I'll be honest with you: I hate customer service as much as you do. The long waits, the anonymous feeling of phone calls, the paperwork...it's like a doctor's appointment. Maybe that's why many people I speak to simply don't bother. My dad always calls me before bothering to spend time trying to reach Apple. A friend let his bricked Xbox 360 sit in a drawer for two years rather than try to call for a repair.
As for me, my fear comes from broken headphones. At least once a year, it seems, some pair of earbuds finally dies on me. It could be a relatively disposable pair I have no affections for, or it could be my Etymotic hf2 headset, a pair I find to be fantastically clear in its midrange and treble, with cords that are softer and more compact than my Shures and an in-line microphone that's not half-bad (
Shockingly, I got a live human who seemed to be in front of a desk at the location I was calling. I described the problem, said they were a gift (I didn't even have a receipt), and sent the naked headphones in a padded envelope. A week and a half later, Etymotic replaced them with a brand new boxed set, complete with the zipper pouch I had lost months ago.
I'm writing this to remind those of you who are hesitant to call that good things can happen with customer service. Another case in point: an Apple store swapped out my
Now, I've got customer service horror stories, too...tons of them. It's just nice to see the pendulum swing the other way once in a while.