This is just killing me. Since Katie and I got our Apple Watch and AirPods Pro, respectively, for Christmas, we've been talking about going back in and purchasing AppleCare+ for both items.
Seeing as we got them on Black Friday online from Walmart, there was no chance of doing it then. Black Friday purchases are all about speed and timing and if I took the time to add a warranty, I would've missed out on the purchase. So I'm doing it now.
The weekend after Christmas, we were at a mall with an Apple Store and figured we'd try it there. Being that it's the Era of COVID-19 and this wasn't a pre-scheduled Genius Bar appointment or business that couldn't otherwise be conducted on the phone or in person, I was turned away and given a makeshift business card with Apple Support's phone number and told to call.
On Monday, I did just that. I called in. After a few minutes, Katie's Apple Watch was covered with no issue. But, after an hour, I was still working with them on my AirPods Pro. The CS rep directed me to a website where I entered the serial number and... the system said it wasn't eligible for additional coverage.
These things are only five months weeks (whoops!) old from date of purchase and two weeks old from actual activation.
Then the rep told me I needed to provide proof of purchase and gave me a secure site to upload that to once I had it. I have since uploaded email confirmation of the online order, email confirmation of the curbside pickup readiness, and the receipt from Walmart.com. I also went into my local Walmart asking if, using the barcode in my purchase history on the app, they could print a paper receipt. They could not because physical stores apparently do not have the ability to print receipts from online purchases.
But, no worries, they told me, the receipt in the app is all I need. Heck, it was good enough for me to use to return the AirPods to the store if I so desired.
So now, I'm on the phone with Apple again. Guess what? It's not enough. None of them are enough. They need a receipt that lists the purchase date, time, and serial number of the item ON THE RECEIPT.
How is that possible, though? When you order online from a big box store like Walmart with inventory centers all over the place, they are comparing to overall available inventory only when making these sales, not the serial numbers. Basically, they make sure one is available and mark it as gone from the inventory, but they don't specify the serial number of the item because they don't "have it," as it were. They get your request, make sure they have one for you, and then complete the order. When they go to get it to your pickup store, they just find one of the model you specified from wherever they can find it, and have it relocated. So the receipt you get from your initial purchase is just a promise that one is there, not a detailed listing of every single facet of it, like the serial number. And it never gets updated once a specific piece is pulled for your pickup.
An hour and a half later on this call and it's finally taken care of. The first guy I talked to was trying his darnedest to help and was constantly being put on hold by the people he needed to talk to in order to get things done. After an hour, he finally had to put me through to an AppleCare Supervisor who basically had to repurchase them for me so they had a record of that serial number on a purchase invoice.
I don't get the whole rigmarole here. Especially given that Katie's Apple Watch was purchased at the same time from the same online retailer and they processed that add-on AppleCare plan without me even having to submit anything. It just... worked. Mine? Took an additional four hours total between the time the other day, the time at Walmart, and the time today. It was just crazy and inexcusable.
While I cannot complain about the reps who were helping me at all, as they worked hard on my behalf, I will complain about the company processes and procedures that kept them from being able to efficiently assist me. Do better, Apple.