My heart sinks for Apple. I was that ultimate fan selling 3 machines per day to strangers on trains. Converting friends and people at work, buying them for family. Blogging and shouting to all who would listen. And now only a few weeks later I am turning. Why?
My expectations were different. Yes they were high – I expected things to plug in and just work as they were designed to do. I expected bigger spec to mean faster. Why wouldn’t I?
But alas its more stewed than rosy.
3 weeks in, my Macbook Pro is slower (and obviously heavier) than my 2 year old Air, only replaced when the memory was full. I reboot Safari, Mail and iPhoto every few days where it used to be every quarter or so. My Time Machine isn’t working. I’m driven hourly to distraction by the lack of a “save as” function. I’ve been without bluetooth until another reload of the software yesterday has brought it back so I can finally work on the train again.
Yes I’ve had service. Lots of it. I’m just too fed up to tell it all, suffice to say multiple service and advice issues, a swapped machine, multiple downloads. 2 days without a machine from which I’m still trying to recover. I’ve tried booking service appointments a week out and a visit a few days out, but haven’t been able to make them. I’m no further on and I’ve given up. I’ve accepted that, despite the lovely machine, I’ve paid at least as twice as much as I might have for a Microsoft style experience and 3 steps back in time.
As if to rub it in a window has just popped up with 100 problems (literally) in my third attempt at syncing my music.
A new iphone4S today caused me to back up to the old 3 which promptly jumped to iOS5 and lost all my music and half my apps. And then these things didn’t come across onto the new phone. Worse still the new phone wouldn’t accept my passwords despite resetting them several times. After reloading the software from scratch it finally worked.
I’m just manually loading music and apps back onto both phones. I don’t know what else is gone but no doubt I’ll notice over the next few days.
So why bother writing this sad list up. Because somewhere in Apple, I hope, are a bunch of passionate people stewing because stuff didn’t work at launch. You can imagine how they fought for quality over deadlines. How they fought to get back history to work with new stuff, to put reputation over analysts forecasts. How they pleaded that just more $$ spent wouldn’t solve the lack of testing.
I hope they are there and get to read this and use it as internal ammo. Root cause to reputation and revenues. Focus on it. Please.
It’s not too late – yet….
For example 2 car companies: 10 years ago someone picked up the phone to me and apologised. They couldn’t undo the issue they’d caused, but they could recognise their problem. As a result I forgave them and spent a lot of money with them subsequently. A competitor once wrote me a disclaimer letter in similar circumstances. I am still their terrorist – I stopped someone buying one again the other day.
So the message to Apple – get on the front foot fast. Start telling people what doesn’t work before they spend a lot of their and your time finding out what the geeks know first. Get back to making things work and testing the swap overs so that minimising customer effort is top of the agenda. And put “save as” back – don’t tell the world you’ve invented a better mousetrap.
Ah well, back to my new phone – the Mac can’t find the music anymore, maybe reloading it back to my old phone ate it…. another hour or two should fix it