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Opinion: Old-school service is the best
02012018 LETTER

Many of us use iCloud — “a cloud storage and cloud computing service from Apple Inc.” We save and protect our photos, videos, files, documents and more “in the cloud,” which by now has become a common reference to iCloud.

The most recent estimate says iCloud has at least 850,000 subscribers. So you’d think this massive organization would be almost impossible to talk with directly when you have a problem. That was my guess, too.

However, recently I needed to respond to a confusing email from iCloud about my account. Going to their website, I expected to find options that appear on other corporate internet pages, such as “Frequently Asked Questions” or “Typical problems you might encounter.” Or even “chat rooms,” where other customers tell how they found answers to a perplexing question.

Instead of those keep-customers-at-a-distance approaches, after only a brief scan of the iCloud site, I learned that if I provided my name, email address and phone number, a customer representative would call me within two minutes. After completing that brief form, the call came within 30 seconds.

Once I explained my confusion about the iCloud email that had arrived earlier that day, the customer service rep explained — both patiently and courteously — the action I need to take. Also, she sent an email with detailed steps included. At one point we got disconnected. Much to my relief, she called back and explained there had been a brief power interruption in New Mexico.

Realizing that our conversation might be recorded (as I had been informed at the outset) I complimented both the corporation and the representative for making a phone conversation available.

Yes, some iCloud users might have gained enough technical know-how to read posted instructions, understand them and apply them. However, the vast majority of us don’t fit that category.

With this in mind, I encourage companies of every size to be old style enough to welcome callers who need your guidance. Even if your customer service rep needs to return a call an hour or two after hearing a voice mail message, that’s still much more accommodating than leaving the customer stranded in a frustrating morass of online recommendations in print.

Bill Lampton


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