Apple marketing, and Apple users like me, have a tendency to almost gloat that “it just works.” The vast majority of time that claim is true, to be honest. Owning an Apple product really does mean not having to worry about viruses or spy ware, not having to reinstall the operating system to speed it up again, and not worrying about drivers or programs being incompatible. It means eagerly installing upgrades to operating systems the day they come out. It really is a joy. Before today, I had almost forgotten how frustrating computers can sometimes be.
But, one thing that is not often admitted is that there are times when things don’t go quite so smoothly, even with Apple products. I think one reason we don’t talk much about this is quite simply what happens when things do go wrong. Apple customer care and technical support is of better quality even than their products. If I had to choose between giving up my Apple equipment and giving up my Apple support, I would struggle.
Take today, for example. I have been noticing a significant slow-down on my laptop recently, and wondered if it was due to the fact that somehow or other I had severely messed up my contacts list. Thanks to a not-so-smart decision to synchronize my address book with Google Contacts, years of neglect, and some chaos somehow caused, my computer was desperately trying to index and sync 20,000 contacts! Most of these were “No names” and/or duplicates.
I successfully pruned out all the rubbish (it took a while!) but then found that I simply couldn’t get the new data to synchronize properly with the Mobileme server. Stumped I turned to the website. After exhausting a couple of fantastically clear and helpful articles (Apple support articles are the best!) I was still stuck. So I called for help, in this case, an online chat support agent. My problem being somewhat messy, it took a while for us to fix it, but the guy was pleasant, knew what he was doing, and even chatted a bit with me while we were waiting for various tasks. End result? A very satisfied customer and a much more reasonable 249 contacts successfully syncing between all my Apple devices!
After that, all I had to do was set up my existing iPhone to give to my wife, putting it on a ridiculously cheap O2 “simplicity” tariff. This massive sacrifice is not as big as it sounds. I had decided to give it to her a few days before getting my own upgrade to the new iPhone 4.0. A wise move. She gets to enjoy the phone knowing that at least until I get hold of the latest gadget I will be using her old non-smart handset. And boy is it non-smart! I tried to figure out how to set up caller divert or access voicemail on it, and I can’t work out either. I will soldier on, as at least I can use it to answer calls, and hopefully Andree will become very attached to my old phone as HER iPhone pretty quickly. When the iPhone 5 comes out, we might even give that iPhone 3 to one of our children! If you are thinking of upgrading, don’t throw out your old iPhone, you have probably forgotten by now just how much of a joy it could be to someone still struggling with a Noikia or something. If you really can’t find a home for it, I do have five children, though most of them are too young for any mobile phone at all. In fact, come to think of it, don’t even throw out that old normal phone either, they can be recycled and what we take for granted or are bored with could be a lifeline to someone else.