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Old Oct 17, 2007, 05:58 PM   #1
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Horrible customer service: Who at Apple should I contact?

I know this is a bit winded, but here is a copy of an email I sent to sjobs@apple.com (which I know isn't actually Steve, just a couple of his high-level execs):

I've had a run-in with some very horrible support from an Apple CSR. Some woman answered my call for tech support for my iPod Video 30GB (5G) who could barely speak and/or understand English, which is usually the norm for tech support centers, but whatever. I continued on with trying to explain to her what my problem was after giving her the serial number. I explained to her several times that my iPod was in an endless restart loop, which happened after trying to upgrade the firmware. I also explained to her several times that I had tried resetting my iPod with the Menu/Select method, which only ended up prolonging the endless restarting. I told her I can't put it into disk mode, or diagnostic mode, so I can't connect it to my computer to set it back to factory settings either. I really can't do anything with it at all. The battery ran down on a completely full charge in 45 minutes because the restarting took up so much power. I tried charging it, also to no avail, because it told me "Very low battery. Please wait." I waited for a while, and again the telltale Apple logo appeared when it started to turn on. It went off on its tangent rebooting again, and it took so much power that it couldn't even finish charging. It charges for about a minute and a half and then, because rebooting is using so much power, goes right back to the "very low battery" screen.

After I was basically winded from explaining this a few times, she says, "well, your iPod is out of warranty. You have two options. One is free, and the other is [some odd amount] dollars, which will give you 30 days of support" and blah blah blah. I opted for the free one, since I don't want to pay to have my iPod replaced, and all I was doing was using Apple's software, to upgrade their own iPod, which ended up getting bricked because I was upgrading to the latest version. She gave me two support numbers which I could type in the search box at apple.com/support. I said thanks, got off the phone, and went and typed in the article numbers. I was furious! The first one, 61705, was a noobie article for resetting your iPod, which I told her I had done. She obviously never realized I had told her this several times. The other article number was 60983, which is instructions on how to restore your iPod to factory settings, which involves connecting your iPod to your computer. I told her I couldn't put it in disk mode, and it never got past the Apple logo starting up, so how in the world am I supposed to restore it to factory settings without being able to connect it to my computer? My computer doesn't recognize my iPod because all it's in the mood to do is reboot.

I'm a heavy Apple fan, always have been. I have never had a problem with an Apple product in my life, and the one time I do I get an Apple CSR who can barely speak English and obviously either thinks I am a moron for giving me redundant support articles, or never understood I had already tried to do so in the first place. I understand it's out of warranty, but still, is that honestly how I have to be treated?
So that's my issue. Is there anything else that can be done about this? I sent this email at about 9:30PM (EST) last night and haven't got a response back, most people say they respond withing 24hrs.

Thanks in advance, and sorry if my email was really long-winded,
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Old Oct 17, 2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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The email address you used is mentioned frequently on the forums here, especially with all of the iPhone controversy going on. "Email sjobs@apple.com and tell him you want 3rd party apps." "Email sjobs@apple.com and tell him you want an unlocked iPhone". "Email sjobs@apple.com and tell him you want a bigger educational discount on the 10.5 upgrade".

Honestly, with all of the crap being sent to that account, I'm surprised ANYONE gets a real response back.

But it does seem to occasionally happen.

Like you guessed, the account is probably staffed by a few Customer Relations folks. Give it some time.

But I'm not sure what you're expecting from them. A free repair because your iPod died outside of its warranty period doing a software update?
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Old Oct 17, 2007, 06:37 PM   #3
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I successfully got an iPod replaced by sending an email to that address. They called me like a day after I sent it.
"how do you win $ 1.6 M at a quarter slot?
that's 6.4 millions coins shooting out of the slot. they could have killed her!!!"

-- Don't Panic
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Old Oct 17, 2007, 06:40 PM   #4
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If the OP is near any of the Apple Stores in Ohio, I'd suggest taking it there. Granted, it's OOW, but applying a factory-recommended update shouldn't "brick" an otherwise unmodified iPod. It sounds like a firmware failure somewhere, and possibly would be a paid repair at this point, but nonetheless, basic customer relations should at the very least allow for a thorough and specific examination of the unit, courteously and at no charge.

If a physical component failed, that's another story, but once again, if I apply an Apple-supplied update or patch to my iWhatever, it shouldn't kill it.

Like aristobrat mentioned, though, just because you send an email to someone that receives thousands of emails a day didn't respond within 12 hours, doesn't mean you are being ignored. Consider more appropriate and realistic escalation techniques.

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Old Oct 17, 2007, 06:47 PM   #5
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Wow surprisingly I got not an email, but a call from a guy at the Apple office of corporate executive relations. Basically since my iPod was about 10 months out of warranty he said all he could offer me at the moment was $60 off a new or refurb iPod online. He was going to check with his supervisors and/or boss and see if there was anything more he could do but beyond that there probably wasn't a whole lot. I was definitely surprised to get a call.
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