The Facts Matter!

In a competitive world of 24/7 news channels and realtime online media, getting the story fast seems to trump getting it right. After all, if you can get 2 sources you can always retract latter as more complete information comes along.

And if you’re a big company, then it is reasonable to expect the media to be gunning for you, right? In his article in the National Post today, that is exactly what journalist Matt Hartley says about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ response to the so called Antennagate story.

Matt suggests that by the use of facts and comparison of the iPhone 4s antenna problem to competitor’s products, Jobs will not win much sympathy and in fact many loose favor of consumers. It seems as if the media feels cheated out of not having brought Apple to its knees and receiving an apology or an embarrassing and expensive product recall.

There seems to be an implication online that upon hearing the complaints as put forward by Gizmodo and other online posts, Apple CEO’s appropriate response should have been to make an immediate apology to customers and investors and recall the entire 3 million iphone 4s. It would seem that according to many bloggers, taking an analytical measured response, like demanding the facts, doing testing and making a decision based on data seems to be the wrong way to go.

Well If the facts that Apple presented are to be believed, it seems that Apple’s iPhone 4 customers seem to be overwhelmingly satisfied with their purchase. And while the reception problem can be reproduced over and over in testing, very few real world complaints are coming forward.

After all, it is exactly because Apple consistently makes product that its customers ( and yes, Fans) want, and address their needs with the highest level of quality user experience, that Apple is no longer the little kid and has taken the dominant industry role.

In my mind, where a company and its CEO take logical steps to acquire the facts and then regardless of the outcome, offer to satisfy customers and refund them, no questions asked if they still are not satisfied, meets the test not only of being a good marketer but also good corporate stewards.

And if that still does not satisfy you, in the words of Jonathan Mann:

“if you don’t want an iPhone 4, don’t buy one, if you bought one and you don’t like it, bring it back”

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2 Responses to “The Facts Matter!”

  1. Rick Boretsky Says:

    All true, but in this hyper-sensitive media world, consumers are weary of all corporations. Consumers want to get facts quickly and openly when problems are found. With recent disasters at Toyota and BP, everything took so long, weeks and months, to get all the facts, and we probably still do not have the whole truth. Not to say Apples’ antenna problem is at all comparable to these other real disasters, but consumers still want complete transparency. And I think in this case, consumers did not feel there was full transparency on this matter.

    • Jonathan Schacter Says:

      Rick,

      Your comment is very true. In today’s world there is an expectation that companies need to be more transparency. Apple’s initial comments could have been to let customers know that they were looking into reports that there were issues with the antenna and would let them know what they found. This might have reduced the negative impact.

      Yet there seems to be a strong desire by many to feed the frenzy, and more so with Apple. The story took on a life of it’s own where many people were not interested to know the facts and based there opinion on increasingly escalated here say.

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