Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The new added value

How to do the right thing in business. subtitle: Don´t try this with DELL.

I used to work for IBM as a customer engineer. It was good fun in the seventies and up to the mid eighties. Then something unexpected happened that was not previously recognized by the company - massive cheap quality competition from mainly Japan. IBM answered (in panic) by trying to lock in its customers and do the same cheap business. The ¨spoilt¨ IBM customer was not used to this and consequently major accounts abandoned Big Blue more or less over night.

I left IBM when I started my flying career 1989, but continued to be a loyal IBM customer with
my first companies.

IBM Thinkpad - my then product icon, was later sold to Chineese, Lenovo. Other parts of the IBM wreck got its footing back after management changes and major reconstruction - and is now doing quite well after that big scare in the late eighties.

Me, I turned to APPLE and have never looked back. I don´t even service my friends PCs anymore, mostly because of the really lousy Windows operating system that is often found on the otherwise reasonable hardware, a software that actually still - after all this years is not ready for the commercial market - Microsoft may call the release what ever they want - its still the same rubbish in the background.

As my favorite IBM customer Magnus Ekström said: (If you are a quality player) ¨You have to provide some fat for your customers, if not - others will.¨

This recent story is about that.

The 250 Gb
disk drive on my faboulous iMac 24¨started to fail intermittent with slow read and write, in late 2008.
Coming home from Africa this year, the problem was worse and finally it acually flagged for a disk fault.
I hauled the unit to Mac Support in Malmo, and they confirmed the
disk was in error. They said the machine was outside warranty, which was correct by calender time. However, I said - a disk-enclousure that fails within one and a half year can not be regarded a production fault free part. The Independent Mac Support agreed and asked me to make the claim to Apples support desk. I did so, and was quickly redirected to a nice (Norwegian) girl, Cathrina, that listened to my complaint and my argument: that it was a static desk computer that has not even been running for a full year - as it is turned off when I´m in Africa every year.

Apple then agreed (under the circumstances) to grant me a new disk, but they could not sponsor the work cost of Mac Support. I said that was never my intention, I only wanted them to take responsibility for a ¨not up to standard¨ failed part. The failed disk was of course backed up by my 1 Tb, Apple Time Capsuel - so no worries!

This is how you get success with your customers - or as SAAB once replied to their lousy quality record in America in the nineties, ¨A customer that have had a fault, and swiftly had it
responsibly corrected - is more positive towards the brand than the one that never had a fault.¨

I believe this is true - even though it didn´t help SAAB in the long run, but that´s an entirely other story.

Now - go out there and buy a bunch of Apples!

OR - You can buy it from the website with free home delivery! - How about that!

note: Microsoft does wonders with software like The Office Package -
that actually works better on MACs than on PCs!)
So Bill, you are not all bad.

1 comment:

Anders and Sally said...

Comment from Magnus Ekstrom:

Hi Anders,

Firstly, Thank you very much for those kind words about me.
Secondly, Yes I am considering moving to Apple, at least for the marketing department. In the mean time I play along with Microsoft as long as it gives me some advantages.

Finally, I totally agree about your SAAB comments. SAAB is unfortunately a victim of Swedish and GM mismanagement. Basically the Saabs had a very poor design since the GM takeover – that it’s why their sales continue to drop or stay at 100.000 units per annum. Anyhow, the best is if SAAB goes totally bankrupt asap, then SAAB can probably restart with new aviation technology and thermo electrical engines. Maybe can the Fisker platform be of use.

Take care, you and Sally,

I will do some name dropping about Sara’s Art today.

Kind regards,


PS: I own the design rights for a “Sonett IV” proposal - designed in Hungary.