Apple makes it easy to find the help you need for your Apple products, whether they be Macintosh desktop computers, laptops, iPods, iPhones, iPads, or even software. And it’s good help, in fact it’s genius help. In each of their retail stores, Apple has a unique service/help desk they refer to as the “Genius Bar”. It’s a place to go whether you believe you need your non-functioning hardware serviced, or whether you’re just confused about how to work something and need some help.
Any time you need help with your Apple products, just go to the Apple website and click on the tab for Support. There are a number of ways to find the help you need, with several methods for you to exhaust before you even think about visiting the Genius Bar. There are manuals and FAQs, downloads and video tutorials, as well as discussion forums. When all else has failed, and you can’t find the answer to your question, or you know your hardware is in definite need of repair, it’s time to visit the Genius Bar.
Towards the bottom of the Support page, there’s a section with three smiling faces that says “Contact Us.” This is where to head to get help from Apple’s team of “Geniuses”. Click on the link that says “Start Here“. The next page tries to find out what help you need. If you are unsure if your hardware is still under warranty or not, you can input your serial number, and it will tell you whether you still quality for tech support or whether you’re still covered under the warranty. Once you have that settled, find your product in the table to see if Genius Bar support is available, if it is, click on the link for the Genius Bar. For those needing help with an iPhone or iPad, there is separate help available. They will offer you one-on-one phone help, but often that help is limited, and you’ll be directed to the Genius Bar anyway.
Once at the page for the Genius Bar, it will help you find the nearest location. Scroll to your state, and you’ll be presented with a list of all the Apple Store locations within that state. After clicking on the nearest one, you’ll be taken to to another page where it again asks you what product you are wanting help with. Click on the appropriate one to be taken to a page of available appointments. There are several to choose from, but depending on the type of day you set up the appointment, you might not be able to get in as soon as you would like. After choosing an appointment time, you’ll also need to put in the appropriate information such as your name, phone number, email, etc., and it will generate an email confirmation of your appointment time.
Make sure you arrive inside the Apple Store at least fifteen minutes before your appointment, just in case they are running ahead of schedule. Once you arrive, check in with one of the staff that are walking around. If you watch the board right above the Genius Bar, you’ll see not only a list of handy tips for Apple products, as well as a scrolling of names who have appointments coming up. That way you know how close you are to being called.
Realizing that if your Mac is broken, you might not be able to use it to make reservations at the Genius Bar, there are also other options for making that appointment. There is also an Apple Store app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Appointments can also be set up on the app, or confirmed as well. If you have one of the products that can get phone help, they can help you set up a Genius Bar appointment, but if you have another product, you may just have to physically visit the store, where the staff will direct you to one of their display computers to set up the appointment. They might not have something soon, so if your computer is down and you have no other means, it might be best to borrow a friend’s computer to make the appointment.
While having to borrow someone else’s computer or using an in-store display computer aren’t the best or easiest of options, the process does seem to be as refined as it can be. And once your appointment time arrives and you get the chance to talk to a “genius,” they are always very knowledgeable. I have personally used them on a number of occasions for my old iBook, two separate MacBooks, and a few iPhones as well. I have always left with my situation solved. It might not be solve the way I expected or wanted, but it’s always solved one way or another.