Daily Archives: June 20, 2011

Doin Rants: Apple’s Atrocious Customer Service

Sorry it’s not sports related, but this is too funny not to share with the world. It’s a good example of why I’m so offended by modernity. I stole that quote from a 92 year old guy on American Pickers. But it’s true. I had a minor billing issue with Apple, but it wasn’t my fault, so I decided to try to get it resolved. BIG MISTAKE. Here’s what happened….

Two years ago… I’m not a huge iTunes user, but it comes in handy at times. One day I had a Visa giftcard with about $4 left on it, so I figured what a great idea it’d be to download a couple songs and use up the card. I picked three songs, the transaction was approved, and the goods were tendered to me. A couple weeks or months later, I went back to buy a few more songs for the hell of it. But I was greeted with an error message stating that there was a problem with my previous purchase and that I owed $3.27. Normally I’d be happy to authorize a company to charge my credit card again if the original transaction failed, but this was a gift card – I had long thrown away that card. I’m too stubborn to pay for those songs again. So I said f*** it, and moved on with my life. Of course, every few months, I’d forget and go back to try and buy more songs. Each time, the same reaction. Nah… I estimate that I tried to spend over $100 on songs, but was denied due to an alleged $3.27 outstanding balance. I even bought CDs for the first time in about 10 years! To me, this whole thing is the equivalent of if I had paid cash for something, and the vendor later LOST the cash, and thus demanded that I pay again. Not gonna happen.

So now that I finally made the jump to the much maligned iPhone, I find that I’m still blacklisted, YEARS later. I can’t even download FREE apps. I decided it was time to do something about it. Again, big mistake. I figured all I had to do was take 5 or 10 minutes of my time and explain the situation to someone and they could correct the error and clear the balance. Not so fast. I can’t even speak to anyone in my own country! I’m an advocate of globalization and outsourcing, but customer service is the one thing that I disagree with. How is someone who doesn’t speak English supposed to help ANYONE? I don’t wanna name names, so let’s call him Purush. Purush replies to me with an e-mail that looked like it was written by an 8 year old. Not an American 8 year old, an Indian 8 year old. I get insulted when customers of mine can’t craft a grammatically correct e-mail. Clearly I’m less than impressed when someone who is supposed to help me can’t even understand what I’m saying, let alone reply to me in an informed matter. He kept feeding me canned responses that really didn’t apply to my situation. What frustrated me most though, is despite multiple requests to please forward my issue to someone else who is able to help, he repeatedly refused to do so, and continued to tell me I need to pay again. He finally has stopped responding to me altogether. I’m as stubborn as they come though, so I’ve just decided to boycott Apple altogether. I won’t spend a dime on apps or games or songs. I’ve talked two people out of iPhones. With Father’s Day coming up, my sister suggested we get my dad Apple TV. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds expensive, and I explained to her I am boycotting Apple so it’s not gonna happen. Classic American business move: alienate a customer over $3.27, and in turn, lose over $500 in sales due to neglect.

Look, I provide terrible customer service at times, but if someone is affected by a mistake I made, I’ll man up and correct it. When I don’t, I’ll still hear you out and try to work something out. But you know what Purush? Even though you were rooting for me to fail, you still have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that you had before you woke up today. You’ll have the same personal problems you had today. I’m going to live my life. You have to get back to the real world at some point. (Lebron James, 6/12/2011)

Purush denied my request for comment or a personal photo to share for this feature.