Is Apple Screwing Its Customers?

Let me be honest, I’m on the rant. I am so annoyed with Apple at the moment that I want to set my dogs on Steve Jobs and see how he likes having a Doberman hanging off his bollocks.

I have been desperately thinking of ways to turn this post into something vaguely related to self-development and/or life coaching and I can’t.

Therefore, as Fridays and Saturdays are a bit quiet round here I thought I’d up my posting from twice per week to three times and start a series called A.O.B. (any other business) where I can post stuff that is just, er ya know, stuff.

It may be a rant like this one, or it may be a bit of humor like my LMAO post, or it may be something completely different. I’m also happy to publish guest posts that are somewhat off my normal topics, so if you have something interesting you’d like to share send it to me and I’ll take a look.

I’ll try this for a month or so and if it’s boring everybody’s arse off, I’ll revert back to business as usual, but in the meantime I’d love your feedback.

Is Apple Screwing Its Customers?

I think it would have been fair until a month or two to have called me an Apple Fan Boy. Since migrating away from PC’s a couple of years ago I have adored all things Mac.

I have a 24” iMac, a Macbook, an iPhone , several iPods, a time capsule and I even stop the TiVo when I’m fast forwarding through adverts if I spot a new Apple ad to laugh at the poor souls using PC’s

Very sad, I know.

However, something has happened recently that is forcing me into resigning my fan boy status forthwith.  I’ll also be taking down the 24 foot bronze statue of Steve Jobs I erected in my backyard as well as dismantling my Apple shrine that takes up most of the family room.

I am only a poor lowly life coach and as such don’t earn the kind of money that has me upgrading everything electrical including the toaster every time a new model comes out. Thu,s I’m stuck with an iPhone 3G that is positively ancient at 18 months old.

A few weeks ago as I’m sure you know, Apple brought out Version 4.0 of their operating system designed for their new phone. Cool I thought, the best just got better and I synced both mine and my wife’s phones as I was told to do in iTunes.

That was several weeks ago and the last time either of us had a phone that actually works properly.

I can no longer download photos, it wont sync properly and my iPhone is now more unstable than Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears out on a drinking spree.

iTunes doesn’t even work properly half the time and opening an application is an exercise in self control and persistence as multiple attempts are often needed.

And that’s just my phone, my wife’s is even more erratic.

So off I trotted into the local Apple a few weeks ago to explain my problems safe in the knowledge that they’ll be falling over themselves to help such a loyal customer sucker.

When I told the guy he literally shrugged his shoulders and said something like:

“Yeh we know about it, it’s happening to a lot of people”

Oh well, as long as you fucking know about it then that’s all that matters. I know about my $200 AT&T bill this month is it ok if I don’t pay it?

After some more shoulder shrugging and shaking of his head and that of the equally clueless technician he brought over, I stormed off in a very dramatic and somewhat camp huff to search the Internet in hope of salvation.

A shitload load of research later and I do indeed find that thousands of people have the same (and in some cases worse) issues and they also know that Apple know about it and they are about as happy as I am.

I did find a blog that explained how to revert back to 3.0, but quite honestly after reading of some people in tears after killing their phones trying to do this, I figured I’d leave it well alone.

What would you have done if you had been Steve Jobs when this problem surfaced? I know what I’d have done, and it wouldn’t have involved intense in-house training, teaching assistants how to shrug their shoulders properly. I’d have got on my phone (if it worked that is) and placed a call to AT&T saying:

Jobsey: “Look we screwed up, but we can both benefit from this and more importantly, so can our customers. We’ll offer you new 4.0 phones at a vastly reduced rate and you can offer free upgrades to any user on the 3G phones if they sign up for another 2 years.”

Under those circumstances (presuming they get their antenna issue worked out) Apple turn a huge negative into a positive by demonstrating their loyalty to the people that pay their wages. And AT&T hold on to legions of customers that will probably bail to Verizon once they start selling the iPhone too.

Remember when Lexus had to recall hundreds of cars earlier on in their history?

Not only did they go and collect the cars from owners that didn’t live near a dealership, but they detailed each vehicle and filled the gas tank up before returning them!

What did that achieve? Oh nothing much, only a life time of loyalty from a situation that could have buried a fledgling business.

At the moment I’m leaning toward moving away from my iPhone when my contract expires early in 2011 as I don’t want this to happen again in 18 months time. I’m not thrilled at the idea, but at the moment I feel like I’m being shafted and I don’t like giving money to people that are shafting me, unless I have specifically asked them to shaft me that is.