November 05, 2003
How Apple Lost my Business Today
Today, Apple lost any chance of getting my business. What seemed to be a simple tech support experience ended up having me feel very uncomfortable and upset. I would have expected more from Apple, but if that is how they treat potential customers, forget it.
Maybe I should explain. Getting ready for my trip next week I decided I wanted to rip my Diana Krall and Chris Botti CDs to MP3. Alan recommended I should try iTunes as it apparently does it well. Sounded like a good idea, since I was looking to buy an iPod anyways, and may as well make sure all this software works together.
After installing iTunes and rebooting, I gave it a try. Nothing. Nada. iTunes does not seem to recognize my CDs. It plays MP3s fine, but it just doesn't seem to want to rip them. We scoured the newsgroups and found a few posts about others having issues, and was told that there was an update to fix it. Well, I am running 4.1.1 which seemed to be the newest, but just in case I tried to update. No new updates. Ok, so I am up to date with the software.
Alan found a good entry in which a few people had the same problem. Ok, so I am not alone. Thats good to know.. since Alan and the crew haven't had any difficulties and I thought it was just bad iTunes-foo. I tried all the suggestions in the posts, to no avail. In a last ditch effort, I called the Apple Support phone number that was in one of the posts.
The initial call was pleasant. The front line guy figured out I needed to go to the "iTune for Windows team" and passed me through. Seemed harmless enough... until I got to the next guy.
He started by taking my info. Then asked "So what is wrong with your iPod". I explained that I didn't own one yet, and that I was trying to get iTunes to work before I went and bought one. Silence. A dead silence. A sigh (you know the ones, where you think someone just died) and then the doozy... "you will have to go buy one first and use the complimentary 90 day telephone service. I need the serial number from the back".
Now on the surface, there is nothing wrong with that. I haven't actually purchased anything yet, so I can understand support is limited. (Well, non existant in this case) That didn't bother me; it was the way he said it, and the fact that I just told him I am looking to buy the iPod but wanted to ensure the software is going to work. If Apple wants to win me over, they should be trying to do everything to make sure the software runs. Or atleast be polite and cheerful and not make me, the customer who is going to potentially buys something, feel like I did something wrong.
When on the phone your tone of voice makes up more than 80% of how I will feel about the experience. Do it wrong, and you do not have a satisified customer.
I am so unsatisified that I am NOT only going to forget about buying the iPod, I am going to take the money I am saving up for my iBook and using it to buy something else, such as a TabletPC. Maybe Microsoft doesn't have the greatest software, but at least their pre-sales support WANTS to make me happy.
With my griping now done, I will go try to find some other Windows software that will rip CDs for me right to MP3 for free. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.Posted by SilverStr at November 5, 2003 12:36 PM | TrackBack