A Tale of Two Companies: Apple loses it’s shine


Trust is a huge reason that we buy from a company. We know a brand, we trust a brand, we are more likely to buy from that brand. Right?

In the last couple of months, I’ve had two issues with a couple of my devices and had two very different experiences. 

Issue 1

I noticed my fitbit surge, smart watch extraordinaire, had a small mechanical issue with it. I tweeted up them up to ask what I could do about it. They suggested I open a support case and send me the link. I was hoping there might be a quick solution, but at least I didn’t have to look for the support link.

Long story short: I opened the support case and I was stunned when the reply came back which told me they would be sending me a new watch right away.  WOW.  This is a $350 item and they just sent me a new one. 

Wow. I couldn’t say enough great things about Fitbit at this point. Great products. Amazing support. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who’s interested in gear to help you track your fitness goals. 

Issue 2

 

Apple iOS 9.0 comes out. I updated on my iPhone and iPad and everything went ok. So I decided to update my son’s iPad mini which was working fine up until that point.  The initial 9.0 ended up completely crashing the device. Yup. Totally crashed. I crashed so bad I couldn’t even finish the install. It was just the bricked iPad screen showing the glowing Apple logo and the lightning connector letting me know I had to connect it to an Laptop to reinstall the iOS version.   

I tried this on my MacBook Air, my MacBook Pro, as well as my Mac Mini.  ( I’m an apple fan ).  None of them worked.   A few days passed and iOS 9.01 was released.  Still nothing.

I opened up a support case with Apple the day a couple of days later. By this time, iOS 9.02 was released. ( Seriously did they test the software before it was released? Two patches in a week?) 

I did manage to get 9.02 installed, but then the iPad kept locking up and would only recover with a full hard reset. ( hold the power and the home button at the same time. ) 

I had an appointment at the Apple store, and given the behaviour, I decided I’d go in anyways.

 

When I arrive at the Apple store, the iPad mini had already crashed ( woo-hoo! how many times do you take something in and it actually has the problem you’re trying to get fixed! ).  The Apple Genius technician decides that we’ll reinstall iOS 9.02 to see if it will fix the problem. Unfortunately, it’s back to the problem I was having at the beginning. iOS wouldn’t load. 

At this point, the Genius technician, unlucky kid that he is, tells me that my iPad is out of warranty and that it’s going to cost me $220 to get it fixed. He tells me that it’s a hardware issue and that the upgrade is failing because of hardware issue. 

I’ve been in IT for a long time, 20+ years at this point. I get that hardware failures happen and that’s sometimes the way things go. Sucks, but it is what it is.  What I have a hard time with is understanding how there was no hardware issue before iOS 9.0 came out.  All the problems started up after my first attempt to upgrade to iOS 9. 

So basically,, there was no problem before installing the software, there are major problems after TRYING to install the software. There are two patches for the iOS 9 release approx within one week of the first release.  Something smells really fishy here to me, no?

 

Wow. I can’t believe that I got an “Sorry, but it’s just a coincidence that you tried to install our new software and it broke your device. We can’t help you Sorry .t’s the policy, but we’ll be happy to take your money”   answer here. Holy crappy support batman. 

Trust comes from standing behind your products AND your customers

So in a nutshell, I have a possible non-issue from Fitbit which they resolved with sending me a new watch. I have a major issue with Apple that is MOST likely caused by software that they deny all responsibility for and offer to charge me almost the same price as buying a new iPad mini. 

 

Who do you think I’m going to be more likely to buy from in the future? 

 

 

My two cents

Support is a funny thing. Many companies forget that a customer is a potential future customer, even if they don’t have a support contract. Looks like Apple is starting to walk down the same road that other market leaders have fallen into. Sad to see such a great company lose sight of the most important thing which contributes to it’s success;:  the customers.

 

@netmanchris

 

P.S. The fact that I upgraded my Mac’s to El Capitan and have had major issues sense the upgrade has not made me any happier.  

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3 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Companies: Apple loses it’s shine

    1. I only miss it because I still have to support my mom. :).

      qUick update. I spent some time with the iPad mini at home and managed to finally get iOS 9.02 back installed. Haven’t had it lock up or crash since. Hopefully this will stay.

      Can’t believe the crappy software quality of this round of Apple updates.

      worse is that I will still probably be picking up an iPad pro in a month. Unfortunately because of the apps and the workflow, Android is just not an option for me.

  1. I’m with you on this latest round of Apple updates, Chris. iOS 9.0x has been a frustration, although it seems mostly okay (as in, no major problems I know about) as of 9.0.2. El Capitan has been less rough, but still not great for me with a couple of key applications I use crashing…although that seems to have been a font customization issue that I was able to resolve by zeroing out my library preference file.

    I still don’t want to go back to Windows. And my year+ of running an Ubuntu desktop was a bad experience. Although, that was a long time ago. Maybe it’s better. Or maybe this is the world we live in now. Choose your poison based on the best aspects of the product, and be prepared to live with the worst aspects of a software defined world no matter the choice.

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