Apple Store Lenox Square AtlantaThanks to poor service and support from JetBlue and a Westin hotel, The VAR Guy estimates that he lost about 5 hours of personal productivity this week. Our resident blogger was pretty darn frustrated -- until a trip to the Apple Store restored The VAR Guy's faith in customer service. Here's what happened.

The week started with pathetic WiFi service in JetBlue's terminal at JFK International Airport. The VAR Guy has ranted -- multiple times -- about this issue. JetBlue should stick with transportation and outsource its "free" WiFi service to a true IT service provider.

Alas, the problems didn't end at JetBlue. Failing Internet service and uneducated staff at a Westin hotel sent The VAR Guy running to a Marriott for broadband during the middle of the night. Pathetic. When are all hotels going to learn that WiFi is just as important as dial-tone these days? When problems occur, it's not acceptable to force hotel guests to dial an off-site 1-800 support staff.

Apple Saves the Day

Just when The VAR Guy was losing faith in customer service, he had a great experience at an Apple Store.

First, a little background. The VAR Guy spends about 12-hours a day on his MacBook Pro. At two years old, the notebook is starting to show its age. And certain keys on the keyboard are starting to fail.

Blogging for a living on a worn-out keyboard is no fun.

So, The VAR Guy hoped for help -- and got it at the Apple Store in Atlanta. A 15-minute, free repair reinforced The VAR Guy's faith in Apple, and prompted our resident blogger to spend a few bucks at the store.

At the Apple Store, less seems to be more: Fewer products on display -- and far more room for Apple experts eager to assist customers. (To be sure, there are Five Reasons Why Apple Stores Rock.)

Welcome to the Real "Best Buy"

Now, imagine if The VAR Guy had a similar keyboard problem with a traditional Wintel PC. He doubts Best Buy and other PC retailers could have matched Apple's top-notch customer service. That's why CompUSA is history, Circuit City is toast, and The VAR Guy is willing to pay a premium for the Mac.

In the PC industry, you really do get what you pay for. And with Apple, you pay for a world-class customer experience.