Happiness is Amazing Customer Service: Thanks Apple!

This is how I felt this past Friday night! The reason I chose the pic? Apple and it’s amazing customer service team. Happy Apple.

It all started last Wednesday when I contacted by my Financial Advisor, for the second time in a few days, wondering why he hadn’t returned my emails. He indicated that he didn’t realize I emailed me. In fact, when he looked back in his email box, he noticed mine was flagged as potential SPAM. Considering I’ve emailed him before with no issues, he strongly urged me to change my password just in case my account was compromised. So I did just: I changed my gmail password and made accompanying changes on all my email clients as well as my iPhone.

I never realized this was a nightmare just beginning!

Once I made the changes, I received an error indicating the “gmail IMAP server was unresponsive”, and asked me to verify my settings. This was happening on my Mac Mail and my iPhone. Gmail itself was fine. For most people, not being able to receive or send email is a huge impediment especially to the day-to-day business grind. Various personal and company domains were redirecting to my gmail account. I had to get this fixed.

So for three days straight I referenced forums because Google itself has NO customer service I could call. Google’s help pages and forums clearly indicated IMAP server was a known issue but the solutions they offered did not help. I tried implementing various recommendations from the forums but nothing seemed to take. I was getting seriously frustrated.

Ironically, I read Danny Brown’s blog last Friday: On Fostering the Long Tail Effect of True Brand Loyalty where he spoke about Livefyre and their ability to help him despite the fact he was using a competing comments product:

The really impressive thing? I’m not even a paying customer – Livefyre Comments is free, although it does offer premium features for businesses and media properties.

It got me thinking: perhaps Apple could help me. I had recently purchased a MacBook so perhaps my support warranty would work. When I spoke to the Support Rep, Jason we spent about 20 minutes going through the same exercise I had implemented in the previous few days. He came back and indicated that the issue was clearly the Gmail IMAP server but said he could probably help. He reviewed my settings, and we made adjustments to the ports, stopped my two-way verification, and he made recommendations on some settings that may have been responsible for hindering the emails from transmitting.

And Hallelujah! It worked!

When I started seeing the emails coming on my MacMail, I smiled. I immediately asked him to help me with my iPhone and within a few minutes emails started coming into my iPhone mail client as well!

Funny thing: Jason (I wish I knew his name) could have washed his hands from my issue once he realized it had not originated from Apple’s products, but he didn’t. He joked that Google should actually hire him considering he’s run into this issue with many Apple clients.

For the first time in 3 days I finally felt like my problems had been washed away. Apple did that for me. I felt incredibly relieved that I didn’t have to spend another second dealing with this issue.

Google, I have this message for you: You need to invest in making sure people are happy with your products

Troubleshooting forums may be ok for people who are technically oriented. Unfortunately, the rest of us feel like we’re spinning our wheels. I resent the fact that I was not able to successfully reference your support forums, or help pages to get resolution. From the forums I’ve read, I’m not the only one who is frustrated by your “form” of support.

Google, you need to change your ways quickly. Apple takes the lead in providing the best customer service ever: from their Genius bar to their email and  telephone support. They provide immediate accessibility, effective follow-up and efficient resolution.

Take notes, Google!! You may be big but you are still vulnerable.

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