Sharp End: iPhone controls

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I have a business customer with whom I have dealt for many years. I always act on his behalf when dealing with Orange as he wants me to earn my money and doesn’t have time himself to do so.

One of his sons, who has an iPhone with Orange, contacted me as his iPhone had mysteriously overheated after being on charge and refused to switch back on. No problem, I stated, and said I’ll give Orange a “quick” call to arrange a replacement – Orange still offers a 24-hour replacement for faulty phones.

I called Orange and explained in detail the fault. I was passed to the relevant Apple expert within Orange. I again explained in great detail the problem. I was passed through to yet another person and I explained again.

Eventually a guy from Apple Support – and not Orange – agreed the phone was faulty and needed replacing. Which is where the fun and games really started. He said they could send a replacement and the faulty phone would have to be returned. But as I (the customer) would be in possession of two iPhones I would have to give Apple my credit card details as surety for sending out a replacement.

I protested vigorously stating that I purchased from Orange and not Apple and yet Apple wanted me to give my card details. I explained I had always received next-day replacements and never been requested to give out card details as surety. The Apple guy simply stated that was theprocedure and If I did not like it then I’d need to return the faulty phone first and wait before Apple would send the replacement.

I called Orange back and after getting pushed between pillar and post again, Orange’s Apple expert confirmed what I had been told by Apple. “Because everyone wants an iPhone we have to do exactly as Apple dictates,” he said.

Orange would give 24-hour replacement on any other phone but not
the iPhone. The incident meant I was on the phone to Orange for well over an hour – so much for that “quick” call.

There is way too much control over the iPhone by Apple and it has seriously upset my customer who has gone so far as to say he “wished he’d never had the bloody iPhone” (three of his four iPhones have faults). He added: “Orange has lost the plot by not supporting this phone in their usually excellent way”.

If you have a business customer who is asking you to supply an iPhone then be sure to let them know that the support of the phone will be from Apple directly and not the network.

Full article appears in Mobile News issue 456 (February 1, 2010).

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