Alright, I didn’t really get a free iPod, it’s more like they lost the unit I sent in for repair and are replacing it, but I wanted to share the story since everyone likes to write about bad customer service experiences and it might be refreshing to hear about a good one.
About four months ago I bought a 30GB iPod Video for testing and because my first gen iPods were getting very long in the tooth (but still work great!). I rarely used it as a portable device, however, and instead preferred to use it hooked up to my stereo to gain easy access to my entire music library, all 18GB or so.
When I did unplug it and take it with me on a walk or ride, however, I noticed that the battery life was far inferior to my many year old first gen iPods. So I started to try and identify exactly how it retained battery charge. I figured out that my iPod, fully charged, remained fully charged for about 24-30 hours, then lost all of its charge and was dead as the proverbial doornail even though it was off and the hold switch was engaged to ensure it couldn’t accidentally turn on again.
About two weeks ago I’d had enough and decided that if I had paid for a proper iPod, I should have one, so I called Apple’s wonderfully easy-to-remember service number, 800-SOS-APPLE, and explained the situation.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a big category of repairs for iPods called “battery problems” and their solution is always to apparently pop out the old battery and put in a new one. Fine with me.
17 hours later DHL rang the doorbell and had a shipping box for me to send in my iPod, which I did later that afternoon.
About a week later, I called up Apple and asked them for a status update, since their Web-based system showed “box shipped, awaiting return”, which was definitely not good. Their friendly customer service rep explained that they did have a record of receiving my iPod but didn’t know where it was in the repair facility.
Oh, um, okay.
“Five days, call us back in five days because we need to open up an investigation and figure out what happened.”
Two days later, here’s the email I just received:
“We are pleased to report that we have completed our investigation of the shipment of your iPod. The carrier has filed a claim and considers your iPod lost in transit. We have ordered a replacement iPod.”
Not exactly the outcome I expected, but still, kudos to Apple for recognizing the problem and resolving it in a timely manner!