iPod Goodness and Apple Idiocy

I finally got my paws on an iPod, but not without running afoul of the idiocy of Apple’s sales and marketing people. I find it interesting that Apple paid to get most department store catalogues to pimp their products when they refused to deliver said products to the stores in time for the catalogue run.

The monkeys at Next Byte were their usual mindless selves and no help whatsoever. A run around town resulted in the same thing. Finally, a ring around of stores resulted in yet the same story. No iPods. No idea when they’ll arrive. Apple won’t part with information.

There was the distinct feeling that Apple are not making themselves any friends with their retailers, several were more than happy to give tell me their woes. After having to tell customers that they don’t have stock of the advertised product and have no idea when they will, I don’t blame them.
I ended up having to deal with the horror of the online Apple store. That was not a joyous experience. I wouldn’t have minded the inconvenience of their crap ID check if I was informed up front, I object when I get an e-mail on a Friday afternoon that can’t be replied to until after the Apple monkeys have left for the day. Wonderful timing to hold my order up for the weekend through their incompetence. I was no a happy camper. It certainly didn’t help their case that their idea of e-mail looks exactly like a phishing scam.

Now I’m left wondering if it was such a great choice. One of co-workers iPods has died the death and it’s less than a month old. Apple have been keeping iPod problems very quiet, happily claiming that each fault is unique and never admitting to the possibility of a wider reaching series of problems.

Journalist Peter Cotton is now on his fifth iPod and Apple’s no comment is wearing a bit thin.

I decided it was time to go to the top. I called the managing director’s office, where an assistant heard me out. Within hours I had a call from Apple Australia’s marketing director, Arno Lenior. He apologised for his staff’s failure to return calls but refused to say anything about the five failed iPods.

No comment was Lenior’s only comment. Not This is most unusual or Sorry about those iPods. No. It was No comment, and he said it about 20 times as I peppered him with questions about the efficacy of iPod technology, about other people’s experience of the iPod, and why Apple was prepared to trumpet the brilliance of this music machine but was unwilling to talk when there was a problem. No Comment. So I asked whether Apple ever commented for stories about hardware failure. We do sometimes, Lenior says, but in this case: no comment.

I got a similar idiotic, whining Nobody else complains, when I queried their business practices. Apple really need to lift their game before they shoot themselves in the foot
Update: My colleague had no problems getting his iPod replaced, aside from the delay of getting a new one shipped out to him. He expected to get stuck in a repair cycle, but they didn’t even suggest that.
His conversation with the store was interesting. The guy stated that this was the first iPod Photo that had stopped working, but he mentioned that the previous generation were buggy and died constantly. These comments are from the store point of view of what is coming back through them, they personally have seen many buggy units, and it would explain the no questions swap.
I had a new power supply for the PC blow a week after I installed it. My friend got the same model at the same time and his went too. Both were replaced with different models without a problem, but it does illustrate that occasionally you do get bad batch runs.
With any luck, my colleague’s problem was an anomoly and is not endemic to the series. Hopefully it shouldn’t affect my iPod Mini or his iPod Photo replacement.

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  1. lucie

    18 April 2005 at 5.14 pm

    Not good. I haven’t dealt with the online Apple store before, but so far http://www.streetwise.com.au and http://www.macmall.com.au have been quite good. I remember there was a similiar shortage of pods when I got mine. I would’ve thought that 2 years down the track Apple would pull their finger out with stock downunder, ESPECIALLY with iPods. Well i hope your pod is going well at least.


  2. Jeza

    24 January 2006 at 7.07 pm

    I hate my new ipod mini. I have already sent it back for repair once before and it was returned with the same problem. They also were courteous enough to charge me $19.95, not a hardware issue they said. So why doesnt it still work? I could handle the $19.95 charge, if I got it back and it worked. So, after wasting hours and hours waiting on hold and trying to speak to a technician from india, I think the value in having an ipod is quickly diminishing. Anyway, its back to using my trusty Sony CD walkman until my ipod returns from service (again).
    Good luck with your iPods people, I am the only person in the world with these problems.


  3. Red Wolf

    24 January 2006 at 7.27 pm

    I’ve had no problems with my mini. My mother conned me into getting her a mini (a first generation, compared to my second) and it has also happily run without a hitch.
    However, my colleague with the dodgy iPod had another complete shutdown several months after the repaired unit was returned. He rocked into the shop he bought it from, the tech looked at it, did a soft reboot via the click wheel and it was running again.
    I suspect it’s a batch problem or it’s the problem many laptops suffer from: you’re fitting so much stuff into such a small space that a fraction of a millimetre variance can mean the difference between a unit working and a unit overheating or otherwise failing


  4. Lorraine Tobin

    16 February 2006 at 10.07 pm

    My daughter is on her third I-pod, under warranty that just died. It seems to be dying of the same death of the first one. I won’t recognize being plugged into any computer.
    The first one died in the 10th month and then 2 weeks later the replacement died and then 2 months later the 3rd one has kicked the bucket. We cannot get a response from Apple and no one there replies to emails or returns phone calls. And we cannot understand the Call Centre staff accents from India or somewhere thereabouts.
    In fact the call centre told us that the 1st one died and that it could be fixed by plugging it in and downloading new software, this was after we explained that it could not recognised being plugged in… go figure… I don’t think he understood Australian English to well. I had to ask him to repeat one of his heavily accented responses 5 times before I understood it.
    When we took it to the authorised dealer he confirmed that it could not be repaired (contrary to Mr Call Centre) by plugging it in because it did not recognise being plugged in (he was obviously a genious… and a plagariser, as he repeated what my daughter had discovered…
    The brain wonders, when it employs genious people like the ones above… perhaps that is why I-pods are so inefficient and ineffective… It all starts at the top (the fish rots from the head down).
    It was the first and last time we will ever by an I-pod.


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