There was a time when a company that provided a service cared about an individual user experience. That time has long since passed. Small businesses don't even seem to care all that much considering some of the way they practice service so when you put that to a big place like Apple, Microsoft, Nike, or any of those biggies, the average person is literally at their mercy. They have zero recourse in regards to poor service, bad practices, or decisions that just suck for them financially or otherwise.
I've come to this realization over the years as both a service manager and a random schlub who buys stuff. We would often weigh the complaint of a lower ranking employee versus that of someone with a 'higher powered ear' to complain to. That was a directive from our VP. And I'm fairly sure that's how it works for every place out there. If you're a big company, you determine how big of a stink someone can raise. If they are...say...random guy who bought an item, you don't care much if he complains. But if he's a celebrity, no one would likely hear about it because they'd just make it right behind the scenes.
I've seen a few bits of lame that don't matter. You just have to take it. The most recent was my purchase of the newest iPad Pro. I had an Apple Pencil but I don't really keep up on all their talks or videos, news releases. So this is partially my fault. I thought my pencil would work--after all, there's only ONE generation of the thing. When I tried it and it didn't work, I took to the web, found out how wrong I was, and felt the chafing blow of having to spend $130 dollars MORE to get my pad to do what I wanted.
And then throw away my previous $100 dollar item because it literally was no good. Oh, I guess I could've sold it for 1/10th the cost. They're going for like $15 bucks or something. So not only could I not use my previous purchase, but now I had to pay MORE than that purchase to make the new one work. The good news is that Best Buy has an awesome return policy. So I'm just going to take the thing back. If I would've kept it and done what Apple figured (it's only $130 more), then I would've spent nearly $1500 dollars on the case, iPad and Pencil. That's like...two decent PCs and one above average gaming machine.
I talked to a lot of people about it. Their comments all came back universally: 'It's only $130 bucks. Just do it'. That mentality comes from the fact that I could boycott Apple. I could sell everything I own of Apple and never buy another Apple product again. Even though I spent close to $13,000 dollars on Apple products from the middle of 2017 to present, I represent literally nothing to them at all. My complaints, my gripes, even a twitter campaign or going around to review them everywhere would do nothing at all.
First off, there are too many fan boys to defend them. They don't even have to acknowledge the complaint. Second, even if they did see it, they wouldn't care. They make billions upon billions despite consumer unfriendly decisions (like changing the charging port over and over so we have to buy more cords/adapters, changing accessories after one generation, including ONLY USB C on their laptop, forcing a user to buy a HUB for 90% of all peripherals or even charging $1000 extra for a stand for their new fancy monitor).
This is true of every big company. They have no incentive to care about what happens to the common user. And through protest, we just harm ourselves. In my case, if I decided I was done with Apple, my office would look like someone robbed me during the time between getting rid of it and replacing it. I've got an iMac, iPad Pro, iPhone, Air Pods, Apple Watch, Magic Mouse, Track Pad, Mac Book Pro, Apple TV 4k...and changing ALL of these at the same time inconveniences me in other ways, like having to get a new phone with my service provider (when my $1000 dollar iPhone X is suddenly worth $300 trade in).
But take a step back from Apple. Google recently raised their price on the G Suite. Significantly in fact. I bought it for $45 dollars for a year back in April of 2018. I got the notification that it would go up to $70 a year and promptly dropped it. That sucked, because I lost my domain name email but I wasn't about to pay $25 more for the exact same service. And why increase it THAT much? Google has plenty. They aren't offsetting prices to prevent losing their business. I complained to Weebly about it but that did about as much good as one would expect. They couldn't do anything about it and what was I going to do? Take it up with Google? Yeah, good luck.
And so we're back to my dilemma above. 'It's only $25 dollars more. Why not just pay it?'
Maybe that's true. And maybe voting with my dollar in that regard didn't do a damn thing. I did provide Google with Feedback (despite my statement above) because I do believe it's important for voices to be heard. To that end, I also complained to Apple about the pencil. I have complained to places every time this stuff has happened. The only times anyone has done anything about complaint of service has been small companies who actually DO need your business. That's the real nostalgia right there: the privately owned place that needs to be good to their customers to stick around.
Safeway decided that selling deli meat that passed its expiration by 5 days was okay. I let them know politely. The person gave me a tone that said 'why are you bothering me' but they went through the verbal motions of assuring me it would be taken care of. Two days later, I stopped in to see about picking up the meat I wanted. Now it was 7 days past date. I went and told someone about it. They were cooler, but I didn't get the sense they would do anything.
I visited again a while later. Now, the meat was TWELVE DAYS out of date. I didn't bother Safeway. I called the health department. The day after they acknowledged my email, the meat was gone from the shelf and they didn't restock anything new for another 3 weeks.
They don't care! Even if you're trying to be cool to help them out. I wrote Safeway an email, letting them know I'd given them a couple chances before taking it to the health department. They reached back out and asked what store I was talking about (despite the fact I gave them the freakin' address in my initial email). I've been in the service industry. I know it's rough (lord knows my people were taken to task all the time by zealous customers). But that said, it's ridiculous that we have zero recourse.
And why? Because no one can be inconvenienced for the relatively small amount of money they're taking for. Under $200 dollars in regards to prestige level tech isn't a big deal to most people. Under $50 dollars isn't a big deal with subscription services. But it should be. Especially when everyone KNOWS that it's just an ass in their accounting team that came up with this BS. They were like 'Dude, I guarantee if you double the cost they'll still pay. They might grumble, but they'll pay'. Then someone says 'What if we just jump it by 33% right now? That's a lot more'. So they do. And boom, some people complain but many are so brainwashed by the marketing that they actually think they're getting more value.
They aren't. We're just swindled. And we take it. My phone bill went up by $2 bucks. No explanation. Just costs more. I have to reach out to find out why but for $2 dollars? It's a hassle. This is the world we live in. Inconvenience is not worth our time to correct. Injustice just happens and we move on. It sucks. I'm sick of it and I wish things were different. But I don't see anything changing. In fact, I figure it'll get way worse. Big companies are buying small ones all the time. We won't have anyone who cares about service soon.
It'll be take what you get and like it. Open your wallet or go away because no one will listen to you. Welcome to capitalism I guess. Yay us.
Author of several books, composer of several CDs. Please check out the rest of the site for some of my work.