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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Letter to Apple

My iPad was stolen… again.

 

For the second time in 6 months, I had my iPad stolen. 

 

………

 

The story

Yeah. It sucks. The first time I was in Spain with my family and someone picked it up while I was loading luggage.  This time, it was quite a bit more painful, since I was at a work event and my passport was in the iPad case as well.  That’s right ladies and gentleman, stuck in the US with no passport is not a situation I recommend to anyone.  For the record, I don’t think it was any of my work colleges, they were ALL so supportive and were constantly offering me suggestions on where to look and whom to ask.  ( I did exhaust all possibilities ). 

Now this was a 3g iPad, but since I was roaming, I didn’t have the 3G capabilities turned on.  As well, since the convention centre we were at was all captive portal which had to be renewed every 24 hours, I missed my window when I could have used my  ” Find my iPhone” application to use the location services that Apple turns on.

Yes, I checked with the convention centre staff.

Yes I checked with the hotel staff.

Yes I checked with my companies event staff.

Yes, I tried the apple app multiple times.

Yes, we did make multiple announcements throughout the week. 

 

Nothing.

 

The issue with Apples Location System

 

Right now, the Find my iPhone devices are linked to the iCloud functionality. What sucks about this is that if the device is not online, I can’t find it. And because the device is locked, it’s going to require someone to connect it to iTunes and wipe the whole device to access it and get it on a network.  Wiping it will of course cause the iCloud linkage to disappear and now someone else has a gently used and much loved iPad 3 with 64Gb and LTE.  

 

And I have NO WAY AT ALL OF FINDING THEM.

My Request

As anyone who’s bought a device from Apple in the last few years, we are required to activate the iPad/iPhone devices before we are able to use them. This means that we need to give our information to Apple to register the device. What’s included in this?  The device serial number.

 

Why can’t Apple institute a stolen iPad reporting system that would enable them to block the activation of any iPad that makes it on that list?  It’s going to cost me $1,000 (taxes) to replace that device. Why does someone else out there who’s dishonest enough to steal my iPad and not return it ( yes, my business cards are in there, and this time my passport too! ) get to simply wipe my device and move on.  Especially when it’s SO easy for Apple to put this kind of a policy in place. 

 

The only reason for them NOT to do it is because they view it as a residual income stream. They wait until someone like me makes their device a totally integrated part of their work life and then depend on them buying multiple times as the market for stolen iPads increases.

I’m not suggesting that they tell me who stole it, but it would be great if they could work with the local authorities to send someone over to pick up my iPad.  Am I been crazy here? This of course also presumes that the police care enough about the law to through some resources at this issue. 

At the very least, I would like Apple to brick my iPad completely. Don’t let anyone activate that device unless they receive an email from the registered owner, i.e.  Me. 

 

is that too much to ask?  I want my passport back, I want my iPad back, and I want Apple to help me justify why I spend a premium on their devices. They own the ecosystem and this is the least they could do for me, a loyal customer.  I’m all in. I’ve got iPads ( multiple ) iPhones, Apple TVs, Mini, MacBookPro’s etc…    

 

Please just brick my old iPad.  It’s serial number is  NewImage. Or better yes, when someone tried to activate it, display a message on the device, tell them it’s stolen and ask them to return it to the closest Apple store. I’d like it back. 

thanks,

 

@netmanchris