support.

  42. Windows is really trying hard to be cool… a shoe just except who they are and push for more enterprise type markets.. the rare occasions when I’ve had problems with my Apple I have had nothing but awesome experiences getting the problem resolved. either call someone up at Apple find it answer online or bring it into their “genius” bar and the problem gets taken care of…

  43. That story made me laugh – these are the kind of companies (with an outstanding customer service) that are destined to survive just a bout anything! 🙂

  44. I don’t think I’ll ever switch to a mac, especially after reading something like this. But I guess i’ve never really dealt with anything like a computer being DOA.

  45. What the hell good is an MCSE going to do when working on a Mac? Do you even know what that means?

  46. That’s great customer service! The thing that sets my windows laptop apart though… is that it doesn’t fuck up in the first place! 🙂

  47. I used to be completely against anything Apple because anyone I ever interacted with who liked apple acted elitist about it. After 29 years of using PC’s, I am ready to make the leap. It’s time to replace my desktop and laptop and I think I want 1 machine to do it.

    Thanks for the post on Apple customer service. It helps in my decision.

  48. I have a MacBook and I SO want to switch my desktop to a Mac too. I keep wishing and adding it to my Santa list but it’s not here yet … I might need to work on being better this year 😉

  49. I had issues with an iPod and I took it in to get looked at – And within 3 minutes they handed me a new one. Not an upgrade, but the iPod had visable wear and tear. Pretty cool if you ask me.

  50. […] Chronicling Bulgaria created an interesting post today on Comment on My Trip To The Omaha Apple Store by DaveHere’s a short outlineYea, Right…and I guess you have a bridge for sale too…… […]

  51. I have a mac book pro myself and recently had to visit with a “genius” in their store. I did not get a new mac, but did get new parts…no hassel….no hussel….GREEEAATT….service!

  52. Any you cannpt deny that Apple is the most attractive thing in the world. LOL

  53. Anyway you cannot refuse to admit that Apple is one of the most attractive thing in this world.

  54. I hate Apple, that said I do own an ipod and when it has broken, the peeps out at the Apple Store in Omaha treat me the best I have ever been treated as a customer.

  55. excellent post,but i get some difficulty in understanding the final section, could you please describe a bit in depth?

  56. Apple is one of the most attractive thing in this world. thats great

  57. What you guys are forgetting is that Apple builds 40% profit margins into their products. In the rest of the computer industry, it’s only 2-3%. When everyone overpays for a piece of hardware, Apple makes enough money to hand out the occasional $400 upgraded machine to someone. Actually, that $400 “upgrade” you got only cost Apple about $220. And, by the way, you overpaid way more than that up front when you bought the original system. They’re not losing a dime. Sure their customer service is great – you paid dearly for it in advance. Apple’s not dumb. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. I’d rather deal with companies that don’t take such blatant advantage of their customers, then sugar coat it to make themselves look like saints.

  58. I have had AMAZING SERVICE from the Apple store in Omaha. Wouldn’t buy anywhere else. (And I live in Lincoln)

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