Customer Service Tekserve style

October 21, 2008

During season 4 of Sex and the City Carrie’s mac has a near death experience so she heads to Tekserve on West 23rd street to have her machine resuscitated.
I became a MacBook Air owner during my last trip to NYC in May and 2 months later the ‘3’ key fell off my keyboard. Knowing that it wouldn’t fall within the warantee conditions I started calling Mac repair places in Dublin. The responses ranged from ‘we’ll take it, look at it and get back to you in 10 working days’ through to ‘you’ll need a new keyboard and that’s expensive, real expensive’. I decided to wait till I was back in NYC and last week I headed off to the people who saved Carrie from motherboard oblivion.
Tekserve is a Grateful Dead, hippie, stuffed to the gills with every conceivable Mac accoutrement you can imagine kind of place. It’s also full of Mac clutching owners, taking numbers, waiting in line to be triaged (I kid you not, there is actually a triage area where you’re assessed as to the level of damage and assigned to the appropriate kind of consultant). It’s as far away from the slick whiteness of the Genuis Bars at the Apple stores as you can get. You can tell the place is run by enthusiasts who know their stuff.
After waiting about 15 minutes I was triaged – my non fatal status was confirmed as was the fact that a repair would be in order. 20 minutes later and my laptop was handed back, brand new ‘3’ key in place. I was also told there would be ‘no charge’ – clearly imagining myself to be hard of hearing I had to ask for that to be repeated. ‘We like to help’ was the response..
I’m grateful to the Tekserve people for their great service but even more amazed at my own reaction – I was flabbergasted that in this day and age there’s such a thing as ‘no charge’ with ‘no catch’. On the basis of my last ‘customer service’ experience in Ireland it’s nice to know that there’s a style of service that works, that’s respectful of customers but more to the point – results in more business. I’ll be back to Tekserve. If I’ve any more mac problems I’ll be saving them for future trips to NYC where I’ll be happy to pay for the repair and the customer service.
Thanks to Mark for the heads up about Tekserve

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  1. Techserve calls itself “the old reliable mac shop” on its national public radio “this is not a commercial” spots. and it is. Not hippie: I suspect what you’ve got there, Annette, is a post modern gloss on hippie-dom, somewhat akin to my 14 year old daughter’s conceptions of the 60’s. While after “triage”, one is met with a moderately laid-back individual (I’d say Williamsburg v East Village), the mien runs to the Goth: heavy piercings and tats. HOWEVER: and here’s the aesthetic diff: it is definitely not freeze-dried and shrink wrapped. IT IS NYC vs corporate USA. The same Goth who receives, passes your machine to a 2d or 3d (increasingly resembling the audio-visual-aids kids in my high school class, with tape at the edge of their specs) who exchange component a for b: and then hand it back to Goth-girl: this used to be called “customer service” and the aesthetic (despite the piercings) is rather charmingly traditional. My son, already a goner, prefers the AppleStore.

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