AppleCare Support: Second Chat Transcript

Edward Snowden:  Software Giants Amass Cellphone Metadata
Next Breach of Public Trust:  Voiceprints (Biometric Identifiers)

Chat is a form of real-time communication done in a browser window. When I needed tech support for my new iPod, I went online to AppleCare Chat on June 18, 2013. The first Chat session didn't resolve the issues, thus I opened a second Chat session the same day. I got nowhere until I discovered Apple's Privacy Question page, and through there submitted an email titled Allow Customer to Limit Contact Method.

  First Chat Apple made 8 separate demands that I change over to a telephone call
 • Second Chat Apple made 7 additional persistent demands for telephone contact
  Privacy Question Apple made 1 final audacious demand for telephone contact

Data-mining of cellphone metadata and voiceprints could explain Apple's coercive attempts for telephone contact. But clients can say no, and stand firm. Read the full text of the second Chat Transcript below.

Telephone demands are highlighted in blue

From: Apple Chat Support <do_not_reply@apple.com>
Date: June 18, 2013
To: medicaljustice@me.com
Subject: Apple Support Case ---  Chat Transcript

Dear Georgena,

Thank you for your recent chat with Apple Support.

Your case number is ---

If you need to contact us again about this issue, providing the case number will help our Advisor quickly locate your case.

We want to help you get the best service and support for your Apple product. Please visit our award-winning Support website to find product information, tutorials, troubleshooting steps, and much more.

A transcript of your chat support session follows:

Chat Transcript

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 10:42 AM
Duration 80 minutes

Karen:
Hello, My name is Karen! Welcome to AppleCare Support! Please give me a few moments to look over your information. Please note: In the event that our chat is disconnected due to a system/connection issue, I'll email you your case number, so you can chat or call us back, and we can pick up where we left off!

Karen:
Hi Georgena! How are you today?

Karen:
I am looking over your chat notes here. It looks like you are having issues with your iPod not being seen in iTunes?

Georgena:
I have 3 questions: First, the iTunes problem. My computer is older, a MacBook with OSX 10.5.8. My version of iTunes is 10.6.3. But my new iPod Touch 5th Generation needs iTunes 10.7 or later.

Karen:
Thank you for letting me know Georgena!

Georgena:
Was having trouble finding a copy of iTunes 10.7 on the Canadian Apple site.

Karen:
You are absolutely correct.

Karen:
Let me see if I can find a good link for you, ok? You should be able to purchase from the US link! :)

Georgena:
After my last Chat, I actually found iTunes 10.7 on the US site at http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1576  But the System Requirements turn out to be beyond my computer. iTunes 10.7 needs Mac 10.6.8 or later.

Georgena:
Help!

Karen:
Absolutely! :) I am looking for Snow leopard now – 10.6.8

Georgena:
I do have a Snow Leopard disk. You will find discussion of that on the last Chat transcript. I tried Snow Leopard, but found it slowed my computer, so returned to plain Leopard.

Karen:
Oh I understand … Im looking over it now, Georgena! :)

Georgena:
What if I install Snow Leopard temporarily on my Mac. Then install iTunes 10.7 and then connect my iPod. I could finish the sign-up process for the iPod, and sync my music once. And then restore plain Leopard to my computer. But that seems cumbersome.

Karen:
I really need to get you over to an advisor who works in the CPU department, Georgena. Would you be willing to take a phone call right now? What is a good number to call you on?

Georgena:
At the end of my last Chat, Ryan asked me to Chat back in 20 minutes (which is about now), to communicate with a senior advisor. But not by telephone. By Chat or email only, please.

Karen:
Ok, sure, no problem. One moment ok?

Karen:
:)

Karen:
I am consulting now, Georgena!

Karen:
Shouldn't be much longer, ok?

Karen:
Georgena, I am bringing Rob on the line now, my senior advisor.

Georgena:
Okay.

Rob:
Welcome to AppleCare chat support. Please give me a moment to look over your information.

Rob:
Thanks for waiting, Georgena. My name is Rob. Looking over the notes, I see that you want to temporarily install Snow Leopard so that you can install a newer version of iTunes. Is that right?

Georgena:
Yes. But it is a last resort. I would do it once (just to get my iPod working), because at the moment I cannot get past the sign-up screen on the iPod Touch. I specified my language (English) and country (Canada), then the iPod says “Connect to iTunes.” But if iTunes does not accept the device, everything stops. Is there any way to bypass iTunes entirely on the iPod?

Rob:
If the “Connect to iTunes” screen appears on the iPod, it means that the iOS is not mounting properly and needs additional help from iTunes. It cannot be bypassed.

Georgena:
Can you explain more? Why is the iOS not mounting properly?

Georgena:
And which version of the iOS does my iPod have? I cannot get into the Settings screen to find out.

Rob:
There's not a way to diagnose that at this time. We know how to resolve it, but the reasons why it occurred can be as simple as an incomplete update or app download interfering with the iOS, to as complicated as file corruption or hardware failure.

Rob:
The 5th Gen iPod touch will typically have 6.1 pre-installed.

Georgena:
Okay.

Georgena:
Re the iOS: How do you resolve it? Just by connecting to iTunes? Is that guaranteed to work?

Georgena:
What if there is file corruption or hardware failure? Will the store where I bought it accept a return?

Georgena:
It cannot be an app download, unless somebody else had the device before me. Can you determine whether I actually got the device new from Future Shop?

Rob:
As stated, theres not a way to know what the actual culprit is. By performing a restore through iTunes, it would help isolate the issue down and eliminate some of the variables.

Rob:
iTunes would go out to the Update server, download the latest version, and properly install it.

Georgena:
Okay. Do you recommend that I go the route of installing Snow Leopard, etc? I have a Snow Leopard disk, so could do that today. Then if problems persist, I would Chat back.

Georgena:
Are you saying, though, that this is not the normal way for an iPod to behave?

Rob:
If you would like to sync content to your iPhone from the computer, or ever backup the device to your computer, then I believe installing the latest version of the Mac OS would be ideal.

Rob:
If you don't plan on doing so, it might be more convenient to visit an Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider to restore the iPhone on their up-to-date systems.

Georgena:
Not an iPhone. It is an iPod. Just mention that, in case it matters.

Georgena:
If the Snow Leopard attempt fails, I could visit my local Apple reseller.

Georgena:
In Saskatoon, Canada we don't have an actual Apple Store, just a reseller. I don't know if they are an Authorized Service Provider.

Rob:
Let me check for you. And the iPhone and iPod can both run iOS 6.1.3, so it doesn't make much of a difference aside from cellular service. But my apologies for mistyping before.

Rob:
The Zip or Postal code for your area might help with the search too, Georgena. May I have that?

Georgena:
I will look it up for the reseller. Just a moment.

Rob:
Ok.

Georgena:
S7J 2G2 = postal code for Neuralnet Interactive, Market Mall, Saskatoon, Canada. Their website contact page is at http://www.neural-net.ca/contactus.html

Rob:
There doesn't look to be any authorized service providers available nearby. So at this time, installing the operating system on your computer, or using a friend or family member's computer that is up-to-date, are your most viable options.

Georgena:
Okay. Will do that today. But I have two more questions. First, when I began the first Chat, and entered the serial number of my iPod, an error message showed up in red saying the serial number belonged to a device more than 5 years old. I was able to institute Chat by clicking on the option that asks for an “exception.” What did that error message mean? Note I just bought the iPod new from a store called Future Shop on June 7, 2013. Very recently

Georgena:
Should add: I didn't get the error message when I began the second Chat (this session). Why the different result, when the serial number was identical for both Chats?

Rob:
Can't speak on the first chat interaction, but I can confirm that the serial number is for an iPod touch that was only recently purchased.

Rob:
The first time, the serial number may not have been registered as of that time, so it pulled up generic info.

Georgena:
What date does Apple show for the purchase?

Georgena:
Okay, I understand about the generic info.

Rob:
For privacy reasons, I cannot divulge the information I see on my side. I can only confirm it.

Georgena:
Well, the first Chat rep (named Ryan) wrote that the date showing in his records was May 8, 2013 (or 5-8-2013). Refer to the first Chat transcript. Note I did not purchase the device until June 7, 2013. This makes me wonder if I did not really get a new device, but that someone may have had it before me, then returned it to the Future Shop store. Perhaps that is why the iPod is not behaving properly?!

Georgena:
And I EMPHATICALLY deserve to know whether my iPod is new, because I paid the price for a new device !!!!!

Rob:
You'll want to question the original point of sale for that information. Regardless of that, Apple will repair or replace the device if needed.

Georgena:
Can you confirm that my iPod is not behaving normally at this point? That is, should the sign-in screen be stuck?

Georgena:
I have never owned an iPod or iPhone before. I don't know what to expect from the device.

Rob:
I can totally understand your frustration with the situation. At this time I cannot offer a proper diagnosis until after the device is restored via iTunes.

Georgena:
You said you “can only confirm” the sale date. Well, give it a try. Can you confirm my sale date of June 7, 2013?

Rob:
That is not the date I see on my side.

Georgena:
Okay. That is what Ryan said. But he was a first-line rep, and you are a senior advisor. What does the date discrepancy mean, please?

Rob:
I cannot be certain since we are not the point of sale in this case. It could be simply that FutureShop scanned the barcode on the box into their system for their inventory logs and inadvertantly registered the device with the Apple server.

Rob:
If you contact phone support and provide a receipt, they can adjust your purchase date to reflect the correct information.

Georgena:
But if the device was registered at that time, why did the serial number come up with “generic info”? Pardon me, but I am confused.

Rob:
Hence the reason why I mentioned that all of this is speculation, Georgena.

Georgena:
I guess the purchase date is important, for the sake of the warranty. But overall, I think it best to return the device. Too may problems. Too little known.

Rob:
FutureShop should be able to answer the question of original purchase date more definitively than Technical Support can.

Georgena:
I will ask them next time I am in the store. How do I get the purchase date adjusted by Apple. I have my receipt from Future Shop in front of me now. Can I email the data, or scan the receipt and email the image?

Rob:
I can schedule a call back from the Phone Support group and they can walk you though the process, Georgena. I would just need the best time and number to reach you.

Georgena:
For business, I communicate only in writing. That is firm. Thus make arrangements for Chat or email, or even ordinary (snail) mail. Nothing else.

Rob:
Chat Support, nor email support, has the resources in place to make those adjustments.

Georgena:
Why?

Georgena:
Surely, giving the information verbally (over the phone) cannot be any kind of verification.

Georgena:
And please note: If Apple cannot do this in writing, it creates an aura of something wrong. So here are the options: Chat, or email, or ordinary mail, or else I return the iPod.

Rob:
I really would like to help you further with this, Georgena. But I believe we have exhausted all the resources available to us here in Chat Support.

Georgena:
Answer my last question.

Rob:
I know that's probably not the answer you were hoping to hear, but I want to be as honest and straightforward with you as possible, Georgena. I hope you understand we want to do everything we can to help, but there's even limits to what we can do for some situations.

Georgena:
No, all I have seen between you and Ryan is persistent pressure for telephone contact. I have my own opinion on that score.

Rob:
The internal infrastructure of Apple is such that Chat Support is here to assist with basic troubleshooting. More complicated scenarios, like your situation, are handled by Phone Support.

Georgena:
Those situations could just as easily be handled by email.

Rob:
I'm not really in any position to discuss the viability of that statement, Georgena. Would you like me to schedule a call back from Phone Support in order to adjust that Purchase Date. Or have I provided all the support I can under the circumstances of your situation?

Georgena:
If the good Snowden did not have his hands full, I might send this transcript to him. Goodbye.

Thank you again for contacting Apple Support. We hope this has addressed your needs. If you need additional assistance with this topic, simply visit your case information page and choose the option to chat with us again.

Sincerely,
Apple Support
apple.com/support/country

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