Charee144 did two cruel things to Apple customer Gregor-1138 and made it impossible for him to seek redress.
- She deliberately gave him a very wrong answer sending him on a hopeless wild good chase.
- She closed his conversation to make it impossible for him to ask a follow up question or for a better-informed passerby to give Gregor the right answer he deserved.
Gregor was having trouble with his expensive Apple TV second-generation Siri Remote:
I’m pretty sure the new Siri remote firmware (0x0061) broke IR functionality for me. I’m no longer able to control volume and mute on my Pioneer receiver. I’ve tried setting it to “Receiver via IR” and going through the “Learn New Device” setup. Neither works. I reconnected my old 1st gen Siri remote and it works just fine.
What has Gregor established here:
- there’s been a recent firmware update to the remote
- his older remotes are still working with the receiver, hence nothing has changed with his Pioneer receiver
What did charee144 answer:
Thank you for posting in Apple Support Communities. We understand that you are having some issues with your Apple TV remote controlling volume and mute functions since the last firmware update. We would love to provide you support on this.
This is apparently listening and showing understanding, as well as a willingness to help. If charee144 were to deliver on these promises all would be well and this article would not exist. I’d prefer fewer big promises and more action.
-There may be confusion between the system of each device. In some cases, when a product updates, the other product that it connects to also has to be updated (in some cases not all). Until then, the products no longer communicate effectively. Which is what you saw when you used your old remote that has no update and it worked great.
Wrong. What the old remote working indicates is that nothing has changed with the receiver and that the new remote is quite simply failing to send IR codes to the receiver.
-For example: When the macOS updated from Catalina to Big Sur most HP printers stopped connecting and working with Mac computers until they received the update from their manufacturer. Also, although this isn’t your situation, we just want you to understand how another manufacturer’s products can sometimes lose communication due to updates.
Bad example. The printers communicate in a complex protocol which does change. Apple broke that protocol which forced HP to scramble to make their printers compatible with Apple again. This is Apple’s arrogance, openly and arbitrarily breaking millions of printers. Uncountable hours of tech support and troubleshooting were wasted on this fiasco.
-We would recommend disconnecting the receiver from your TV and unplugging its power, then reconnecting and setting up as new to see if that resolves. If not, reach out to Pioneer customer support or a device forum to see if there is a current software or firmware update to resolve the issue of miscommunication.
The receiver is working just fine, as the old remote continues to work without unplugging and resetting the receiver. What’s changed is the remote! Via elimination we’re getting close now to what must be done but no thanks to charee144.
Thank you for allowing us to support you. Have an awesome and productive day!
How can Gregor be productive when he’s been sent on a fool’s errand by you? How awesome will his day be when his very expensive (€70) remote still doesn’t work and will never work based on your support advice.
Then the biggest issue: after this pack of nonsense, charee144 just slammed the discussion shut. The 18 others who also have this issue badge below Gregor’s post should have signaled to Charee that her blithe throwaway answer is out of place.
The issue is shockingly easy to fix if you know how. What is definitely not required are further firmware updates of the Apple TV as some have suggested: when the volume function of the remote is set to IR, the remote works independently of the Apple TV, sending the volume and mute commands directly to the receiver.1
I’ve lost an hour and a half of my life fighting this issue by retraining my remote twice and restarting my Apple TV and my receiver a few times. I did use the on/off button on the remote a couple of times, I got as far as fully charging the remote just in case.2
Unfortunately the way to restart/reboot the Apple Remote is not obvious.
How to restart/reboot an Apple TV Siri remote
- One must first hold the down volume button and the TV (square box) button for five seconds or more to soft reset the remote (soft reset as your settings will be retained: if the remote were a computer it would be called rebooting).
- To turn the remote back on, hit the middle of the scroll wheel.
Bingo, the remote volume buttons are working again. Between the Apple TV controls and the volume controls, one has most of the controls one needs to manage a home theatre. Occasionally one must have access to the projector settings to tweak a colour profile but for most of an evening at the (home) theatre the single Apple Remote is enough.\
Much thanks to the ladies and gentlemen of Reddit for the solution, C-3POsMidriff, spowersaucebar, therealroyalpickle and most of all Recent-Swimmer5751.
What will probably happen
I’m pretty sure Apple won’t fire charee144.3 Instead management will give charee144 stress counselling and PTSD three weeks paid leave to recover from the trauma of seeing her name in lights here. No wonder customers have more and more contempt and loathing for brands they once respected and trusted, in this case Apple.
What should happen
charee144 should be offered an opportunity to move to retail in a non-support capacity (moving boxes around). Her bosses should lose their annual bonuses, someone among then may deserve to be terminated if s/he has more workers working like charee144.
Whoever wrote the documents on how to help customers and when to close tickets should be assigned to clean up these messes for six months. After some real experience, s/he could write much better guidelines which would include:
- say nothing if you have nothing useful to say. There’s a good chance a good samaritan will come by and help the original poster if no one at Apple can.
- if you don’t have the right answer, but must say something, don’t close the discussion. Good samaritans himself cannot help with closed tickets.
- whatever you do, don’t waste customers’ time sending them on fools’ errands.
Apple has a real problem now with their Apple Discussions forums. Not only do Apple not allow their developers to roam and help users, Apple has hired incompetents and made matters worse by training them in poor methods (1. make silly promises 2. give bad information 3. close discussion).
Apple is more likely to shut down its discussion forums than fix them. Sadly that’s the way large corporations behave these days. Instead of fixing issues, they prefer to sweep them under the rug.
Don’t worry Apple, users are noticing. I’ve gone from three to five active Apple computers at any given time, to one.4 I no longer recommend Apple computers to anyone. They are not better in terms of simplicity of use, customer support, or to be honest privacy.5
The M1’s are quiet which does make me happy but the new OLED screens give me a headache after a few hours even when set low, unlike the gorgeous matte screens available on the unibody MBP 15″ and 17″. What really keeps me buying and using Apple computers though is that I’m expert in working on and with MacOS and, most of all, the smaller third party developers.6 Apple should fix their Discussion forums not close them down or cripple them, as they are doing now.
The firmware update could be important if you are using embedded HDMI commands to control the receiver, called CEC. In this case, communication between the Apple TV and the receiver/television is important and that communication could be interrupted by a poor tvOS update, which appears to be the case with the update 15.5.1 and fixed with 15.6. This does not affect IR control. ↩
A full recharge does partially reset an Apple Watch making all kinds of lags and buggy behaviour disappear. ↩
Let me spell out for you charee, what your managers won’t. You are a dishonest numbskull who can neither do her job properly nor get out of the way to let someone else do it. At present, you have no business working in tech support. If you were a waitress, you’d be the distracted ditz mixing up orders, costing the whole floor crew tips, while texting to her boyfriend and flirting with the bartender at the same time. Unless you improve your concentration and your personal integrity, you should be unemployable. On the plus side, your situation is not completely hopeless if you are willing to change your ways and learn how to work well. My doubts don’t matter: what matters is what you do going forward. ↩
Redundancy: there’s a backup i5 Intel Mac Mini loaded with 64GB of RAM which I share with my business partner in case his work computer conks out or mine does. ↩
Apple talks about privacy but at the end of the day, Apple without Steve Jobs does what the NSA tells them to do. Microsoft just takes your data without an apology, Apple whispers about just taking this or that, since they must, with a quiet apology but in real terms the difference is limited. Your data finds its way directly into the hands of the NSA. I don’t have a solution for this. short of moving to Linux, which is another conversation. ↩
There’s so many wonderful smaller developers of apps like Acorn, Soulver, LaunchBar, WordCounter, Choosy, KeyBoard Maestro. The mid-size creative software developers of splendid apps like DxO PhotoLab or DaVinci Resolve publish only for Mac or Windows. While the Windows experience isn’t much worse than the macOS experience, it’s certainly no better. ↩
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia.