August 25, 2007
The other evening I made my first visit to a Apple store. My visit was not for exploring all new and exciting Apple things; rather to try and find some help for a suddenly dead iPod. It was a 30 gb model and I do not think that it was even a third full.
I spoke with 3 people before I was able to meet one of their “Genius” crew; all were professional, and courteous. The member of the staff who assisted was a very nice lady by the name of Beth.
I explained to Beth that up until a few days ago the iPod had worked fine. It was well taken care of, never dropped and always protected in its case. I had attached it to my computer the other night to charge it up, iTunes said that there was a problem and that the unit would have to be restored. I attempted to do so but was then told that it could not complete the restore process, that I should contact Apple. So, there I was sitting before her.
Beth connected the iPod to one of their computers and met with the same results. My i-P-o-d was D-O-A.
Beth informed me that she could sell me an identical unit for $135.00 or, if I wanted something else, she could give me 10% off that item if I recycled my old one.
I then explained to Beth that this was not my first iPod; my wife and I have both had iPods that failed before -my wife had 2 fail actually, this one was almost exactly 1 year and one month old and now it had failed so my confidence in the product was not that strong. I pointed out that I have a Cowon A2 I use at work – not an ideal environment – that works like a charm and yet this one, which is never abused, fails. I told her that I would have to think about it and asked her to just give me mine back.
Beth nodded, understanding my point, and typed away on her laptop. She then said, very quietly (I had to ask her to repeat it) that she could give me a – I believe the term was – ‘customer satisfaction replacement’. A bit suspicious I asked what that involved. She stated that it would only be some paperwork on her part. I was a bit stunned by that one and just said okay.
The whole point to my ramblings above is this: although I made no mention of it in the store – it is fair to say that had I walked out of there with my dead iPod I would almost certainly not have been back. Since I left with a new, probably refurbished unit, my faith in iPods is not restored, but I feel better about Apple in general.
It is a smart move on Apples part. With the onslaught of personal media devices on the market I know I would have found something in short order to replace the dead unit. I understand their trying to sell me a unit first; they’ve got to pay the bills just like the rest of us. In the end they came through for their customer – a smart business move considering that only people with iPods are going to buy from iTunes!
So, thank you Beth and thank you Apple.