My whole life, I was a PC gal. While in college, I worked as a computer tech on those old-fashioned Macs in Emory’s computer labs. I really liked those Macs, but when it came time to buy my first computer, I got a PC.
Over the years, I’ve watched friends switch to Apple as I continued to buy PC after PC. My Apple friends kept telling me, “You REALLY should move to Mac.” But I was quite comfortable with PCs, specifically all the Microsoft software and didn’t want to learn a whole new system or pay a lot more for my computer. And yet, when I moved into the social media profession, every single person I met was using MacBooks. Maybe there was something to this whole Apple thing.
My latest notebook was an Acer with Windows 8 and a very cool touch screen. Seemed like a good deal and it came from Costco with its 90-day return policy and access to their “Concierge” service. The Acer looked like a MacBook, but acted like a PC. Yet halfway through the 3rd month of owning this Acer, I was fed up. I’d already done a major virus removal, a system refresh (not restart) to resolve a “jumping cursor” causing me to lose all my software, AND I had persistent Wifi problems. I realized this was the prime opportunity to finally switch to Apple.
After visiting my local Apple store and getting a tour of a MacBook Pro by one of their Geniuses, I decided to make a leap of faith. I purchased the MacBook, and would return the Acer to Costco before the 90-day window closed. I figured the serious love for this laptop would come later, as Apple’s fans are hopelessly devoted. I purchased Apple’s One-to-One plan (full year of unlimited lessons), and was encouraged to make appointments to learn how to use my MacBook.
I made 1-2 calls to Apple for some set-up issues and was pleased to find no long hold times, calls lasting less than 10 minutes, and talented, enthusiastic support staff clearly located in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind speaking to an overseas customer support person, as long as they can fix the problem. But Apple’s customer support was outstanding so far.
Microsoft Office For Mac
I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to use all of Apple’s software (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) to edit my documents created by Microsoft Office, so I purchased Office for Mac. My one major problem was setting up email accounts in Outlook. So I called Microsoft customer support and wound up speaking to somebody clearly located in Southeast Asia, who claimed her name was “Kristin.” I figured Kristin could tackle this in 20-30 minutes using remote access to configure my email accounts (only 2). Wrong! Try 90 minutes.
With Apple’s customer support, I dealt with consummate professionals. But honestly, had somebody given me some direction, I probably could’ve figured it out myself and taken less time than Kristin. At one point in the call, I did research on my Acer and I gave her the solution needed for proper configuration! She was very polite and tenacious, but oh so slow! That’s 90 minutes I wish I could get back.
Deactivating Microsoft Office
Throughout the week, I moved my data from Acer to MacBook, and my Apple love began in earnest. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but not nearly what I’d expected. Finally, I was ready to do a system restart on the Acer and return it. But first, I wanted to deactivate Office on the Acer… after all, somebody else in my house might need to use Office for PC since mine is the only Mac in our house.
After researching, “how to deactivate Microsoft Office”, a Microsoft website told me to call their Fix-It number. I thought “great, more remote access and they can deactivate it for me.” 10 minutes on hold and a customer support rep (who sounded like he was from the same call center as Kristin) said, “Certainly, we can help with that.” He had me launch the remote access module, and said a tech would come on momentarily to help me. We waited and waited for more than 10 minutes, and no tech came on. Suddenly, the module shut itself down. What the…? The rep said, “No problem, let’s try again.” We did and got the same results. He said, “We’re having unusually high call volume right now. Can you call back tomorrow morning?”
So I did, and after another 10 minute wait, the new customer support rep said, “Of course, we can help you do that.” We launched the module again and this time a tech came on. The guy on the phone hung up, and I was left dealing with the “chat rep.” “Gene” explored my system, and after 5 minutes, announced he was transferring me to another rep who could solve my problem. Within another 5 minutes, “Donald” came on, spent another 5 minutes searching my system, only to tell me I would have to call customer support to get help with this. At this point I was furious… wasn’t I already dealing with customer support? Donald refused to respond to my questions and disconnected the session.
I almost feel sorry for the poor guy whom I spoke to next on the phone. He listened to me rant and rave about my terrible experience. He politely informed me that I couldn’t deactivate Microsoft Office. But the next time I tried to load Office on another computer, I’d just have to call them and get somebody to issue me a new product key. I couldn’t believe I’d wasted another 1.5 hours dealing with this nonsense, only to wind up with nothing.
Let’s Return This Baby!
It was finally time to return my Acer to factory settings. This time I called Costco’s Concierge Service and they walked me through Windows 8’s restart process. She said, “it might take about an hour to do this.” I was anxious to get started, so we forged ahead. No, not one hour, SIX hours. The only pleasant part of this entire experience was returning the Acer to Costco and getting my money back.
So far, all my experiences with Apple have been excellent I’m dealing with competent enthusiastic people who genuinely want me to learn to use their products. I’ve had 2 personal training sessions (one for email and one for Keynote) and I’m thoroughly impressed. My daughter is getting a MacBook for college next year and I can’t wait to help her out… I truly understand the Mac love now. I can’t imagine EVER going back.