What started as a simple task, has completely gone awry. It was a simple change…but not so simple in the eyes of a big company (Apple) and its support staff.
I started out by wanting to update my iTunes account to use my MobileMe email address. Upon logging into my Account Settings, I attempted to update my email address. I quickly noticed there was no longer an email address field. Instead, reading the helpful hints in between the fields, they explained that the Apple ID and email address are now one in the same.
OK, no problem, I’ll just put my new MobileMe email address (email@example.com) into the AppleID field. I clicked submit and received an error. iTunes was telling me that my MobileMe already had an iTunes account associated with it. What?!?
To shed some light on this…after going back and forth on several emails, I received the following from an Apple iTunes customer service employee:
I have read and UNDERSTOOD everything that you have stated. You want to use the same email address for your mobile me and iTunes account. As stated in a previous response to you, This cannot be done through iTunes. You are allowed to change your iTunes account email address under normal circumstances. The errors that you are receiving are telling you that the conflict is due to your mobile me account. Your mobile me account is designed to automatically setup an iTunes account as a convenience to the customer. At this point and time you have a mobile me account and an iTunes account. You are free to stop using either account but u will lose access to some of your purchased content. If iTunes tells you that you must have a different mobile me account email then that is what needs to occur before you can alter your Itunes email.
Note: No wording has been changed; I only used bold to emphasize the very statement I find ironic. Please keep in mind that I have not posted the entire email thread (yet). This was a response after about three emails each, back and forth.
The convenience you speak of is going to cause me and my family to abandon the MobileMe service. Would you pay for something that you cannot use by the very company that sold it to you? I understand what you are explaining to me, but I do not choose to accept it. Does it seem like the correct business solution Apple should be serving to its customers? You are asking me to either (1) stop using the MobileME service or (2) throw away all of the media I have purchased through iTunes to date.
I am not putting the fault on you, in fact I appreciate you assisting me. I realize you are only conveying to me what you have the power to change and correct. Can I speak with your supervisor or can you ensure this ticket is escalated to the next level?
It is illogical to sell me a MobileMe email address that I purchased from Apple and cannot use with my iTunes account containing all of the media I have purchased to date.
<<my cell phone number was here>>
Note: only edited to remove my cell phone number. I don’t feel like telemarketing SPAM.
First, I have to give Apple’s employee kudos. This person is still listening to me, although it would be nice to have at least a name to make it more comforting (that’s for another blog posting). Customer service is not the only thing broken here. What is broken is Apple is cracking the very wishbone that put Apple in front of me. Opportunity.
Someone at Apple decided a nice feature would be to automatically generate an iTunes account when you signed up for MobileMe. That short sited thinking has now cost his/her own company a black eye. And people think the power of one doesn’t matter in corporate America.
I’m doing my best to leave my feelings out of this, but since I am human, I do have them. So what do my feelings tell me to do? I want to fly out to Apple and work there until this problem is fixed. Sounds like a poor attempt at obtaining a job right? No….I’m just passionate enough about companies seeing the viewpoint their customers see to fix it. I’m not sure my current employer would take me back. They are another corporation. 🙂
To me, Apple is on the crossroads of customer loyalty and growing behind their capabilities (currently). This customer service employee could just process my request along with all the others, hit a certain quota by the end of the month achieving a certain percentage of satisfaction and be happy. But I want to challenge the employee to think outside the box…put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself….would you accept this as an answer?
Sounds funny? Unbelievable, huh? Well I don’t believe that. All it takes is one person to affect one customer positively…and sell them for life. That customer may even speak highly of the company and you’ve now gained a spokesperson for the company that if it performs well gives you stock options and/or a bonus annually. Not bad for an employee among several thousand.
Since I am the customer here, I decide to take the issue to Steve Jobs. Somewhere between Steve and the outward facing customer service employee, the message of what is important is lost. It blends and then it is gone. Thinking outside the box, using the tools provided fades as the sturdy box and script appears next to a computer of what to say, and how to say it.
Even if I don’t get a response back from Steve, perhaps one of those employees outside the box will pick up the email. And they will do the right thing for me and all Apple customers.
I haven’t yet posted the entire email thread…if you’d like to see it drop me a comment. Otherwise, I will keep providing updates as comments and/or blog entries. That is if you care to read them… 🙂