Archive for the 'Opinion' Category
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
I just saw a review of the iPod touch by Walt Mossberg and it got me to thinking a bit more why I am not quite ready to buy an iPhone or iPod Touch…
“The Touch is missing some Internet-oriented features from the iPhone that would work well over Wi-Fi. It lacks the iPhoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s email, mapping, stock tracking and weather programs.
Apple says the Touch was meant mainly to present typical iPod features, not to replicate the iPhone, and it included the Web browser only so users could get onto Wi-Fi to use the mobile music store in certain places that required a log-in screen.
But it seems ridiculous to me to sell a powerful device with Wi-Fi and a huge screen, and to leave out things like an email program, even though you can use Web-based email programs. I assume Apple was concerned that the less costly Touch might compete too much with the iPhone if it had these features. In fact, if somebody can jam a voice-over-Internet capability into the iPod Touch, it might be more of a threat to the iPhone, which is tethered to a single cellphone carrier, AT&T.”
Basically, I hope someday Apple opens the iPhone/iPod Touch and allows it to become a general purpose computing device. I would be first in line to buy one.
My main frustration with cell phones and the carriers today is that they lock you into a specific set of services and applications which they want you to use. I understand why this is the case ($$), but I don’t like it. I don’t like it because these services/ applications are expensive and usually incomplete for my needs. But now Apple is doing the same thing…locking us into a single carrier for five years and locking us into a small number of applications they provide. And from the news today, it seems that Apple is now going to go after the hackers who have figured out how to unlock the iPhone and/or install 3rd party apps.
I just find it interesting to see how this great new piece of hardware and amazing UI is being crippled in specific ways which do not benefit the customer. I hope this changes over time.
So what do I do right now since I can’t do what I want on a cell phone?
Well, I do have a cell phone and it is in fact my only phone (no more land line). I never use it for anything else but voice calls…no SMS, no Pictures, no Video, no Music player, no Games, nothing. Because these things are all very expensive, incompatible with other systems I use, and in most cases the UI is horrific.
BUT I do use one feature besides voice calls! Read more7 comments
My thoughts on the matter posted to Dave Farber’s IP list…
While I don’t work at AOL anymore, I did run the anti-spam team for many
years and worked on the email platform for almost a decade. I can tell
you that from time to time we had a group complain that we were blocking
their mail without proper cause. In most cases we would provide the data
to show the organization why they were having issues. Most of the time
it was a combination of complaints about their mail (REPORT SPAM from
members) along with an abnormally high rate of bounced mail
(non-deliverable addresses). And in most cases the organization would
fix the issue once we got them signed up for a feedback loop which would
allow them to see their complaints and address the cause.
In all of my years at AOL, I can tell you that AOL never intentionally
blocked an organization for their political views. I would not have
allowed it. But we did block some of these political groups along the way… Read more
Well, to be honest, I can’t say for sure that I know the parade will be canceled, but I am fairly sure the trees will not bloom a second time this year … as they are blooming right now!
Picture taken on January 15th, 2007 in Fairfax, Virginia (about 20 miles from the tidal basin). Maybe Al Gore is right?
Or maybe its not that unusual after all.