3 Shining Examples of Customer Support That Apple Could Learn From

Thursday, Jul 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:19 PM PDT
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3 Shining Examples of Customer Support That Apple Could Learn From

Frustrated left-handed callers and skeptics are still butting heads over whether or not the newest iPhone is hampered by how you hold it. "Hold it differently" sums up Apple's company line, and recently it's been found that employees are told to downplay this left-handed calling business and to not supply free bumper cases (normally $30).

Steve Jobs himself said to "simply use one of many available cases" to help alleviate all this left-handed business. If that's what's making prospective buyers nervous, why not hook them up and look good doing it? Other companies have done much, much more. Check it out.

The Xbox 360 and its horrendous failure rate

No one really knows exactly how many Xbox 360s experienced the "Red Ring of Death," the error code the console flashes when it goes belly up. We do know that it was enough of them for Microsoft to enact a blanket 3-year-long extension for warranties just to be sure. The move cost the company (raising my Dr. Evil pinkie now) over one billion dollars. I had to take advantage of the policy myself.

The Nintendo DS vs. "stuck pixels"

If you're the owner of one of the iterations of the DS, the PSP or something similar, then you know how the joy can be sucked right out of a new purchase if there's something wonky going out with a few pixels on the screen. "It's just a pixel!" Sure, but a "stuck pixel," or one that's incredibly bright — or a black, dead pixel — can be super distracting. Nintendo, in one of the most polite messages ever, encouraged players to do the following: "We suggest that you use your system for a few weeks to determine whether this interferes with your enjoyment of game play." After that? Just send it in and the company would see what it could do. Again, I have personal experience here, and it was cleared up quick.

Palm pays out $134,200 to its app makers

You don't have to look that far back for a show of customer appreciation, either. Just this week Palm decided to waive the $50 App Catalog submission fee it previously imposed for app-makers who wanted to get into the Palm store. And, just to show that those who came before weren't forgotten, Palm went ahead and refunded the $50 to whoever paid the fee in the first place. With 2,684 apps, that means Palm was looking at a $134,200 bill. It's not a billion, sure, but it's six digits Palm didn't need to part with.

That, and $50 is more than the $30 bumper case Apple won't give up. C'mon, Apple, throw the left-handed folks a bone here.

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