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kdjusa
Jun 21, 2009, 08:13 PM
So, I'm considering sending this complaint letter to Apple. Although kind of long, I'd be interested in your suggestions or comments. Am I being ridiculous? Here's the letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

As a loyal Apple customer, and one who knows first hand the company's dedication to customer satisfaction, it frustrates me to have to write this letter.

Beginning with an Apple II+ in the early 80's, and continuing through my brief employment as a "Mac Specialist" at the __________ location under the direction of then manager _____________, I, like many, have come to understand that Apple's product superiority is surpassed only by its customer service. It is, therefore, with this backdrop that I am writing this letter to express my dissatisfaction with two recent experiences at the _____________ store.

The first was when I went to the store last week due to the fact that my iPhone charging cable had stopped working within my first year of ownership. I spoke with an employee named, "Drew," (who I believe was a “concierge”) who explained that the decision to replace a defective charging cable is considered on a case by case basis, seemingly based on a subjective determination of whether the visible "wear and tear" appears "normal." I explained to Drew that within the first two months of owning my phone, the rubber wire housing began to detach from both ends of the cable, thereby exposing the wires, and that I had not abused the cable in any unreasonable or unanticipated manner. As an attorney, the only abuse the cable receives is placing it in and out of my briefcase. Please know that my father, who is also a professional, an iPhone owner, and all around “Apple junky,” experienced the same problem with his cable. Notwithstanding my explanation, Drew chose not to replace the cable. As you may imagine, I was quite surprised by this encounter, as it was hugely inconsistent with my previous Apple experience. I left disappointed and drove the fifteen minutes to the ______________ Apple store where "John," a manager, did not hesitate to replace the cable. As you may imagine, by that time, it was not about a $20.00 part, but rather a matter of principle.

My second disappointment came last night when I accompanied my sister and brother-in-law to the same Apple store to help answer some of his questions, familiarize him with a Mac, and to likely help him purchase several computers in order to “upgrade” his dental practice from PC to Apple. When we arrived at the store at 7:00 p.m., there was a line of approximately fifteen people outside the store waiting to purchase an iPhone 3GS. One of the staff members outside, whose name I don't recall, refused to let us in the store to allow my brother-in-law to look at a computer due to the fact that the store was, "understaffed," and because he did not want to have to stay past closing that evening like he, and others, had to do the previous night due to iPhone sales. However, a view into the store revealed only a handful of customers, mainly situated in the back near the Genius Bar. We explained to the employee that my sister had hired a baby sitter that night for the sole purpose of coming to the Apple store to provide her husband the opportunity to familiarize himself with a Mac, and to purchase several computers, if possible. Given the fact that the entire front of the store was effectively vacant, and we were the only non-iPhone customers interested in coming into the store, we pleaded with this employee if he would please allow us just a few minutes to browse the computers so that I could explain and demonstrate to my brother-in-law the benefits of the OS X operating system. Sadly, we were denied entrance to the store and my brother-in-law left very discouraged by his first Apple experience.

Please know that I do not feel that I am entitled to preferential treatment. I do, however, feel that both recent incidents at the ____________location, while not egregious, do represent poor customer service choices. At the risk of sounding arrogant, my brother-in-law and I are not the types of customers that your company would want to alienate. Mike was prepared to spend upwards of $10,000.00 that evening to upgrade his entire dental practice. Should he choose to still do so, you will likely have a customer for life who will, no doubt, spend handsomely in the future. Aside from encouraging my law firm to convert our office to Mac, I can think of five acquaintances off the top of my head that have purchased an Apple computer at my suggestion in the last two years. Do I think Apple's stock value will rise and fall based on the decisions made in these two instances? Obviously not. However, I do believe a large part of Apple's success and atypical loyalty derives itself equally by its products as much as it does its thoughtful consideration of its customer base.

Therefore, if this letter accomplishes nothing else, I would hope that it would cause you, the store manager of ___________, to remind your employees of a lesson imparted to me by my former boss at Apple, and that is the company's commitment to customer satisfaction and hopefully an encouragement to exercise reasonable judgment in the future.

Dmac77
Jun 21, 2009, 08:57 PM
I think it's very well worded, and it's not arrogant sounding at all. It says that you were ticked with the treatment you received from that Apple Store, and that their employees need to get their attitudes in line. You can also call Apple Customer Relations at (408) 974-2042 and voice your concerns.

Don

kdjusa
Jun 21, 2009, 09:28 PM
Thanks for the feedback Dmac. I figured nobody would take the time to read it. Truthfully, I can't blame them. Thanks Again.

iVeBeenDrinkin'
Jun 21, 2009, 09:30 PM
I read it, it's good. I hope somebody listens.

kdjusa
Jun 21, 2009, 09:36 PM
I read it, it's good. I hope somebody listens.

Thank you as well.

Macky-Mac
Jun 21, 2009, 09:49 PM
I think it's too long, too wordy and.....and what are you asking them to do actually?

stonyc
Jun 22, 2009, 06:11 PM
I think it's too long, too wordy and.....and what are you asking them to do actually?

Therefore, if this letter accomplishes nothing else, I would hope that it would cause you, the store manager of ___________, to remind your employees of a lesson imparted to me by my former boss at Apple, and that is the company's commitment to customer satisfaction and hopefully an encouragement to exercise reasonable judgment in the future.

It could use a little editing to cut down on some superfluous parts... but overall, nicely worded and descriptive (lawyer you say? :)) and doesn't ask for anything un-reasonable.

Ntombi
Jun 22, 2009, 06:25 PM
I think it was clear, if a bit wordy, and gives them the names and location of the less than stellar service. Good job.

Frisco
Jun 22, 2009, 07:32 PM
It seems Apple's Tech Support/Customer Service is no better than Dells.

Apple has really fallen.

agl82
Jun 22, 2009, 07:32 PM
.

Tankgunk
Jun 22, 2009, 09:55 PM
It seems Apple's Tech Support/Customer Service is no better than Dells.

Apple has really fallen.

I don't think that's true overall. I had my MBP repaired a while back, and it worked out great. However, when I tried to get the crap screen on my iPod taken care of, I spent at least two hours on the phone (serious, the serial number on my iPod was different than my receipt), and though they finally fixed my serial number problem, they said nothing was wrong with the screen. Admittedly, I haven't noticed the screen problem for months (though I probably will for the next couple of days now), it just has a little bit of that inverted black problem, and when the screen is totally black and you're in a dim room, it looks like the Milky Way... I take this as proof that the decline in support quality, especially for iPhones and iPods, is because of the sheer increase in market share, leading to an increase in customer support needs, and Apple has yet to deal with it appropriately.

Also, time spent on the phone trying to get my iPod fixed was not as bad as Dell. I recommended a Dell laptop to my mom around a year ago (yeah, I know, but she's not made of money and she just needed the internet). It pretty much stopped working recently, and I spent three hours on the phone/in chat with Dell before they mailed her a box (which they tried to charge her for), and when it came back they had fixed almost all the issues, but there was a note that said that they didn't have any batteries in stock, so they were going to send a new one directly to us. Been a month and she's seen no battery. I told her to call them, we'll see what happens.

Granted, Dell seems better at repairing laptops than Apple is at repairing iPods. And Apple stores are not places I like to be, mostly because it seems like a place you'd not be welcome if you acknowledge that Windows has it's uses. Online shopping FTW.

Man, I hate long posts. Sorry.

agl82
Jun 23, 2009, 09:49 PM
.

war eagle
Jun 24, 2009, 01:01 AM
The second incident, you're not the only one. They did this last year with the 3G iPhone also. It sucks, but that's how they have decided to handle it. You're wasting your time IMO, all they are gonna do is slap em on the wrist and say dont do it again.

103734
Jun 24, 2009, 03:08 AM
I do agree with your first complaint, but the second one not so much.

I have a cousin that has been working in Apple Stores for about 4-5 years and the days around a iPhone launch are very busy for them, its not like they just open the store and sell them they have familiarize the employees with the activation and purchase system, and prepare the store for the launch (at least last year I know they did). Just because you looked into the store and it didn't look busy to you doesn't mean it wasn't.

Also they normally have guidelines set by people higher up in command that are not at the retail store, and the store workers can't make exceptions. While you think this may be a bad way of handling things this wasn't just a spur of the moment thing, most likely there was a team hammering out ideas on how to handle the launch weeks in advance.

Btw would cut all of this, as you say yourself "Do I think Apple's stock value will rise and fall based on the decisions made in these two instances? Obviously not.", your likely to get the same exact response if you include this part or not, and I fell this part has a arrogant tone to it, like your saying "if this is not taken care of I will not convince X to convert to Apple products".
At the risk of sounding arrogant, my brother-in-law and I are not the types of customers that your company would want to alienate. Mike was prepared to spend upwards of $10,000.00 that evening to upgrade his entire dental practice. Should he choose to still do so, you will likely have a customer for life who will, no doubt, spend handsomely in the future. Aside from encouraging my law firm to convert our office to Mac, I can think of five acquaintances off the top of my head that have purchased an Apple computer at my suggestion in the last two years. Do I think Apple's stock value will rise and fall based on the decisions made in these two instances? Obviously not. However, I do believe a large part of Apple's success and atypical loyalty derives itself equally by its products as much as it does its thoughtful consideration of its customer base.

Therefore, if this letter accomplishes nothing else, I would hope that it would cause you, the store manager of ___________, to remind your employees of a lesson imparted to me by my former boss at Apple, and that is the company's commitment to customer satisfaction and hopefully an encouragement to exercise reasonable judgment in the future.

MacAndy74
Jun 24, 2009, 03:12 AM
Cut it by 3/4 at least. It's too long. Seriously consider using dot points to make your main points and be clear about the outcome you expect.

Just trying to help. :o

-Also, if you use 'and' then you don't need to use a ',' Use either but not both.
-You say 'As an attorney' - are you really an attorney? Obviously you're trying to establish 'strength of character' in your letter, but do you want Apple to deal with you as a legal threat or customer? Make that clear in your mind before you send.
-The part about stock prices. No. Doesn't belong in this letter and is petty.

edesignuk
Jun 24, 2009, 03:15 AM
I think it's a good, well thought out letter (shockingly, for an attorney :p).

Get it sent! :)

spillproof
Jun 24, 2009, 03:25 AM
Very well written. HOWEVER, I was immediately put off by the fact you said you were an attorney. The comma in a sentence is meant to momentarily pause you, well in that pause after "As an attorney," seemed threatening to me, like you were going to sue or use your attorney powers if you didn't get a new cable and demand better service.

Sorry, you asked for opinions and there is mine. I have nothing against attorneys by the way. But I am always thrown off by people who make arguments and state that they are an attorney, lawyer, prosecutor, or anything relating to law when it is irrelevant to the discussion.

Otherwise, good start, and good luck.

103734
Jun 24, 2009, 03:30 AM
Very well written. HOWEVER, I was immediately put off by the fact you said you were an attorney. It seemed threatening to me, like you were going to sue or use your attorney powers if you didn't get a new cable.

Sorry. I have nothing against attorneys, I have family members who are partners, but I am always thrown off by people who make arguments and state that they are an attorney when it is irrelevant to the discussion.

Otherwise, good start, and good luck.

I also forgot to mention this, the fact that your an attorney really doesn't add to the complaint except for making your sound more threatening. You could just leave that part out and I would understand that you are careful with the charger.

Tomorrow
Jun 24, 2009, 11:14 AM
Because you asked...

Your complaint about the iPhone cord - I've been tossing one of these into my briefcase for years (assuming it's the same cord that comes with an iPod) and I've never had a problem. The issue you described doesn't sound like a manufacturer's defect as much as wear and tear. But then again, I haven't seen it.

Your complaint about not being allowed in the store - I wasn't there, and I didn't see what was going on, but commercial and retail occupancies are only allowed so many people inside based on fire codes. I don't know whether this was the case on the day you went, but I have seen that issue arise several times at stores, restaurants, etc. I don't think this was Apple's doing.

Regarding your letter's tone, it doesn't come off as completely arrogant to me, but it does come off as absolutely threatening.

As an attorney,...

...for the sole purpose of coming to the Apple store to provide her husband the opportunity to familiarize himself with a Mac, and to purchase several computers, if possible.

Please know that I do not feel that I am entitled to preferential treatment.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, my brother-in-law and I are not the types of customers that your company would want to alienate. Mike was prepared to spend upwards of $10,000.00 that evening to upgrade his entire dental practice.


Regardless of how you intended for these to sound to the reader, I sensed some hostility and the threat of taking your business elsewhere, and of influencing others to do the same.

IMO, there's no need to bring up the fact that you're an attorney.

IMO, there's no need to mention whether you feel entitled to preferential treatment. This makes me think of the guy who commits a foul then immediately throws his hands up and looks around as if to say, "I didn't do it!"

And if I were the addressee of your letter, telling me that you're not the kind of customer I would want to alienate is the surest way to alienate me from you.

Not to mention the fact that if your issues were with employees at an Apple store, you could solve this whole problem by not going back to that store.