18 Comments

Summary:

Between the iPhone and MobileMe, we’re starting to see some complaints about Apple quality and support – widely regarded as the cornerstones of the company’s reputation. Twitter is full of complaints about MobileMe, and the company has gone so far as to add another 60 days […]

ScreenshotBetween the iPhone and MobileMe, we’re starting to see some complaints about Apple quality and support – widely regarded as the cornerstones of the company’s reputation. Twitter is full of complaints about MobileMe, and the company has gone so far as to add another 60 days of free service for suffering subscribers. Some prominent bloggers have also weighed in on the issue of Apple quality recently, with negative views.

And yet…despite some high-profile complaints, the bulk of Apple users still seem to be satisfied. A survey at our parent blog GigaOM is finding most respondents to be satisfied, and the just-released American Customer Satisfaction Index scores put Apple ahead of all other computer manufacturers for Q2. So despite some stumbles, it looks like Apple hasn’t yet lost its shine.

What’s your take on the state of Apple products?

By Mike Gunderloy

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  1. Support is a ‘cornerstone’ of apple’s reputation? really??

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  2. C’mon…Twitter? Really? Why would you even mention Twitter? Why didn’t you mention your MySpace comments, too? Let’s not reference Twitter as a source for any real information.

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  3. Apple is definitely experiencing some growing pains. No question about it. However, the recent customer outrage regarding Apple’s slips shows me that they still “have it” – that customers still expect the best from Apple.

    Contrast this with Microsoft, where shoddy products that fail to innovate are received contentedly by its customers as simply the “status quo.”

    “Vista stinks even after its many delays? No big deal. We didn’t expect otherwise.”

    I’d rather be in Apple’s shoes.

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  4. I have long believed that the true measure of a company’s products is how long you can go before needing their support. I’ve been using apple products now for over a year (iPod and iMac) and have never needed to call support or visit the Genius bar.

    With that said… if I were a MobileMe customer or an iPhone user and I had gotten wrapped up in all the issues they have been facing over the last few months I would be pissed! There is no excuse for a company the size of Apple to fumble things like new product roll outs and such. Especially after all the hype they build around their new products.

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  5. I haven’t had problems with the few Apple products I’ve had, but other peoples’ recent experiences have made me re-think buying more. When my brother-in-law got a Macbook recently, I made sure he didn’t get MobileMe, even though in the Apple store they insisted it was all fixed now. And although I can’t wait for the iPhone to come to Chile, part of me wonders about whether it’s really worth it for something that won’t even go the whole day on one charge.

    @Genius in a post like this Twitter is a relevant source. We’re talking about Apple’s image, which is defined as how the public sees Apple and its products. So if people are talking – even on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or any other place that wouldn’t work as a source for a research paper – then that’s the place to go for information.

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  6. @Genius: I’m increasingly finding Twitter to be a pretty good source for a quick pulse about how the leading-edge web community thinks. The key is not to look at just one’s own contacts, but to use search to take a look at trends across all public users of the service. Now, granted, those users are not representative of the public as a whole (which is why they weren’t my only source), but they are an important – and loud – constituency for many companies in our field.

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  7. Used many macs since the 1980s, haven’t called Apple support once.

    There are so many Apple products around, ipods alone are over 160 million, so even if there is a tiny percentage of problems there’s going to be thousands of people who might be unhappy but the percentages show the vast majority of people are happy with Apple. Also many Apple users are tech savvy and might tend to blog or post more so might skew sites like Twitter, some of the young people haven’t even tried using (struggling with) PCs before! I’ve had two PCs die horrible deaths in my home, makes me appreciate my macs more.

    Latest data:

    “The most recent results of the American Customer Satisfaction Index puts Apple ahead of all other computer manufacturers with a rating of 85 percent, a new high for the industry. The Cupertino company saw an improvement of 8 percent since the last measurement, putting it 10 full percentage points ahead of its nearest competitor in an industry where the general satisfaction rating has gone down for the second straight time. “

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  8. I find it interesting that some people have such a hassle with they apple products. I personally own a Mac Pro, the 30″ HD monitor to accompany it, a 17″ Macbook Pro, 2 iPods, 1 2nd gen iPod nano, and I’ve not had a single problem with any of them that wasn’t my own fault.

    (The only two problems being 1) I spilt half a bowl of ramen into my Macbook Pro keyboard – which only cost me $150 to fix at the Apple store and only took a few days; and 2) I washed my iPod nano – I let it dry for quite a while before using it and my husband is still using it today, years later)

    I also agree with Chris, I’d rather people be holding Apple to standards that allow for disappointment than no standards at all like Microsoft *chuckle*

    I’ve never had to call corporate support as my local Apple store is extremely good at handling any and all questions, even though it never has less than 75-100 people in the store at any given time.

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  9. Oh, forgot… I did have the apparently normal problem of my Macbook Pro power cord eating itself near the plug, but it’s under $100 to fix and is a whole lot better than the problems I’ve had with PCs doing all but blowing up. (including having every single part die due to a lightning bolt and a shoddy power strip)

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  10. Oh yes. Apple is having some problems, but it’s not as crappy as Microsoft, huhuhuhuh. Wow, now that’s a good argument.

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