Apple's Customer Value

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I am very much a dedicated Mac User. Although I try to be open minded, I just can't help finding everything about Microsoft Windows incredibly frustrating. Whenever I use a PC I am reminded about how un-designed and awfully built the whole operating system is. (Which is strange as I think Microsoft office is the exact opposite of this, and Microsoft surely have the resources to put this effort into all their software).

My family share this opinion, so all of the computers we have ever had have been Macs. I think Apple products are amazing, well designed, built and configured. But I have doubts about the value for money - Not because of the price of the hardware. I think that you get what you pay for and that Apple hardware is becoming better value all the time - But because of Apple's apparent attitude towards the value of their customers.

Mac Users are very much a minority - and often loyal customers who appreciate Apple's products. As it is this small minority which have made Apple a large, important and powerful company, you would think that Apple would appreciate them and want to reward them for their custom. But in some aspects it seems to me more that Apple take advantage of the fact that Mac-lovers have no alternative, and Apple therefore (for a large proportion of their customers) have no competition.

A good example of a company that values their customers is Mercedes-Benz. My family and my relatives both have Mercedes A-Classes. Even though these are the bottom of the range and second hand. We still get the same treatment as all customers. They are confident that their products are well built and reliable. So there is a recovery service which will collect and service the vehicle anywhere in Europe - which for the first 3 years is completely free. Every few months, the car reminds us to take it to be serviced. Although this is not free, everything is serviced, mechanics and electronics inside and out, along with a full valet. Then there are other small services like free magazines, gifts and occasional courtesy calls to check that everything is okay and we are happy with the service. Although these are not all important it is reassuring to know that the company bothers about the customers views.

However with Apple, After spending up to several thousand pounds on a computer system we are also encouraged to buy a new £75 operating system each year (with discounts only for new customers, not long term ones) - pay £45 for the latest iApps - £150 for AppleCare - £60 a year for .Mac and yet more for ADC packages and tickets to seminars. Then replacement parts such as new laptop batteries. As well as this we are sent frequent newsletters advertising new computers to replace the one we've just bought, which get us

discounts if we buy more hardware, accessories or pro apps at the same time.

I think Apple are improving on this. I am impressed by the frequent updates reporting services built into their software. Allowing bugs, suggestions or error reports to be sent to them. I was also impressed at the launch of the iSight, in which everyone attending the keynote was given one free. Apple's support is very good. And (provided you are protected by applecare) I'm impressed by the services. It seems that however much you mess around with your computer you are still entitled to free repairs. But I think Apple needs to put these resources and exhibit this customer value in more of their products and services.

Let me know what your opinions on the matter are.



  • Reply 1 of 1
    I have peace of mind that my computer at home does a good job of what I use it for. Home video / photos / music and internet / email. I also use Office X and play Halo when I want to. I am currently thinking of a 250GB LaCie firewire hard disk or their double layer DVD writer that allows 8GB on a single sided DVD.

    A hassle free user experience is priceless in my opinion. I type this as my colleague complains about Norton antivirus not being able to remove a virus on his home PC. I asked him to boot Windows in safe mode and try cleaning it.
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