Sunday, December 19, 2004


Yesterday my daughter and I met in Charlotte for some last minute Christmas shopping. Afterwards we had dinner with her college roommate. The weather was great, the shops were full of friendly merchants and customers, and a good time was had by all. Really. And once again I was reminded why my computer platform and the company behind it are simply the best at what they do.

My daughter's iPod had developed a mechanical malfunction making it inoperable. She has had a lifetime being somewhat hard on electrical devices. For example, by her own admission she has been Lady Death on TV remote controls. But even though it was thoroughly scratched, what was ailing this iPod did not seem to be her fault, this time. She took it to the local Apple Store to see if there was anything that could be done short of buying a new one.

She went to the Genius Bar, handed the iPod to the young man, and told him her story. After a quick examination he asked when it had been purchased. They then determined the warranty had long since expired. She said she really missed listening to it, especially in the car on her way to work. She told him if it was a goner she was prepared to buy a new one. Volunteering this information I thought was not a smooth move. We were, after all, in a mall - a Temple of Commerce. But the man smiled and said he thought he could help her. He asked if replacing was OK.

I have always enjoyed that expression on my daughter's face. This she was so not expecting. She started smiling and asked him if he was kidding. He replied that he needed to do some paperwork, get her signature, and he would bring her a replacement in a few minutes. No longer sad at the fate of her iPod she walked about the store - spending a while at the iPod protective case display - while I chatted up the "genius."

While he was entering data and generating hardcopies he mentioned that an iPod he owned had the same problem, loyal Mac users should be supported - not ripped off, and that he was happy he could make things right.

A few minutes later we left the store, the day off to a great start. Any doubts as to the continued brand loyalty of my daughter or me? I wonder how many people she will tell.

No, Apple is not perfect. But yesterday they were close enough.

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