Many things that are very simple and obvious ideas were, at one time, uncommon or non-existent. Obviously a touch screen display makes sense today, but perhaps not so much before the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Anyone who ever used the then state-of-the-art World Key Information kiosks at E.P.C.O.T. in 1982 knows that touch screens have been around for decades, but multi-touch was one of those breakthroughs that we take for granted and expect today.
I recently called Apple and ran in two things I had not encountered before but was such an obvious idea I expect everyone is doing it this way and I just did not know.
First … Their automated system, when informing me there would be a short wait for a representative, gave me a choice of three types of hold music, or silence. I could choose modern pop songs, classical, or jazz.
I know I am not the only one who has made jokes about lousy or annoying hold music. By giving the caller some choices (including “none”), that problem has disappeared.
I don’t know who invented this now-obvious concept, but I will now always associate it with an Apple experience.
And second … After speaking to the representative, instead of him asking me for a credit card number (which I always hate reading out aloud in a public space), he informed me that a link was sent to my e-mail and I could complete the process securely through the website.
What? No more whispering trying to read a credit card number quietly so my cubical neighbor can’t write it down and order pizza using it? What an obvious idea when calling in about a device that does e-mail.
I expect everyone does it this way, now, and I have just been under a rock. Or maybe this is new and exciting. Either way, hold music and phone transactions will never been the same for me moving forward.
On a related side note, the Apple Care procedure is very streamlined these days. To verify a device’s qualification, you can read the serial number to the automated robot, or key press in the EMEI number (if it’s a phone/data device). That let the system know about my device and tell me it’s warranty status over the phone. When the rep answered, they already knew what device I was calling about. And, when they wanted to see if my device was qualified, they had me go in to a Settings/Privacy section and a new link appeared (initiated by Apple support) which let me run diagnostics and (with my approval) share it with Apple. They were then able to tell “stuff” about my device – probably if it had detected drops or damage.
I’m going back to my rock now. All this change in one phone call is more than I can handle right now.