Among my Christmas presents from daughter Katie was an iTunes card. Music is one of my passions and I view gifts like this as a “permission slip” to load my iPhone with songs outside my usual well-worn comfort zone.
While preparing to add the gift card sum to my iTunes account online, I was a little too eager, evidently, and scratched off a portion of the 16-digit code along with the security tape that covers it from prying eyes. Whoops, now what?! Never fear, there’s an Apple store in San Luis Obispo. So, I thought, I’ll drop by on my lunch hour and see if they can help me. (If this had happened to my wife, she’d be Google-ing within minutes, and in retrospect, her approach would likely have been more efficient.)
My visit to the Apple store was disappointing. A friendly Apple employee reassured me that I was not a complete idiot – my iTunes card scratch-off problem happens to other people. But … he couldn’t help me. The iTunes “store” must be accessed online to reconstruct the secret code. He did not offer to walk me over to one of the dozens of live Apple products to help guide me through the process so I could self-serve myself right there and then.
So, back to work I went. That evening, I used my MacBook Pro to sign in to iTunes, access their “store” and navigate my way to a form to fill out. An immediate automated-response email message confirmed that my form had been received and I now had a problem resolution number and a commitment that I’d receive a personal response, within 24 hours.
Slightly less than 24 hours later I did, in fact, receive a personalized email message from “Manu” the iTunes customer support specialist. He (I’m making an assumption Manu is a man) was polite, seemed to care and, most importantly, fixed my problem; my iTunes Card code was located and step-by-step instructions were provided to redeem it to my account.
Oh, and 24 hours after that, Manu sent another message to see if I was experiencing any difficulties with the card or the iTunes Store. Nice touch.
After a shaky start at the Apple Store, this is a story of good service “recovery” and ultimately a satisfied customer. And I just ordered an iPad 2 … but that experience will have to wait for a future article.