Thursday, July 17, 2008

iPhone 3G

When a company can provide a sense of “eliteness” and community for its customers while at the same time offering excellent customer service, well in my opinion, they deserve a gold medal (maybe even a tax break). I ranted and raved in previous posts about how many companies have lost sight of the fact that rude and ignorant behavior does not gain you loyal customers. Yet, once again I must pat Apple and Steve Jobs on the back for a job well done.

A co-worker of my husband approached Edward a few weeks ago about purchasing my iPhone for the same price of the new 3G iPhone. Apparently, the now ancient first addition iPhone is hackable and provides him with an easy way of being part of the "in crowd" without having to change service providers. I was ecstatic to learn of this concocted deal as you all know my ass is incredibly cheap.

Last Saturday morning as I sprolled out on my couch with two cats and a puppy watching Beverly Hills 90201 (yes, I admit I’m obsessed) my husband decided to pick up breakfast and the new phone. Two hours and two episodes of 90201 later I called Edward to make sure he hadn’t ran away with the waitress at the diner. Nope he hadn’t, but he was still in line for the phone. Finally around noon he arrived home with the G3 and our bagels and coffees.

As I am probably the most impatient person on this planet I couldn’t understand why he didn’t turn and walk away from the Apple line when he saw it was wrapped around the corner. Apparently he didn’t mind. In line he got talking with the guys behind him. The excitement of the purchase completely outweighed the wait. These people were part of a community of Apple devotees all willing to wait hours (even overnight) in the middle of summer and drop a few hundred dollars to be one of the first people to own the new G3.

But why? What has Apple done to create such a loyal following? Customer service…. check. Here’s an example – a few months ago I notice broken pixels popping up on my laptop screen. I called Apple support and even though my warranty was up they replaced the screen for free. Great software… check. Incredible synchronization… check. User friendly…. check. Not once since owning a Mac computer have I lost data, been infected by a virus, or had the notorious “fatal error.” Where as with my work PC, every day is a new problem. I honestly want to throw that f’ing Dell out my 38th story window.

Maybe it’s about time for FedEx and to study companies such as Apple and discover where they have gone wrong.

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