Apple Pays Up

Apple’s Doctrine of System Infallibility Is Undone

The Apple Is Infallible?

Apple techies are programmed to believe in the Doctrine of System Infallibility. The customer must be wrong because the Apple system is always right. So it was that I ran into Apple policy’s of “no serial number, no service”  last week when Apple’s system insisted  the new iPad in my hand was not there but was still in the Apple warehouse.  

Eventually I was able convince the techie to give me the iPad service I sought in spite of the allegedly incorrect serial number. That alone took longer than it should have–10 minutes–after I had already endured 30-minutes of bad hold music before connection to tech support. 

My “escalated”* complaint to Apple was for pain and suffering caused by time wasted and annoyance with Apple’s hold music selections.  Apple admitted its system had been overcome that day with holiday orders. In Appletalk, something caused my serial number to be “floating” at the time I called. 

Consistent with the Consumerist Credo, I asked for compensation for my time due to the float. 

–Apple: What do you want?

–Me: My time is worth $100/hour. Make an offer.

–Apple: How about a free wireless keyboard for the iPad? [Sells for $79.95.]

–Me: OK. [The keyboard arrived 3 days later.]

*Consumerist Takeaway:  When customer or technical support is not prompt or perfectly helpful, insist on escalation to the management level. It has the authority to do something more meaningful than feel your pain. 

NOTE: The Consumerist Manifesto Handbook is available  as a physical book and as an e-book. To order, visit your local bookstore or go to or the Barnes & Noble website,  

The term “hold music” is defined in the Corp-Speak Glossary in the book.

Happy Holidays! May all your customer service adventures end well.


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