Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A new iPhone

My iPhone's external speaker died on me a few days ago - quite annoying, as it meant I couldn't hear the ringer or listen to podcasts while I was doing something else that didn't allow me to use headphones. So after much fiddling around with solutions such as repeatedly plugging / unplugging headphones, I took it down to Singtel to get it fixed. Now, I had gone down the previous week and was told that there was a 90-minute wait, and was asked nicely to come back. So imagine how happy I was to be told that there were only 2 customers ahead of me in the queue...

... and imagine my frustration when, 40 minutes later, I was still waiting. When I went to the counter and asked how long more, I was very brusquely told "I'm sorry, but there are only two of us". Which got me frustrated - there had to be a better way for service staff to empathise, instead of making what sounded like excuses. Anyway, after waiting for them to try to restore the phone entirely, a guy comes up and gets quite irate - his number was called on the system when in reality they weren't ready to attend to him. He kept saying it was very frustrating to be called and then to wait standing up, and then even stated explicitly that he was not blaming the woman, and all he wanted to hear was that there must have been a technical fault, and that Singtel would look at it. But all the woman kept saying was "I'm sorry, but I didn't press the button to call you." Repeated ad nauseum. It was a fascinating look at customer service, in a way - all the customer wanted was some acknowledgement that he was correct in that a mistake had been made, and the more he didn't get it, the more upset he got. Reminded me of this podcast I was listening to - Harvard Business Review, perhaps? - in which they discussed customer service and gave this example of how this man got more and more irate simply because the customer service person wasn't acknowledging his complaint, but kept rephrasing it.

In the end it turned out the iPhone speaker really was kaput, and they had to give me a new one. Which was great, except that the next 45 minutes getting home with a brand new iPhone without any music/podcasts on it was EXCRUCIATING. (Can't really surf the web on a bus without getting motion sickness.) And then a slight moment of panic at home when I almost did something stupid that I thought might have caused me to lose all my backed up data. (Advice: backup the backup directory just in case you inadvertently overwrite it.) Such is the nature of iPhone dependency...

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