Let me start by saying, I am an Apple lover - a long time loyalist and evangelist.
I used to think Apple could never disappoint when it came to customer service. Maybe they have set the bar too high.
Today I made an appointment at the Apple store for 3:30 and expected the experience to be like it had been two years ago. Should I have expected otherwise? Instead of an easy check-in process for my appointment - i was met with a single file line about 10 deep of others trying to check in for their appointments. Why was there only one blue shirt in a sea of blue shirts checking people in? I’ve never waited on line at the Apple store before nor do I wait in line at the doctor’s office to check in for that matter. After waiting on the line for five minutes and only being halfway to the front, an idea hit me! Couldn’t I check in on my iphone with Apple’s app? I quickly navigated through the app store, downloaded the app, and checked in - and there were still four people ahead of me! I beat the line - or so I thought.
The app directed me to the genius bar and said someone was waiting to serve me - fantastic news. I passed by the others on the line and headed to the genius bar and proudly presented my iphone. One of the geniuses behind the bar told me that unfortunately there were still three people ahead of me but I should stay close by as it would only be a few minutes. 3:40….3:45….3:50….3:55….4:00. I stood there like others just waiting my turn. A sea of blue shirts had whizzed by me countless times - no eye contact. Finally, I stopped one who seemed to have the list of appointments and I asked - “Excuse me - where am I on the list to be seen by the genius (the doctor) - I have a 3:30 appointment.” He quickly looked up and down his ipad and told me that they had been looking for me but couldn’t find me despite the fact that I stood right by the bar where the other blue shirt had asked me to stand. He apologized. ”In the future,” he said, “when I check in through the app make sure I tell them red hat so it can help them find me.” I was puzzled because the app didn’t offer me that option and I stood right where I was asked.
4:05 - another blue shirt greeted me and asked how he could help. I told him I had two problems with my iphone - people were having trouble hearing me and the home button only worked intermittently. Easy enough - a hardware problem. Turns out, my phone was out of warranty by 100 days or so. But Apple is known for over-delivering on customer service and we have a business account with Apple. I anticipated after my long-wait, they would wow me with a replacement phone. It didn’t happen. For $149, I could have a replacement phone with a 90 day warranty. I was told that i shouldn’t expect more from my phone. A year and a half was a good run. The phones break down….it should be expected.
To make a long story a little less long, I spoke with a manager who told me that a Samsung Galaxy replacement would cost me $600 plus. Since when does Apple compare themselves to any other company? Again, I told him maybe my expectations were too high because of Apple’s history of over-delivering. He agreed - my expectations were too high. He told me that sometimes customers like me were unrealistic in their expectations.
4:20 … I left the Apple store with the same phone I walked in with, a little less confident in Apple’s ability to “do the insanely great.” I’ll probably return in a day or two and shell out the $149. This time, I’ll go and my expectations will be aligned with reality.
I decided to add Google TV to the office setup and settled on the Logitech Revue to accomplish it. Let’s be clear - Google TV has massive potential. I am able to search for anything - and it pulls up results from both TV and the Web. It seamlessly integrates the web into my TV experience. WebTV has finally arrived. Today, had a great session with the team reviewing Google Analytics through the Chrome browser on the big screen. Later, I used it to catch some market updates via Bloomberg TV - via Internet stream, not cable signal. Finally, it was time for Pandora as we wound down the day. I never had Apple TV personally but what I didn’t like about it when at a friend’s office was the inability to freely consume what I want to consume on the Web. Apple gets almost everything right, but in this case, Google has them beat. We’ll see what the future brings.
There was a time when I would organize all my photos on Picasa. This morning while talking to a friend about Google+ and the power of Google to use Picasa and other services to power usage of Google, we both acknowledged that we don’t use Picasa anymore. Why? The answer sits in the palm of your hands. The iPhone. The Mac. Apple. Steve Jobs.