Filemaker support

In reply to a request sent to Filemaker asking how I could download one of their free trial copies, I got this.

But there were three problems.

(1) When I clicked on the link provided –  – a page appeared on which there was a form which appeared on my screen for a couple of seconds and then disappeared which appeared to be the same as one I’d already filled in and submitted, but nothing had happened!!!

(2) When I clicked on “Free Trial” in the top right hand corner of this page, thinking I would probably fill in the form again, the same happened again – the form appeared on my screen for a couple of seconds and then disappeared, so filling it in again was not possible!!!

(3) I had not the slightest idea what, “If you have any follow up questions to this case, please reply directly on this email thread” meant!!! There wasn’t an ordinary email address I could use to submit my follow up questions.

(A same day update: I eventually got to speak to Jason and he explained that what “please reply directly on this email thread” meant was that even though the address at the top of his email was, “,” it COULD be used to reply to emails, something I’ve never encountered before, so I’ve sent him an email and are awaiting his response.)

But, soon after, I also received this email asking for my “perspective” on things.

So I thought it might help if I filled it in. This is how I filled it in.

But again, when I clicked on “Submit” at the bottom of the form, I got nothing back confirming that I had submitted it successfully??? We await further developments.

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How to Contact the Apple Online Live Chat Support Team?

Note: If you use this link, you are taken to another article on this subject, authored by a Surhat Kurt, last updated on 13 Apr. 2018. We have sought to make what’s below simpler and easier to use. But Kurt’s article does also include 69 comments, some of which readers may find useful.

Note: It is recommended that, before they start, readers print this post out, as, having a copy beside you, may make it easier to follow.

Important: Before starting, make sure you’ve got your Apple Serial number on hand. You can get it from the screen shot which will appear if you click once on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, and then on, “About this Mac.”

Important: As soon as you start dealing with an Apple consultant in a chat session, take a note of  “Your Case ID” – it can save you from having to go over everything again if you lose contact with your first consultant, as has happened to us.

Step 1. Click on, and you’ll be taken to a page or pages that include this.

Step 2. Choose a product – for the purpose of this exercise, we chosen “Mac Notebooks,” and clicked on it. If you do this you’ll be taken to a page with 8 suggested topics including this.

Step 3. For the purpose of this exercise, we’ve clicked on “Other Mac Topics,” and if you do this, you’ll be taken to.

Step 4. Click once on “The topic is not listed,” and you’ll be taken to this.

Step 5. Describe your issue in the area provided, and then click once on “Continue,” and you’ll be taken to a page or pages that include this.

Step 6. Click on this and you’re taken to this.

Step 7: Click once on “Continue,” and we were taken to this, which may not happen to others using this guide.

Step 8: But this didn’t stop us from getting to a chat – we simply clicked on “Request an exception,” which took us to this.

And when we clicked on, “I recently purchased Mac OS X,” (even though we hadn’t!) we were taken to this.

i.e. we were all set for a chat session with an Apple consultant – we’ve only had one and learnt so much and found it so helpful.

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Getting Apple support

To get Apple phone and chat support, first do a Google search on “apple support live chat.” This result will usually appear as the  second result:-

(Please note: The first result is usually this:-

Whatever you do, don’t click on this, as, if you do, you won’t be taken to Apple Support at all but to Just Answer – it’s a trick! Just Answer usually asks you to pay a nominal deposit, say, $5, before any answers are provided, and stories abound on the internet of the details you provide in paying this $5 being used by Just Answer to take all sorts of moneys to which they’re not entitled and of you not being able to get it back – as well as of answers being provided being mediocre at best. If any of our readers feel this comment is unfair, please email us at )

So click on this second result, and you will be taken to a page in which this appears:-

Click on the “Get help >” at the bottom, and you will be taken to this:-

Click on that you need help with – say, “Mac,” – and you will be taken to this:-

When you click on one of these, you will be taken this:-

From there, you can proceed to talking to someone on the phone or having a chat.

The aim of this post is that you should be able to print it out, and follow it step by step. If any of our readers feel that it could improved in any way, or have a comment or a question, please email us at

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Apple – dealing with 2

To continue with what we started in our previous post.

This morning, on Tue. 27 Aug. 2019, we got this in an email from the Apple Store at Castle Hill:-

This was our response, more or less immediately:-

To us, it’s nothing short of bizarre, that all this has been gone through, and that we still haven’t got what we wanted in the first place, for ourselves and our readers – a way in which, by sending an email, a reservation could be made at the Genius Bar? Our reader says that on Wed. 21 Aug. 2019 – after two occasions when he visited the Castle Hill store physically, which it took to even find out that it had an ordinary address, (he was initially told by one of their people that they didn’t have one!) – 6 days ago, this email was sent:-

and 6 days later, nothing!

In the world we dream of, Apple stores would have ordinary email addresses readily available on their websites, and when it was used to send something like the above, either , a reservation would be made, or, we’d get, by return, the steps to be taken to have one made.

It could be argued that we’re half way there. We have an ordinary email address –

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Apple – dealing with 1

We have a dream – and that is of a world in which, no matter what help or information on technology matters we need, there are people in the business of providing it who have ordinary email addresses we can use to contact them, and who respond with emails we can print out and follow.

We read once that, “Whatever technology enables, happens,” and the technology certainly exists for this to happen, but so far it doesn’t seem to be happening very much at all.


We are certainly interested in why this is not happening in relation to Apple products? You would think that it would be in Apple’s interests for this to be happening with their products, but, in our experience, Apple support is a nightmare.

We have a simple question which is an example of what I’m talking about – “How do I make a reservation to see someone at the Apple genius bar?” and this is how one of our readers has got on so far in getting an answer to this question.

He had no problem making one a first time. As far as he remembers, he simply went to the website of a nearby Apple store – the Castle Towers Apple store, and scrolled down to:-

and clicked on “Manage reservations” and was able to successfully make a reservation. But all attempts to do this again have failed. First of all, when he did this, he was told:-

and was asked to enter a password??? Why on earth would one have to have a password just to make a reservation??? – getting one is a whole different subject, which we won’t go into here – but fortunately he had one, and entered it, which, when he did it, this came up.

So far so good. He clicked on “Find a store” and a list of stores appeared, BUT, when he clicked on “Castle Hill, Castle Towers,” he was taken back to:-

It didn’t matter how many times he did this, how many times he clicked on “Find a store” and “Castle Hill, Castle Towers,” he kept being taken back to “Find a store” again!!! He was going round in circles

Our reader says he was in the Castle Towers store about 10 days or so ago and told one of their people about this, and, when he looked into it, he said, “Oh, it’s not working, I’ll tell the manager about this.” But 10 days later it’s still the same!!! – either he didn’t tell the manager, or the manager didn’t do anything about it. He asked this person if the store had an ordinary email address or a an email form which he could use to make a reservation and was told the store didn’t have either of these. (Afterward proved to be in error.) So he asked this person if he could made a reservation of him, and he did, in just a minute or so, over the phone – so he had his reservation! But he’d actually had to have travelled to the store, and be in the store, to get it.

So he used this reservation to see someone at the genius bar, and was seen by a “Josh.” Our reader claims that Josh was aggressive, patronising and dismissive. When he explained to Josh that he wanted to know how he could make reservations to see someone at the genius bar without actually coming to the store to do it, and without using the telephone, as when he’d done this, he’d had to wait on for 23 minutes before he could speak to anyone, and then the person he’d spoken to wasn’t helpful, Josh virtually mocked him for wanting to know something SO SIMPLE! But he wasn’t helpful in saying what to do, and our reader say he finished with Josh confused and intimidated.

But before he left the store, one of their people approached him asking if he needed help, and he asked him if the store had an ordinary email address or email form and he said they did, and said he’d go and get one of the stores business cards with the email address on it. (So perhaps the person he’d seen ten days before, either didn’t know about this, or was under instructions not to tell anyone.) After about 5 minutes he came back saying he’d found out that the business cards didn’t have the email address on them, but gave him a business card on which he’d hand written, “” Our reader says that he thought that, with this ordinary email address, perhaps all his problems would be over. BUT:-

On Wed. 21 Aug. 2019, this was sent by email:-

Not having got a response, on Fri. 23 Aug. 2019, this was sent by email:-

On Sat. 24 Aug. 2019, this was received by email:-

It’s hard to guess what “additional information” would be needed before a simple reservation could be made, but perhaps it will all make sense when a response is received to this email sent on Sun. 25 Aug. 2019:-

As of the late afternoon on Mon. 26 Aug, 2029, we are awaiting a response.

To us, it’s almost beyond comprehension that if there are “a couple of different ways ” to “create a reservation,” if this claim is not a lie, that (1) these were not provided to our reader by the person he saw 10 days or so ago, or (2) that they were not provided to our reader by Josh on the Genius bar on Wed. 21 Aug. 2019, or, (3) in a prompt response to the email sent on Wed. 212 Aug. 2019.

One thing is for sure, and that is, that, if we ever find what these “couple of different ways” are, we will do our best to display them here in this blog.

One of the things that has us fascinated is this. We have recently authored a blog on Wesfarmers, an Australian conglomerate, said, in a Wikipedia article, to have 223,000 employees, 70% more than Apple is said to have in a Wikipedia article, yet, when we were having problems with a Wesfarmers entity in the western suburbs of Sydney, we were able to use an ordinary email address readily available on Wesfarmers website, to get assistance, yet, when we are having problems with an Apple entity in the western suburbs of Sydney, there is no sign of an ordinary email address on Apple’s we can use in a similar way.

To us it’s no surprise that there are this who say that Apple is going going down hill fast!

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If you need help or information with technology, use to send us an email. If we can provide it ourselves, and will NEVER expect any payment. If we can’t, we may be able to direct you to a person who can, again for no payment – we are constantly searching for such people ourselves, of whom there are, of course, thousands all round the world. Such people may, of course, charge.

An email.

“I need to know the serial number of my recently purchased Lenovo ideapad 520 lap top. How do I find it?”

We decided to do some searching for the answer to this email ourselves. This was one of the results we found.

Typically, it didn’t make any sense and wasn’t helpful at all, as was the case with another couple of results we found.

Eventually we found this.

We followed these instructions and what appeared to be the serial number appeared on the screen.

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The getting “support” problem

It’s been said that, “Whatever technology enables, happens.”

But although modern technology enables technology support to be provided, superbly, it doesn’t appear to be happening. Technology support from lots of people and organisations – organisations like Telstra and Apple – is far from superb, it’s abysmal. It seems to us that, for every person and organisation that provides superb support, there are 50 that don’t.

Recently it was reported that, after spending hours and hours trying to get help with their technology problems from Telstra, a guy decided to stage a sit-in in a Telstra store, with his girlfriend, as a last resort. Typically, even this didn’t result in him getting any proper support – all Telstra did was call the Police to eject them from their premises. And it’s said that the Police that came provided them with more help with their technology problems than Telstra did. So funny, but serious!

As for Apple, we’ve recently learnt that Apple stores don’t have ordinary email addresses or email forms to seek information from them, or to make complaints – all you can do is use Australia Post to send them “snail mails!!!” One of our readers reports that he recently spent 25 minutes with a Genius Bar person and didn’t get a solution for a problem he was experiencing, but then got help from another source which enabled him to solve the problem he’d been trying to solve, in 2 minutes.

Modern technology makes superb support possible. So why is it happening so seldom?

We believe the answer is simple – it’s because of cost.

Our strong recommendation is that we, the people, should, whenever possible, only deal with people and organisations who have ordinary email addresses and who have people whose job it is to provide reasonable responses to reasonable emails sent to them. But people who can provide reasonable responses to reasonable emails have to be intelligent, knowledgable and experienced and such people don’t come cheaply. And so we have organisations like Apple and Telstra seeking to be successful without such people.

(There may be another factor in this. We’ve recently read that serving people in stores like David Jones and Officeworks etc. etc. etc. is being increasingly regarded as a low grade occupation. Perhaps this is an additional factor in why it seems to be increasingly hard to find anyone to serve you in stores like David Jones and Officeworks etc. etc. etc. And perhaps answering peoples emails is increasingly being regarded as a low grade occupation?? Perhaps there are less and less people prepared to spend their lives answering emails??)

We believe the future is going to be all about, on the one hand, more and more people looking for people and organisations who have ordinary email addresses and who have people associated with them, perhaps in their employ or otherwise, whose job it is to provide reasonable responses to reasonable emails sent using these ordinary email addresses, and, on the other hand, people and organisations doing their best to be successful without having ordinary email addresses and without having such people associated with them.

Our aim is to find more of the former, and to publicise them on this blog.

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Technology people explaining things properly.

It’s said that when the concept of Apple Genius Bars was first suggested to Steve Jobs, he just laughed, saying that he’d never known anyone who could explain technology things properly.

It reminds us of this Dilbert cartoon.

We know the feeling!

We’re about, firstly, locating people who can explain technology things properly, to us and our readers – and for us, explaining technology things properly means explaining them in writing, and providing step by step instructions where technology tasks are to be carried out. We are just getting going, but, if you have a technology issue that needs explaining or a technology question that needs answering, send it to us, and we may be able to refer you to someone who can explain it to you properly, in writing, for which there will never be any charges from us.

And secondly, we’re about publicising people who are in the business of explaining technology things properly in writing. If you’re in that business, send us your details and we’ll pass them on to our readers.

And if ever we find people who are better at these things than us, we’ll refer you to them.

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