• Apple's silent treatment

    Apple is a company we all love but there are times when we have good reason to hate them. For a company that is so good at marketing, it surprises me that they are so bad at PR when it comes to dealing with issues. There are many examples where pushing problems under the rug have come back to bite organisations and this is one that is likely to haunt Apple if they continue down this path.

    Batterygate is one of the more recent examples amongst a long list of problems where Apple takes on the silent role while itís users suffer. I have no doubt that this is to the detriment of its brand in a highly competitive market like the mobile phone market, itís a knock to the brand name that Apple canít afford. While Batterygate is not a widespread problem for all users, it still affects a large number of users as can be seen by the length of the forums on this site and others.
    The reason I bring up Batterygate specifically is there is a long list of solutions on forums that clearly have a massive impact on battery life. Iíve managed to take my battery life from a dismal 4 hrs up to a more respectable 20 hrs and Iíve done so through research, reading forums and testing options. Whilst I am happy to do this, the reality here is as a user spending $1,000 on a phone, I shouldnít have to and there are a number of users out there who donít have the time to do it and will suffer shorter battery life. My mum who is 65yrs old is unlikely to even know how to do a restore from new, let alone go through forums looking for solutions to battery problems.
    My primary source of annoyance with this is Apple must be aware of what the problem are and choose to keep quiet. Given the settings changes, it's clearly software related and Apple would have access to the diagnostics data that would allow them to identify where the problems areas are and notify users of the fix. I understand fixes take time and Iím not asking them to perform miracles and get software releases out before theyíre ready, Iím just asking them to tell people how to fix the problem temporarily.

    Given I have a solution and my battery life is now okay, I could probably go to the effort of documenting the 100 odd steps I tried and which work, but this information is already littered across the internet and one more location wonít help. It needs to come from Apple and it needs to come soon and Apple needs to understand it canít leave users in the lurch for over a month without a word. It's not that I expect better of Apple, obviously I do, but I at least expect a basic level of customer service and this is it.

    If this was a once off, Iíd be happy and give Apple the benefit of the doubt but this has become strangely familiar place. Apple problemís simply donít exist in Apple land and there are many examples where this doesn't end well for companies.

    Apple, there isnít a lot I complain about these days, but this is one area you really need work on. When you fired Scott Forstall, you should have fired your head of customer service as well but don't worry, its not too late for a shake up.

    About the author

    Athol Hill is the Practice Lead for Stonebridge Systems, an SAP & OpenText implementation partner specialising in web and content management implementations and strategy.

    He is a certified SAP and Project Management Professional with a large number of implementations spanning the globe including Australasia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. When he isn't kitesurfing or spending time with his family, Athol writes part time for Mactalk on a range of subjects including iOS/OSX in the workplace, bleeding edge, product reviews and anything Mac. If you have something new and exciting to review, feel free to get in touch. He can be contacted via twitter on @themissionman or email on athol.hill@mactalk.com.au. Opinions noted here are Athol's own and aren't any official policy of position of his employer.
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