(update): Another amazing experience with Apple customer service. Read our original story and catch our update below.
2007 was a big year in the tech world. The iPhone was announced and released to the public. And while only roughly 6 million we’re sold that first year (Apple sold 4mil iPhone 4S the first weekend), the impact on the phone industry and mobile computing in general was immeasurable. A vast majority of those early adopters were most likely Apple enthusiasts or tech aficionados. Most <strong>normal</strong> people weren’t prepared to drop more than five bills on a phone. Not then and not now.
I said <em>normal</em> people. My preordered 1st generation iPhone arrived on launch day. It was my first Apple product. And while I was thrilled by the innovation, I might not have fallen off the deep end if it weren’t for (ironically enough) a hardware failure.
You see, at the core of any successful company is an unrelenting concern for customer satisfaction. In regard to Apple Inc., this manifests itself in a variety of ways from hardware design and software integration to continually improving services and solutions.
And customer service.
If for no other reason, I would recommend Apple devices for their unparalleled customer service. My first call to AppleCare in 2007 helped shape me into the <del>raging fanboy</del> loyal customer I am today. And every encounter since has only solidified that loyalty. With that first device, about a quarter inch of the screen stopped responding to touch input. A phone call to AppleCare later and a new phone was at my door the next morning. The plastic back of the 2nd gen iPhone gave me all sorts of issues. On two separate occasions I took my device into an Apple Store to show them a small crack (cosmetic at worst) and was handed a new device immediately.
I went all in with Apple in 2008 and purchased a MacPro. It was a great machine until something went haywire with the logic board. Because I twice had to drive the machine to the nearest Apple Store (90 miles away), Apple quietly slipped a larger hard drive into my system while repairing it. A $200 upgrade alongside the $700 worth of work they did for free.
Between my wife and I, there were <em>seven</em> different iPhone 4’s in our home. Anytime something went slightly wrong, a trip to the Apple Store resulted in a new phone. Sticky home button? New device. Shutting down intermittently? New device. GPS not responding quickly enough? New Device. Sudden degrade in call quality? New phone. Hell, I’m already on my second iPhone 4S. Apple wants you to be satisfied with your purchase.
There are arguments to be made about business model and ecosystem and control. I hope to have some great conversations here about those things. But you won’t be able to convince me that Apple isn’t the market leader in customer care. Their are two <a href=”http://m.cnet.com/Article.rbml?nid=20108336&cid=null&bcid=&bid=-17″>many</a> <a href=”http://m.engadget.com/default/article.do?artUrl=http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/09/apple-tops-j-d-power-customer-satisfaction-survey-grim-reading/&category=classic&postPage=1″>studies</a> and personal stories that back this up.
If you buy an Apple device, don’t hesitate for one second to purchase the AppleCare coverage for that device. Typically, there is one year included with most items (2 years with desktops). AppleCare extends it further and is well worth the money. With the first replacement device they give you, it will have paid for itself.
What is your Apple Customer Service story?
UPDATE: ApplEvangelist.com had their first negative in-store experience with Apple a couple of weeks ago. It was so out of the norm for an Apple employee NOT to go to every length to make us happy that we immediately fired off an email to Apple about it. This is not something we expect you to do. In fact, we doubt you’ll ever need to. As an evangelist of all things Apple and steward of this blog, we felt it our responsibility to let Apple know about our experience.
Color us a little shocked when we received a phone call from the Consumer/Executive Relations department at Apple. The representative was calling on behalf of Tim Cook to apologize for our experience in the Apple Store and to get to the bottom of our issue. We won’t go into the details of any of the encounters or issues but know this: Apple once again proved why it is the most consumer oriented company on the planet. They have gone to every length to make sure we are satisfied with the solution to the issue we were having. The representative and engineer we spoke to have been amazingly helpful and patient. And while the solution wasn’t the easiest or most convenient, they have been there for every step of the process.
You won’t find this level of support or care from Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Microsoft, or Google. In fact you may not get any sort of support from them at all. Apple takes care of their customers. Others don’t.