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Apple holds meeting after making little girl cry  

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer recently held a meeting to discuss changes to its corporate policy after the company sent an upsetting legalese reply to a third-grade girl who had hand-written a letter to chief executive Steve Jobs with her thoughts on improving the iPod.

When 9-year-old Shea O'Gorman and her third-grade class began learning about writing business and formal letters, she thought who better to write to than the chief executive of the company that makes her iPod nano.

In her letter to Mr. Jobs, little Shea offered her ideas on how the company could improve on its iPod digital music players, such as adding song lyrics so listeners can sing along to their tunes.

After waiting nearly three months, Shea finally received a reply from Apple's Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters, and the entire family gathered around to read it.

To the dismay of Shea and her family, the letter wasn't from Mr. Jobs. It was from Mark Aaker, Senior Council of the company's Law Department, telling the third-grader that Apple doesnt accept unsolicited ideas, so she should not send them her suggestions and if she wants to know why, she could read their legal policy posted on the Internet.

"She was very upset, and kinda threw the letter up in the air and ran in her room and slammed her door," the girl's mother told CBS 5 News.

Of course, Apple's policy was instated to protect the company -- and anyone who submits ideas to the company -- from ending up in a costly legal spat if similar ideas are ever adopted into future Apple products. However, you'd think the handwriting of a 9-year-old may have drawn company's lighter side.

Apple reportedly decline to comment on the mishap, but the company's General Counsel placed a personal call to Shea to apologize following a CBS 5 News inquiry.

It was also reported that Apple held a meeting this past Wednesday in which it discussed ways that it could amend its corporate policy when dealing with children.
post #2 of 106
You know, around 3rd or 4th grade I did the same thing, got a similar reply from Hasbro, and not only did I not cry somehow I understood the situation (my guess is my parents had a strong hand in that). I'm not feeling terribly sorry for the little girl, other than maybe because her parents aren't doing their job.
post #3 of 106
oh freakin waaah.

send a letter to a multi billion dollar corporation and expect a form letter for pete's sake. good time for the parents to teach the kid a lesson on how the world works. instead she continues to get her tantrums solved.
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
post #4 of 106
You'd think maybe the teacher could attach a generic letter to each one saying, "I am _____ a third-grade teacher at ____ school. The attached is a letter from my student written as part of a project. Thank you for your time."
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Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
post #5 of 106
I'm going to guess the reason for the policy is to prevent people from claiming that Apple stole their ideas. Someone could write to Apple offering suggestions, which may already be in the works or planned, and then when the product is unveiled with said suggestions the letter writer claims that he or she came up with the idea and demands compensation.
post #6 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by jfwjxn
I'm going to guess the reason for the policy is to prevent people from claiming that Apple stole their ideas. Someone could write to Apple offering suggestions, which may already be in the works or planned, and then when the product is unveiled with said suggestions the letter writer claims that he or she came up with the idea and demands compensation.

Bingo! That's the first thing I thought when I heard what happened. I suppose that's one of the few minuses for such a secret company. Having said that the reply letter was unacceptable, and more businesses need to practice subtlety when dealing with kids! That kid had nothing but good intentions and was only try to help apple, because she loves their product, the iPod. So basically they should have wrote back in a language a child could understand. Fair dues to them for changing their policies though. I couldn't see Microsoft doing that! Then again, what kid is going to write to Microsoft.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
post #7 of 106
still, she is only very young. they should at least take more time to see who a letter is from and write a letter back based on it or not write one at all.
post #8 of 106
This seems to show that Apple cares.
post #9 of 106
What's next? Stories about random Apple employees kicking puppies? Seriously, what does this have to do with anything?
-- Jason
-- Jason
post #10 of 106
This seems to show that people have nothing else to complain about and CBS 5 News had a slow news day.
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by audiopollution
This seems to show that people have nothing else to complain about and CBS 5 News had a slow news day.

Agreed.
"Humankind -- despite its artistic pretensions, its sophistication, and its many accomplishments -- owes its existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
"Humankind -- despite its artistic pretensions, its sophistication, and its many accomplishments -- owes its existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
post #12 of 106
I think the headline should read:

Apple holds meeting after making little girl cry
High fives all around.
post #13 of 106
Did AI get this off Crazy Apple Rumors?
post #14 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by Lupa
I think the headline should read:

Apple holds meeting after making little girl cry
High fives all around.

I like that
post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by sandau
oh freakin waaah.

send a letter to a multi billion dollar corporation and expect a form letter for pete's sake. good time for the parents to teach the kid a lesson on how the world works. instead she continues to get her tantrums solved.

There was a time when corporations used to pride themselves on being good citizens. After all, they are real entities under law.

Times have definantly changed. It's not so disturbing that corporations have become money grubbing, hate filled entities. The disturbing part is that people seem to be applauding this change.

Yes, I'm old. The world seemed to work better in those days.
post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by jasong
What's next? Stories about random Apple employees kicking puppies? Seriously, what does this have to do with anything?

hmmm, kicking puppies.

Sorry, we can't accept unsolicited suggestions on future puppy kicking products and/or services.
post #17 of 106
This family is no doubt the same kind of family that demands children receive trophys for competition no matter if they win or loose.

Its this PC bullcrap that's destroying the foundation which this country was built apon. Any parent of a kid realize that this wasn't a personal attack on their precious little brat but a generic form letter from some faceless entity.

I mean, seriously, is it that slow a flipping news day that we spend ANY time on this whatsoever!!
post #18 of 106
Damn, that little bitch stole my idea.....
post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by kresh

Times have definantly changed. It's not so disturbing that corporations have become money grubbing, hate filled entities.

How does Apple qualify as a "money grubbing, hate filled entity" for simply having to comply with real-world legal demands? How naive of you.

The funny part of all this is that the bloody nano DOES have lyric capability our little waif suggested to Mr. "Money Grubbing" Jobs.
post #20 of 106
She needs to get over it, good god it must've been a slow news day. I think we've all written seemingly important letters when younger (mine was to PBS) and gotten a legal, vacant response. This girl needs to get over it, if that's her biggest dissapointment in her life thus far then she's gotten off to an excellent start.
---

Switcher as of 3/19/2006
Owner of a 15", 2 GHz MacBook Pro
---

Switcher as of 3/19/2006
Owner of a 15", 2 GHz MacBook Pro
post #21 of 106
What's the point of posting this story AI? To show us what lame society we are turning into where our kids have no concept of reality?
post #22 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by cgmpowers
This family is no doubt the same kind of family that demands children receive trophys for competition no matter if they win or loose.

Its this PC bullcrap that's destroying the foundation which this country was built apon.

"Destroying the foundation which this country was built apon"? Are you for real?

What does this have to do with being "PC"? Or were you just itching to use a new phrase you picked up from Fox News? If anything, it's "PR" -- Public Relations.

"win or loose" and "apon"

post #23 of 106
Everyone gets the same form letter--and there are legal REASONS why everyone gets the same letter.

I'm not at all surprised that Apple doesn't have staff spending time deciding whether or not to use the legalese they've established.

It's too bad a child's feelings were hurt, but children get upset all the time for all kinds of reasons. It's a non-event that doesn't reflect on Apple.

It does reflect on the news channel that carried the story. And maybe on the parents, but who cares? If the parents were upset, so be it--I won't judge them. I will judge the news channel for rising to the bait.

I just hope that Symantec and McAfee don't start repeating the girl's allegation that "Apple has cooties."
post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by jasong
What's next? Stories about random Apple employees kicking puppies? Seriously, what does this have to do with anything?

Nothing except apple made a child cry. Who said it had to do with anything?. Are you that cluless and stupid to have written this in the forum?. It's a human interest story. Geez, go buy a heart or a fucking brain.
post #25 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Did AI get this off Crazy Apple Rumors?

Lol that's exactly what I thought. After reading the first sentence of this article I actually stopped and looked at the site because I thought I was reading Crazy Apple Rumors.
post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by sandau
oh freakin waaah.

send a letter to a multi billion dollar corporation and expect a form letter for pete's sake. good time for the parents to teach the kid a lesson on how the world works. instead she continues to get her tantrums solved.

You know, i thought apple fans had class but i see that is not universally true. Wow, do you have children?. Did your father made you go out at 5 and get a job when you asked him for a dollar to go buy sweets at the corner store (cause after all, in the real world, you have to wake up at 6 in the morning to go to work). What a fucking moron. Nobody is saying apple is bad. You can put your ice pick and ak-47 down now. Yes, apple did send the girl a form letter (and technically, apple did not do anything wrong).. but you think apple called the meeting to discuss telling children how the real world works?. If you don't have anything to say, really, you should shut the fuck up. I've about had it with the creeping superiority of apple fans. Whenever you perceive even the slightest criticism of apple, you all bring out the big guns and start firing.. teaching the girl about the real world as if your parents thought you about the real world. Obviously they didn't or else you would not have made a stupid comment like this.
post #27 of 106
This is symptomatic of the invasion of legal in every aera of our society. Sorry but that sucks.
post #28 of 106
Sounds like her family led her to believe Steve Jobs himself would write back. It's a bit silly giving your kid false hope. I also don't know why this is news. Any company would do the same thing.
post #29 of 106
"Apple holds meeting after making little girl cry" .....ROFLMAO this has got to be the funniest AppleInsider title ever

Seriously though Apple just needs a different form letter for dealing with anyone under 18. "Thanks for your suggestion. It was really cool of you to write to us. Now, we think we may like your idea but we can't really use it at all because the big evil law people say so. We think you're real nice to have written to us but the big evil law people say you can't write to us anymore with your ideas. Sorry about that. If you do have a problem with your iPod or Mac you can call or email <insert support details here>. In any case you should be proud to have written a letter to us with your nice idea and I'm sure your parents are also very proud of you. Anyway, since you use a Mac or an iPod or both, you must be like so way cool. Ok, bye for now."
post #30 of 106
Originally posted by JeffDM
hmmm, kicking puppies....Sorry, we can't accept unsolicited suggestions on future puppy kicking products and/or services.


post #31 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by wnurse
You know, i thought apple fans had class but i see that is not universally true. Wow, do you have children?. Did your father made you go out at 5 and get a job when you asked him for a dollar to go buy sweets at the corner store (cause after all, in the real world, you have to wake up at 6 in the morning to go to work). What a fucking moron. Nobody is saying apple is bad. You can put your ice pick and ak-47 down now. Yes, apple did send the girl a form letter (and technically, apple did not do anything wrong).. but you think apple called the meeting to discuss telling children how the real world works?. If you don't have anything to say, really, you should shut the fuck up. I've about had it with the creeping superiority of apple fans. Whenever you perceive even the slightest criticism of apple, you all bring out the big guns and start firing.. teaching the girl about the real world as if your parents thought you about the real world. Obviously they didn't or else you would not have made a stupid comment like this.

I gotta agree with wnurse. its true in most cases that if anyone bad mouths apple or an aspect of apple most apple users jump to the frontline willing to give their lives for apple. Refusing the truth and thinking apple isnt a corporation is ignorant. They carry the same legal documents as microsoft stating everything in a text book fashion. It isnt Jobs and Woz sitting in a garage assembling everysingle iMac and mac book putting their heart and soul into each and every computer. They dont engrave the back of your iPod themselves. Its machines and workers and factories and board members and legal departments. This little girl got a normal letter. Just like a senior citizen or an average 24 year old would get. The only reason why their having this meeting is so potential mac users dont continue their lives with Dell and Gateway thinking "wow apple is a heartless company like everyone else." People like to think apple is a computer company that is the opposite of microsoft. That the workers at apple arent working at apple for the pay. I bet alot of them are working their because they love apple. but if they didnt get paid any money i have no doubt more than half of them would leave that job. Corporations need employees. people need jobs. And legal documents protect corporations, even if it is from little girls.
post #32 of 106
No, this is just another example of Apple not fixing what it doesn't use... \

I'd think many of the Apple executive types haven't dealt with kids in a really long time. Even so, I think the CBS 5 newsroom had a slow day.

That aside, what the h##l would you send that type of form letter in response to a handwritten letter that obviously looks like it came from a kid? Shtupid, shtupid, shtupid.
post #33 of 106
The story is sad, but oh man, the headline, for a second I thought I was reading the Onion, that is my next stop this morning.

wowsa
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
post #34 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider


To the dismay of Shea and her family, the letter wasn't from Mr. Jobs. It was from Mark Aaker, Senior Council of the company's Law Department, telling the third-grader that Apple doesnt accept unsolicited ideas, so she should not send them her suggestions and if she wants to know why, she could read their legal policy posted on the Internet.

what do you call 100,000 lawyers on the titanic? a slow start.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
post #35 of 106
for god's sake, why is there a station producing stories about little girls who get letters? is this really news? isnt there anything else to talk about? what the hell?!?! thank god i never watch local news...
post #36 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by budhusa
for god's sake, why is there a station producing stories about little girls who get letters? is this really news? isnt there anything else to talk about? what the hell?!?! thank god i never watch local news...

welcome to po-dunk newscasting...
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
post #37 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
This is symptomatic of the invasion of legal in every aera of our society. Sorry but that sucks.

Yes, but in this specific case it's defensive. If a small minority of jackass private citizens didn't try to sue everyone for everything ("I didn't know the hot coffee I ordered from McDonalds was going to be hot"), crap like this wouldn't happen. A few idiots ruin it for 9-year olds and everyone else.
post #38 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by ChevalierMalFet
You know, around 3rd or 4th grade I did the same thing, got a similar reply from Hasbro, and not only did I not cry somehow I understood the situation (my guess is my parents had a strong hand in that). I'm not feeling terribly sorry for the little girl, other than maybe because her parents aren't doing their job.

Reminds me og when I was in second grade, I had to write a letter to a famous person, so I chose the presedent, at the time George Bush (the father). To my surprise, a couple of weeks later I had mail, return address "the White House, 1600 Penselvania ave, Washington DC" it was a personal letter and a picture...that was pretty cool.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
post #39 of 106
Quote:
Originally posted by budhusa
for god's sake, why is there a station producing stories about little girls who get letters? is this really news? isnt there anything else to talk about? what the hell?!?! thank god i never watch local news...

Actually, this is what local news is about. Think about it, how can local news compete with big national news??.. by doing human interest stories that people in their communities may be interested in. Not all people obviously (you for example) but it's tough out there being the local news. How do you compete with cbs evening news or even the cable news stations?. I like watching my local news for stuff that the national news don't report. It's fun. It's not everyime i want to know who killed who (besides, just telling me who killed who and then getting to the weather is depressing).

As to is it news?.. yes it's news becuase it shows how a normal response to an event had unintended consequences. I for example, sure was not aware that apple would send these letters if you wrote them.. who the hell reads apple legal notices?. How many legal notices do you read? what are you, a uber geek?.
post #40 of 106
I wish Steve Jobs would wake up and put lyrics on the songs. That girl is on to something.
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