More problems with the iPhone 4 launch have come to light. After it was revealed the week of June 14 that AT&T may not have tested out the iPhone’s preordering tool and some consumers were being logged into the wrong accounts, word broke over the weekend that AT&T has been cancelling iPhone preorders for seemingly no good reason.
All the while, Apple hasn’t said a thing about what it will do to make the situation right and start helping consumers who want to get their hands on the popular smartphone as soon as possible.
This cavalier treatment of prospective buyers shouldn’t go unnoticed. Although both AT&T and Apple are apparently sweeping it under the rug, fully aware that once the iPhone 4 launches and demand dies down, consumers will forget all about these snafus, maybe it’s time for customers to push back against such callous treatment by these companies.
Yes, the iPhone 4 may be a highly desirable smartphone. But based on the way Apple and AT&T have been treating customers over the past week, maybe the device isn’t as desirable as all that. Users can only be treated poorly for so long before they decide to go elsewhere. And the iPhone preordering and launch problems might be the best reason so far to do so. Here’s why:
1. There is no excuse
Apple and AT&T might be trying to come up with good reasons for why customers are forced to wade through such a trying and downright ridiculous launch, but in reality, there isn’t much they can say. There is no excuse for why the iPhone-ordering process has gone so awry. And yet, A&T is still trying to make excuses. First, the system possibly wasn’t tested. Then, it became an issue of unprecedented demand. Enough with the excuses, AT&T. Not only does it make customers feel less appreciated, it also makes the iPhone 4 a far less desirable product.
2. Apple has said little
Why should consumers want to buy a new smartphone from a company that’s totally unwilling to admit that there have been huge mistakes with the iPhone 4’s launch? As it has in the past, Apple has decided to practically ignore all the issues that are affecting customers. It relies upon the average person to forget about all those troubles when the they get their hands on the device. In the past, such a strategy has worked. But when will it finally go to that well one too many times? Apple’s decision to practically ignore iPhone 4 issues is insulting.
3. AT&T won’t give an inch
Unfortunately, AT&T has done little to make things right for customers. Rather than address each issue individually or find a way to appease those who were most negatively affected, AT&T has trudged on. By not giving an inch, it’s forcing its customers to determine just how badly they want an iPhone 4. Yes, the device might be the most capable smartphone in history. But if the carrier that supplies the network the phone runs on continues to show little regard for customers or the plight they are facing, it might make some wonder whether or not the iPhone 4 is really worth its price.
4. A wake-up call is needed
It’s about time AT&T and Apple had a wake-up call. For four iPhone generations, the companies have simply coasted, knowing all too well that the phone’s features will trump all. Until the companies realize that their customers will decide the fate of their products, they will continue to make mistakes and ignore them. It’s about time that customers start acting out against the iPhone 4 launch. It would put AT&T and Apple on notice for once.
Consumers Need to Resist Cavalier Treatment
5. Customers are always right
In the retail business, the customer is always right. Evidently, AT&T and Apple missed that memo. Rather than do whatever they can to help customers get through the preordering and launch process, they have made it an awful experience. And by doing so, they’re alienating the very customers that are most likely to buy future iterations of the iPhone on AT&T’s network. Realizing that, some might start to wonder why they should give their hard-earned dollars to Apple and AT&T. If customers seem to be wrong through no fault of their own, why should the company making them feel that way deserve those customers’ business?
6. There are alternatives
Luckily, there are alternatives to the iPhone 4 that make the decision to ditch it in favor of another device a bit more appealing to most consumers. Currently, the HTC Droid Incredible, which is available on Verizon’s network, is considered the best Android-based device on the market. And speculation abounds that Motorola will be introducing the Droid X in the coming days to complement the Droid Incredible and compete with the iPhone 4. And the best part is, buying either of those Droid models won’t carry the headaches that went along with the iPhone 4.
7. There isn’t a Verizon iPhone in sight
If a Verizon iPhone were scheduled to hit store shelves on June 24 alongside an AT&T-based iPhone 4, AT&T would have done a much better job of making sure customers were able to place their orders for the new smartphone on June 15. The lack of a Verizon iPhone alone should upset some consumers. AT&T knows all too well that it’s the only carrier in the market that can offer the iPhone. And since Apple’s smartphone is the most desired phone on the market, AT&T knows that no matter how bad its mistakes are, customers will keep coming back because they want that phone. AT&T has too much confidence. And that’s unfortunate.
8. Paying is a sign of approval
By paying for an iPhone 4 after experiencing launch troubles, consumers are practically approving the way AT&T and Apple has mistreated them. By approving the launch, customers are putting themselves in a position where the chances of experiencing similar problems in the future are greater. Realizing that, maybe consumers should walk away from the iPhone 4 to ensure that their future treatment is a bit better. The only way to attack AT&T and Apple is in the wallet. Customers must remember that.
9. Where is the respect?
Over the past week, AT&T and Apple have shown a general lack of respect for their customers. When AT&T quietly sent out e-mails over the weekend saying that certain customer preorders were cancelled, the company did little to explain why it was happening. And when Apple made it clear that the white version of the iPhone 4 probably wouldn’t make it to customer homes on June 24, it didn’t offer any reassurance. Instead, both companies did what they did and moved on, effectively ignoring their customers. With such little respect given to customers, it’s hard to see why the iPhone 4 would be so desirable today.
10. No freebies?
AT&T and Apple still have a chance to make this right. The companies can find a way to offer up some sort of freebies to affected customers. Apple could give them an iTunes credit or a free iPhone case. AT&T might offer up a discount on the user’s first bill. Either way, something should be done by both companies to show that they really do want their customers’ business. But until they offer something for all the trials they’ve put their customers through, consumers might start seriously considering alternatives to the iPhone 4.