Apple phone support doesn’t always know the answer

Apple Support Comic

I called Apple phone support because I had a problem that I couldn’t figure out with my Mac. The date and time would not work properly when set to be automatically set in the preferences.

The problem showed itself a week ago but because I am currently using a Windows computer as my main computer it wasn’t urgent to fix. Finally, I was irritated with it, and I started to google to see if there was a solution. I tried many of the troubleshooting solutions but they didn’t work. I figured that I would probably need to reinstall the OS and wipe everything so I called Apple to see if there was something I missed.

Apple Support Comic
apple support comic

The Apple phone support was friendly and nice and suggested some things that didn’t work. She then suggested reinstalling the OS which I had feared that I would have to do. What a time-consuming/business-unfriendly way to fix a problem. I did that yesterday and it works properly after a reinstall. So that is a plus.

What is surprising is that both my PC/Mac have had to be reinstalled in the last month. Remember how I shared that I like to reinstall the OS every year to prevent problems? Well, I hadn’t done that for more than a year since I was testing to see what would happen if I didn’t do that. It seems that you can’t avoid it. Reinstalling the OS is the fastest way to solve some deep-seated issues and even Apple recommends it.

This post has two purposes. One is to help people who have googled “date and time problem Mac OS” and the second is to state that even when the computer is out of warranty, Apple will sometimes still support you. It was for my intel-based 2019 MacBook Pro and they still spend an hour with me working on the issue. The representative said she hadn’t encountered the issue before and saw the same Google results that I did when she searched. I told her that I had tried all of those suggestions like resetting the SMC, changing the NTP server, manually setting it, and then trying to select the automatic settings. She checked by creating a fresh user account, trying to boot into safe mode that it wouldn’t allow me (flashed between a black screen/login screen too quickly to type in the password), and restarting the computer (which I had done 3 times already). The only software that I had on the Mac was Outlook/Office suite for Mac and 1Password.

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you have a problem. No one has all the answers and it saves time from trying information that you randomly find online that may be out of date or doesn’t apply. I found plenty of that while researching this problem and that didn’t help anything but simply waste time.