Joe Nocera had an op-ed piece in Saturday’s NYT (requires subscription) about Apple’s arrogance in not delivering customer service for their iPod.
Sure, it costs a lot of money to provide telephone customer service and to have a repair department – and much of Apple’s profits might well be wiped out if they would provide that service. But like Larry Keeley, quoted in the article, says:”Consumers are just not conditioned to believe that a $300 or $400 device is disposable.”
With Apple not having a serious competitive contender to deal with, they can afford to follow Geoffrey Moore’s “inside the tornado” growth strategy and ignore the customer. But you have to agree with Keely when he warns that the day will come when Apple will have a serious competitor, at which point Apple will reap what is now sowing.
With so many people feeling like they’ve been taken to the cleaners, “real” customer loyalty cannot be all that high.
It would be interesting to see a new “brand index category” for this category and see how Apple is doing.