What on Earth has happened to Apple?

I had a funny (?!) incidence the other day when my 5-year old daughter went onto iTunes and, thinking she was just listening to a song from Disney’s Frozen soundtrack, she actually went and bought the whole flippin’ album.

Not such a huge issue, I know. But to stick a fly in the ointment, I had literally just walked away from browsing a couple of albums that I really wanted, telling myself that I couldn’t afford them at the moment cos’ the kids need new shoes, swimming lessons, days out, food, &c.

So, on seeing my library filling up with a load of music that I really didn’t want, but would still have to pay for, I stopped the download and asked iTunes for a refund.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.32.48Now, before you go thinking what an awful father I must be and that perhaps I should have just shrugged my shoulders and bought this album for her, let me reiterate two things: (a) she only wanted one track, and (b) I’m skint until payday.

Anyway, I emailed Apple and they very kindly gave me a refund. But the person on the other end of the email was surprising, to say the least. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always seen Apple staff as funky, laid-back types, who could easily be one of your mates. The girl who dealt with my issue, however, was quite the opposite. She seemed very, very nice, but oh my god, she also to seemed have the persona of an overly sycophantic robot. Maybe that’s what she is.

Just look at one of the emails I received…

Hi Gareth,
Thank you for your response and I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner. You are welcome! It has been my pleasure assisting you. I am glad to hear that I was able to provide you with the support you deserve. We are very fortunate to have such a great and loyal customer as yourself. It is customers like you who inspire us to do better every day.

Apple is really striving for the best service possible in making sure our customers have been taken care of to their satisfaction. Without our customers, we will never reach whatever success that we have right now. It has truly been a pleasure assisting you.

Take care and always remember that we’re just one email away. Have a nice day!

Eeeuuugggh!

How patronising was that? What’s happened to that cool, California vibe we used to get from Apple staff? Now they sound more like badly-trained, low-cost airline staff. (Although it’s perhaps a little rash and unfair to judge the whole massive multi-national corporation on just one email…)

Still, try going back and reading that email again, but this time do it in robotic/Steven Hawkins-type voice. Watch what happens.

See.

Oh, and by the way, my daughter did exactly the same thing the very next day, but this time instead of just watching a movie on Amazon’s inclusive video streaming service, she went and bloody bought it! Again. And it was a crap movie. To Amazon’s credit, though, they refunded me straight away – and without all that sickly, dripping customer service spiel.

And, yes. I did buy my daughter that track she wanted.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I promise I’ll try and avoid the cursing in my next post.

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