Ritz Carlton

A bite of the Apple

I was one of the fortunate 07/11, day of debut purchasers of an iPhone. As a confirmed BlackBerry user for six years with a PC on my desktop, this was a big day. After two weeks of use, I have become a solid convert. That may not sound unusual but here is the rest of the story.

iPhone 3GiPhone 3G

After waiting two hours in line to purchase my iPhone, my time with the clerk took longer than most everyone around me as she could not get the unit to complete the initial sync. Still euphoric for having one of the first 3G black 16GB units I tried to get some regular work done throughout the day. Looking through the accessories, I noticed I did not get the additional case I had purchased in my bag from the store. As my iPhone and I were getting accustomed to one another , I noticed the unit quickly went from warm to hot and the battery was draining in less than two hours with limited use. After taking forever for my new iPhone to get recharged, I headed back to the local AT&T store in Tallahassee. The helpful chaps there said I had to call AppleCare to get service or support and gladly handed me the case that was left out without question.



On my fourth day of iPhone ownership, AT&T gave me a “courtesy call” noticing I had accumulated over $1,200 in data charges since 07/11. They called to make sure I had the correct plan set up for my iPhone and after catching my breath, I assured them repeatedly I had selected the unlimited data plan. Great call on their part to not send a loyal customer to an early grave.

My dealings with AppleCare on the battery issue the following day were equally as satisfying. They first offered for me to send my iPhone to have them repair and return it; quickly amending their offer to send a replacement and I was to send my original back within a certain time frame. My new iPhone arrived next day delivery with complete instructions and everything for an easy return of my original.

A wait in line, slow checkout, missing merchandise, major billing error and product replacement all within four days – this sounds like a monumental opportunity to rant, complain and bad mouth on a blog.

Much to the contrary. AT&T and AppleCare are the Ritz Carlton of wireless providers and devices. Both are major corporate entities that took time to listen, resolve a billing issue and replace a product in a prompt, polite and responsible manner.

Any one of these issues could have damaged or destroyed a loyal customer relationship; instead they built and solidified customer loyalty. Imagine going through this and still telling everyone these are great customer service companies – they are! Oh by the way, my new iPhone 3G is functional and fun!