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Steve Jobs Personally Resolves Customer Complaint

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the steve-jobs-my-dishes-need-to-be-washed dept.

Apple 341

An anonymous reader writes "The Consumerist recently published a story about an Apple customer who went through support hell with a broken Macbook. After escalating the issue up the support chain, and a month wait for his Macbook, the guy gave up and simply wrote Steve Jobs a blistering flame-mail. So, was he surprised when Jobs' executive assistant responded back the next day! He got both a brand new Macbook, as well as his old one to copy the hard drive. The guy also responded in a comment, and he turns out to be a slashdotter! He even wrote a journal entry here about the story."

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Did I miss something? (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970541)

Sounds more like Job's admin staff dealt with it than Jobs himself.

Re:Did I miss something? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970599)

Yes, you missed something, RTFA:

While I received the reply from Jobs' assistant, Jobs himself came around and personally transfered the data from my old laptop and the new one - only using himself as a computer telepath-to-tcp/ip router.

After fixing my laptop, Jobs made me a cup of tea & rescued my cat from a tree it had been stuck up for several weeks (using telekinisis). He also fixed a leaking tap, did my old filing & satisfied my sexually frustrated wife. Thanks Steve!

Re:Did I miss something? (4, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971083)

Well I think the confusion here is over the concept that the assistant came to help.

You see there is more than one Steve Jobs and thus his "assistants" are in fact copies of himself. Thought Apple was outsourcing manufacturing to China or somewhere else? Nope, just a cover ploy to hide the fact that they have a manufacturing plant filled with Jobses.

Re:Did I miss something? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970639)

Sounds more like Job's admin staff dealt with it than Jobs himself.

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at the Mac community's recognition of Apple Inc. as an indivisible entity unto itself: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Re:Did I miss something? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970795)

Wow, you are an enourmous cunt. Congratulations.

Re:Did I miss something? (3, Informative)

StuBeck (983120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970677)

I e-mailed "him" about a year ago when I had a problem with my iPod that took a month to get resolved. They called me and said they were sorry, but that it wasn't "their fault" that they didn't put my new order into the system, so I had to prove to them that I in fact ordered something from them two weeks earlier. Also that their support staff really does know what is going on despite the fact that they sent me back the same iPod I had had earlier, with the same error, and it came back scratched to hell too. I wasn't very pleased with their lack of "sorry that we suck" response.

Re:Did I miss something? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971401)

Yes grasshopper, but your UID is not 3337.

Re:Did I miss something? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971315)

It's just more fanboy adulation. And the Jobs staff wouldn't have time or resources to take care of all complaints if all the dicked over Apple customers did the same thing. Apple laptops are atrocious. It's been going on for over a year. Apple delete threads on their forums which cite the issues. Apple Defects (.com) has a list a mile long. Almost exclusively laptops. Made in China. Slave labor. Jobs doesn't care. Jobs cares if his PR team tells him he has to do something. Otherwise Jobs doesn't give a damn. Not now, not ever. What's missing is that every Apple Intel laptop customer write to Steve Jobs the same way, that the press - the WSJ, Forbes, et al. - make a big thing out of this and that Apple for now refund everyone for their craptops and then either sell the company or make structural changes so the same hardware disasters don't happen again. A good start would be getting rid of a CEO who gets involved in backdating options and doesn't give a good goddamn what customers think.

This is the creep who gave the go-ahead on an initial iPod design that did not give a hoot that the lithium ion batteries hermetically sealed within were going to wear out. A CEO who invests everything in lifestyle revolution hype rather than quality. Friends, get the message: Steve Jobs has never been, is not, and will never be your friend. He's also not your or anyone else's religious leader. He's screwing you and enjoying it. It's payback time.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971363)

I don't know what Apple pays Steve Jobs but it is probably more than they pay the people who pack MacBooks into MacBook boxes. So, in the interests of the longevity of the Apple Corporation, it is probably best that he spend his time doing whatever it is he does rather than go pack MacBooks into MacBook boxes.

Also I doubt that Steve Job's assistant hands out laptops to every unhappy email that gets past the spam filters, so he was likely involved at some point even if it was only to approve the handing out, Steve being in a good mood that day because the winds buffeted him less violently than usual during the helicopter ride in. He watches out the side like a door gunner.

Anyway, this is as personal as it gets with someone like Jobs.

That sound you hear (0, Offtopic)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970545)

Is one thousand frustrated geeks trying to find a Japanese translator...

How Vaporous of U (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970683)

Vacuous and Vaporous.

I've got your picture
Of me and you
You wrote "I love you"
I love you too
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do

Oh it's in color
Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel
And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one else around

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you over myself
I asked the doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down and turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of them over myself
I want the doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down and turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger
Everyone

That's why I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so

Personally? (-1, Troll)

kramer (19951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970551)

So, by "personally resolves customer complaint", you mean he personally told his executive assistant to resolve the complaint?

Re:Personally? (2, Insightful)

froggero1 (848930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970615)

Yeah, his direct assistant... who reads and answers sjobs@apple.com. This of course, in contrast to all the replies you get from bgates@microsoft.com (or whatever the hell his email is) Sure, this seems now like a silent marketing ploy by apple, but the fact is... a desperate email sent on a hail mary to the top of the apple food chain was answered, and not for publicity (by apple at least). Go send one to bgates@microsoft.com about not being able to refuse your Vista EULA on your new dell box, wait 24 hours, then submit an article to slashdot about how they refunded your product.

Re:Personally? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971219)

No no no, it means that when someone told him about a nasty email that referenced a month-long support problem, he personally told his assistant to find someone in the support division to do whatever it takes to resolve the situation. I personally think that makes a very strong statement about Mr. Jobs's commitment to superior customer service.

What if (5, Funny)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970567)

How cool would it have been if Steve came to that guys house and rang the doorbell and said "I didn't appreciate the tone of your letter, it was very hurtful." and then just left.

PR (1, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970637)

How cool would it have been if Steve came to that guys house and rang the doorbell and said "I didn't appreciate the tone of your letter, it was very hurtful." and then just left.

And miss out on all that (insanely) great free PR?

Steve keeps it real; mum's the word (4, Insightful)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970789)

You know, some of us have known for a while that Steve replies to his email, or at least a small subset of the torrents he probably receives every day (a couple [msu.edu] of public examples [oreillynet.com] ). He's answered a few of the questions I've emailed him over the years, too, and I'm just a regular Slashdotter Joe.

But the more publicity he gets for doing it, and the more people actually try to email him, the less likely he'll be to read and respond, and the less personal it's actually going to get. It's obvious from the numbers. Part of me hates myself for saying this, and I acknowledge that it's elitist as all hell, but I sort of wish these guys (the ones "in the know" about Steve's responsiveness over email) would keep it to themselves. Because if Steve stops answering his email, that's another piece gone of the old Apple spirit.

Of course, I suppose we must all eventually succumb to inevitability—but there's no harm delaying that end, while possible. So please. Enough. Let me suggest we simply appreciate Steve for keeping it real, and not trumpet it all over the blog-o-spierre.

Re:Steve keeps it real; mum's the word (2, Informative)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971151)

Here's the text of that email thread between Steve and some blogger, regarding opinions on Cocoa/Objective-C vs. C#/VB/.NET [slashdot.org] (warning, top-posted). And for good measure, another anecdote about Steve's personal touch [tedlee.net] (diehard cynics will note there's no proof of Steve's personal involvement with this one... but, absent reason to doubt, I'm a believer).

So again—and yes, I've come to terms with my implied elitism here—let's not ruin a good thing by blabbering about how amazing it is that Steve replies to personal emails. Please.

I completely agree (5, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971227)

I really wish I hadn't BCC:d the Consumerist now. That was a mistake. I did it because I was angry and didn't expect any kind of resolution from Apple Corporate. I really didn't believe that even if Jobs read his email he would take action to resolve the issue. And now the whole shebang is posted to slashdot. Along with his email address. What a mess.

My situation was extreme. I do NOT recommend emailing Mr. Jobs until fully exhausting the Apple support chain. If you have a problem, ask for a supervisor. If the supervisor can't fix it, ask for "customer relations". Call your local Apple store before sending that email (I did). And finally, after a month of hell, if all else fails, well... do a google search and find his current email address.

But please don't waste the dude's time. I would have the same opinion regardless of the CEO or company.

Re:I completely agree (1, Troll)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971309)

Congrats, you just made the entire world know he does this. He'll get flooded to hell and back with people wanting jobs, people just saying shit like LOL macz r 4 fagz!!

Good job.

Re:I completely agree (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971357)

Thumbs up, man. And I guess all of us longtime Mac users owe you a thanks, regardless of the Consumerist bcc:, for alerting Steve to your horror story with AppleCare. Who knows? Maybe with enough bitchy emails, he'll start whipping some asses into line down at the Texas facility.

(Side note: I've had no problems of my own with Apple's warranty service, but it does seem anecdotally that when things go wrong with AppleCare, they go really, really wrong.)

Re:Steve keeps it real; mum's the word (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971255)

Well, it would probably be ok when everyone who intends to mail Jobs thinks twice about it and ponders if it really, really really has to be escalated to his level. If everyone and his dog starts mailing him about it when some gas inflates his bowels and he can't find his intarweb in the Macthingie, then yes, the "old spirit" starts to wane. I mean, how would you react if suddenly everyone feels like sending mail to you, and only you, as their personal tech support "fix this or else" goon while you're actually the head honcho of the corp?

This is a prime example of when it's time to address Jobs and tell him that something is not running right in the chain of support. This can even lead to better support and better performance, since there was obviously something wrong with it. Now He Himself knows about it, and it might change and turn out for the better.

What you should fear is that people start to assume that mailing Jobs is a shortcut for faster support, even on trivial matters. Because then, yes, that Apple spirit is gone.

Flame Mail? (5, Insightful)

Piedramente (1063240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970587)

I don't believe what he sent would qualify as a flame-mail. It seems to be a well-reasoned and cool-headed response to a support nightmare. Kudos to Steve Jobs for fixing it for him.

Re:Flame Mail? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970839)

Ya... I'm thinking that if it really were some "blistering flame-mail," we wouldn't be seeing this story b/c the message would have just gone in the trash with the rest of the crap I'm sure he gets.

Shocking News Story! (0, Troll)

grommit (97148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970591)

Head of Company X gets involved in customer complaint Y in order to prevent image of Company X from being tarnished.

The film we show you at 11 will be shocking, shocking I tell you!

Give me a freaking break. So are all the Mac fanboys trying to get this customer's autograph since he's been anointed by Steve now?

Re:Shocking News Story! (2, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970891)

Ive got an idea for you... Next time you have a major problem with windows, send a personal email to Steve Balmer and see how far it gets you... :-)

The point is Apple, and apparently Steve Jobs as well, still understands that they are there to serve people and not people serving them. As long as Apple rememembers this, they will continue to take the high end and most profitable customers.

Oh, and I would believe the "Apple has an insignficant market share" argument... Apple is taking the most profitable customers from the rest of the tech industry. Those are the most painful for Microsoft/Dell/HP to loose...

Re:Shocking News Story! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971155)

Apple is taking the most profitable customers from the rest of the tech industry.
You have any proof of this? Last I looked business are still using Windows, and THOSE are the most profitable customers.

Nice, but (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970593)

this "solution" obviously won't scale very well, unless you really do think Steve Jobs is a deity.

Re:Nice, but (4, Funny)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970695)

Steve Jobs is a deity, He came, he was killed (removed from the company) and returned again with salvation for Apple (iPod, iMac, generally making Apple cool)

And if ... (4, Funny)

gr8dude (832945) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971373)

That can't be Steve Jobs! I heard Steve Jobs is 12 feet tall and shoots lightnings with his eyes, and if he were here, he would fix all your laptops with firebolts coming out of his arse!

Re:Nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970953)

Of course Steve Jobs is just a man, not a god!

Wozniak, on the other hand...

Hehe... user ID 3337 :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970597)

Wish I had that.

Steve Jobs personally revolves around the world (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970601)

No shit? Steve Jobs personally revolves around the world?

New Chair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970617)

So if ballmer was really only tossin' chairs cause he's frustrated with winders crashing, and he emails bill re same, does he get a new chair?

How is this "a blistering flame-mail"? (1)

thomasdn (800430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970621)

How is this "a blistering flame-mail"?

Re:How is this "a blistering flame-mail"? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970847)

How is this "a blistering flame-mail"?

Exactly, it seems the submitter did not even RTFA:

Reader J. CC'ed us on an email to Steve Jobs in which he calmly explained that while his Apple II was still working fine, his brand new Macbook is totally defective.
(emphasis mine)

Re:How is this "a blistering flame-mail"? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971139)

Yeah! A blistering email would have included terms like "bi-otch!" and "nappy"

Summary (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970625)

summarized email complaint:

"My name is ... Maynard", "ripped music', and "TOOL"

You can bet somebody got reamed... (4, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970631)

...and now has an asshole that's about 3 bore sizes larger than it was last week. Yikes.

Re:You can bet somebody got reamed... (1)

FigTree (1076935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970751)

Personally, I'm reminded of Snow Crash... minus the whole arriving in a helicopter thing.

Re:You can bet somebody got reamed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970777)

-1 Trollbait

http://thepiratebay.org/tor/3675371/ [thepiratebay.org]

Personally, eh? (1)

djones101 (1021277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970645)

Yep, I personally responded to a few emails this morning as well. Never mind the fact that they were forwarded to the proper departments, who actually answered the people who emailed in. I personally handled the situation, you insensitive clods!

I wonder if Jobs ever sees these emails (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970651)

I'm sure he has a staff of secretaries that screen everything and is well versed by now how to take care of these relatively unimportant problems (unimportant to Jobs - I imagine that guy is busy with other, more pressing matters). Though it might be a good idea to have the CEO of any corporation see the failures of his organization every so often.

I've done this kind of thing myself before (5, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970657)

I've looked up the details of whoever's in charge and contacted them directly before. Or, more accurately, got the name of the managing director, called head office, asked to be put through to "their office" and spoken to their PA.

On the plus side, it's fantastically effective. A call from anyone at that level - or even their PA - will often go to the head of customer services very quickly, and get the issue resolved in far less time than trying to work your way up through a call centre staffed with people who quite frankly don't much care about any individual customer's complaint.

On the minus side, it's not something you'd want to do terribly often - particularly not with one company - as it would rapidly lose effectiveness. And if you find yourself in a position where you've got to do this more than once, even for separate incidents, maybe they don't need your business that badly anyway.

Got to give it to Maynard! (2, Insightful)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970665)

If I had gone through the shit he has gone through
the mail I'd have sent would sound 10X more nastier
than what he had sent.
And maybe that's what mattered in the end. The cool
and collected way Mr. Maynard wrote the disgruntled-
customer email must've done the job(no pun intended).

Re:Got to give it to Maynard! (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970741)

Granted, it's cool and collected alright, but this guy brought out some leverage... look at this:

If someone at Apple does not resolve this pronto, your company will lose not only my future purchases, but also my purchase recommendations to graduate students, professors, and support staff at MIT.
Also, as a close friend I'd surely like to see that flaming mail you would send :-D

They've been doing this for years. (1)

syntax (2932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970679)

I've known two people who have both done this when they got an unsatisfactory response from AppleCare. It's always the same: next day an assistant to Steve Jobs gives them a call, apologies, overnights whatever will repair the situation, and promises to fix the situation that caused you to get angry enough to email Steve Jobs to begin with. However, now that the cat is out of the bag, this might not be as much of a reliable last discourse any longer.

Re:They've been doing this for years. (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970967)

It's not nearly as uncommon as you might think, either. I've heard of a lot of people doing this, and they have always gotten their issue resolved.

It's a shame Mr. Jobs' personal assistant didn't handle all technical support issues ;-)

This real issue here is... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970681)

the continual decline of customer service here in the US.

According to "Consumer Reports", Apple has the best customer service of ALL the PC and laptop makers and their quality also beats everyone. If you look at their charts, Apple takes the lead by a wide margin, none of this jazz of they're 8.2 while the closest competitor is 8.1. (Unfortunately, I don't have the issue in front of me to give you guys the real number numbers to show how well Apple rates.)

Now, here's the best, and they're pulling this horseshit!?

Stopping now because I need more coffee.

MIT (5, Insightful)

Any Web Loco (555458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970693)

Key reasons for Jobs' response...

"I am also an IT Manager for one of the labs at MIT"
and...

"...your company will lose ... my purchase recommendations to graduate students, professors, and support staff at MIT"

Re:MIT (5, Insightful)

Valtor (34080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970855)

Indeed, but they had to actually read the whole email to get that. Which is news by itself IMHO.

Re:MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970973)

No the key reason that Jobs responded can be found in the comment history of the journal entry (read at -1).

BWJones read the entry, has connections at Apple, and escalated the issue for Maynard.

Re:MIT (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971349)

I asked about that. BWJones apparently had no impact on the issue at all. He may well know people at Apple, but the guy who helped me had no idea who Bryon is. Not that I'm ungrateful for his help.

Let's not overlook the phrase, "raison d'etre" (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970997)

You start using foreign phrases and shit like that and it just oozes class.

Re:Let's not overlook the phrase, "raison d'etre" (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971101)

Plus, it's mighty tasty [dogfish.com]

Does not sound so cool to me. (3, Interesting)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970697)

One famous manager (I don't remember who exactly though) once said, that if the company's leader performs mere employee's duties then either he does not understand his role or there is something terribly wrong with the way the company operates.

Look at this story: the guy waited for months for the support to handle the problem!

Re:Does not sound so cool to me. (2, Insightful)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970829)

Another way to see this:
-Act nicely and the world will treat you like a crap.
-Act like a crap and the world will treat you nice.

Maybe Buda got that whole karma thing the wrong way...

Re:Does not sound so cool to me. (1)

shystershep (643874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971165)

-Act like a crap and the world will treat you nice.
Maybe Buda got that whole karma thing the wrong way...
Try acting like crap. If you come back in your next life as crap, then we'll have our answer.

Re:Does not sound so cool to me. (3, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971043)

Maybe you don't remember his name because HE didn't understand HIS duties. The referenced quote is how old-school business works. Places like Apple, Google, and others don't conform to these old stigmas. Quite frankly, Jobs probably get a thousand of these emails a day and probably has a PA who's sole task is to sift threw them and cherry pick a couple for him to "Take action" on. It generates good will and and is good press, when the public actually heres about it, to the tune of, 'look, Steve really cares, buy Apple! F- Microsoft'.

Re:Does not sound so cool to me. (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971087)

One famous manager (I don't remember who exactly though) once said, that if the company's leader performs mere employee's duties then either he does not understand his role or there is something terribly wrong with the way the company operates.

Dunno about that. I lead a small team of engineers who do internal toolchain support for several of our sites. Most of my job involves allocating tasks and taking care of planing, etc. But every now and again I take a job off the queue and do it myself because (1) it keeps the guy who would otherwise have done it on their toes, to have me messing with "their" stuff and (2) I get a better picture of what is really happening out in the real world.

So I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Jobs occasionally takes charge of a fault call. Probably a healthy thing to do.

Now, we wait for the Slashdot follow-up story.... (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970709)

"So, I installed the WGA update and it mistakenly identified my OS as pirated....after two months of trying to resolve the issue through technical support where I was repeatedly assured that, '...we understand problem...send you SUPER DELUXE answer....next day....you betcha!', I finally contacted Steve Ballmer himself. Amazingly, he showed up at my house the very next day!.....and threw a folding chair at me.....so I bought a MacBook"

[DISCLAIMER: every word of this is BS (duh)]

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970713)

so because they sell so few macs, their ceo has time to tend to customers, lol

Letters to the top always produce some effect (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970725)

I had some beef with Intuit. They stopped supporting QIF format in 2005. So I stuck to 2004 Delux. Then in 2007 April they switched some service provider who interfaced with the financial institutions and I was forced to upgrade to 2007. I have railed against corporations being vendor locked into MSFT, and I found myself locked into Quicken. To add insult to injury, the upgrade was actually a downgrade because I lost the ability to import QIF files. And further insult was that I was also holding a Quicken Mastercard. This stupid turd of a card does not have any rewards program, no cash back, no miles, no reward points, not even stupid software updates. I was so miffed I wrote a letter to the Quicken CEO. All I wanted was a free copy of Quicken 2007Deluxe.

Promptly I got a phone call from his assistant. Unlike Apple they did not fix anything. She offered a 20$ off 2007Deluxe, which is basically the standard discount everywhere from Costco to web downloads. I think they just sold the right to use Quicken name to some bank for a one time fee and Quicken does not care whether I keep the card or not. The bank is really dumb to lose me as a customer. I had charged more than 100,000$ over the years in that card. They should be willing to spend 0.5% or 500$ to keep me as a customer. They just lost me over a stupid 30$ software update I demanded.

I also heard a story about the CEO of Virgin Atlantic (charles bronson?? or was he an actor, God I have bad memory for names) traveling with the public or playing the role of a flight attendent/steward and listen to customers. One Indian guy had ordered vegetarian meals and it was not available. Charles was playing steward on that flight. He made an unscheduled landing at a nearby airport and rented a limo to take the passenger to an expensive Indian joint and flew him first class to complete the journey.

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970955)

Richard Branson

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970993)

I also heard a story about the CEO of Virgin Atlantic (charles bronson?? or was he an actor, God I have bad memory for names) traveling with the public or playing the role of a flight attendent/steward and listen to customers. One Indian guy had ordered vegetarian meals and it was not available. Charles was playing steward on that flight. He made an unscheduled landing at a nearby airport and rented a limo to take the passenger to an expensive Indian joint and flew him first class to complete the journey.

Thats Richard Branson. He does that kind of thing because it gets in the news and it is much cheaper than paying for advertising. He is a similar kind of charismatic leader, though.

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971007)

I also heard a story about the CEO of Virgin Atlantic (charles bronson?? or was he an actor, God I have bad memory for names)
That one is Richard Branson, you fool! Now, get ready for a roundhouse kick in five, four, three, two.......

[[BADABOOM]]

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (2, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971033)

Oh, goddamnit, foot-on-mouth... I mixed Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris. Fuck.

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

shystershep (643874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971195)

Sounds like you're the one that will have to get ready for that roundhouse kick.

Chuck is now coming for you (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971275)

Although by the time it would probably take you to read this, Chuck has already delived a kick from "Law" his left leg, propelling you into the afterlife - a second kick from his right leg "Order" will not be necessary. How is heaven treating you?

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971285)

If Chuck Norris roundhouse-kicked Charles Bronson in the face, would the mighty force of the kick take Charles Bronson's head off, or would he just chuckle as it bounced off his leathery hide?

Either way, Richard Branson would be there to make money off it, somehow, I'm sure.

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971053)

FYI: Sir Richard Branson is CEO of Virgin Atlantic

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971105)

That would be Sir Richard Branson: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Branson/ [wikipedia.org] . I can't wait to see how he handles this same scenerio on Virgin Galatic flights!

Bill

Unscheduled landing?!? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971131)

I'm sure this has been said before, but what a fantastic way to totally screw every other passenger on that flight.

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971143)

I also heard a story about the CEO of Virgin Atlantic (charles bronson?? ...)

His name's (Sir) Richard Branson, and he really is known for being down-to-earth and game for a laugh. I wouldn't call him an actor, but he has appeared in Friends (he sold Joey the hat while they were in London). He's had cameos in a couple of other things, such as the last Bond film.

In one Candid Camera style show, they played tricks on him by dressing up people he knows really well so that he wouldn't recognise them, and then putting him in strange situations. They had his sister and a couple of others as trespassers, camping on his land, and he was really nice and polite about it; they had Phil Collins in a wig as a taxi driver, taking him through London and jabbering on about this and that. They did something with Peter Gabriel too, but I don't recall what it was.

Richard has a good sense of humour (note: not "humor" as he's English). He had a hot air balloon, rigged with lights that would flash on to make it look like it was turning, and wanted to play an April fools' prank with it. It didn't quite work out as he expected, but still had a noticable effect! [museumofhoaxes.com]

-- Steve

Re:Letters to the top always produce some effect (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971287)

CEO of Virgin Atlantic (charles bronson?? or was he an actor, God I have bad memory for names)

Classic!

Grand Business Plan (1)

Tim_UWA (1015591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970733)

1. Rename "Junior Customer Service Representative" to "CEO's Executive Assistant"
2. ???
3. Profit

That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970747)

Now if only Bill Gates would pay me for those emails that I sent out for him!

(Yes, I tried email him. Thousands of times!)

Re:That's great (2, Funny)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971211)

The reports that XP offers to send to Microsoft, when an application crashes, do not count.

Squirm factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970771)

Ahh, the Squirm Factor. Just work your way up the chain, the moment you find a person who squirm's, your problem is solved since it just became their problem. And when you get high enough up, people don't like having problems, so ... stay polite, and it will work out.

At least.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970807)

Jobs did SOMETHING, Bill Gates would have just had it filtered out with his spam mail. And if he did get a letter like this, the best you'd get out of him is a letter from his assistant's assitant's dog saying "shove it up your ass". ... and then he'd proceed to sue you, and claim rights to your tone in the letter.
"anger?! i invented that!"

I got that service from IBM ten years ago (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970831)

I'd bought an Ambra 486 which promised that when the Pentium overdrive came out, it would work. It didn't. Customer service basically told me tough titties. I wrote letters (snail mail!) to the CEO, president, chairman of the board, a couple of others, and the chairman's office called back immediately (in snail mail terms) calmed me down, got their Scotland division to call me and explain how they had screwed up, sent a floppy with a BIOS upgrade, bingo, problem solved. No free computer but it solved the problem.

Customer Call centers (2, Interesting)

wesley78 (1086999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970833)

Customer Service call centers just suck. I probably should have tried this tactic with HP a month or two back. I think the big problem with so many of these places is that they refuse to admit thier own mistakes, or if they do, they refuse to properly fix the situation. In my case, I had paid for overnight shipping and the product wasn't shipped until they it was actually supposed to arrive, and even then it was shipped to the wrong address. Instead of just refunding me the cost of shipping and getting the part to me the next day, he tried to explain how it would have been impossible for me to receive the part on time. It looks like the same type of thing happened here. Someone in the customer care department made a promise and never followed through with it. For the record, while I was on hold with HP for over hour, I got the opportunity to listen to how highly rated their customer service was. Do high service ratings really mean anything? One really shouldn't have to go outside the regular system in order to get the level of service expected from these big companies. Hats off to whoever it was at Apple that made things right though. It's certainly better than I got.

This might be a special case (5, Insightful)

canb (792889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970841)

Well the author of the mail certainly has not sent a flame mail. On the contrary, it is very level headed and well reasoned. However, I do believe the fact that he has been an apple customer for over 30 years and that he's an IT Manager at MIT with the ability to sway the students' and staffs' buying preferences (which he makes sure gets conveyed in the mail) had an effect. I doubt if I had been in the same situation and written a similar mail, would get a similar response. Overall, I applaud the author for doing the right thing.

Re:This might be a special case (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971273)

And that Apple II really does work! It's the real thing, you even have to enter the monitor prom and enter the boot loader manually.

I will say that I was never much of a Macintosh customer during the whole MacOS System days. But I did have a NeXTStation on my desk a decade and a half back. And boy was that computer great. That NeXT box was the reason I dumped Linux and bought a Mac when OS X 10.2 got good.

Not good for their support (1)

NinjaTariq (1034260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970861)

Surely it is a bad thing that it takes an email to the chief exec to get this problem fixed...

In future perhaps all mac users should just send their support request to Steve Jobs, because their support sucks.

Lovely delegation (2, Funny)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970869)

BOB SLYDELL: So what you do is you take the specifications from the customers and you bring them down to the software engineers?

TOM: That, that's right.

BOB PORTER: Well, then I gotta ask, then why can't the customers just take the specifications directly to the software people, huh?

TOM: Well, uh, uh, uh, because, uh, engineers are not good at dealing with customers.

BOB SLYDELL: You physically take the specs from the customer?

TOM: Well, no, my, my secretary does that, or, or the fax.

BOB SLYDELL: Ah.

BOB PORTER: Then you must physically bring them to the software people.

TOM: Well...no. Yeah, I mean, sometimes.

BOB SLYDELL: Well, what would you say... you do here?

TOM: Well, look, I already told you. I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to!! I have people skills!! I am good at dealing with people!!! Can't you understand that?!? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!!!!!!!

incorrect article title (1)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970871)

"Steve Jobs Personally Resolves Customer Complaint" .... ummm no he didn't. Customer sent email to address that was supposedly The Steve's but some dude name Mark took care of the problem for him from that point on. No evidence of divine intervention by The Steve .

It sure didn't hurt to ... (1)

DaffyDuck101 (247015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970921)

1. Be an MIT IT professional mentioning influence on purchase decisions
and
2. Have some help on the inside (see http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=232413&cid=188 91675 [slashdot.org] and http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=232413&cid=189 33197 [slashdot.org] )

So yes, Steve probably did fix it, and no, he probably won't for you

#irc.trol7talk.Com (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18970923)

it's who you are and who you know.. (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18970951)

well i imagine this helped quite a bit:

"I am also an IT Manager for one of the labs at MIT (J's MIT email)."

he wasn't just some guy who walked into an apple store at the local mall..

Solaris 10 ????????? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18971017)

Remember the free Solaris 10 DVD that you didn't get back in January? But you did get all of the promotion E-Mails right? Well in May I used the return comments on one of the E-Mails selling a new server and asked WTF happened to the DVD? That E-mail shot to the top of the pile and two days later FED-X delivered the DVD.

BYTE ME

Stop the fanboyism (2, Insightful)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971071)

Could we please stop this Apple fanboyism? How is this interesting in any way?

"Today the great chairman Mao visited a poor child in the village Mangtung. He gave the child healthy food and read a story. This how out great chairman Mao cares cares for all the people."

It is called largesse (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971097)

You see not all problems have been fixed by Apple. I am sure there are many more complaints that have been filed against defective systems. This is just one lone incident.

Jobs right now has issues with US government about stock options. Greenpeace is wailing on him and someone, somewhere told Steve he is losing his coolness factor with the kids. He did what politicians do, choose a photo-op and make good on an issue. In this case, he probably told one of his PAs to pick a disgruntled Apple user and answer their complaint, no questions asked. It doesn't cost the company much, if anything at all, to express this largess, all the while appearing to be in touch with the community.

So there is nothing sinister. There is nothing hidden in the agenda except that one lucky person received what he should have gotten all along just because of Steve needed a little positive spin this week.

Skipping up the chain of command. (2, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971109)

I feel many people are afraid to ask for or demand better service when needed. Sometimes you simply have to escalate as far as possible to get any sort of result. Systems break down and often it only takes the incompetence or lack of caring in one person in a lengthy process.

Around aught-zero my DSL provider was forced out of business by some rather dramatic changes in the DSL market. They had a length of time to shut down and began immediately cutting employees. At the time this was a very fast DSL connection and my bill was on the order of $200 a month. After canceling my service they continued to charge me. I called, of course it would be fixed! It wasn't for month two... then three... then four, every month them charging me only to refund money after many calls on my part and being told the problem was fixed for good.

Month five. They did it again. So I did what any pissed off customer would do, I flew down to their office and bea... er. Found their about page and looked for personal information for company employees listed at the VP level and above. Guess others had done the same, because it was all impossible to find. Then I noticed their board list, sure enough, many of the board members had information available online. So I wrote one, more out of frustration than anything explaining what had happened for the previous five months. Twenty minutes later the CEO of the company called me and assured me the problem would be resolved and then proceeded to offer me an additional refund for my "time spent on their failure".

The point of all this? Even the boss has a boss or someone he is "scared of" or "respects". When you come to the end of a normal process without success, it is okay to escalate to them.

Re:Skipping up the chain of command. (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971375)

Twenty minutes later the CEO of the company called me and assured me the problem would be resolved and then proceeded to offer me an additional refund for my "time spent on their failure".


Because it's cheaper than a lawsuit for fradulently charging you for services not delivered. Make no mistake: He was not interested in making an ex-customer happy. He was trying to avoid a lawsuit.

To be fair... (3, Funny)

CdrGlork (1096607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971289)

Bill Gates did the same thing once. The guy was found dead, strangled with his own Ethernet cable. I TOLD Uncle Chuck to get wireless, but would he listen...? Now it's too late...

Stunned? (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971341)

I am a longtime Apple customer. In fact,
I have an original Apple II (not II+) still in my basement (and it still
works!). I am also an IT Manager for one of the labs at MIT.


It would have surprised me if he wasn't a Slashdotter, not that he was.

I don't get it (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18971407)

If he was "sold a non-functional computer" how did he get his data on it?

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