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GOOD LUCK WITH THAT BROKEN IPOD

By Joe Nocera, New York Times

MY iPod died.

It happened right after Christmas — a Christmas, I hasten to add, in which I gave my wife the new video iPod, making it the latest of the half-dozen iPods my family has bought since Apple began selling them in October 2001. We also own five Apple computers, and have become pathetically loyal because of our reliance on the iPod. To the extent that Apple is using the iPod to drive sales of other Apple products, the Nocera family is proof that the strategy works; we’ve probably spent more than $10,000 on Apple hardware since the iPod first came out. Alas, at least three of the iPods were replacements for ones that broke.

This time, though, I decided to get my iPod fixed. After all, it wasn’t even two years old and had cost around $300. Like all iPods, it came with a one-year warranty. Although Apple sells an additional year of protection for $59, I declined the extended warranty because the cost struck me as awfully high — a fifth of the purchase price of the device itself.

Anecdotal evidence — like chat boards filled with outraged howls from owners of dead iPods — strongly suggests that you can write the rest of this story yourself. You start by thinking: "I’ll just call Apple!" But it’s so hard to find the customer support number on Apple’s Web site that you suspect the company has purposely hidden it.

FOR THE REST OF THIS STORY VISIT:
http://select.nytimes.com/2006/02/04/business/04nocera.html

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