Excellent customer service matters

Recently, my son stopped using the $50 Otterbox Defender case we had purchased for his iPhone 4S. He said it was too bulky. He’s a teenager, after all, and he can’t be seen with a belt clip. I started using the case for my iPhone 4S and discovered it was a damn strong and well designed protector for the device.

One little issue cropped up: the rubber surround that encloses the plastic case that encloses the phone (yup) started tearing in one spot and I was afraid it would finally come apart. I called Otterbox and explained the situation. The very nice young lady who took care of me said that they had redesigned the case with a stronger material and, since the plastic surround had also been redesigned, she would send me a new case at no charge.

Wow. That is the way to keep a customer for life. Thank you Otterbox for backing up your product. I’ll keep buying.


Compare that with my experience in February 2011 with InCase, detailed in my letter to CEO Dave Gatto:

Dear Mr. Gatto:

I am long-time Mac user and owner of six Apple devices (seven if you include my Mac). I am a consumer of third-party peripherals and accessories for all of them: my iPad, my two iPods, my iPhone, my two AppleTVs, etc. I consider myself an educated consumer who wants to buy quality accessories commensurate with the quality I’ve come to expect from Apple.

Enclosed is an Incase iPod case I purchased at the Apple Store in late 2009 that I no longer need. As you can see, the gold paint has worn off the plastic. This was after only eight months of use by my son, not a boy who mistreats his gear. The attached email exchange explains all the salient facts regarding this iPod case, as explained to your customer support department.

Needless to say, I’m extremely disappointed, not only in your customer support, but in your product. It boggles my mind that a product that retails for $30, and that was used for only eight months, can exhibit such a level of wear and tear. I just purchased an Otterbox case for my son’s iPod, which has three times the level of protection of yours, at the same price. I can’t envision ever buying another Incase product again, considering the lack of value I’ve gotten from my purchase, and the inability of your support department to please a ticked-off customer.

Keep the case with my compliments. I have no further use for it.

I never received a response from Mr. Gatto.

InCase will never get my dollars again. Otterbox will. End of lesson.

About The Mighty Thunderer

We write about music, audio, and technology. Like the namesake of this blog, Ludwig van Beethoven, we are hammer of polite society. We will point out the absurd and educate on the sublime...
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