Jun 262010

Is Apple a dieing brand?

Drying glue and poor reception… are these two small bumps in the road of a product release or are they foreshadowing the death of Apple, the brand that once taught us to think different?

How should Mr. Jobs have responded to the antenna issue?

On the surface it’s revolutionary, a CEO who answers customer emails. I can hear the movie trailer guy now, “In a world where most CEOs live in offices with closed doors and gatekeepers, one man stands alone for customer service!” It’s a refreshing breath of fresh air when a CEO opens the lines of communication… “Just avoid holding it in that way”…

What was so wrong about Mr. Job’s response to the new iPhone 4 antenna problem? Doesn’t it fix the issue? What was he thinking?

Hello, Steve? Yea um… It’s not 1999. The days of “Oh, your computer is acting slow? Just restart it” are over.

Customers expect (demand) to be coddled. The year is 2010 and customers expect a response worthy of the time it took them to write the email. Your answer, “Just avoid holding it in that way” was not only pointless; it was an assault on your customer’s intelligence.

I’d like to compare Apple’s response to another company, Nintendo. The Nintendo Wii’s release marked a revolution in the world of gaming consoles. With a wave of your hand you could control the game. Bowling, Tennis, Boxing and Golf could now be played without having to leave your house. What could be more perfect!

Another Wii Sports Casualty – Watch more Funny Videos

Remember when your mother told you not to play sports in the house?

The Wii was breaking TVs due to people letting go of controllers. Not wearing the strap is your own fault but what if you threw it so hard it broke the strap? Did Nintendo say “just hold the controller tighter” or “don’t throw your controller”? No. Nintendo sent out a notice that there would be an optional recall and everyone with the smaller wrist straps would be eligible to receive new thicker straps.

Nintendo even went the extra mile and two months later started packaging rubber remote jackets with every Wii they sold. Not only did these jackets help with the throwing problem they also helped soften the blow when their customers smacked each other with the remote due to their own negligence and possible stupidity.

There was no midnight email saying “don’t throw your remote” or “don’t smack each other with the remote”. Even though these would be simple answers, Nintendo FIXED the problem and served its customers.

In fact if you haven’t gotten your replacement parts yet you still can:

Here: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/strapreplace.jsp
And Here: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/jacket/jacketrequest.jsp

So where does that leave us with the iPhone 4? In my opinion hipsters all over the country and world are buying into this high end product from Apple. The iPhone 4 is supposed to be the Mercedes Benz of the cell phone world.

If the breaks were squeaking in your Benz would you be satisfied with the service department telling you “well… don’t break that way”?


Apple’s customer service reps have stated that various cases can solve the issues with the reception problem. You can buy a bumper case for $29 plus shipping and tax from here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC597ZM/A

Or you could step into the year 2010… Here’s how it works in today’s customer centric world. You put your money where your mouth is.

Send another midnight email… This time from Mr. Steve Jobs to ALL of the people who bought an iPhone 4.

“Hey guys, sorry about the last email… If you are having antenna issues please go here: (insert link) and get a FREE bumper case” “PS we’ll take care of shipping”.

We all know that magical piece of rubber and plastic has a value that is on par with a new Wii strap and remote jacket…

Do the right thing Apple. Don’t hide from the issue, embrace it and show the world how you build a great product by getting out in front of customer service issues, taking ownership and using it to build the fan-base of your brand!

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