I love Apple. Not in a tragic way, honest. PCs & Androids are brill, I just don’t speak the lingo. I speak Apple. It makes sense to me and I am forever grateful to it for enabling me to morph from a technical klutz to an aspiring whizz-kid. Well, relatively competent, anyway.
So I’ve been somewhat peeved by their crappy handling of the whole iOS4 debacle. I can deal with living in a Forever Beta world so long as they take responsibility for it when it doesn’t work. And it doesn’t. My iPhone, hitherto a perfectly functioning extension of my very life and limbs, instantly spat the dummy and rolled over with its metaphysical paws in the air and it’s tongue trailing listlessly on the pavement. Resuscitation was a long and tortured process, but at least gave me the experience to know what to do the next 4 times it died. Until… until the awful day I upgraded the iOS in the desperate hope that I might be able to once again download an email in less than an a week only to find myself holding a corpse. I began keening and booked myself into therapy.
It took a week to be granted an audience with a Genius. The very pleasant Jace tried and failed to restore my phone before informing me sadly that since it was out of warranty, all they could do was replace it with a reconditioned one at a cost of $250 and a wait of about a week. This is for a 15 month old phone that was expected to last a 24 month contract, that cost $800 and only died when (at their insistence) I upgraded to their bug-riddled-beta-bloody software that they then wouldn’t let me downgrade from. Now call me old-fashioned, but that strikes me as a tad unreasonable. Blatantly unfair, in fact. And certainly no way to repay a brand loyalist and hitherto advocate. I were, to put it mildly, downright miffed. And fortunately well-prepared.
I opened my eyes wide and asked Jace nicely about the statutory warranty situation, which of course he knew nothing about and was understandably desperate to avoid exploring. After all, it says that regardless of manufacturer warranty, you can expect an item (particularly an expensive one) to last a reasonable amount of time and do what it is supposed to do. And you should be able to trust the manufacturer’s sales advice. A tick on all fronts, frankly. After another failed restore he disappeared out back – ostensibly to see if there was anything loose in the machinery – and eventually came back with a replacement phone!!
Be still my beating heart.
He used his discretion… one time only… such a loyal customer…I’d already been through so much hassle over it… he’s a consumer too and would be seriously pissed off… yada yada yada.
Did the warranty info help? Probably. It could merely have been the increasingly disturbing signs of an addict suffering severe withdrawal that I was evidencing. Maybe he was avoiding the fuss. Maybe it gave him an excuse to do what he probably wanted to do anyway. It certainly didn’t hurt. But it shouldn’t have been needed.
As their share price continues to climb on the backs of the early adopters that launched the brand into mainstream, Apple is morphing rapidly from a group of maverick heretics disrupting paradigms in the name of consumer freedom to arrogant corporate control freaks. They no longer extol us to Think Different but instead shrilly insist we Do What We’re Told. Which is not a brand positioning I identify with. And Forever Beta? Fine: either subsidize us to test it or fix it when it fails. As it will.
The beautiful phrase “Sync in Progress” began to glow reassuringly from the screen, and I felt my missing limb re-graft itself to my torso as my blood pressure abated. At least Jace still seemed to represent the Apple philosophy I’d bought into. But for how long?
I’m beginning to wish I could switch sides. I probably will, at some point. It’s just that in the meantime, well, I speak Apple.