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Great customer support at the Apple Store

Back in August, I purchased a 4TB G-Drive at the Apple Store in Marbella to serve as the destination that CrashPlan uses when backing up our family’s various Macs.

Last week, CrashPlan started getting stuck; stuck synchronizing file information, and stuck backing up our data. The superb staff at Code42 inspected my CrashPlan logs, and discovered numerous read and write errors on the disk. Although Disk Utilities and Tech Tool Pro both reported that the disk was fine, the venerable Disk Warrior got “stuck” in its (evidently much deeper) drive check.

Convinced that the drive had problems, I then set off to the Apple Store—four-month-old purchase receipt in hand—to get a replacement.

After explaining the problem to the Apple Store employee, he replied that Apple only takes back disks during the first three months; after that, the customer has to deal directly with the manufacturer. He then volunteered to help me identify the manufacturer’s contact details.

As the guy was Googling, “G-Technology service and repair”, I was imagining what my next few days and weeks were going to look like:

* Waiting to get an email back from G-Technology with shipping instructions and an RMA number—probably preceded by several “Can you try restarting the drive?” emails.
* Finding some brown paper to wrap up the box for shipping.
* Traveling to the Marbella post office and waiting in line for an hour to ship the thing.
* Traveling back to the post office a month later to figure out why the shipment never arrived.

…all the while, not having a backup at home, because the drive is getting repaired.

I was _just_ about tell the Apple representative to forget it, that I’d just buy a new drive, when he spoke up and said, “Hey, G-Technology doesn’t have customer support in Spain, so we’re just gonna replace the drive for you here.”


Then a few minutes later, returning from the back room, he reported that unfortunately Apple didn’t have any more of those particular drives in stock. But, they _did_ have a 4TB Seagate drive they could offer me. And… that drive costs 100 € less, so in addition, they’ll refund me 100 €!

Now _that_ is great customer support!

Published inBusiness


  1. Niall Niall

    When you were at the Apple store buying this drive originally, what made you pick the G Technology (who the hell is that ?) €100 more expensive drive over the Seagate model which you were given as a replacement? I’m willing to bet that the box was shinier 😉

    Also, although it worked out well for you in the end, the guy in the Apple store was selling you a bill of goods. You bought the drive from Apple, not from G technology, and your contract is with Apple, and it is responsible for dealing with defects inside the warranty period

  2. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    Niall, when I originally bought the G-Drive, it was the only 4TB drive Apple sold. Since the drive sits hidden behind the desk, box shininess wasn’t a consideration. 🙂 Thanks for the link; but reading it, I don’t where it’s clear that the seller is the one responsible?

  3. Niall Niall

    Your contract is only with the seller – you have no commercial relationship with the manufacturer. Quotes from that page:

    Always try to contact the seller first: under your 2-year guarantee, the seller is liable if the product turns out to be faulty or not as advertised.

    . . . the seller must repair or replace it free of charge.

    . . . the minimum 2-year guarantee, which you always have from the seller as your legal right.

  4. Justin M. Justin M.

    Fantastic! And this made me laugh:

    Traveling to the Marbella post office and waiting in line for an hour to ship the thing.

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