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I've been having trouble with my Airport Extreme for the last few days (and really for weeks before that). It had trouble connecting to my DSL router. When it would connect, it seemed like the DNS worked but it couldn't connect to any web sites. It even corrupted on of the hard drives I had connected to it! Thankfully the data on that HD wasn't anything critical, or I would have been a lot more upset. I was having trouble connecting to the wireless network on it, even with no security on the wireless network. This is compared to my old router which 'just worked'. Anyway, I decided it was time to take it into the Apple store for an exchange.
I brought it in last night. After I walked in, I tried to make an appointment on one of the computers there to see a 'Genius' to have it looked at. The computer wouldn't allow me to make an appointment saying that all their appointments for the night were booked. Despite the fact that they were full, the Apple employee who was helping me suggested I wait at the Genius Bar. Maybe they could get me in anyway if someone didn't show up for their appointment.
I waited for a few minutes at the bar with my little Airport Extreme. After a few minutes, I talked to one of the Geniuses and explained the problems I was having. He took my information and booked me as a standby appointment. After a few more minutes he helped me out. After discussing my problems with the router with him, he decided to replace it. Obviously, I was happy about this, since that's what I went in there for. I was expecting them to give me a refurbished Airport Extreme, as they usually do when you bring something in for repair. I was perfectly happy to take a refurbished one. Every refurbished product I've gotten from Apple has been perfect. You can't even tell they are refurbished. They look brand new. But this time, he comes back with a brand new Airport Extreme, still in the box! He opens the box right in front of me and hands me a brand new Airport Extreme, not a refurbished one! He said they gave me a new one because they didn't have any others available to replace it with. Hey, I'm not going to complain! He told me I'd have to manually re-register this new router. Again, not a big deal.
I asked about the warranty. Usually when you get a replacement, the warranty only lasts for the remainder of the one year warranty. Since I got a new one though, the warranty starts over from yesterday! That means that essentially I just got a free three month extension on my warranty!
I am very happy with the service I received from Apple. Once again, it's nice to go into a store and be treated with respect. They don't talk down to you, they don't act like you are bothering them by coming into the store and they generally seem to enjoy what they are doing. I've had my share of Apple hardware problems in the past, as I've documented previously in this blog, but as long as their customer service continues to be this good, I'm going to continue to buy their products, even if they are a bit more expensive.
You get what you pay for.