Markets are Hanging Up On Customers

I just recorded my call with Apple Support to improve customer service:

How to hang up on a Mobile Me customer.

Apple can come to this web site to receive assistance.


  1. Daniel Shaw

    Wow, that’s awful. Personally, I cancelled my MobileMe account in December. Not up to snuff.

  2. Gil Kirkpatrick

    Typical Apple support. Same behavior with the early iPod batteries, the broken 802.11 in the MacBook, the iPhone, etc.

    It’s amazing how well they get software-user interaction, and how poorly they get support-user interaction. Maybe if they let the software guys design the support system…

  3. Khürt

    I don’t know what to say. Hot embarrassing for Apple.

  4. Ronny

    I like the personal touch. 🙂

  5. so

    Thanks God I have no Apple products 😉

  6. Dennis

    I am proud to say that I predicted the demise of Apple about 9 months ago. (I teach MBAs p/t and they laughed incredulously). Specifically I gave 5-10 years after Steve – which looks like I am now on the clock.
    I am not far-sighted; it is just that stories like these reinforce the basics – and SJ’s charisma can only take you so far.

  7. Jon Biddell

    This really doesn’t surprise me. Going back to the pre-MobileMe days, I could never get support for .MAC from Apple Australia. I was always refered to an email address (that never replied) or to the web.

    I gave up on it, and I cancelled my trial MobileMe account as well. Too expensive, not enough functionality, and I can get all of what I need using Google.

    Apple really *really* need to pick up their game in the support area – from Australia if you call support you get the people in Mumbai (who I’m sure are very nice) that can’t understand English well and seem to go off a prepared script – deviate from the script and they have to start again.

    Unless you have AppleCare, of course – thenyou get someone in Australia.

    Leaves a bad taste in the mouth of new users.

  8. Doc Searls

    To be fair, I did get the problem solved when I went to the website the robot mentioned, clicked on “chat,” and got a human being right away who did help us (the problem involved multiple individuals) solve the problem.

    Still, the problem would have been solved faster on the phone than in a chat exchange.

    Not that I excuse Apple for:

    1) Terrible call center manners. (See above.)
    2) Flawed product design: iCal has been improved minimally since its introduction years ago, and screws up coordinating with the iPhone (for example, by failing to associate the colors of calendars in iCal with the same calendars on the phone, and in fact randomly changing them on the phone with every sync — and failing to use the phone to tell the computer which time zone the user is in, which would be handy).
    3) Forcing .Mac users into a nearly choiceless upgrade to MobileMe, and not telling them the price of the upgrade until the last stage of the routine.

    I could go on.

    By the way, Jon, I have both AppleCare and ProCare. Made no difference in this case.

    I also have two Linux ThinkPads (one dead now) and a third on the way. They’re great machines, and required for my work with Linux Journal. But my home and business life outside of that circle involve my wife and other colleagues who are less inclined to the hacking and experimentation that Linux laptops and allied mobile devices still require. And I have to say that the iPhone — even with flawed calendar and address book applications (on both it and the host machine) beats the crap out of everything else I’ve ever seen or used, with the possible exception of Microsoft Exchange (on the corporate side) and Blackberry (on the handheld side). I hugely want somebody to come up with the LInux answer to the conveniences of the Exchange/Blackberry alliance.

  9. Doc Searls

    Dennis, I agree that Apple will not be the same without Steve. It will be like Berkshire-Hathaway without Warren Buffett. (Who will probably outlive Steve as well.) But I don’t expect them to fail. At least not quickly.

    Trees don’t grow to the sky. Apple still has plenty of room to grow, especially with the failure of Sony and other companies to keep innovating. But without more killer new products, they’ll languish for sure.

  10. Lon Koenig

    Not to excuse this atrocious phone tree, but have you tried to call Qwest or AT&T lately?
    I actually had Qwest recommend I use the web site to help set up my DSL Modem…

    And ANY sort of support from Google? No phone ever. They try to get you to post to a forum and hope for a response.

  11. Doc Searls

    No excuse for Qwest, which is legendarily awful. As for Google, you’re not the customer. You’re the product being sold to the customer, which is the advertiser. They make that relationship relatively warm, but there is still a split between the consumer (you) and the customer (advertisers).

  12. Doc Searls

    Just wanted to note that some have it worse. Much worse. Wow.

  13. electric garage doors

    Reply with Docs I just agree with all he just said about customer relation services.

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