What do you do when you plunk down several hundred dollars on media players that shit out on you within 18 months? The only thing we, the people, can do in Corporate Amerika: Complain.
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
May 29, 2006
To whom it may concern (and that should be anyone who works at Apple),
I know most consumer protection agencies recommend a calm, non-threatening tone be taken when filing business complaints in writing, but it’s awfully difficult to maintain a cool composure when you’re staring at $800 worth of electronic equipment that’s up and crapped out short of 18 months from the purchase date. But I’ll try to be the bigger man.
Please find enclosed TWO dead iPods: my wife’s 20 gig and my own 40 gig models. Also note that these iPods were purchased on the same day in December 2004. It is now May 2006 and both have suffered fatal hard disk errors, which I’ve learned from a simple Google search, is quite common.
After my wife’s iPod croaked two months ago I stopped at the Michigan Ave. Apple boutique in Chicago and asked a friendly, if hapless, employee what options were available. Considering Apple’s excellent reputation for customer service and the fact that I’d dropped nearly a grand on the players and some accessories, you can understand my shock at being told I could “trade in” my wife’s limp machine and apply $50 toward purchase of a new model. Do you treat all customers as nothing more than simple fools? THAT is not a satisfactory policy and will only drive otherwise loyal customers like myself into the arms of your fast approaching competition. My wife decided to think about it while we shared my then still functioning iPod.
And then the unthinkable: My iPod died this Saturday, May 27, in the year of our Lord, 2006.
Instead of trying to sucker me into plopping down another small fortune to ensure my wife and I can tolerate the mind numbing jobs we hold to pay for such frivolous expenditures, why don’t you do right by us and promptly send two NEW, preferably WORKING, iPods that are comparable to these dead models? At this point, it’s your only hope of saving me as a customer. Given the popularity of these little monsters, I am sure you could get by with losing two from the cult, but I PERSONALLY know six (6) people whose iPods have met the exact same fate—all curiously just beyond the term of their warranties. Don’t think for a moment I am above forming some sort of consumer awareness campaign to warn others away from what seems to me to be a criminally shoddy product. I’m hoping the new generation iPod is better than the last—help me keep the faith.
If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact me anytime via email or during reasonable hours at the number provided.
My iPod may be the Jesus. Last night—three days after His untimely death—the Big Dog came back to life. While doing a Google search on “40 gig iPod, disk failure” so I could gather evidence to throw in my box to Apple, I came across this interesting anecdote from a fellow iPod sufferer:
Trying every third party and Apple software solution I could think of, I gave up and smucked the unit on the side lightly in the direction of the disk armature on the HD. This worked. No thunking followed and it ran stable enough to Disk Utility erase and Pod Software restore.
Having nothing to lose, I “smucked” the Big Dog around for a bit and then ran through the iPod restoration process. It worked. The Big Dog came back from the dead. That was His first miracle. It turns out, He also has the power to heal.
As you know, my lady’s iPod died two months ago. Lil’ Red was her name (the iPod, not my lady). She was a cute little 20 gig model and my wife loved her so. I decided to try the Fonzie Cure on Lil’ Red and she too came back to life, though it took several tries and I’m not confident she’s fully back to normal.
So, while I am elated that our iPods are back, I am still convinced that a one-year warranty is horseshit. I think this little episode also illustrates how delicate these “portable” media players are.
Just the same, it’s comforting to hear the Good Word coming from my earbuds again.