Over the past couple of weeks I’ve watched in utter amazement the utterly poor response by Apple to the technical design flaws in the iPhone 4 Antennae. Basically if you hold the iPhone with your left hand you run a high risk of dropped calls. When Steve Job’s was confronted by Rory Sinclair about the issue he responded to Rory “Just don’t hold it that way.”

It reminds me of the old joke. A man says to the doctor, “It hurts when I do this!” The doctor says, “Don’t do that.”

Come on let’s get realistic!

Apple’s latest response is for customers to purchase a bumper for $29.00 to protect you hand interfering from with the device.

Wow! Now I feel like the patient in the old joke only now the the doctor response “Don’t do that and pay the receptionist $150 on the way out”.

Why doesn’t Apple just give the bumpers away while they fix the problem? Don’t they realize the positive press and customer respect they would gain?

Apple could learn a significant lesson from Zappo’s. Earlier in the year Zappo’s lost $1.6 Billion to a pricing mistake on the 6pm.com website (see article http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/inside-zappos/2010/05/21/6pm-com-pricing-mistake)

Two important lesson’s learned from Zappos

  1. Own your mistakes
  2. Inform the customer as to what happened, why it happened and what you plan to do to resolve the problem

In the end Zappo’s solidified their position in the hearts of existing customers and attracted new customers and boosts their brand image. All crucial factors to business’ success in today’s world of social interaction.

Apple could also learn a lesson from one of my developers who is helping one of our new customers out of a tough situation. In his words “They are feeling the pain and I am providing pain killers.”

Oh and by the way if you’re wondering I’m holding off buying my next iPhone until Apple resolves the problem along with 8 million other people.  Or maybe I’ll wait until Duct Tape and Band-Aid combine to a create the new iPhone technical assistance band-aid. (See CNN report “Got an iPhone you may need duct tape – http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/07/13/iphone.4.duct.tape/index.html?hpt=C2)

Author: Jody Sedrick – CEO, Zenware