If you get a text or an email from Apple saying that your Apple Watch Series 6 order cannot be processed and to call them, you had better pay close attention to what the person on the phone is saying.
I had the misfortune of getting such an email earlier today.
And that is literally all this email said. There was no problem stated or reason given. I was just given my order number and instructed to call 1-800-MY-APPLE. Considering that it took several tries to get my order placed, I immediately suspected that it was something to do with payment. Ironically, I paid with an Apple Card, but the Apple Store online app choked all over it during several tries on both my iPhone and iPad Pro. I spent over 20 minutes trying to get past a hang up with accepting Terms and Conditions that didn’t exist. But it did finally go through when I sidestepped Apple Pay and purchased at Apple.com.
After a few minutes on the phone this afternoon, I was told that the problem was the Watch Band that I chose. Evidently, Apple handled the transition of their seasonal Watch Bands extremely poorly this year. There were bands available in the online Apple Watch Style Chooser when preorders opened that have since been discontinued, thus kneecapping orderers with the misfortune of selecting one. Really, Apple? REALLY???
I chose the Charcoal Gray Sport Loop, but to be honest, I couldn’t give less of a damn about the band right now. I have bands. I needed the Series 6 to review for this site. We mere mortals don’t get freebies from Apple ahead of time, on time, or any time. I’m not complaining about that. I know my place in the food chain, and have non issues with it. But that’s why I’m always right there, ready to go as soon as preorders open every time. If it hadn’t been for Apple’s payment shenanigans on the Apple Store app, my might already be here. What I DO take issue with is Apple screwing up people’s order for stupid bullshit like not getting their own bands straight.
So back to the guy in Apple’s Customer Service Department on the phone. While he had a great attitude and was really trying to be helpful, he took up and hour and a half of my work day afternoon. More notably, he told me that I would have to cancel my original order and create a new one to clear up the issue with the discontinued band. More on that in a sec.
He gave me a free Watch Band for my troubles, which seemed pretty cool at the time. That was, until the new Watch order he placed for me came back with a 7 week ship time after an hour and a half on the phone. From the middle of next week to November. Damn. I knew that wasn’t going to fly, but I had to just get off the phone and back to work.
In retrospect, I should have waited and called from home this evening. I was in the middle of multiple tasks and was still trying to get some things done while on the phone because it took so long. I had people coming in and out asking me questions. I was distracted to say the least. I thought everything through after leaving work and I began to doubt what the guy from customer service told me, especially that my order had to be cancelled. I got the feeling that he really didn’t know what he was doing and that I gave him a pass because of the free band and how distracted I was.
It turns out that I was right. He was 100% wrong that I had to cancel my original order. He could have swapped the band with a different one and, while I might have been bumped a day or two, my original order still would have gone through. While I was on the phone confirming that fact tonight, I asked if I could get my order re-instated. Unfortunately, I was told that it cannot be done. I was then passed off to a gentleman in sales who didn’t have the ability to fix the situation, but knew more about what he was doing than anyone else who I spoke with today.
Evidently the 7 week lead time for my new order was due to the second Watch Band that I selected, which was little more than a random choice to get the new order completed this afternoon. If the first guy had done a little digging, he could have done a lot better.
The gentleman in sales found a couple of Watch and Band combos that were available as soon as October 6th, but that was the best he could do for the Stainless Steel Watch in Gold. It looks like BestBuy might be able to beat that, so I’m going to give them a shot. I did thank him for his time, because he checked the lead times of several bands for me. I wish I had gotten him on the phone this afternoon.
So, if you happen to get one of these texts or emails from Apple, be forewarned. If the person who you get when you call sounds like they don’t know what they are doing, don’t assume. They probably don’t. Ask for a manager and get them to swap your Watch Band selection. Then you should be fine.
I’ve got to say that I’m pretty disappointed with Apple’s Customer Service all the way around today. Other than the attitude of the people on the phone, it was pretty bad. The way they botched their own band selection on event day was especially bad form. This was one of my first poor support experiences with Apple, but it will leave a bad taste for a while.