Monday, 13 October 2014

Apple Customer Services Review UK - iPad Mini Wifi Phantom Touch Fault.

HELP! A Ghost Is Playing On My iPad!

I got my iPad mini for my birthday last November. It was the first Apple tech' I had owned from new (I had had an iPod touch 4th gen. passed down to me that had finally broken the previous month - it was so smashed up). 

After using my iPad mini WiFi for around 5 months I had this phantom touch problem.

The problem would open and close apps, click all over the screen erratically, sometimes purchasing things on eBay for me! Which was so inconvenient, messaging sellers saying "My iPad bought it for me" really does seem like a lame excuse.

The touching problem wouldn't occur all the time, but when it did it would render the iPad unusable. Tapping everywhere, literally like a ghost was having fun with it.

I managed to stick it out, till the August of this year, a mere 9 months after it was first used. The iPad was eventually unlocking itself and playing music, minimising any app that was open, (this was so much hassle) zooming in and out when I was watching a film or video, or typing something important. 

Totally useless and unusable and not what you would expect for a £200+ piece of tech'.


Initially I tried restoring my iPad to factory settings, thinking it was perhaps something I had downloaded that was causing the problems. Problems occurred here too, the iPad would take 4 hours to half-install the new software then tell me there was an error. 

(You made me wait 4 hours then tell me that you stupid thing?!?) 

Eventually I gave up my iPad to my boyfriend and he took it back to the store where he bought it. They palmed him off telling him they couldn't do anything after the 28 days from date of receipt and that we were to ring the electrical helpline. 

Which I did.


After phoning the customer help line, which was the Tesco's free-to-call number, it gave me several options eventually taking me through to the apple customer helpline.

Now this is a very smart system. A little robotic lady asks for the serial number of the iPad and email address, So they knew all my details before forwarding me onto a customer advisor.

Problem is... This number was 5 pence per minute.

Surprisingly after spending only 10 minutes on hold, (Pretty reasonable considering I spend longer than that on hold making a doctors appointment).

The little man on the phone was quite helpful, very friendly and chatty, actually forming a relationship with me, his customer. 
Which is more than can be said for some call centres. 
He asked many questions and took a record of what I had said filling in whatever he needed to at the other end.

The verdict, after an hour on the phone answering questions, was to send my iPad off for repairs using the little box they would send within 2 days. Giving the 'repairers' a window of 6 hours to find the problem when it was seen to at their repair centre.

All of this was free of charge. Within warranty.

I waited 2 days for a box to be delivered to my house, send off my iPad, waited 5 days for an email back, saying

 "No, there is nothing wrong with your iPad. We are sending it back now."

And I receive my iPad 2 days later. With a letter that states its meets apples standards for correctly working equipment.....NoNoNo it was in the same condition i sent it in. Unusable, and not fit for purpose. 


'Did you guys even look at this thing?!?'

By this point I was loosing my faith in the company but I persevered and used the iPad as it was for a while, as they stated they had updated all the software and all the other technical stuff they do (phahahaha) but alas... still same problem.

Restored my iPad, still the same problem.

(This took several hours again)


After a few days, I called the repair centre AGAIN.
 (this was a week after the iPhone 6 came out, I put it off a week expecting them to be busy) 
Shame though as it wouldn't have mattered as I spent £6 on phone charges for listening to 'on-hold-music'  for 2 hours with not so much as a peep from an advisor

They probably went home for the evening, leaving me to give them 5p a minute 
until the morning I bet!

On Hold Time:
Time Of Total Call: 1.57.31 minutes
Time Of Original Call: 19.15pm

No Luck Here...


I Give up After the elapsed time and I go to the on line help.
This was a 'so-so' experience. 

The same evening of my 2 hour hold time I had trouble with the on line help once I had got through to a supervisor. Upon having the first message from the on line supervisor my chat would disconnect and have a 'paddy', booting me out to the original screen, waiting to be connected to a customer advisor again. 

This happened several times that evening, so I finally gave up
 (it wasn't my internet connection, everything else was working fine, and I even tried using my cellular network on my phone and it wouldn't cooperate)
You'd think Apple's on-line customer help might work on an iPhone?!


Cutting this long section short, I went back onto the on line chat the next morning managed to get through, talked to another supervisor for and hour... same answers, same questions... and managed to get this answer.

"would you like me to make and appointment, the next available 
appointment is 1 week from now, i could book it for you?"

"No thank you I will be able to do that myself."

Looking on line, I found there was availabilities in the same week so, the advisor, was wrong.

Taking a day off work, I arranged transport and travelled 50 minutes to get to the nearest Apple Store, I arrive, without an appointment
 (this was due to the on line booking being full on the day that I could get off work).

I was taking a risk with no appointment but I arrived at around 11:15am spoke to a man who was centrally located in the store, he took my details then sat me down at the appropriate Genius Bar stating someone will be with me soon.

Within the time I was waiting I had several store colleges assure me that someone would be with me soon and true to their word I waited only 15 minutes to speak to an advisor, he was very chatty and helpful.

 I told him briefly about the problem and showed him a video of my iPad doing the phantom touch problem. He watched about 2 seconds and pretty much said 

"Yup! Seen that before, fault in the hardware you need a new one, oh it's under warranty still, it won't cost you anything!"

I couldn't believe this man could diagnose my iPad in 2 second when I had spent multiple hours on phone calls to Apple customer advisor and in on-line chats, with all of them  not knowing what I was talking about!!

Because they where so busy I was told to come back at 1:15pm and they would sort me out with my new iPad mini.


I found places to wander, and had a lovely hot chocolate from Costa whilst I was waiting for my 1:15pm appointment. 

Around comes 1:15pm and I go back in store, check in with an advisor who again, was standing in the centre of the store and she told me yes, please wait over there by those big screens and I'll get someone over ASAP.

I waited 45 mins in total.
Though this seems like a long time to wait around I was understanding of their business, and I was a walk in customer, they had managed to squeeze me in. 
Which I was thankful for to say the least. 

There where around 25 busy store colleges on the shop floor at once. 
I'm not sure hey could have fitted many more in! 

Once I had been seen to, I was taken to a computer to sit down, we went through the process of removing personal data from my broken iPad, until my new iPad was bought down. 

The man then helpfully set my iPad up for me restoring it, and explaining everything can be restored here, and you could walk away with your iPad all ready to go. 

All done!
I left the Apple Store and came home with fabulously working  iPad.


So in conclusion:

I Rate the On line & phone customer service as:
2 out of 5.

Apple customer services are pretty useless on the phone and on line. You will find yourself on hold, charged 5 pence per minute and  'running' in circles doing everything that you have already done with the previous customer advisor.

The system seems very 'up together' and has an good and technical way of processing customers and gaining details in the first instance and keeping all data logged. However, once you get through to a human, (who may or may not have read through your information) the service goes down hill.

I Rate my in Store customer service experience as:
5 out of 5

Upon entering the store I was greeted by friendly faces and smiles.  Although I waited approx. 1 hour during my whole visit I was well looked after, and well informed during my waiting periods.

There where approximately 20 to 30 staff on the shop floor interacting with customers, none of which where standing idle. 
Understandably not many more would fit in the store with all the customers too!


A Few Pointers for you.

When going in store, a video of your product going wrong really helps to get your point across so you do not have to worry if the product does not show the fault.
(something like I showed in the video at the top of this blog post)

 I was told a within-warranty product replacement or repair is free including any parts needed. But Apple are happy to help customers who have problems with products out of warranty, of course, fees occur. 

So that's that! I am happy with the overall outcome of the situation though am unhappy it all happened in the first place.

The only problem with going in store is that you get to look at all the pretty screens and end up wanting a £1000 mac computer. DOH!

Maybe that's the reason the on line and phone help is so rubbish?!

Have you had a good or bad experience with Apple Customer Care?
Do/Did you have an iPad that has this error?
Let me know!

Much Love
Post a Comment