Bill Gates quits Microsoft to try and take Apple down from the inside?

So I had another encounter with AppleCare tonight and what a memorable one it was too!

I was trying to get my external microphone working with my MacBook Pro and failing miserably, I googled and found some articles about setting it up in System Preferences and also in the Audio MIDI Setup but nothing I did seemed to work so I figured I would use the AppleCare plan that I paid so much money for and ask a genius!

I got through to a guy on the phone and he didn’t have the slightest clue what he was doing, I had to tell him about the System Preferences with the audio input panel and suggested it might be something to do with that, at which point started to leaf through the manual in front of him, let out a big sigh and said…

“You wouldn’t have this problem if you had a Windows PC, everything would just work”

Err… … …

I couldn’t stop myself laughing :) He obviously hasn’t been drinking the Kool-Aid about “Everything just working with a Mac”.

Now this guy obviously didn’t care about what he was doing in the slightest and just kept trying to get me off the phone, at one point I asked if there was anyone else I could speak to who knew slightly more about audio on the Mac and his best suggestion was to put the phone down and keep calling until I got through to someone who knew something.

Fabulous customer support, I only wish I had been taping it (I might have been if my microphone had worked!!! :) anyway I didn’t get it fixed and gave up in the end but the phone call wasn’t wasted because it did make me chuckle a lot ;) Sort it out Apple.

Update 1: Some comments are suggesting that I made this story up, I can not prove it of course but I assure you that it is true and not exaggerated. I have nothing to gain from making Apple look bad and I do not mention that they are worse than any of their competitors.

The thing with this is its a funny story and I wanted to share it! ALL call centers have pissed off people working for them and I certainly got on the phone with one of them tonight, I may have been unlucky but it is true…

P.S. I don’t actually think it was Bill who answered the phone tonight, unless he was putting on the accent of a bored british teenager ;)

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23 responses to “Bill Gates quits Microsoft to try and take Apple down from the inside?


    I can’t believe he said that while working for AppleCare!!!!

  2. Yeah funny that.. somehow I can’t believe it either….

  3. Sean Bryant

    You know I’ve had the exact opposite reactions every time I’ve called Apple Care.

    And I have a first gen powerbook g4. They bent over backwards each time I had to get it repaired, which was a lot due to me being a rugged user. They even did a few things for free which was incredibly nice of them.

    I’m surprised if this is true. Really surprised.

  4. All I can say is that it is true, I can not prove it apart from to say I havent ever been accused of making anything else up on this site and I have nothing to gain from making Apple look bad…

    The thing with this is its a funny story and I wanted to share it… ALL call centers have pissed off people and this guy was certainly that person in this call center. I am not saying that they are any better or worse than any other company (I dont mention another company).

    But it is true…

  5. hmmm. It’s not perchance that old ‘Line In’ mic weirdness that all Macs used to have, is it? It used to be a big pain in the butt that you couldn’t just plug in any old mic and go. On Macs, mics used to have to be run through software or hardware that made them Line In compatible, if they weren’t. Ah, prolly not. Apple surely musta fixed that screwy thing up by now, after all these years.

  6. The analog portion of the external input on the new Intel Macs is line level, not mic level. If you want to connect a mic, you’ll need one of the following:

    1. a line level mic
    2. a pre-amp of some sort
    3. a USB mic
    4. a USB mic input

    This is something they don’t make very clear or obvious (even though the tech specs state “Combined optical digital input/audio line in (minijack)”, which *does* mean it won’t work with your standard mic.

    Now, I know you might be thinking, “but don’t PC’s all have mic inputs?” Yes, they usually do, but they are almost always an additional jack, so you see audio out, line in *and* mic in. I’d guess that the mic input on the sound card is being used by the internal mic.

  7. Just Get a USB MIC

  8. So there you go, eh? Line level external mic input requirements still in place on Macs, it seems. k. Well, Rogue Amoeba offers a free piece of software called ‘Line In’ which may help. Or, maybe not. I dunno for sure. Maybe try it and report?

    I’m still using a hinkey old iMac G3. Can’t wait to get my hands on a spiffy new Intel rig, even if I have to deal with incompetent customer assistance when the happy moment arrives. ahahaha.

  9. @node3: You should work for Apple support, even when he went to his supervisor noone at AppleCare seemed to know this although they did mumble something about pre-amping. I have tested the mic in my PC and it works fine so this is very probably the correct reason. Thanks for the tip.

  10. @lee: That Line In software didnt seem to do anything for the problem unfortunately. Thanks for the tip though.

  11. Yeah. That Line In software never worked for me the way I wanted it to, either. That’s why I hedged a bit in pointing it out. heh.

    Well, good luck and .. I agree with Goochala that a USB mic is probably the best permanent fix. At least it would seem to be a clean, simple and direct resolution to the issue.

    uh, and thanks to node 3 for speculating about the likelyhood of the soundcard’s line in being already utilized by the built in internal mic. I always wondered what the reason for the issue was. ;-)

  12. * the soundcard’s ‘mic in’ being already utilized .. I should have written. oops.

  13. I believe it. Apple employees seem to think they are some kind of elite and do not answer to their customers.

    Try talking to a manager at Apple! If you try they will bombard you with so much anger, humiliation and retaliation it is unbelievable.

    I had such an experience with Apple Developer Relations. The Director ignored my email and would not even give me his name or employee number. That is standard practice at any reputable corporation.

    Although no Apple employee could show me an official policy that Apple managers do not have to answer a customer’s email. Nevertheless they have an unwritten policy to harass and retaliate against any customer who insists upon it.

    I was thinking about calling Apple public relations and reporting that deadbeat Director, but they probably follow the same unwritten policy.

  14. It’s odd situation really, especially if the input is as described by node 3 (I believe just cannot check).

    There have to be more people using standard analogue mics than use mini TOSLink connectors to link things like their old minidisc/dat recorders to their spanking new mac laptop.

    I’m not entirely sure I see the use on a current piece of hardware for a mini TOSlink in, perhaps a miniTOSLink out so that you could connect it to your digital AV processor/amplifier perhaps.

  15. I have had terrible experiences with Apple support in general. However, coming from a Linux World where I am my own support, I have kept these to a minimum :D

    That aside, changing to Mac from Linux based PCs has been quite enjoyable. In general, everything does “just work”.

    It is sad that Apple, having such good people in the engineering and design of their hardware and software, have such lousy customer support.

  16. So so full of it your eyes are turning brown.

  17. I understand about the mic!! I run Windows 2000 on my PC (by necessity, not choice) and getting a USB headset to record in Audacity while talking in Skype is simply out of the question… and NOT having this feature on a headset is out of the question for me since I am a podcaster! jeez!

  18. That’s awesome! You should’ve gotten his name and such info, then asked for the supervisor and reported his ass. :P

  19. Hey – if you get that same guy again ask him if he knows about the really neat coffee cup holders near the top of the tower that open up when you press the little bar below them. (: Frank

  20. […] Damn! It’s too bad we don’t have those kind of call centers around here. Even I could get me job there with little or no fear of getting fired[…]

  21. There’s always one bad apple in the bunch (pun intended)….. I’ve never had a problem with AppleCare.

  22. I had a similar experience when I contacted Apple’s tech support asking about the same microphone problem. My experience was with a rep from the online chat support. He also couldn’t figure out what the problem was and actually even suggested that I bring my Mac (an iMac G5 iSight) to a service center (there was no way that I was going to part with my Mac over a tiny port). I had better luck googling for an explanation which led me to a couple of forums that explained the difference between mic-level and line-in level devices (just like what node 3 explained). So after that, I would just go to the various Mac forums whenever I had problems or any questions. I found that there are many knowledgeable Mac enthusiasts out there who are more than willing to help other Mac users out.