I don’t pay any great attention to the endless rumours that precede most Apple announcements and product launches, but the most prevalent ones can give a good indication of what is planned. Combine that with a bit of common-sense and this is my take on what we’ll see tomorrow:
The UP is a wristband made by Jawbone that tracks your activity and sleep levels and provides reports and feedback using an iPhone app and vibration alerts.
Apparently there have been reports of users experiencing problems with battery life and iPhone syncing, and Jawbone last week announced a full refund to all UP owners, regardless of whether they return the device or not. They have also halted all production of the devices until they are satisfied the problems are resolved.
That is a really impressive response. They didn’t try and explain their way out of it or try to pass the buck, and instead accepted substantial financial losses (in refunds and sales) in the interest of providing a first class service to their customers. Of course, they should have identified this problem prior to launch and prevented release until fixed, and there are surely questions to be asked about how that did not happen.
Compare this to Apple’s response to their iPhone 4 antenna issue, which started by saying it was a software glitch, then hosting an event pointing the finger at the competition and then giving out free bumper cases (if it wasn’t a problem, why give out free cases?). They seem to have gotten away with it, but I think they could have been far more honest. Besides, if it wasn’t a problem, why re-design the antenna for the iPhone 4S?
There are a few companies out there that are treating excellent customer service as the number one priority in order to drive the growth of their business, and I include Amazon as another example. The competition in the market is such that customers can afford to be selective and therefore customer loyalty is something a company must strive for and earn.