Now That’s Customer Service! Good Job Apple.

I love it when companies use technology to increase efficiency, and Apple has at least one part of customer service ‘down to a science’.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this with an Apple Store, but it’s the third time which tells me the prior two times were not flukes.  The latest time, I happened to have an iPod Touch that bricked on me.  No good reason either, I hadn’t jailbroken it, or done anything actually except for activate it, sync it, play music on it, and test some in-house iOS apps.  The only other app I had installed on it was Pandora.  One afternoon, I plug it in to play some music and it won’t do anything, no power on, no reset, no nothing.

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After a little fiddling, I decide that it was indeed a brick and planned to take it to the Apple Store and have them take a look to confirm my deep technical analysis (yes, all I tried to do was power it on and reset it… hey it’s an iPod. hahah), and based on my prior experience, I thought maybe they would help me out of this issue.  Of course I wasn’t worried about the content on the device since iTunes backs it up and there was nothing on there that couldn’t be replaced even if I didn’t have the backup.

I get into the Apple Store, and they immediately set me up with an appointment that is about 10 minutes out.  Brilliant I must say, as they almost got me to spend a couple more bucks on more nifty gadgets while I was waiting around browsing items.  I’m a fan of many of Apple’s products.  As an aside, a jailbroken AppleTV 2 is arguably the best media player on the market… all you have to do is add XBMC.  Sorry Apple, yes I did that to my ATV2, all my DvDs are stored on my network in Xvid. It’d be a lot better if you just added support for the ‘other’ codecs out there… hint hint… and now back to the regularly scheduled blog post…

Someone comes to help me with my iPod Touch problem, asks what happened, attempts the same troubleshooting that I attempted (power on and reset), with my permission walks away with it, and comes back and says, ‘yes, there is indeed a problem. There are 59 days left on the warrantee, and if it’s ok with you, we’re just going to replace it.’  The gentleman checked stock, came back with his iDevice for me to fill out a little info on, and handed me a brand new iPod Touch, after of course being apologetic as to the problem that I had, and reminding me to back up my devices.

Summation:  I showed up with a problem, no receipt, just a device and a description of the issue.  I leave 20 minutes later, with a new device, information as to how much longer I have on the warrantee, and even consideration as to potentially picking up Apple Care before the 59 days are up (you only get 90 days on the replacement item otherwise).  Wow, I’m impressed.  They took care of the issue, almost sold me on some browsing items, and I am still considering the Apple Care up-sell.  Other businesses could learn a few things about problem support.

To be fair though, I’ve had similar experiences with Dell, Iomega, and a few others though it was all done through phone, mail, and/or 3rd-party contractor support.  Can you imagine a retail store, like Best Buy for example, that you could take your items in to for free in-warranty support instead of having to contact the manufacturer or one of their support partners!?  And they keep your receipt records for you if necessary!?  That’s the brick and mortar shop that would easily get my business.  Especially if they could send me an expense summary at tax time.  Hey, it’s asking a lot, but as long as I’m asking. 🙂

Happy computing and thanks to Apple for making the support thing so painless for the consumer!

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