It didn’t happen often and in many cases the outcome was not terribly satisfying but Steve Jobs did speak directly to Apple customers, either by phone or email, in response to complaints and inquiries.
Now CNN tech writer Mark Milian has compiled many of these exchanges in a book called “Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs,” which he has published as a $2.99 Kindle ebook on Amazon.
Although he did make the effort, Jobs still could be unsympathetic to customers’ woes. In reply to a MacBook Pro owner who complained that Apple didn’t honor its warranty, Jobs wrote in 2008: “This is what happens when your MacBook Pro sustains water damage. They are pro machines and they don’t like water. It sounds like you’re just looking for someone to get mad at other than yourself.”
But as Milian shows, Jobs also could show some heart. Customer Scott Steckley was surprised when he picked up his phone after emailing Jobs about the interminable wait for a Mac repair. The customer service rep said, “I’ve got somebody here who wants to talk to you.”
Then Steckley heard: “Hi Scott, this is Steve.”
“Yeah. I just wanted to apologize for your incredibly long wait. It’s really nobody’s fault. It’s just one of those things.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
Jobs said he had expedited the repair. “I also wanted to thank you for your support of Apple. I see how much equipment you own. It really makes my day to see someone who enjoys our products so much and who supports us in the good times and bad.”
CNN Tech is running a three-part series adapted from the book.
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