On the 24th of December 2008, I came back from my little hiatus in Georgetown, Penang (in where I discovered the heritage and history of the city), and immediately started ringing up Apple Authorised Resellers to find out where in the blue hell, the new MacBook Air was. (Emphasis on the new, because all the resellers try to push the old one, to clear out their stock – in fact, they actively discourage you from getting the new one, saying the only modifications are the bigger hard disk, and better video card. They don’t mention the new Trackpad option in System Preferences, that leads you to four finger scrolling which allows you to bring up Expose or switch between applications – Mac+Tab).
Its constant delays, the fact that it was supposed to be out after Thanskgiving weekend, and so on, started really getting on my nerves. I had been waiting for this feather-weight laptop for a while, since the announcement.
Machines had none, and didn’t know when it was coming. EpiCentre had none, and didn’t know when it was coming. So I thought I’d take a chance at calling up the Apple Store Malaysia at 1800-80-6419. They even advertise saying things like “Kami juga berinteraksi dalam Bahasa Malaysia!”, which I loosely translate as “We can interact in Bahasa Malaysia too!”.
I get someone who barely speaks any English. But she has an accent. I ask her why they don’t sell any Air’s, and the fact that Christmas is tomorrow, how am I supposed to make my loved ones happy? She tells me she has no idea why and EpiCentre is the best place to ask. If they don’t have it, no one else will.
I say I will come into their office to pick a unit up. They tell me that that is not possible, they’re not Apple Retail. I say I know where such an office exists (I’ve vaguely remembered it from eons ago), and then she tells me she’s in *drumroll* Singapore.
So there, Apple’s support line for Malaysia routes to Singapore, and they’re generally not very helpful. And apparently, their QA on language skills is just not there. In fact, had I started off a conversation with her in Bahasa Malaysia, I have a feeling she wouldn’t have survived – Mandarin, maybe.
As an aside, EpiCentre in Pavillion had a couple of units available on 30/12/2008. I think as of today, they have one unit available… Go, go, rush to get ’em :-)