Talk to important people?

philbert

Registered
Our little friends tell us that folks from Apple visit us on a daily basis. Here is a great place to give or seek feedback about all things mac related in hopes someone important might read it.
Um, if important people at Apple were interested in hearing from us they would have easily accessible contact info on their own site?

Example: Just last night I considered joining the iTunes affiliate program. Stingy details in the sales copy, and no way to contact an affiliate manager/support person. They want you to go to another site Linkshare, and complete a bunch of detailed signup forms, before you learn the details. I doubt you ever get to actually talk to any real person about the affiliate program.

Don't mean to be cynical, Apple doesn't owe me doodly. But I don't think they have much interest in hearing what we have to say...
 

ksv

web developer
philbert said:
Um, if important people at Apple were interested in hearing from us they would have easily accessible contact info on their own site?

Example: Just last night I considered joining the iTunes affiliate program. Stingy details in the sales copy, and no way to contact an affiliate manager/support person. They want you to go to another site Linkshare, and complete a bunch of detailed signup forms, before you learn the details. I doubt you ever get to actually talk to any real person about the affiliate program.

Don't mean to be cynical, Apple doesn't owe me doodly. But I don't think they have much interest in hearing what we have to say...
http://www.apple.com/feedback/
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
philbert said:
Don't mean to be cynical, Apple doesn't owe me doodly. But I don't think they have much interest in hearing what we have to say...
Every company is interested in what their customers have to say -- it would be ridiculous to think that Apple just forges their own way no matter what their customers think. They are constantly implementing common suggestions, like sub-folders in iPhoto, more device compatibility in iSync, etc.

You are one user out of millions. Apple cannot be expected to appease the desires of one, single user. If your desire is common among more than a handful of users, there is no doubt that Apple will consider whatever it is.

I use the words "you" and "your" in a general sense to mean "Macintosh users in general" -- nothing personal.
 

philbert

Registered
Hmm. Well OK, just for the sake of rant thread building :) here's another little example from repeated personal experience that tells me that Apple is not too interested in hearing from us. If you haven't had this experience, and don't share my theory, that's OK, no problem, I'm just sharing one user's perspective, that's all.

About every other Mac I buy from Apple arrives here with something broken. Not in my opinion, in the opinion of the certified warranty techs who replace the broken part at Apple's expense.

Quality control is another subject, let's step over it for now.

The point is that in none of these instances has anybody from Apple ever offered me an apology of any kind for the extra trouble I had to take to fix _their_ broken stuff.

They know the warranty repair was done, they paid for it. They have my mailing address, my phone, my email.

If Apple was interested in having a relationship with me, they would have sent a mass produced post card, or email etc, expressing their regret.

If you find this to be a quibbling complaint, then try this.

I have some almost but not quite finished Perl programs here. Buy them from me. Give me your money. When my not ready for prime time programs crash, and bring your web site down, I will honor warranty, but not apologize. Am I interested in my relationship with you, or not? How interested are you at this point?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
If you take your PowerBook (just an example) to the dealer you've bought it from for a warranty repair and he sends it off to Apple, it's repaired and gets back to you, it's the dealer's duty to apologise. He's your contact, not Apple. If you truly want Apple to have an "apology division", I think that'd be wrong. A mass produced post card or an anonymous e-mail message probably would get on people's nerves more than they'd feel better... I'm not saying they couldn't do better, but I think the key is to assure quality control rather than investing in the apology-business. ;)
 

philbert

Registered
Right, I understand, I do think you've summarized Apple's point of view well.

The "dealer" I bought my macs from is the Apple web site.

Again, if you like this system where a company sells you broken stuff and doesn't apologize, I would welcome you as a customer. I have lots of broken stuff I'd be happy to sell you under those terms. :)
 

cfleck

tired
So you want an apology because what they sold you was broken. They fixed it under warranty, but you need that apology. Interesting.

If I take back a broken dvd player to Wal-mart, I don't get an apology from the the clerk behind the counter, nor do I expect one. Maybe that is just how I am, but it seems a bit silly to expect apologies.

I'm not trying to be friends with the companies I deal with, nor or they seeking to hang out with me.

Now if I call the apple store, tell them my order and they get it wrong, an apology MAY be in order. That is it might be nice to hear the person on the other side of the phone say "I'm sorry, but I must have not heard you correctly." Done.

Now if they send me that G5 I ordered and the hard drive is DOA. I send it back, they send me a new one. Grand! What else is there? "I'm sorry, but as the telephone order dude, I had no hand in picking your hard drive, but please except my apologies on behalf of hitachi for making a defective unit." Spare me.

You make it sound like every mac they sell is defective, and they do it on purpose.
 

cfleck

tired
And to follow that, if you sold me software you knew didn't work, we'd just be going to court or you'd be giving my money back. The apology would go where the sun doesn't shine.
 

philbert

Registered
Ok, whatever. I understand your position, because I get it everytime I deal with Apple.

You are completely entitled to your view, and I do think what you've said does pretty accurately represent the Apple culture.

No, every Mac is not defective. Only about half of them in my experience. No, they don't do it on purpose. Sloppy quality control, lack of concern with their reputation, that's all. And yes, they do honor their warranties, I can certify that.

So, if it doesn't bother you to spend your time fixing other people's mistakes, you are all set.

I know you feel you are defending Apple, and I concur with your sentiment. But from my point of view, there is no reason for Apple to exist if they are going to mimick the mediocrity of the other manufacturers. You seem to have lost the Apple dream, which I can understand. I still hang on to a thread of sentiment that Apple can and should be better than everybody else, and that creates a reason for it's existence.

It's hard to be better than everybody else, or be perceived to be better, when you've forgotten about normal common everyday courtesy. I make a mistake, I fix it, I say sorry to those inconvenienced. Business Diplomacy 101, very simple stuff. The kids at the lemonade stand get it.

I'm supporting the original Apple dream, you are supporting and encouraging the path to failure.

Imho, of course.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
"You seem to have lost the Apple dream." ... ? ... The original "Apple dream", if there is any, is to create "computers for the rest of us". I'm part of that rest, it seems. I'm still part of that dream. Has nothing to do with apologies. Again: Yes, quality control must be improved (always, anyway). But apologies are just that. And not needed. Apple needs to sell products that aren't faulty. But if they _do_ ship faulty products, they need to quickly replace or fix them. No apology needed. That's not a path to mediocrity, btw., but a path to good support.
 

cfleck

tired
This has nothing to do with apple, actually. I'm saying it's completely ridiculous to expect a company, any company, to apologize when a product is defective. These things happen. You even mentioned in one of your posts that QC is another issue, so I'm not touching that.

It sounds to me like you are living in the Apple dream by expecting them (and seemingly only them) to issue apologies for defective units. If you expect the same from Hoover and GE maybe it's just that you hold companies to higher standards or need a self-esteem boost from them, but it seems you are stuck on Apple being your best friend and hand delivering your unit.

Not gonna happen.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
I don't think there's anything wrong with expecting some sort of apology if someone sells you a dodgy item. Cfleck why is it so ridiculous to expect someone to say or write the equivalent of sorry we sent you a dud, it shouldn't have happened. That doesn't mean that the customer wants to be friends or expect hand delivered equipment. If you walked into a restaurant/pub/highstreet shop and paid for an item/meal/drink that turned out to be dodgy, you would get an apology. Why exclude a large company from this?
 

kainjow

Registered
If a company is smart, they will apologize for the problems they have caused to the customer. They have "wasted" the customer's time, so they should at least realize this, and take a look at it from the customer's view, and admit their mistake. If done so properly, with good manners, then this will cause the customer to better enjoy the service and support, and the customer will mention it to other people, who will see the company in good light, and consider or even make a purchase from them. So in the end, a 5 second apology can go a long way, even if it's just the customer service rep on the other line saying it, or a formal letter to the customer. It really is Business 101.

Now you shouldn't go around expecting apologies from every company/person who isn't perfect. If you are, then you will be greatly disappointed.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I still think expecting an apology is wishing for a little much. Do you want your boss to make you say aloud, "I'm sorry," when you make a little boo-boo at work? No -- I'm sure the boss just expects you to fix it and carry on... not make a vocal, public redemption of your character every time something doesn't turn out as intended.

If I get a bad unit from Apple, all I want is the problem to be fixed in a courteous, speedy manner, which they usually do. Unless someone is rude, out-of-line or downright condescending to me, I don't wanna hear, "I'm sorry," because, as you say, that's my 5 seconds that they're wasting when they could begin processing the repair.

Why is it so important to hear/read the words, "I'm sorry"? Isn't it an implied apology when Apple fixes your unit? From what I hear, they do make house calls, do not charge shipping (when other companies do) and do it quickly and efficiently. Screw the apology -- no one screwed up! Defects are a fact of life and expecting every machine that rolls off the assembly line to function perfectly is more wishful thinking. Some bad units get shipped, and Apple replaces/repairs them willingly, without incident, and in a timely and courteous manner. Plus, one, single person is not responsible for the defective unit -- expecting someone to apologize on behalf of Apple is, yes, even more wishful thinking.

Admission of a mistake is not the same thing as an apology. Apple fixing computers long out of warranty is an admission of a mistake and no apology is needed nor warranted. Just retroactive and proactive actions to rectify the situation.

Sorry to be blunt/rude, but it seems to me that people that demand apologies for minor, little, petty stuff like a defective unit act like they need their egos inflated more than a working computer.

Now, before we continue this thread, I'd like a full apology for this site being down once or twice in the past few years for more than an hour at a time. It severely inconvenienced me and, being the upstanding system administrators that you are, should email or PM me an immediate apology.
:rolleyes:
 

pds

Registered
Philbert - come to Egypt for a couple of weeks. You'll be so sick and tired of the words "Ana Aisef" - "I'm sorry." you won't ever want to hear them again. ;)

The only real apology needed is to get things back in shape, quickly. When they speedily send you a replacement, that's a apology in action - much better than the words.

And when they tighten up QC and ship better products, that's a apology in action too. The iBook Logic Board Replacement Policy - an apology in action that I have had to avail to twice. The iBook G4 - another apology in action, a solution to a problem they found.

I agree that build quality is not what it used to be (though still better than most). I too hope for an apology - but in action, not in words.
 

cfleck

tired
Cfleck why is it so ridiculous to expect someone to say or write the equivalent of sorry we sent you a dud, it shouldn't have happened. That doesn't mean that the customer wants to be friends or expect hand delivered equipment. If you walked into a restaurant/pub/highstreet shop and paid for an item/meal/drink that turned out to be dodgy, you would get an apology.
It is ridiculous to expect because it doesn't happen and the poster in questions seems to think since Apple is so cool, that they should. If companies apologizing for defective products was common practice the tune would change, I assure you.

I don't feel like your pub analogy holds water here on a couple of fronts. For one, on the majority, you aren't talking about apologizing for bad food. You are talking about bad service in a personal atmosphere.

Add to that the fact that most of the time you are talking about the server doing the apologizing and I'd have a hard time believing that isn't 90% due to wanting to salvage some sort of tip.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
We don't tip in Ireland we pay a service charge, so an apology is just that, an apology. Bad service is bad service, simple as that. You pay for goods/service and you don't get what you were promised. In my opinion thats grounds for a quick apology and action to rectify the situation. No fuss no muss. I don't care if it's Apple or a highstreet shop. If you bought a car with a fault, a book missing a couple of pages, football boots that ripped etc. etc., you would get some sort of apology and then prompt repairs. This is no different than Apple selling you a unit with a fault.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I bought a car with a fault. The passenger-side door wasn't aligned properly -- I noticed this about 2 days after purchasing the car. The service shop fixed it. No one said they were sorry. None of the people who serviced the car were at fault for the faulty door hinges. I didn't get an apology, nor did I expect one.

I have a subscription to Newsweek magazine. On more than one occasion, I've received an issue that was mangled in the mail, making more than one page unreadable. I called Newsweek and they promptly mailed me another copy of the issue. I didn't get an apology because it wasn't Newsweek's fault -- they have no control over the USPS. I got my new copy of the issue and all was well. Wasn't expecting an apology.

One time I also purchased some size 10 1/2 shoes, and when I got home, the shoes in the box were size 10. Took 'em back, got 'em replaced. No apology offered, no apology expected. Even if the employee handling my case said, "I'm sorry," I would have said, "No apology needed -- these things happen" or "Don't worry about it, I undertstand." If he hadn't said any of these things, hey, cool, I would have gotten my replacement shoes a few seconds faster and been happier than had he offered me an apology.

Now, none of the examples you've talked about constitute "bad service." The fault with the car is probably a manufacturing mistake -- no one gave you "bad service." A book missing a couple pages was probably an error at the printing plant -- that's not "bad service." Shoes that aren't perfect probably occurred at the manufacturing plant as well -- again, no "bad service" there, either.

"Bad service" would be me taking my faulty boots back to the shoe store, informing the employees/customer service people that the shoes are faulty and explain my want of a new pair of shoes, and the emloyee giving me attitude or being rude in some way. That's bad service, and an apology from the manager and/or employee would be in short order, I'm sure.

Getting a defective unit is not bad service -- it's an unavoidable reality because no manufacturing process is perfect. It sounds like some people are confusing a fact of life with "bad service" when the two are completely different. Apologies are needed when someone blatantly screws up, or when they're rude for no good reason, or when they unintentionally or intentionally hurt you. Getting a computer that is faulty doesn't fit into any of those categories.

Now, when it comes time to get your computer replaced because of the defect, the process should go smoothly and the people you deal with should be courteous (but not ass-kissing, please don't expect that either) and prompt. If they're rude, or tell you your feet stink, or make jokes about your mother, then an apology would be warranted. But until then, the apology is implied in the process of making what was wrong right.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
No prob -- you and I disagree some of the time, but on something like this, I just don't see how someone thinks that they're entitled to anything other than swift and courteous repair/replacement -- especially an apology, when the person actually saying, "I'm sorry," really isn't sorry at all (after all, they're just doing their job -- they didn't cause you the distress)... what meaning does that apology have then?
 
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