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The one way Android will never, ever be able to compete with the iPhone

Zach Epstein
February 3rd, 2017 at 10:31 AM

I have always been extremely careful when handling my smartphones over the years. My wife… not so much. Sure I have dropped my phones a few times over the years, but I have yet to shatter a screen or even cause any major scratches or scuffs on any of my handsets. Meanwhile, my wife’s current record is one day. That’s right, within one day of receiving her shiny new rose gold iPhone 6s in 2015, she dropped it while getting out of a car and cracked the screen right down the middle. One. Day.

Had my wife been using any Android smartphone, this little accident would have cost us a bunch of money. It also would have been a big headache that involved sending the phone away to be repaired and potentially being without a phone for more than a week, or taking it to a third-party repair shop and voiding the warranty. But she wasn’t using an Android phone. She was using an iPhone.

With my head hung low and shame in my eyes, I walked into my local Apple store later that day. Within a few minutes of signing in at the Genius Bar, an Apple store employee made his way over to me and asked how he could help. I handed him the phone and watched as his smile faded. “Yeah, my wife just got it yesterday,” I sheepishly told him. Then, we both laughed.

Knowing my wife can sometimes be a bit accident prone, I typically get AppleCare+ on her iPhones. With Apple’s special warranty program, the company will repair a device’s cracked screen up to two times for a service fee of just $29 each time. This time around, however, I had forgotten to buy AppleCare+ when I ordered her phone online, so I entered the Apple store that day expecting to pay about $130 to have the screen replaced.

Well, it turns out I didn’t end up paying $130 to get my wife’s screen repaired. In fact, the Apple store didn’t repair her screen at all. Instead, the Apple store employee disappeared into the back of the store for a few moments and came out with a brand new iPhone. He then swapped it out for free. You’ll simply never experience customer service like that with any other smartphone vendor. Period.

Now, the best part about this quick little anecdote is that there was absolutely nothing special or out of the ordinary about my experience at the Apple store that day. The store rep had no idea what I do for a living, and he didn’t treat me any differently than he would have treated any other customer in my situation. This is the kind of after-sale support all Apple customers enjoy. In fact, a glowing thread that popped up last night on Reddit filled with people praising their various customer service experience is what reminded me of that day. I could also list a dozen other interactions I’ve had with Apple customer care that were just as impressive.

Customer service is sort of like the police, in that people don’t truly appreciate it until they need it. Anyone who has interacted with Apple’s in-store or online support after having to deal with customer care reps from other companies will never stop appreciating Apple.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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