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At $99 a year, I expect my online service to function all the time. So perhaps that is why I am a little upset that Apple hasn’t been able to launch their MobileMe service properly and are experiencing outages. The fact that the service was supposed […]

At $99 a year, I expect my online service to function all the time. So perhaps that is why I am a little upset that Apple hasn’t been able to launch their MobileMe service properly and are experiencing outages. The fact that the service was supposed to launch at a time of Apple’s choosing, leaves no room for excuses on today’s problems.

It is doubly disappointing because this is a for-pay and not some free service, where you get what you pay for. Many free services occassionaly suffer downtime. Apple’s DotMac service, predecessor to MobileMe was as temperamental as John McEnroe in his heyday. (Related Story: dotMac, time for a makeover.) The only saving grace is that my dot.mac email via the desktop client is working properly. Whew!

But I want to see a letter of apology and a refund for time lost to outage. Infact all paying services should be forced to refund the money for the time the services are down. That way the high cost of returning a couple of dollars is going to eat into their profits, making them work harder.

By Om Malik

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  1. At least they are adding custom domain support (spotted in screenshot at TUAW). Can’t wait to figure out if it works with exchange enabled devices!

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  2. I am a pretty big Apple customer–both personal and medium business–and I have seen Apple’s quality slide dramatically in the past two years.

    Whether it was shipping the Leopard client so early it required two of the largest patches in Apple’s history, to the last update of the iPod OS shipping with serious bugs, to massive issues in the hardware ranging from heat to noise to the numerous problems with displays across the lines, Apple’s quality is getting worse and worse. And yes, 2.0 of the iPhone OS is buggy as sin.

    And now they can’t get mobileme, a new service online. This is a huge, public failure.

    I like supporting the company, but Apple needs to understand that innovation without quality results in a niche company–if they’re lucky.

    I, for one, am ECSTATIC that this disaster with mobileme happened. Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive for a supporter of the company, but it’s true.

    This quality failure cannot be hidden from senior management. This cannot be fixed at the genius bar or with rapid patches.

    No, this failure is big. It is public. The mainstream media know it. It’s a total disaster and failure to execute.

    Now, hopefully, Apple’s leadership will see the rot that is growing in the company around QA and the sliding quality across the board, and apply serious energy and resources to creating a culture of innovation AND quality.

    No one will be happier than I to have an Apple that can both innovate and produce high quality products.

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  3. (and don’t even get me started on the quality issues with Leopard Server.)

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  4. My MobileMe isn’t working either, and I’m equally upset. =(

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  5. [...] venerable Om Malik wrote on GigaOM, “At $99 a year, I expect my online service to function all the time. So perhaps that is why [...]

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  6. Come on, Om. You know as well as anyone that just b/c you’re using a paid customer service, it doesn’t automatically grant you an SLA with 90% uptime. I dropped .mac after my one year subscription precisely b/c the service was terrible for what it provided. I don’t expect a rebranding to solve their technical problems anytime soon.

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  7. I went to sleep last night thinking it would be up this morning. No such luck, still down. Shocking.

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  8. [...] GigaOm: I Can’t Find MobileMe [...]

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  9. Your comments are right on, Om! I have been with .mac since its inception – but I have been astounded and disappointed in the the low level of support and the high degree of disregard for the paying customers. However, I do continue to maintain my subscription. Why is that….?

    I hope that Apple sees your demand for an apology and a refund!

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  10. [...] GigaOm:I Can’t Find MobileMe [...]

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