Since I live in rural Scotland, I'm fairly dependant on buying stuff off the net. And so far, its worked out well. I do however have a healthy disrespect for internet-based companies service.
As my Daughter is leaving school this year, and in the middle of her exams, my wife (She Who Must Be Obeyed) and I decided to spend a little of our dwindling money supply, and replace her faulty iPod (She'd wrecked the original and now trashed the replacement hard drive. Kids, eh?) with a new iPod Nano. 4gb of course, and since it was a rather nice present, we thought we'd pay the extra ten quid or so, and buy it direct from the Applestore, and have it engraved.
It arrived last Friday - three days after we'd ordered it. So far so good. However, this one was dead on arrival. Given my aversion to support web sites and telephone hotlines, we googled for anything to give this wee thing of beauty the kiss of live. Mains charging, USB charging, Menu+Select held down for 10 seconds, prayer and the final - dancing naked around a fire and incanting the spirit of Professor Sidney Michaelson to repair the poor thing.
(Professor Michaelson was a shining light in an otherwise drab and uninspiring world. If my IQ trebled, then I would most like to be him when/if I grow up)
To no avail. So I finally, with dread in my heart, and a few hours made free on my schedule, to do the thing I hate most. Call the support line.
Actually, Apples wasnt bad. Just four calls in the end and one to the obligatory bad-line and difficult accent (for her!) Indian support center. I finally extracted a returns number, and called Ireland again. Within 10 minutes, it was all arranged.
Two gentlemen- Ben & Jerry - were then called upon to repair my daugthers broken heart.
Today - Tuesday - a new Nano arrived at 10am. Before the old one was picked up. Not bad considering the replacement was only authorised at 4pm on Friday. And its engraved!
Now that is *stellar* customer service. Especially given that parcels normally take at least one extra day to make it north of Manchester.
So. Its all very well dealing with an organisation when everything goes correctly. Its more illuminating dealing with an organisation when things have went wrong. And Apple came through the "grumpy old man" test with flying colours.
So. My Dell computer (which I do love) and my MS operating systems (Which I loathe) have mediocre to abysmal support. So when I need a new laptop - perhaps next year - which company will I go to ? Damn right. MacBooks, here I come.
(Now all I need is for you -dear reader - to fund this effort by purchasing our lovely product.. :-) )