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Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Dave!I am a total Apple whore, because Apple has actually earned my unwavering love and devotion over the years. I love their high-quality products, think they've created the best computer user experience on earth, and never think twice about buying their stuff because it always exceeds my every expectation. Until something went terribly wrong.

I am not a big fan of bluetooth headsets, especially when they're being worn around when no phone call is taking place. As I've mentioned, I think it makes people look like they're a Star Trek Borg or a Giant Dick...

Bluetooth Dick

But they are handy to have when you are taking a long drive, and so I went ahead and bought Apple's specialty headset for my iPhone. It's pricey... $129... but I figure it's worth it if it will allow me to be safer while on the road. The unit was on back-order for several weeks, but finally arrived yesterday.

If I were reviewing Apple's iPhone Bluetooth Headset, I could sum up my experience in four words... Steaming Pile Of Shit.

Seriously. Worst. Apple. Experience. Ever...

iPhone Bluetooth Headset

When it arrived, I followed the instructions and "paired" the headset with my phone by using the included charging cradle. It's all very cool, because the iPhone then displays the battery level of both itself and the headset. Except the pairing doesn't work. I would pair them, even confirm they were paired in the iPhone settings, but nothing works. The phone would route sound to the headset, but no sound would come out.

Referring to the inadequate documentation, I followed all the steps they offered... unpairing/re-pairing. Resetting the phone. Turning settings off and on. Blah blah blah blah. Eventually, some magical combination got the headphone working, even though the sound quality was not very good. Even worse, the unit does not fit in my ear very well (even with the foam pads they include). Any vigorous activity would cause the thing to fall out. Figuring that this was probably the way all Bluetooth headsets worked, I gave up and went to bed.

Only to wake up and find that the headset had run out of battery overnight.

After charging it up again, I had the exact same problem as before. The stupid thing would NOT play sound, even though the iPhone says it was sending the call's audio to it. I played around for an hour, following all the troubleshooting tips like last time, but never could get it to work again.

Well fuck this.

There is no way I am keeping this $129 piece of crap, so I go online to the Apple Store to arrange a return. Except, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom, Apple doesn't accept returns online for defective crap...

Defective Apple Return

How incredibly stupid is that? With no other choice, I wait for my lunch break to call AppleCare as requested.

After welcoming you to AppleCare support, the computerized voice starts its spiel. Ordinarily, I don't mind automated systems, because they often prove to be more efficient at routing calls than real people. AppleCare's robot, however is particularly stupid. Here is what I remember from my first call...

APPLECARE: Just say the name of the product for which you need support. For example, say "Mac Pro" or "iPod."
DAVE: iPhone Bluetooth Headset.
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize that product...
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize...
DAVE: Operator.
APPLECARE COMPUTER: The wait time for an operator may be several minutes. I've found that I can help most calls...
APPLECARE COMPUTER: So I can route your call properly, please say the name of the product you are needing help with...
APPLECARE COMPUTER: Okay, what kind of iPod do you have? For example, say "Shuffle" if you are calling about an iPod Shuffle.
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize that product...

When somebody fucking says "OPERATOR," that's the point when the automated system needs to IMMEDIATELY put you in the queue for an operator. Don't keep trying to convince people to use your stupid shit if they can't get it to work in the first place! This is remarkably bad form, and a true surprise from Apple, whose service is usually impeccable.

A second call to AppleCare, and I get myself put in the iPhone Support queue... for 52 minutes... AT WHICH POINT THE SYSTEM HANGS UP!!! FIFTY-TWO MINUTES ON HOLD FOR NOTHING!!

What the hell?

This time I call The Apple Store, hoping I can return it directly where I bought it and bypass AppleCare. No go. The system immediately transfers me back to AppleCare... where my call is answered on the first ring! WTF?!? Then everything proceeds as it usually does, with my getting the immediate, friendly, competent service I'm accustomed to when calling Apple. They process my return in a few minutes, and I'm good to go.

So I guess it nets out like this: Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset: surprisingly bad. AppleCare Support: good as usual (once I finally got there). Not surprisingly, this bump in the road hasn't soured me on Apple much. I guess everybody screws up sooner or later. Perhaps because I am so ecstatically happy with my iPhone, it's easy to ignore my bad luck with the headset? This is easily the best mobile phone I've ever had, and I love it more every day. And, despite numerous warnings about AT&T's wireless service (or lack thereof), I've had excellent coverage everywhere I've been with it... certainly no better or worse than my previous service with Verizon.

Anyway, I do find it comforting to know that my Apple Whore status remains unchanged.

It's kind of nice to be a total whore from time to time.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. Hilly says:

    I have blue tooth built directly into my car and use the navigation panel to make calls and whatever else. You have no idea how many times I have called that automated lady a whore, and yet she still asks the same stupid fucking questions ;). Of course, like you, I am prone to yell at any automated system that does not allow me to just press or say something to get me to a live body!

    And hey, I’m glad you’re still the whore that you are!

  2. Roberta says:

    Last week, after my coffeemaker tragically… well, it’s a little hard to talk about it… crossed over, I called the Cuisinart warranty center. Three different times, after the normal messages telling me to please hold because of how important my phone call was to them, (and I’m using up minutes making these calls), and then the less-than-normal messages offering me the option to leave a message and my call would be returned in 24-48 hours (no WAY was I going that route) I then got a message recommending that I call back when it was less busy (or file through their website (no WAY was I going that route) … AND THEN I GOT DISCONNECTED.
    (Insert monkey here.)
    Amazingly, later that night the same pattern did not continue, and after 25 minutes I got a person… who is apparantly the LONE person working the phone(s).
    Today I got my brand new coffeemaker, so all is finally right with the world. But holy crap do I feel your pain.
    Three times.

  3. Don’t get me started on all the reasons not to love Bluetooth! Let’s see:

    *they look like f’ing appendages for the differently abled..
    *they are the worst possible attempt to conceal a hearing aid..
    **they look very much like the neural nets of some futuristic society where everyone is brain dead without this connection..
    *peeps actually come to my therapy sessions with them “on”..
    *my daughter always calls me on it from Denver on her way to or from work and my voice (my own voice) feeds back on me in an echo from a deep and mighty well..
    *…and I get to hear every near crash she encounters on the road, and every wrong direction turned while trying to concentrate on our phone call during rush hour traffic,
    *…annnd, it cuts out constantly so I have to ask over and over again, huh!…
    *…which totally p’ses her off and we both end up irritated at each other

    …should I go on?

    just wondering–I’m so proud as a new blogger to have finally gotten an image icon attached to my profile, and it didn’t show up last time I posted here, tho it has on other blogs. Is it something about html between blogger and here?

  4. Avitable says:

    This sounds like 1/3 of the time, AppleCare is good. That’s not a good track record.

  5. Tasses says:

    Love my iPhone, but must admit there’ve been a few bumps in the normally polished Apple brick road. Why not just use the headphone jack? It’s got that cute little squeezie button.

  6. Jeff says:

    Maybe someday all these little things will add up enough to actually change your status of Apple Whore. And if that happens, I’m sure it will be very entertaining to read about.

  7. James says:

    From all the bluetooth headsets that I’ve sold, or helped people pair with their phone because the people at Wal-Mart aren’t able to help them, I’m pretty sure that every bluetooth headset is a steaming pile.

    The best customer support I’ve ever had was an automated system..UPS. The computer understood all the numbers I read off to it, my address, my problem, and told me exactly where to go and when to pick up my package. I hung up the phone truly amazed.

  8. whit says:

    I think bluetooth headsets are the fannypack of the 2000’s. You can’t possibly wear one without looking like a huge tool.

    That said. I would like something in the car for hands free. I have onstar for making calls, which is great, but don’t know a way to route my phone through a similar system.

    It figures that the Apple headset sucks. My only problem with Apple, ever, is that I can’t get the iPod headphones to stay in my ears at all. They suck.

  9. Cheeseycom says:

    I feel your pain too.. I quite often find myself directed to the wrong department of a company and having to be transferred manually – which negates the whole point in dealing with the automated systems in the first place!
    Have you ever heard of the getHuman 500 database?

    It has a list of major US companies, their phone numbers, and the most direct method to use to bypass their automated systems to speak to a real person. It even has a rating of the quality of the automated system compared to their own standards (and considering this is all getHuman do, it’s a fairly decent standard – they gave Apple an ‘F’).

    Most of the methods are quite simple, Apple’s is “Press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages.”

    Hope that helps!

  10. Bre says:

    For me, answering in rapid-fire French usually gets me a real person rather quickly!

  11. Wayne says:






    Why doesn’t this stupid computer work!?!?!?!?!?

  12. diane says:

    Ha. I am so glad I’m not the only one who screams things like, “F*** off and die!” when the voice prompts askes, “Okay, how can I help you?” after I’ve been stuck in a totally UNhelpful loop.
    I feel bad for secretly hoping for the day Apple screws up in a big way. Okay, not that bad. All I can say is the purchase of my new LG phone from U.S. Cellular went off without a hitch. 20 minutes before the store closed, and the sales person still helped me find a new phone AND service plan that would actually SAVE me money. THAT is good customer service!

  13. Laurence says:

    Oh… American Apple Care is brilliant… like European Apple Care !!! Aaaaaaargh !

  14. Mooselet says:

    I once accidentally left my car with my bluetooth piece still in my ear – I only wear it when driving – and practically ripped my ear off in my desperation to take it off when I realized what I’d done.

    I suppose Apple has to come out with something bad now and again – law of averages.

  15. Michelle says:

    I use a bluetooth, the original I bought over a year ago and it works great. I’m not saying I like it because personally, I think it’s pretentious, but driving 12 hrs a day it certainly makes a difference. Besides, I got a pink one to match my Razr, can’t beat that now can ya?! heh

    Aside: I have a hard time believing you are ANY type of ‘whore’ and don’t know what a ‘fluffer’ is Dave. Another illusion, shot to hell.

  16. Dave2 says:

    Well, of course I know what a “fluffer” is… but that’s not what comes to mind when I first hear the term “HAY fluffer!” 😛

  17. Cheeseycom thanks for posting that link!

  18. Daniel says:

    I understand how frustrating that call must have been; but for me (at 5am) it was hilarious. I hope you find a better solution then that headset.

  19. Suzanne says:

    And fluffer-nutters are an altogether different thing…

  20. OK, well now I know several different meanings and usages of “fluffer”. Blogging is so educational!

  21. Dan says:

    Dude you have to make the giant dick guy into a t-shirt!

  22. Lewis says:

    Sounds like not all is so well in Apple-ville. And that’s really too bad because I know how much you are in lust and love with it. Any chance you’re in Seattle tomorrow/Thursday night? I am.

  23. Mia says:

    I have always said that those Bluetooth deals make people look like the borg. Eventually everybody will just be part machine. I don’t even have a cell phone (by choice), so my chances of being assimilated are slim.

  24. ChillyWilly says:

    So far, every experience I’ve had with Apple has been great. All of my tech support needs have been done at the Apple Store here in SLC (genius bar).

    I’m sure my day is coming where that bump in the road will happen.

  25. sizzle says:

    i was just saying that very same thing, about being a whore.

    but for entirely different reasons.


  26. yellojkt says:

    Whores get paid. What has Apple ever done for you? They sell you crappy products and you’re grateful. You sound more like Apple’s Bitch.

  27. Dave2 says:

    I thought I made that clear in the first paragraph of this entry…

  28. yellojkt says:

    I’m going to figure out who are the most devoted shills, AppleWhores or PotterHeads. Both are pretty easy to annoy. I have nothing against Apple, they are just kinda pricey. $129 for a lousy bluetooth headset is highway robbery. I still have to get my hands on an iPhone to see what the big deal is.

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