Steve Jobs died yesterday at 56, and while I am terribly saddened by his passing, I can’t get over the feeling of euphoria I had earlier in the day with AppleCare support before he died. Perhaps Steve’s greatest legacy is the people he led and then left behind to help us find our way in his absence.
My most recent bout of AppleCare anxiety started last Sunday and I’ve basically been dead in the water ever since. I discovered my beloved 13″ unibody MacBook had a bulging battery that had gone bad, expanded, and warped the shell of the machine. The bad Apple battery syndrome previously bit me and my 17″ MacBook Pro.
I called AppleCare on Sunday. My credit card was charged $130 for the replacement battery even though it was just supposed to be a “hold.” The replacement battery arrived on Tuesday. It was the wrong size. I re-called AppleCare. A new re-replacement battery, was re-sent — no charge this time — and it is supposed to arrive today. It is out for delivery.
I then had the gumption to ask the support guy about a matter that had been seething in me for over two weeks: Why wasn’t my 24″ Cinema Display covered by my MacBook AppleCare warranty? After some checking, and confirming when and how I purchased the display, the AppleCare support guy was able to cover my Cinema Display under my existing AppleCare warranty! I have an appoint to take the display in for repair tomorrow and it will be fixed free of charge.
I then went to supportprofile.apple.com and set up all my telephones and SMS to work with VoicePass to make the AppleCare process easier and more seamless the next time:
My Support Profile offers one-stop access to manage your products, support activities, and contact information. You can also join VoicePass, so Apple can quickly identify you and provide a fast, personalized experience when you call.
You can also add nicknames to all the Apple products you own and set up repair options and check for warranty coverage!
I was feeling good and right all day long that, perhaps finally, my AppleCare problems were behind me, and the iPhone 4S was in my future on Friday — along with an impending MacBook Air and 27″ Thunderbolt Display — when, after teaching, I read this email from the intrepid Gordon Davidescu as I exited the shadows of Bryant Park to mark my way back home:
So sad about Steve Jobs
Apple put up a tribute site —
Sent from my iPhone
It was so appropriate that Gordon sent that mourning message “from my iPhone.” I’ve always loved that auto-sig on the iPhone and iPad and I never bother to change it because that tag line tells people I’m mobile and it also lets them know how I am technologically tethered to them.
The way home was a bitter mixture of missing Steve’s ongoing innovation, and feeling the terror he must’ve known leaving behind such a young family as his final moments touched him, and how euphoric I’d been all day just knowing Apple took care of me and sent me a new battery and found a way to fix my Cinema Display for free.
You can’t beat that kind of kind of service — and that’s why I always purchase AppleCare for all my Apple stuff — though you can try to buy it from many companies.
What Steve Jobs knew that so many of those in his position do not is that tenderness for the continuing customer matters, and patience with new customers is the covenant you must never break when you ask for their money and for them to not just use your products, but to love them, too.
Steve also knew that to have meaning in someone’s life takes an unequivocal commitment of passion and purpose — and too few people in the world have had the honor of putting that purchase into practice.
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for helping me work better and faster in the world. I couldn’t do it without you.