Mac: The New Man?

Do you remember those days when Mac not only set themselves apart by offering a higher caliber product, but also on quirky customer service? They were young, hip, and here to help you stick-it-to-the-man. It’s too bad that it seems that they have given way to the bottom dollar and turned into ‘the man’. My issue is not with the products they offer; it’s hard to disagree that Mac offers not only a more user-friendly product but also puts it in a visually stimulating package.

But what I don’t understand is that the once charismatic personality attached with Mac has become nothing more than the homogeneous voice of a bland and unhelpful phone tree. Why in God’s name is it so difficult to get an actual, live person to talk to you? And then when someone does finally answer, he/she wants to try to filter your issue, assign a case number and then politely say, “It’ll be just a few minutes.” As your hope builds that you might actually get to talk to someone who will be able to answer your seemingly basic question, you begin to pace. Your pacing turns to doubt as you check your phone and see that the 15 minutes they suggested you would be on hold has past. At this point you don’t know why you keep listening to the ‘hold-music’ designed to keep you interested and patient, but you can’t imagine the thought of having to start over again. Finally after 41 minutes and 04 seconds the phone goes dead, but not from your end, from theirs. Oh…the rage…the rage rises to the top.

I remember the day 3 1/2 years ago my husband and I decided to become a Mac family. As we talked to Joey, our helpful and enthusiastic Mac associate, she assured us the our Powerbook G4 would be more than we would need for at least the next 5 years. Maybe I was just starry-eyed from all the white and clean lines in the store, but slap sucker across my forehead because boy was she wrong. Little did I know that corporate Mac was lying dormant for only a short while longer.

It started with the iSight camera. Yes, we probably should have gotten one when they were available but we were new to all this…as were our friends and family. And here is the perfect example of how Mac no longer had the customer in mind, but rather the bottom line. The iSight camera was pulled off all shelves December 16, 2006, the day they unveiled the new computers with a built in camera. What?! I guess it makes perfect business sense, but really? And thus began a series of products that would wow and inspire when introduced, but are shortly replaced and seemingly obsolete. How many iPods and generations of iPods are out there that you can no longer get cases or plugs, etc. from the source, much less even produced? And of course it goes without saying that the ultimate slap in the face was with the iPhone. Another example is one of my personal issues. The new OS X requires you to have purchased OS 10.4 to run the new OS 10.5. However, I made the conscious decision to wait until 10.5 came out so as to save money, but what was I thinking? Of course I’m going to have to pay for an upgrade just to use the upgrade I really want (and already paid for). I feel like my parents did when I brought home a grade less than what they thought was my best. I’m not angry, just really disappointed. I wanted the whole package.

I guess Mr. Jobs is fortunate that the competition is so far behind or else I might have to reconsider my loyalties. But alas, I am sucked into the bright, shiny world of Apple. Hopefully my ‘Genius’ meeting tomorrow will lift my spirits and change my outlook.