Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stamford Apple Store: Busy, Sloooow with iPhones

Today I went to the Stamford Apple store to see if we can recover data off my dead hard drive. My husband said that if they had iPhones, he’d leave work and we could buy two, since he broke his and stole mine.

Decent news: I have a new iPhone.
Bad news: My hard drive is probably dead. There is a chance we can recover data by sending the hard drive away, but Apple can't do it. Many of my 10,000 photos may be gone. It's my fault; I should have backed it up more recently than say, 8 months ago. I hate myself a little, but all I can do is learn a lesson, scrounge up what photos and music I have on my iPods, and move on.

Fortunately, a lot was going on at the Apple store to distract me. When I arrived for my 9am appointment, the joint was rockin'. Eight adults were getting one-on-one tutorials. The Genius Bar was filling up with people like me with troubled computers and iPods. I sat for an hour while the so-called Genius ran diagnostics on my 'top. I chatted with the Stamford resident to my left about public schools and materialistic people. The front half of the store filled up with elementary school kids who were attending "Apple Camp." An instructor shouted directions about making transitions between slides. A diverse group of other random shoppers milled about.

An employee said he'd know by 10:30 if they were getting a shipment of iPhones today. I clung to that possibility as a way to not feel too bad if my hard drive was shot.

Right around the time that iPhone delivery was confirmed, the Apple Genius broke the news that he could not see any data on my hard drive. I said, "I'm not going to cry." My eyes teared up. I fanned my eyes. "I'm not going to cry." Then I cried a little bit.

The Genius consoled me, I called my husband, and we determined that since Apple can only replace my hard drive, we’d take it home and try to retrieve the data ourselves, and if that fails, maybe send it away and hope that someone can fix it for a few hundred bucks. Apple is keeping my ‘top overnight to make sure nothing else is wrong before we spend money to fix the hard drive… which should not have gotten messed up in the first place because I treat my laptop like it is made of glass. I’m very bitter if I think about it too much. Moving on… to the delightful, instantly-gratifying Apple store.

By 10:25, my laptop was checked into the hospital, and an iPhone line was forming outside the store. I got a great spot in line, number 10, and my husband arrived. We had to wait almost an hour. I could not fathom what was taking so long... until it was my turn.

The employee signing me up did not know details of the procedure for switching from a T-mobil account. He kept walking away to ask other people what to do. He was also slow at typing with the stylus on the handheld machine the employees type your info on. It was painful. I thought my husband was going to lose his mind, but he kept it together. It took us over an hour- no exaggeration- to get signed up for a family plan and 2 iPhones. The woman in front of me in line took just as long; she looked like she was going to fall over after standing in line for an hour and then another hour as they tried to get her an iPhone.

I don't want to seem like an ungrateful beeyotch, because the entire Apple staff was awesome. Every single person was helpful; thank God, or I may have lost it. I was in the Apple store for 3 1/2 hours today. It was a long day. I was tired, I was hungry, I was disappointed about my laptop and somewhat stressed about spending so much on new iPhones.

At one point, when we had me switched over to the iPhone AT&T plan, but we were encountering a glitch in signing my husband up, my husband said impatiently, "Let me see your phone," and opened the box really fast. My brand new iPhone tumbled onto the concrete floor.

Me, matter-of-factly: "You just f*%#ing dropped my brand new iPhone on the f*%#ing concrete. This is gonna get mentioned on the f*%#ing blog, you know."

I wasn't angry; I was just saying.


Mr. Z said...

Wow, you really did get a new iPhone. I am en fuego.

Look on the bright side, the 3.5 hours you spent in the mall is about about 6 hours less than I spend in Landmark each day.

Oh, and next time you're stuck downstairs with a Genius let me know and I'll stop by and bring the level of discourse down to a more reasonable level. I can always use an excuse to make a Starbucks run.

Manager Mom said...

I can't BELIEVE your laptop is really deadly dead. Oh no!

Anonymous said...

It might be worth talking to the folks at -- they've been able to do some pretty amazing drive recovery work.

Jeff said...

I've had two Macs in my life--my old Performa 5200 that I had in college which kept frying motherboards (and which Apple replaced after a while, but not before most of my work from my junior year was lost) and the iBook G4 I bought in 2004 and is still going strong.
I've had good experiences with the Apple Store in Stamford, but I hate waiting around there. I feel like I have to want to buy stuff, but I never really want to buy anything. I'd consider an iPhone if a) it wasn't so expensive that I'd be afraid to use it and b) I wasn't about to leave AT&T (their service is pretty good around here, but everyone I call is on Verizon and I'd rather have the free minutes).

Wes said...

I have to say, I'm surprised that you had to wait that long.
I got mine on launch day, and from the moment I got into the apple store, and the moment I walked out with a functioning iphone was probably about 20 minutes. And that was on launch day!
I hope the fall to the concrete didn't do any permanent damage to the phone. I love mine!
Just be careful with apps, as some of them are prone to crash the phone back to the home screen.

Patty said...

Oof. Sorry about the hard drive. Mac can work miracles; fingers crossed.

Enjoy the new phone. The bonus from buying a new one that's on an AT&T plan? When it gives you an obscure error message and you bring it to the genius bar, and the resident genius frowns at it and says "Huh. Never saw THAT before..." you'll be out of the Apple store with a brand new phone within 15 minutes.

Assuming this happens while under warranty, of course.

Stamford Talk said...

I think it took so long not just because our guy was slow but because there were two of us getting on the AT&T plan, so we had to put both our info in.

Mr. Z, I will sure call (or text?) next time I'm stuck in the mall! I forgot you worked so close. Yesterday I was so harried and out of it bc I was late to meet a friend, plus the whole thing of being laptop-less. I swear, I do not even know what to do with myself today. I'm typing this slumped over at our (totally unergonomic) desktop.

Anonymous, thanks for the On Track Data tip!

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Hard drive death is the most trying and devastating of all passings! I once lost my hard drive and a year's worth of accounting along with it. Not fun.

Congrats on the new phone!