Punt, Apple, Punt!

Good Morning, Consumerist Readers...

The following transcript, complete with typos, is from my recent chat with Apple.

You are chatting with {Name Withheld to Protect... Something}, an Apple Expert:

Hi, my name is {Name Withheld to Protect... Something}. Welcome to Apple!

{Me}: I need a new doohickey; TSA lost my old one.
{Me}: I need the thingy that you use to connect a mac laptop to a pc projctor/monitor
{Me}: obviously i dont know what it's called
{Me}: thus I can't find it.
{Me}: and then once I know what it is, I need to know if the apple store by the mall by my house has it

*** 60 second pause ***

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Good afternoon.
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: I'm happy to assist with that.
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Would you like a link to the local Apple STore.

{Me}: I need to know what the thing is called firsty

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: One moment while I research that for you.
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Are you trying to hook your Mac to a projector? Explain to me exactly what you are doing.

{Me}: yes
{Me}: i have a mac laptop and we have projectors for pc
{Me}: the connector for the projector is the same as if I was hooking the mac laptop up to a pc monitor

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Did you have a plug that you previously attached?
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: What type of prong was on the projector for input or output?

{Me}: i don't know what you mean by plug. I had a small white cable, one end hooked up to my laptop on the mac side and one end hooked up to the monitor/projector
{Me}: the pc end looked like pc monitor connectors have always looked. the mac side has a bunch of square looking slots at one end
{Me}: that cable fell out of my bag at airport security
{Me}: or my dog ate it. anyway, it's gone and now I can't hook up to anything.

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: One moment while I research that for you.

*** several minutes go by***

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Thank you for your patience.

****several more minutes go by, I stop sending emails and try some more searches***

{Me}: i think i found it.
{Me}: On my own.
{Me}: http://store.apple.com/us/product/M8754G/A?mco=MTIxODk3Mw

***60 second pause***

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Perfect.
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Would you like me to place it in a cart for you?

(this is one of the stupider offers of help ever, I just found something faster than you did, I think I can click the "add to cart button".)

{Me}: No, I need the phone number for the Mac store in South Pointe mall in Durham, NC.
{Me}: I don't want to pay shipping.

{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: I will gladly send you a link so that you may contact them directly, one moment
{Name Withheld to Protect... Something}: Click Here

(Thanks for nothing. A link to the site I'm ALREADY ON. Way to go.)

You will note I never got what I wanted -- them to check the inventory without me calling the store and find out if they had it in stock.

I think I'm going to order the $1.94 knock-off on Amazon, instead. It's got $2.95 shipping, but that's a net of $15.00 less than Apple....


Anonymous said...

It was probably a 'bot. Most of those instant response "chat" things online are.

Yet Another Girl said...

Needs to be a smarter bot, then!

Anonymous said...

"doohickey" ?? :))) I don't blame the bot.

Yet Another Girl said...

at some point it should be smart enough to kick it to a human.

i hope, one who knows english.

but if i had known the word I wouldn't have needed the help, you know?

i now have two

one from amazon and the help desk at work dug up another

pat gillen said...

Found you via Consumerist. Are you sure you weren't looking for something more like this?

If you have a Macbook Pro you will most likely need the cable you have already looked at, but if you're using the Macbook (or older Powerbook) you may need to look into one of these.

Maybe (name redacted) apple csr could place it in your cart for you. :)

Yet Another Girl said...

As soon as I found the one I needed, I recognized it on sight. I've had to use it about 4 times a week for the past 18 months or so...

I just didn't know its NAME...

pat gillen said...

Awesome! :)

Anonymous said...

Those doohickeys are called dongles. So the dongle your looking for is DVI to VGA. Hence, a DVI to VGA dongle. Also, the chat reps don't have access to the stores inventory. None of the AppleCare reps or sales people do. You have to manually call a store and ask. Otherwise, you can try to get them to do it, but I doubt chat reps have phones.

Yet Another Girl said...

Actually a dongle is usually a hardware component used to insure hardware or software liscensing. I would NEVER use "dongle" to descript a cable or converter.


I've been in too many meetings where old-time mainframe people are talking about the good old dayes with the dongles...

I think it is a mistake on Apple's part to not have the CSR's with access to the inventory of the stores. That's part of my point.

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