The Activation Key from the Apple Store

My new Mac had a trial copy of iWork on it, which includes Pages and Keynote. Pages has some cool features like folding away parts of what you are writing, and Keynote has some advanced coolness factor features for presentations.

I used the trial version to the last day, there was a button for purchasing an activation key online. No problem, I did that with Parallels (the virtual machine system that runs Windows XP better than my old Toshiba did), it took all of about 15 minutes to fill in that form, get my key, and carry on.

I checked out the prices: our school has an Apple shop, that was 79 € with free delivery, another one had a cheaper price but wanted 10 € for delivery. The educational discount at the Apple store was great: 59 € for either a box with a CD or just the activation key. I'm in a pinch I need the key NOW. So I pressed the button.

Filled out the forms, gave them my spamgourmet address so I can get rid of any advertising, if they don't follow their own guidelines, entered in the credit card. On the last window, the review of the process, it said: activation key will take 3 weeks to deliver. Come on, some bozo just screwed up the text for the online window, you don't need 3 weeks to deliver an activation key!

I pressed "purchase" and then went to my email. Nothing. Pushed "get new mail" a few times. Nothing. Took some stuff to the neighbors. Nothing. Cooked a great spaghetti meal for the teenager, cleaned up, watched the detective story on TV - finally, an E-Mail from the Apple Store.

"Ihre Bestellung wird voraussichtlich am 06.11.2006 versendet. Wir bestaetigen, dass Ihre Bestellung am oder vor dem 08.11.2006 an Ihre Lieferadresse geliefert wird." (Your order will be shipped on or about November 6. This means you should get it on or around November 8).

Hey, guys, this is an ONLINE order! You could have sent me the activation key with the e-mail, I would have been happy as a pig in mud. You need three weeks to manufacture an activation key and two days for it to reach me by e-mail? Do you guys use Windows machines at work or what?

I still had the window open for the order, and pressed the "How to set up your activation key" link. Got a 404. A nice pretty one, but a 404 just the same. I called the 800 number. "I'm sorry, you are calling outside of our office hours. Please call back Mo-Fr ....".

Apple, this is a royal screw-up. I am giving a talk on Wednesday. I need that key RIGHT NOW.

I just went back to the page to copy down what was on the offer page. "Your session has expired, please log in again." Growling, I enter the site again, and check my account to see what is happening. There is a little link there: "Einkäufe ladbare Software". Okay, this was translated by a monkey, it probably means "purchases of downloadable software" instead of "purchases of chargable software". I click - and there we have a registration code!

Just banged it into Keynote, and it works like a charm.

Okay, Apple, you need to work on customer communication here. And hire a real translator who understands computerese, don't just use Babelfish.

1 comment:

WiseWoman said...

The next translation goof - I sent off the bill in German to have it refunded to me. It came back: the VAT was too much, in Germany it is still only 16%. I was very puzzled until I looked at the English-language bill: delivery is from Ireland, they use 21% VAT! But during translation, the information that this transaction took part (and is taxed by) Ireland disappeared. Sigh.