November 9, 2007

My phone call from OWC

If you don't know who OWC is, then you probably aren't a Mac user, or at least you are a new Mac user. OWC stands for Other World Computing, and they are one of the best known, best loved, and longest standing third-party supporters of Apple hardware.

A couple of days ago, I was browsing their site, and I had a few questions. So I filled out a form, banged out a few lines of questions - bullet point style - and pressed send. I expected an automated response, and, maybe, at best an email with quickly copypasta'd answers.

Instead, this afternoon my phone rings. The caller ID says "Other World Computing".

"What's this?" I think to myself. "Is someone using Spoofcard on me? Did I accidentally order something at 3 am I don't remember buying?"

Well, it turns out it was, in fact, Other World Computing calling me up to answer the questions I sent in, and any others I might have had. In a world of email, instant messaging, TXTing, live support chat, and microblogging - an actual phone call seems almost as antique and nostalgic as a house call. (For those of you who don't remember when the years started with a 1, that is when a doctor would actually come to your home to help a sick person - it is not in reference to a telephone that is plugged into your wall. Those still exist, too, btw.)

I told the caller, (whose name I really wish I had written down), that OWC definitely has some "above and beyond" / "second mile" kind of customer service, if they are willing to imperil themselves by dialing up some nut bag who asked a slew of questions about their product.

Well, I didn't say all that. I just said that I was impressed by their customer service, or something like that. In the age when user reviews are king, but mostly negative, I wanted to give OWC a hearty pat on the back for making the extra effort of calling a form filler.

BTW, my questions and their answers were as follows:
Q1. Are you offering upgrades to the CPUs on Intel Macs?
A1. Stay Tuned, especially closer to MacWorld

Q2. Do you offer GPS add ons to MacBooks - ala the ModBook [which they are the American distributors for, but not the makers of)?
A2. No, installing such a device should be done by a professional, and, regardless would void your warranty. With the Modbook, the Apple warranty is already voided, but Axiotron [makers of the ModBook] provides an included 1 year warranty and offers an additional 2 years of protection.

Q3. What about colors for the ModBook?
A3. We don't make them, just sell them. [Although I contacted Axiotron, also by webform, and received an answer back that they are in talks with ColorwarePC to provide custom colors - and I was again hinted at to keep my eyes open as we get closer to MacWorld.)

Q4. Monitor upgrades for Notebooks?
A4. No, sorry.

Q5. Can I have a free unlocked iPhone?
A5. Sure! What's your mailing address!
OK, that last part didn't happen. But it would have been nice, huh?

I highly recommend OWC. If you want to upgrade anything on your Mac - more memory, bigger hard drive, anything at all - check them out first! There quality is top notch, their tech support is impressive, they have a ton of information on their site - like high-def Quicktime videos step-by-step of how to install RAM in your MacBook, and benchmarks for various Mac with incremental steps of RAM. (Can you tell what I was shopping for?)

And if you haven't heard of or checked out the ModBook - you owe it to yourself to at least look!

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