Streetwise is my local Apple retailer. It's where I bought my MacBook laptop and my Epson printer, and it's where I was planning to buy a lot of other computery things in the near future.

Unfortunately, my MacBook is in need of a little in-warranty TLC (a crack has a developed in the casing, a common defect). So today I dropped by Streetwise, an Authorised Apple Service Centre, to get it looked after.

I discovered that, in an effort to gain the highest possible "service rating" from Apple, Streetwise has decided to make it really inconvenient to get a minor problem with your MacBook fixed. I therefore walked right back out with my cracked MacBook in hand.

Here's the note I just sent to Streetwise.

Hi there,

I visited the service department at Streetwise today to seek in-warranty service for my MacBook (Apple case no. XXXXXXXX).

When I spoke to Apple regarding the case, they informed me that I would merely have to take in my computer to an Authorized Service Centre like yours to confirm the problem so that you could order the part, and then arrange a separate time for me to bring in my computer for it to be installed.

I got a very different story from the person who served me at your service department today.

I was informed that, in order to maintain a high "service rating" (I assume some metric calculated by Apple based on how long a customer service case is open with you), you required customers to leave their computers with you for several days while you ordered the part from Apple, awaited its arrival, and then installed the part.

It seems customers cannot be trusted to return in a timely fashion once a part has arrived, which damages your "service rating". Consequently, you have adopted a policy of inconveniencing your customers in order to satisfy an artificial metric of service quality.

I would ask you to reconsider this policy, so that I might reconsider my decision not to frequent your business. If there is someone at Apple I can contact to lodge a complaint about how its "service rating" is affecting your ability to provide meaningful customer service, please let me know so that I may do so.

In the meantime, if there is an Apple Authorized Service Centre that has a lower "service rating" that you can recommend, I would appreciate the pointer.


Kevin Yank

Update: Streetwise replied to my message.