Thursday, March 17, 2011
The short answer is because they invent creative, useful products, and they excel at customer service. Let me tell you why my wife is now an Apple girl for life, after a horrid accident with her iPad yesterday.
She bought her first Apple product a few years ago…a small iPod Shuffle…and liked it so much she added an iPod Touch to her arsenal a few months later. Just under a year ago, the very first day the iPad came out, she went to the Apple Store at West Towne Mall, plunked down her six hundred bucks, and has been attached to it, almost literally, since that day. I liked her iPad so much that I plunked down another six hundred bucks and got my own. With some help (well, a lot of help) from my friend Steve, hooking the iPad up with Google MailFetch, the iPad has become an indispensable business tool for me. Now, my office can be anywhere there’s wi-fi.
Yesterday, my wife dropped her iPad. Dinged it up pretty good; bent the case near the off-on switch. It worked OK last night, but this morning she called from work, distressed. Her beloved iPad had lost its mind and was doing crazy things. She called and took the first available appointment at the Apple Genius Bar (great name!) at the Apple Store.
There, the bad news was dispensed, with appropriate hushed tones. Her machine was damaged beyond the ability of the geniuses in Madison to repair. There was some talk of “non-Apple businesses” which might help, but my wife was not interested. She wanted to deal only with Apple people, and wanted to know what the genius would do if it were his iPad. He said “I’d replace it; and we can do that for you, at the now-discounted price of $299 for your version of the iPad.” My forlorn spouse gave a large sigh, and dejectedly told the genius that she’d need to check in with central (me) before spending three hundred bucks. I’m sure she looked horribly sad to the young genius.
My wife and I have a long-standing agreement that when either of us is about to pull the trigger on anything costing more than a hundred bucks, we notify each other. It has almost everything to do with courtesy and very little to do with money, but that’s our deal. She called me, and thank God, I was in the shower and didn’t answer the phone. She left me a message with the bad news, and then went to tell the young genius that she wanted to think about it for a while.
He said “while you were talking with your husband, I shared your problem with some other folks here, and I have an alternate suggestion.” He said while the warranty (1 year, which expires in 16 days) does not cover problems caused when a customer drops the iPad, (technically, it’s abuse) they’d like to simply replace her iPad…with an identical model…at no charge, under a special program that Apple sometimes uses. She delightedly agreed and thanked the young genius…and all the other geniuses…profusely, and then called me (I was out of the shower and dressed by then, ready for a dentist appointment) with the good news.
She’ll bring her new iPad home with her tonight, and “synch” it with her desktop computer while we watch the Badgers go one-and-done, so it will have all her iTunes music, photos, programs, and all the “apps” she’s purchased through the Apple store.
The name of the special program under which Apple replaced her iPad at no charge is “Surprise and Delight.” It’s printed on her no-charge invoice.
Surprise and delight. And that’s one of the many reasons my wife will be an Apple girl forever.
Posted by Tim Morrissey at 2:46 PM