now, that is customer service

I missed hockey last Saturday because I was still shaky from my stomach virus, so while Husband was tending goal for the team, I rented a movie from Apple TV, which is like iTunes for TV. You download it, you watch it, no big whoop. So, I rented Purple Violets, which is just the sort of movie I watch when Husband is not around. It wanted to be good, but then it turned really bad at the end, including (spoiler!) a montage that miraculously pushed the plot forward. Worst. Ending. Ever.

I had a little trouble with the Apple TV, because I tried to rent the HD version, but the download took so long that I gave up and rented the regular version instead. Not thinking I’d have much of a chance of getting my money back for downloading two of the same movie due to impatience, I sent an email to Apple anyway:

Movie rental title: Purple Violets
Comments: two things.

1. I tried to purchase the HD version of Purple Violets but it took so long to download that I went ahead and purchased the SD version. The HD version began to download after I had watched the SD version. I’d like to get my $3.99 back.

2. The Report a Problem link doesn’t work. I get an error message that say “We could not complete your iTunes Store request. An unknown error occurred (11111).

3. Oh my. The ending on this movie is so bad. That’s not your fault.

And I got this email in response. I kid you not.

Dear Tina,

I understand that you rented the SD and the HD versions of the movie “Purple Violets” and you were dissatisfied with the ending of the movie. I apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced as I know this must be frustrating. My name is Dianne and I will be happy to assist you.

As a one time exception, I have reversed the charge for both rentals of “Purple Violets” which I understand you rented unintentionally. You will see a store credit of $6.98 in three to five business days. You may need to sign out of the iTunes Store and then sign back in before you see the credit in your account.

Take that, Ed Burns! You have to write a decent ending to get royalties from me!

4 thoughts on “now, that is customer service”

  1. What Tina doesn’t say is that the e-mail went on to read:

    “Additionally, thanks to Apple’s new iLifetime technology, we have credited 107 minutes back to your life. We apologize for any anguish the temporary loss of those minutes from your life may have caused.”


  2. I love customer service. And e-mail makes it so easy to file these complaints, not like the old days when only the most disastrous product flaws would move me to send a letter. I’ve gotten ink-stain remover from when a pen leaked in my pocket, a coupon for yogurt (32 oz. size) when packaging ambiguity led me to buy the wrong flavor, a coupon for pasta –the bottom flap on a box wasn’t sealed properly and I had fettucine all over the floor (I’d tell you what brand, but the settlement included a non-disclosure agreement). And other stuff I can’t remember now.


  3. It’s cute that you mentioned the ending of the movie and it’s nice that you got a response.

    My favorite recent customer service story concerns Whole Foods. (This is not the one Jeremy goes to, it’s seven blocks south of that one.) I had already had good experiences at the cheese counter, but this was definitely unexpected regardless. I finally figured out the name of a cheese I had had at a friend’s and loved: Epoisses. I knew they had it on occasion, but couldn’t find it. I asked and the man at the counter said they must’ve just run out of it, but I could try another one that’s supposed to be similar. The problem with both is that it comes in a wooden box so you can’t taste test. And they both cost $20 each. I said no thanks (as I wasn’t going to spend that kind of money on a cheese I didn’t know at all). He then surprised me by giving me the $20 box of cheese as an apology for not having had what I had been looking for!


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