Customer Service – One reason that I don’t mind paying the “Apple Tax”

I have had a few phones in my time, and the latest is my iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve had it for about 2 1/2 years now, and until about a month ago it was performing well.

Then things started to go wrong. We all know about the infamous Touch Disease, but that’s not what my phone had. Well, that wasn’t the only problem at least. With my phone, I didn’t get the grey bars, but the screen did stop responding. In the last week it also started having “phantom” touches, where the screen would register touches that weren’t happening. It was complete chaos when the phone just went and clicked on anything that it wanted to. The phone was out of warranty, so I was pretty worried that it would be “not covered” even though there’s known issues.

So, I made an appointment at my local Apple Store. The person at the Genius Bar looked at it, and saw exactly what was happening, and was actually pretty shocked by it. I expected that they’d say “The screen has to be ┬áreplaced, so leave it us”, but they did offer a new (well, re-manufactured) replacement phone for the same price as the screen replacement. Thanks to it coming with a 2-year warranty, I thought it was a good deal, so I paid the money and walked out with a sort-of-new phone, got home and did the whole restore process, and was suitably happy.

Until…

The next day the new phone started to play up too. This time it was Touch Disease, and I had the standard flickering grey bar. So, another appointment was made, and back to the Apple Store I went.

They saw the problem again, looked at my record and saw that the phone was only two days old, and were extremely apologetic about it all. It wasn’t needed because I know that it’s almost like the luck of the draw, but it was nice. So again, I walked out with another semi-brand-new replacement phone.

As I write this I’m on my third phone in a week, and this one (so far at least) isn’t showing any signs of problems. But if it does have one I’ve got 2 years to get it fixed. To me, that’s customer service.

This is where a lot of other companies fall down. The sort of service where I can make an appointment, walk in and have the problems actually sorted out there and then, and not feel like I’m doing something wrong by taking up their time really does make you feel like a valued customer.

I’ve seen way to many other places take the opposite approach and make customers feel like they are being done a favour by accepting a valid warranty claim. I had that experience myself with some speakers for my car. They were expensive, the shop installed them, and when I took it back two weeks later with one not working any more, I was told that it was my fault for not regulating the power to the speakers. It didn’t matter that the shop was the one that installed them and set everything up, it didn’t matter that they knew 100% what the system was because they put it in, and it didn’t matter that they were the ones that set everything up, it was still my fault and I was told more than once that they were doing me a favour by fixing it. Guess which store that I, and everyone that I know, never went back to?

That’s why I’m sticking with my iPhone, at least for now. I have seen first-hand that when something does go wrong, it can get fixed.

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