Anyone that reads this blog knows I am an Apple fanboy. And I still am in most respect, but there is one area that the Apple has lost it’s shine: tech support.
Back a few years ago, Apple support was one of the best around. If you had an issue, you could be relitively certain that before all was said and done, the issues would be fixed. And for good reason: you paid for the support. Nothing was free, but what you paid for you usually got.
It seems, however, with the passing of Steve Jobs, that level of support has also passed. Now when I call all I get is poorly informed “techs” who know nearly nothing about the products they manufacture.
My mort recent run-in with the Apple folks is regarding a headless (AKA remote) install of OS X server.
The first woman that was on the phone with me insisted that I had to set up the server initially before I could remotely set it up. I’m going to say that again to let it sink in: In order to do a remote setup of an OS X server, I would fist need to set it up locally and then I could set it up remotely.
I told her she was wrongs and that was not the intend function of the remote set up. She said, yes, that is how it worked. So I quoted to her from their own web site:
I asked her to read along with me: “You can set up a new Mac mini Server or Mac Pro with OS X Server by connecting to it via Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop.”
She said, yes, that was true, but you needed to set it up with a monitor and keyboard first.
“A-ha!” I said….”please continue reading with me…stay with me on this”
“See where it says you don’t need a screen or keyboard?”
“Well, yes,” she says, “but that’s after you set it up initially with screen sharing. That you have to do locally.”
“Really?” I question “Because that’s not how it worked in the class I took. And reading a little further on the page it says…”
After a while she came back and told me that this feature was no longer supported. I questioned that and asked her to show me where it stated that this was no longer support. On hold for about 20 minutes and she came back and said “I just confirmed that this is no longer supported.”
“Great. Where is the documentation that states this wildly beneficial feature is no longer available on Mac server?”
Ten minutes later she returns with a “Senior tech” on the line (this is already after being transfered to the “Enterprise support” department) who states that this “headless install is not supported after 10.7.”
“Really? Because the date on the web page is December 16, 2013…long after 10.7 was gone. “
“So…” I continue,”either the web page, the class, and the test I just took are wrong, or you are. Which is it?”
About 10 minutes later he returned. “Hey Ed, yeah, sorry about that. I forgot that was a feature in this version.”
So finally we began troubleshooting the issue (50+ minutes after I initated the call. Please remember that to this point all I am doing is convincing the Enterprise support group that the server OS has a feature they don’t even know about.
So now we are rolling on getting a solution to this issue. Suffice to say, he checked pretty much everything I checked. A few more holds and he comes back and says “Is this server local?” I tell him it is on the local network.
“No. I mean is the server on site there?”
“No. It is remote. That’s why I am trying to do a remote install.”
“Oh, well we only support devices that are on the local site.”
I say “So what you are telling me is that you cannot support me doing a remote install because the remote computer isn’t local?”
“Seriously? That’s what you are telling me? You can’t help someone remotely install an server, which is a feature of the opeation system, because the remote system isn’t local?”
“And you are comforatable telling this to a customer?”
“I’m sorry, but that’s our policy.”
So, kids, remember…when trying to set up that remote Mac server, make sure the remote location is local….
Sheesh! Apple is really sliding down hill…
So glad I wasted the $3000 on the Apple Helpdesk support. I’ll be sure not to make that mistake again.