I bought a 3GS iPhone back in June. It had an issue with the power on/off button in August and I took it in. They replaced the phone on the spot. I resync’d with iTunes when I got home and everything was back to normal. All data, apps, etc restored. Even wifi preferences and passwords.
Compare that my Motorola RAZR phone which had a problem when I was with Sprint. There was no way to take it to a Sprint Store and have it serviced even though it was under warranty (just 3-4 months old at that point). Instead I had to wade through Motorola’s support phone system tree, get an RMA, and send it in on my own dime. Four weeks later I got a new phone. During that period I would have been without a phone which is (for me) my only phone except that I stole my son’s phone and had Sprint transfer the number to it for that period.
But when the new phone arrived, I had another issue. Although I had backed up my address book using bluetooth sync to my Mac, I had to restore that data. Not a huge problem, but it was a lot of manual techie work to get it to happen. A normal person would have given up and re-typed it. But I eventually got it done.
But even after getting the address book back on the RAZR, all the settings, ringtones, wall paper, icons and more all needed to be set again to how I liked it. There was no way to just back-up the phone initially and then restore all settings to a new one. Did the RAZR have a setting file which contained all that stuff? Sure. But it was not something they would give to the consumer.
So fast forward another month. I again have an issue with my iPhone. This time it is a problem with the screen (a small crack under the glass). The issue was not due to a drop or anything. So I took it in. They replaced the screen in the store in about 10 minutes while I waited. Free.
Yes, I had two issues with the iPhone physically, but I think this is fairly unusual. The other units we have in the house have all worked flawlessly from a hardware perspective. But my real point is that Apple gives you something the other guys don’t (can’t?). SERVICE! And I am more than happy to pay a little more for Apple’s products in order to get service like this. It is so worth the small premium.
And of course this applies to their computer products as well. Why save $400 on a cheapo Dell or HP laptop when you can have a much nicer machine with local service for just a little more. I know my answer.
Now for the really funny part to the story. I read on the intertubes that Apple Store employees have been slipping up on info that AT&T has been a very poor performer. The first I personally heard this was when I bought my 3GS back in June. I was actually asked how I liked my 3G phone (which I had previously) and specifically how AT&T was working out. Not a formal survey, but definitely a question they were asking people. But lately AT&T’s network has been much worse. In fact, in New York one employee at a genius bar specifically wrote on a work order that typical call drop rates in NYC were 30% and that this guy’s iphone was only showing 20% or so and that was not enough to replace the hardware itself.
So I asked the employee to check my drop rate. The apple employee immediately told me that they had been having a “ton of people coming in during the last 3-4 weeks” since AT&T had been making changes perhaps to support MMS messaging. It got so bad that “they had a line out the door” of people complaining of the “inability to make calls”. He went further to say that many Apple store employees had the same problem. The issue was likely not my phone but he would check the drop logs anyway.
He would not give me a screen shot, but I can tell you that the call drop percentages for my phone since around Sept 9th were between 17% and 22% daily pretty much every day. He thinks (and so do I) that now that AT&T got their changes completed for MMS, that things might settle down. I hope.
AT&T: Your World Delivered (sometimes? on occassion?)
So in conclusion, I still love the iPhone and what I can do with it. And I absolutely love Apple’s service and support. All of this in spite of AT&T’s totally lackluster service.
AT&T service poor and expensive. Apple service excellent and free.
When should I expect that service credit from Ma Bell? ;-)1 comment