Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor Away

So today's blog is on perception. Perceptions can be dangerous not just for personal stakes but a mindset if becomes a heard mentality can be harmful for the entire community.

I am an ardent fan of Steve Jobs and his creations at apple. I was surely among the first adopters for Apple products. I remember owning proudly the G4 450 Mac which was an amazing piece of technology in the year 2000. As expected that machine still purrs to life and powers on even today without a hitch. I've never had to take it for repairs ever. I later owned an iphone 4 and iPad and a MacBook Air in its initial launch. Those too never had any problems ever. There were eager customer waiting to buy these used beauties.
But then I just realised that every apple product I've bought since 2011 has needed repairs. Fortunately most of them were in warranty but still. I never had that issue with a product from HP or Nokia or blackberry etc. I now remember getting my iphone 5, 6 replaced a couple of times, MacBook Air components and Imac repaired or replaced and so on and so forth. All these apple products bought coincidentally in the last few years. The problem worsens when the warranty is over and just to have a look or diagnostics the service centres (atleast in India) charge large fees.
No doubt that apple has highly superior products (till the time it breaks down) but these frequent breakdowns brings the skeptic in me. I also realised Apple has highest number of repair extension programs for one problem or the other (for those who own apple products please do check internet under heading "repair extension program" for apple. Most of times your problem would be eligible for free repairs even if out of warranty).

Why am I writing this blog?
Main reason being - a loyal passionate customer can become the biggest hatter of a brand as expectations ran high. It therefore becomes a bigger responsibility of a trusted brand to reach out to its ardent brand ambassadors. This should be a learning for all brands no matter what type of an organisation you are.
A product for which you are always willing to pay more for needs to achieve certain benchmarks of quality which it always stood for.
And I see deteriorating customer service, no care attitude of apple brand lately with hundreds of community forum issues unresolved and no significant patches for talked about complains in various updates.
No doubt apple products are superior in experiential point of view for UI and feel, however (as per trends now) till the time repairs are needed.
I'm not saying products are infailable. But then apple did not become a cult for no reason. And I fear that cult ship fading and disappearing over the horizon of better competing brands and products on the envil.
I'm not even saying that apple does not respond to your grievance. It does and it takes a lot of effort and followup from the customer's side. But then it's more of a polite courstesy extended by apple than a genuine attempt to resolve an issue quickly and for good (for example my iOS spotlight issue is unresolved by Apple since more than a year)
This is the first time I'm considering switching to a Windows or android product for obvious reasons of meeting a certain expectation and not getting swayed by the cult and getting disappointed all over again.

A Disenchanted Apple Loyalist

Dr Akash Rajpal

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