I recently had occasion to experience what is becoming an all-too-rare instance of outstanding customer service from a faceless Internet entity. In this case I’m speaking of the iTunes Store. It’s like this:
After hearing an NPR interview with singer/songwriter Patty Griffin (and liking what I heard in the brief musical excerpts played during the interview) I purchased her latest album, Children Running Through, from the iTunes Store.
The resulting 13-track album was great, but a little quiet. Ah well, as I’m more a “play the album straight through rather than shuffle” kind of listener, I simply turned up the volume on my iPod, in iTunes, or on my stereo receiver when listening to that album.
A little over a week after purchasing the album I received an unsolicited message from The Store. It amounted to an apology for the way Children Running Through was encoded. I was told that I could re-download a better-sounding version of the album by choosing Store -> Check for Purchases within iTunes — no charge. Oh, and I was also provided with 10 additional free song downloads for my trouble.
Of course it was the right thing to do. But it was hardly the expected thing to do. Maybe I’m too cynical (or too experienced in the ways of today’s typical customer service), but in situations like this I’d normally expect a medium-sized run-around after I’d initiated the complaint and then, finally, a grudging offer to let me have the tracks again — but only after making me feel like a worm for griping in the first place.
Year-end bonus, please, Mr. Jobs, for whoever birthed this policy. It’s a shining example of how e-commerce is done right and, regrettably, rare.