Apple, milking us for all we are worth?

Let’s start from the top shall we?

In February 2012 I invested some of my hard earned in a new Apple iPod classic.  It was going to be nice to have a 160GB device to take my music everywhere with me.  Of course, most of you who know me well enough would be aware that I listen to music of all varieties day and night.  So here I was with the chance to have a world of music at my feet.  And this is where the frustration began to set in.

When Apple launched the 160GB classic iPod over a decade back now there was much promise of what was to come.  In 2006 there was talk of a 500GB iPod hitting the market for Christmas.  Of course this never eventuated because Apple had decided to move away towards the much loved and adored iPhone market.  What they chose to do was neglect music fans like myself who own more than a couple of dozen CD’s and a hard drive of downloaded music and films.

Seen better days?

Seen better days?

So there I was, some 7 months into life with my iPod classic and well, the battery died.  There had also been problems with the headphone jack so I made an “appointment” with the Apple store in Chermside and took the little bugger in for a proper fixing.  Instead of fixing it they replaced it on the spot!  I was more than impressed with this offer of what I thought was a new iPod.

“That’s good of them to do this with no questions asked.” I pondered to myself as the chap dashed out the back to bring me a new one.

This is where the water becomes a little muddy.

It isn’t actually a new iPod you get under your warranty.  You receive a “re-conditioned” product to utilise.  At the time I was happy to leave with what I thought was good customer service and a new product to replace my old device.  After all I had been sceptical of Apple for many years.  I’d seen Steve Jobs as a greed fuelled geek who let his ego get in the way of customer satisfaction.  As you know, Apple have a long history of “updating” their product line every year to entice enthusiastic fans to keep buying new Apple product.  Clever marketing is the key to the long term continued success of the worlds largest brand.

OK, back to the point at hand.

Only a few months, maybe 4 or 5 my “new” replacement had died.  Just outside of the warranty period too.  Nice work Apple.  Now I have to go and buy a new one.  What a load of tosh I was thinking.  Instead I left the iPod in a draw and thought I would wait a while to get a new one.

This morning, and purely out of curiosity I pulled out my iPod and thought perhaps I should try and see if it works.  Just on the off chance.  After plugging into the charger it turned on and worked!  How lucky was I?  No so lucky as it turns out.

Once unplugged it stopped working again.  After some google work and a visit to a local electronics store I found out that Apple don’t give you a new product to replace your faulty under warranty product.  They dish out “re-conditioned” models and brand them as new to the consumer.  Well, that got my blood boiling.  And it still is.  How on earth do Apple get away with this?  We are talking of the worlds largest brand here, ahead of Coke even in the product chain.

Apple is now worth over US$100 BILLION.  Profits are increasing by the year.

I phoned the Apple store and was told I can get my iPod sent away to be fixed.  The cost?  $180!  Not far off the price of a new one.  Such a shame that when the tough gets going Apple get greedy.  This company has an amazing control over consumers.  From media players, iTunes deals and regular product launches.  There is no escape from them.  Sadly, there is no real major care in quality control.

Apple would rather have us buy a new phone or media player once a year than actually make something that lasts more than a year or two.  And like many companies around the world now we, the consumer are left well behind be the lack of business ethics in place by these companies.

As a child I remember my parents and grandparents owning products that lasted many years, requiring little if any repair work.  Fast forward to 2014 and we live in a world where it seems the majority are happy to let Apple, Coke, McDonalds and other major companies take a strong hold in their chosen market whilst leaving the consumer in the dark.  And unfortunately the alternate options are few and far between.

I have a CD walkman that I bought in 2002 whilst in the United States.  It still works fine and dandy some 12 years later.  Thank you Sony!  Now, if only Apple could produce products that last a little more than a year or two without the need to buy the damn thing over again……..

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