Does Apple France Suck?

The recent chaos with air travel security has forced me to postpone my trip to the U.S. where I’d planned on buying another Mac. I buy our Macs in the U.S. because I need to have an English keyboard, the qwerty version instead of the dreaded azerty keyboard, made for French speakers.

We then heard it was possible to buy a Mac at Apple France with a qwerty keyboard, so we ordered one. To do this, Apple says you must place the order by telephone (instead of online), you know, it is a special request and they need to get the order right.

Today’s post was going to be a happy one about how cool it is that one can order a Mac in France with an QWERTY keyboard (for English speakers) instead of the kooky AZERTY keyboard (for French speakers), but alas, this post isn’t going to be happy and cool has left the building.
azerty keyboard france(Click on the photo to enlarge the horror.)

How different are these keyboards? Let me count the ways:

– “q” is in the position of the “a”
– “z” is in the place of the “w”
– “m” is where you normally find semicolon (and colon)
– a question mark and comma are where the “m” SHOULD be
– to type a period, you have to shift and press your comma key
– all of the shift plus numbers have something different on every single one of them
– etc.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. As an example, just so you can understand my pain, if you typed the following sentence on the French keyboard:

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

it would look like this:

Tzo things qre infinitem the universe qnd hu,qn stupiditym qnd iù, not sure qbout the universe:

That quote is from Albert Einstein, btw. But do you see how essential it is for English speakers to have a qwerty keyboard?

Sadly, the keyboard issue was just one problem. First, they actually delivered the Mac to the wrong address, and the person at that address was on vacation (it was left with the concierge), so we had to wait for him to return, at which point he could forward it to us. Shouldn’t Apple have just gone back and picked it up then sent it to us? Nope, no go. And waiting several weeks does suck. We finally got the Mac this morning and to our disgust, it came with the wrong keyboard, an azerty keyboard!

We called Apple France, which is ironically located in IRELAND – to alert them to their error and to ask them to remedy the situation as soon as possible. They are currently “working on it.” Apple’s normal protocol (if I’m not mistaken) is to pick up the computer while delivering the correct one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I’m thinking, “TODAY!!!”

Will this turn into another Apple Walk-of-Shame?

Coupled with my disappointment in the materials and craftsmanship, I must say I am truly disgusted with the service and this whole experience.

August 24th, 2006 by