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Is the Shine off of Apple?

August 29, 2008

Has Apple lost its shine? Not even going into the current round of issues with MobileMe (not so mobile but hey at least it is free), iPhone 3G and iPods there seem to be enough little problems that are keeping Apple in the headlines.

Here is a perfect example as to why Apple may be loosing its shine in the eyes of some users. I have a friend who recently had his first generation iPhone die on him. The touch screen had several areas that would not register any touches. This is certainly a problem making the phone unusable unless you only want to dial certain nunbers. As any of us would do he took it into the Apple store expecting to get it swapped out or at least some form of satisfaction given Apple’s reputation for customer service.

Upon arriving at the store he was greeted and told that while he did not have an appointment he could be seen since his phone was not functioning. After waiting for some time (understandable with no appointment) he was seen by a “Genius” This person told him that yes his phone was indeed dead and they would be able to replace it for him and it was still under warranty. Best of all this would be free. Great he though.. but here was the catch. While the “Genius” could look at it and tell him that it was going to be replaced he could not replace it for him..WHAT? My friend was forced to head home after making an appointment for later in the day. Lucky for him he could get an appointement for just before closing but if it had been a day like say today.. he would have been waiting a few days to get his phone replaced.

Is this the kind of service that we should know expect from Apple? Have the days of having an issue and getting it taken care of in a timely manor gone by the wayside with the sucess of the iPhone and other apple products. The real killer was that he was talking to someone who could have just replaced the phone for him but he was told to return with an appointment.

For my friend it has made him think twice about the whole Apple iPhone thing. He loves his phone but was not thrilled with the service that he received when something went wrong that was hardware related and under warranty. It seemed that the customers convience was not considered at all.

Well just some more thoughts on Apple. I am hoping that this is going to chage or it was only because of the rush of iPhone users recently.. but based on the appointment schedules I am looking at to replace a warranty power brick I am guessing this is not going to change anytime soon.

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