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Summary:

MobileMe support is trying to push off support requests, hoping to buy enough time to get things under control. This past Wednesday I decided it was about time to change my new 3G iPhone to sync calendar, contacts and bookmarks with the “cloud” through MobileMe instead […]

MobileMe support is trying to push off support requests, hoping to buy enough time to get things under control. This past Wednesday I decided it was about time to change my new 3G iPhone to sync calendar, contacts and bookmarks with the “cloud” through MobileMe instead of through iTunes (which I rarely ever do). After news that the MobileMe service was starting to work as expected, I made the changes in my iPhone and it started downloading from the “cloud.”

After a few minutes it finished and I noticed I had no contacts. None. I went to Me.com and also had no contacts, but they were still in my address book on my Mac. I tried syncing again, and again, but nothing. I read all the knowledgebase articles on Apple.com but none of the suggestions worked. So I contacted MobileMe support at about 7 AM on July 16.

I got an automated reply that notified me that I would receive a response within 48 hours:

Dear customer,

Thank you for contacting MobileMe Support. This is an automated reply, but a MobileMe Support representative will be reviewing your request and will send you a personal response soon (generally within 48 hours). Meanwhile, you may find the following articles and resources helpful. They address several common questions from customers:

Email Quick Assist

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1146

Troubleshooting iDisk authentication or login errors

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1789

Updating your billing information

http://help.apple.com/mac/1/help/?nav=pgs/acct_49.html&content=pgs/acct16903.html

Please do not reply to this email. Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,

MobileMe Support

http://www.apple.com/support/mobileme/ww

http://www.me.com/help

Message Subject: Syncing with MobileMe Push
Follow-Up: 51585825

Then, last night I received a response to my inquiry. Instead of a MobileMe support representative suggesting things that might help me sync my data, I got another automated email from Apple asking me to read knowledgebase articles (that I’ve already read).

Dear Customer,

We apologize that it took a little while to respond to you. As a result of the
overwhelming interest in MobileMe, the MobileMe Support team is receiving
higher volumes of email than normal.

We see that you classified your request as “Syncing with MobileMe Sync” and
“Troubleshooting MobileMe Sync issues”. We have some articles that address
those topics, and we hope you will find the articles helpful. If they don¹t
help you to resolve the issue you contacted us about, please don¹t hesitate to
reply to this email with additional details so that we can assist you further.

Here are the articles:

Troubleshooting Syncing from Mac OS X

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1679

Troubleshooting Windows Syncing

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1681

Troubleshooting iPhone or iPod touch sync issues

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1672

MobileMe: Changes on an iPhone/iPod touch made to your calendars, contacts, or
bookmarks while a sync is occuring may not sync to MobileMe

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1794

Mac OS X 10.5: MobileMe Sync menu icon spins constantly

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1182

We hope you enjoy using MobileMe.

Thank you,
The MobileMe Team

http://www.apple.com/support/mobileme/ww

http://www.me.com/help

The only reasoning for this type of support response is that the number of MobileMe support inquiries is overwhelming and they simply don’t have the resources to respond to all of them. So instead of actually responding to my inquiry they sent an email giving me links to the same articles I was reading when I submitted the ticket. If I don’t reply that I still have a problem, they’ll consider the matter resolved.

So Apple’s response to so many people’s problems with MobileMe is to simply ignore them. If they are really, really having problems, they’ll have to reply back (and probably wait another 48 business hours).

I’ve always been a huge fan of Apple’s support, but they’re going to have to step it up a notch here. I feel it’s just unacceptable behavior, even at a time when there are a significant number of support requests, to simply ignore support requests.

By Brandon Eley

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  1. I had the same thing happen to me. ( And a few other friends had the same problem. ) Its a bug with the iPhone 2.0 software. If you have ” No contacts ” — notice the missed calls and previous calls have names. So go to Phone > Contacts > Groups ( its at the top ) > All Contacts – and they should magically reappear!

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  2. I had the exact same problem.

    I hit “groups” at the upper left of the contacts list, and they came back magically!

    I even tried restoring and reinstalling a couple of times to see if that would fix it before trying this… I was pretty nervous for a while.

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  3. Whoops… Pixelbud beat me to it!

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  4. It goes a little beyond “ignoring support request” email. Chat too.

    I haven’t received the one-month extension email, so I tried to sign on to mobileme support chat on Friday night to get the extension. At roughly 6:30, I was told that a support person would be with me in approximately “one minute.”

    I gave up at 8:30 and closed the chat window…

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  5. I have had no access to my email since Fri., 10AM PDT. No information at all from Apple about why this has happened or when it will be fixed.

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  6. Same thing here. I was a .Mac user and the transition didn’t go well at all. Most services are working, though not well. My subscription is expiring on the 25th and all I get from Apple is “There is a problem with the credit card of this account”, which is totally bogus, since the credit card I use there is the same I use at the Apple Store, iTunes, etc., and it works without issues all the time.

    I haven’t received the so talked about extension and if my service expires I will most certainly not be renewing it. It’s outrageous to get this kind of service (or lack of) from Apple. Specially for paying customers. I feel ripped off.

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  7. My contacts are fine, but my email is not working. I’m glad I have yet to start switching over to my me.com email, and at this rate, I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I’m also annoyed that MobileMe does not seem to sync subscribed calenders. This wouldn’t bother me so much if an iTunes sync would add it, but since it’s set to sync through MobileMe, it leaves them out. This is quite annoying and they had better fix this soon.

    I was not a .Mac customer, but I decided to jump in with this when it launched. So far, I’m regretting my purchase.

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  8. I got a pretty much identical message, pointing me to the FAQ. This is not customer service rep, it’s a machine that waits 48 hours to respond with a generic message to give you the illusion of a real person responding. That Apple is clever :-).

    Ben

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  9. [...] The Apple Blog and others have pointed out, Apple has done a poor job not only of making the transition, but also [...]

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  10. I waited for MobileMe to roll-out before joining. I didn’t have any problems setting up my personal account, but I haven’t been able to get it to work. At first, the Upgrade button just wouldn’t appear. I opened a ticket and got an automated response. Three days later, I got a personal response from a rep named Brandon that explained that there was a problem, and that it should be fixed. Brandon was correct … partially … I could see the button, and could start the upgrade process, but it failed at the point where it asks for billing info.

    I replied to the email from Brandon, and he wrote me back a personal email to let me know he had escalated the issue again.

    It still doesn’t work, but someone is working with me on it. I can only imagine the volume they are dealing with, and as far as I am concerned, I’m happy with the response so far.

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