I know some of you will just naturally assume that because I'm a Microsoft MVP, that I'm naturally going to go ranting on the competition...like Apple. You are wrong. Those smart enough know that MVPs probably give Microsoft the hardest time when we talk with them. We want them to keep up standards so we bring them to task on any problem we find. And I do have and use products from companies like Adobe, Macromedia and several other competitors.
But something happened the other day that just irked me to no end. So I've pulled out the SoapBox to rant!
About a year ago I decided to purchase the license for Apple's QuickTime .MOV video player. The basic version is free, but you can purchase a license to get the full version. I bought the license. Granted, it was only about $40. But I wanted to learn how to use the Pro version, so it was a purchase I thought would be worthwhile in my career.
As it turned out, I didn't particularly care for the rest of the features very much. After emailing tech support a few times to figure out why I was having trouble getting the Pro version to work properly, I finally got it rolling and discovered that the video apps I already owned worked better. So, although I didn't really regret the purchase, I just didn't bother to use those extra features.
Later that year, my AMD processor burned up my motherboard! After salvaging my main PC, I knew I'd lost the proper setup for several apps on my system. I fixed most, but didn't remember them all at the time.
Recently, I wanted to use those QuickTime Pro features, but when I tried to fire up QuickTime, I discovered the license was trashed to my old version of Windows, so I would have to reinsert the license code. Only problem...I couldn't find the email with the key. Nor could I find the printout I usually save in my license file. I hunted all around my PC and the house. No luck.
Knowing that I can always, easily go to other software companies to have them look up my license info, I figured I'd just send Apple an email to get the info I needed. If I lose my key, I can call Microsoft to fix the problem. If I lost my key, I can go to Macromedia.com, enter my info and get my key...even download my software if I lost that, too. I have gotten keys from the big companies and the little companies. Simple right? They look up your name and/or email and maybe ask you a few ID questions to prove who you are...and you get an email with your key in it so you can reinstall your trashed software. That's also one of the advantages of properly registering software.
I'm not sure if Apple has problems keeping data or they just don't care about the customers who only make small purchases. But after no less than five emails to Apple support (four of them reiterating that I don't HAVE the purchase ID, which is why I'm writing you...if I had that info, I wouldn't need help from you.)
- The first reply from Apple thanked me for my inquiry, reminded me how to make a new purchase and asked me to provide some additional information so they could look up my order.
"To help Apple locate your QuickTime Pro key, please reply to this email with
the following information:
1) The date you ordered QuickTime Pro
2) The exact name under which you registered QuickTime Pro
3) The email address you entered when you purchased QuickTime Pro
4) The daytime phone number entered when you purchased QuickTime Pro"
Unfortunately, although I was able to supply them my name, my email and give them a choice of three phone numbers that may have been on that order, I had NO idea the date of the order. It was sometime last year. But apparently it was impossible for them to locate my order key because I didn't have the receipt with the date of my order!<sigh>
Now remember that I just explained in my last email that I didn't know the date of the order. So their reply was:
"Apple was unable to locate your order with the information provided. To help Apple locate your order and answer questions about it, please reply to this email and provide your order number, the name that appears on the order, and the daytime phone number given when the order was placed."
Again, if I HAD the email or purchase receipt that had the order number and the date of purchase, it would most likely also have the key, since that's usually what I do...print out all the info together. But for some reason, this time I couldn't find that info. And Apple apparently also could not find my info without all the details of my records!<sigh>
They couldn't help me!
Thank you for contacting Apple.
Apple was unable to locate your order with the information provided.
Apple Store Customer Support"
The bottom line...I was screwed!<sigh>
I find it really hard to imagine that a big company like Apple can't just look up an email address to see any purchases I've ever made with them. I've had the same email address for over 10 years, so I know that would be the correct info. And I know my name and address would be right. Don't they know how to use a database? Don't they have server space to store that type of information? If anyone purchases a training lesson from me, I have all their keys stored and even backed up so I can resend them their key in a few minutes with only their name. And I've done that...ages after they first registered.
So they have my money and I have nothing to show for it...at least until I can find my own records since that's way to difficult for them...amazing!<sigh>