Customer Service Is Good For The Soul

The iPhone 4 is definitely the sleekest design of all of the iPhones that have been released. But wow, I've had some huge problems with the phone, and it has nothing to do with the commonly reported antenna problems.

The first one last for about 6 months, and then the speaker phone functionality broke. Since I use the speakerphone a lot, especially while driving, I knew I needed to swap it out.

The second one lasted about a month, and then the home button went out. I had to mash the thing just to get back to the home screen, let alone double tap for multitasking.

The third one lasted a grand total of a week until the charging port screwed up. It would charge for a minute, and then would flicker on and off until it longer charged.

So, I'm on my fourth phone. Normally, I would be completely adverse to supporting a company. However, I didn't have to go through some complicated return process like with other sites - I simply went to a store and in ten minutes I had a new phone. The time I spent on the three returns took less time then when I had to return computer parts to an online retailer.

Great customer service is the best defense a company can fine. Amazon, Zappos, Newegg, and Apple get this. This goes beyond simply returning due to defects - it's about not not ripping off customers and taking them for granted.

Every time I see ridiculousness such as Best Buy's Buyback program, I'm reminded that we still have a long way to go before great customer service is commonplace.

Basically, Best Buy is charging people extra money to be able to exchange their gadgets for below market prices. I get that they are charging for the convenience of only dealing with one store, but it's a total rip off.

Quick example: Based in the FAQ, you have to pony up $69 for the "privilege" of exchanging an iPad for a gift certificate worth, at most, 50% of the purchase price! And that's only if you trade in within 6 months! Every 6 months, you lose another 10%.

As I stated in a previous post, I used Gazelle and got 70% of the purchase price, in cash, for my year old iPad (32G, 3G). That's $522, cash! Compare that to Best Buy's plan, where I'd get 40%, or $291. Oh yeah, plus I'd have to pay $69 upfront, so my total gain is $222. Is it worth $300 for the "confidence" of dealing solely with Best Buy? Hmmm...