Apple Reprocesses Photo Orders So They Can Arrive Before Mother's Day

Dan writes, “Apple saved Mother’s Day!”

My daughter and I ordered a book as a Mother’s Day gift, and I was disappointed to learn it would ship late and miss the big day. I had waited until the last day of the promotion (April 30th at about 9:00 PM EST), so I didn’t want to complain. Then this landed in my inbox.

Dear Daniel,
 
Thank you for your recent Apple photo order.
 
I understand that you submitted your order to us in time to be received by May 11th.  You may have noticed that the tracking information for your order indicates the estimated delivery date is after May 11th.
 
To ensure that your order is received by May 11th, your order is being reprocessed free of charge and will be sent via expedited shipping. When it ships, you will receive a separate email with the tracking number for your duplicate order. Please accept both orders as a goodwill gesture.
 
I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. I hope you continue to enjoy using Apple Photo Services for your creative projects. If you have any questions or concerns, please reply to this email and we will assist you further.
 
Thank you for being a loyal Apple customer and have a wonderful day.
 
Sincerely,
 
Sofia
Apple Photo Services Support

Dan wrote back in on Friday to confirm that the package did indeed arrive before the special day. Way to go, Apple.

Apple saved Mother’s Day! Landed at 10:00 AM on Friday – plenty of time to wrap it up. Very impressed that this was an unsolicited effort to make an annoying situation perfect.

Comments

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  1. sweetnjoe says:

    Apple saves the day yet again! Great customer service! :) Good story.

  2. Apparently sending an email to Steve Jobs demanding a free iPod, NOW!, isn’t the best approach to these things.

  3. jpdanzig says:

    Yes, but how many complaints did Apple receive before they stepped up and did the right thing?

  4. @jpdanzig:

    The point is that they did the right thing. With so many companies being absolute bastards to the customers (US Air) that sustain (Comcast) their business (Charter Cable), it’s a refreshing change and something that other companies should take a cue from.

  5. SamTheGeek says:

    @Ichiro Death Glare: I agree completely. Yesterday, I was reading a discussion of how some companies do the right thing sometimes, yet occasionally scre up. (I believe it was the La Quinta post) This is a classic example. Apple, even when there is a story on Consumerist, always ends up stepping up and fixing the problem. It doesn’t always require high profile exposure however. A company that readily admits mistakes (like Apple or Amazon) gets my business. Those that do not (Best Buy) I avoid going to, except when I have a gift card or some such nonsense. Amazon has shipped an item that was lost in the mail Next-Day and then allowed me to keep the second item when it was found, and arrived (over a month later).

  6. LyriCali says:

    quote: “Yes, but how many complaints did Apple receive before they stepped up and did the right thing?”

    wait… you’re grumbling about a company that fixed a problem when consumers complained about it? I am finding it hard to see where Apple went wrong in this situation.

    I am so tired of all you Apple antagonizers. Just admit that Apple makes you feel insecure about yourself.

  7. aristan says:

    @jpdanzig:

    Even if they did receive complaints, the fact is that Apple fixed it for everyone, whether they complained or not.

    A lot of times, companies will only fix problems for the vocal customers.

    Dan didn’t want to complain and felt it was his own fault for waiting so late, so he said nothing to Apple. Apple came to him and made amends because they felt their Mother’s Day promotion should get there by Mother’s Day.

  8. aristan says:

    And as an aside, Apple’s photo printing is handled by Kodak. So Apple may have had no idea the orders were being shipped late.

  9. sean_h says:

    This sounds like typical Apple to me. Every single experience I have had with them has exceeded my wildest expectations.

    One of their authorized dealers charged me for $50 for a repair when they shouldn’t have. To make it up, Apple gave me $120 worth of merchandise from their online store when all I asked for was my $50.

    Apple gets it.

  10. calvinneal says:

    Apple is the highest rated consumer products company in the United States. Survey after yearly survey shows the same results.

  11. glass says:

    I’m about to call Apple for the first time. I’m having the MacBook battery issue (comp only works when plugged in). It’s a known issue and I’ve heard that Apple just sends off a new battery, but I’m terrified to call. I love the company and I’m really afraid of having a bad experience that might falter my image of them. I know that’s kind of sad, but my faith in their company is one of the only faiths I hold for companies in general, and I don’t want to risk losing that.

    This comment might be a tad off-topic, and I apologize for that. I just needed to get that off my chest ;}

  12. aristan says:

    @glass:

    It’s not scary. They’ll ask a few questions. I had a bad battery on my PowerBook at one point. Basically they will ask for your contact information and a credit card.

    They ask for the credit card because you have to send the bad battery back to them. If you don’t, they’ll charge your card for the good one. You have a couple of weeks (that I remember) to ship the battery back.

    When you get the battery, install it and make sure it’s working. Then put your old battery into the box they provide, put the return label on it, and call DHL.

  13. mgy says:

    I absolutely love those iPhoto books. I got one for my fiance and she loved it. She broke up with me soon thereafter, but that in no way reflects upon the quality of product we received from apple.

  14. t325 says:

    My parents, brother and I are going on a cruise and once we’re back, I’m going to get a photo book of the cruise photos for their anniversary (which actually happens to fall on a day we’re on the cruise, but I can’t give a gift with pictures that haven’t been taken yet ;)) I wasn’t so sure if I was going to get it or not, but after reading this, I am.

  15. .Trenchant. says:

    I gotta admit… That’s pretty impressive.

  16. joshthephenom says:

    Anyone here ever use their print services? How do they stack up to pro labs?

  17. @sean_h:

    I bet apple gave them a really nice warning. Part of the reason they’re allowed to be an authorized service provider is that they’re not allowed to charge if nothing was changed (even a reboot or PRAM reset constitutes a fix).

  18. Still nothing from the consumerist about how Apple won Consumer Reports top honors for customer service and tech support.

  19. stephenjames716 says:

    apple rules!

  20. backbroken says:

    3 cheers for lowered standards!!

    Hip Hip Hooray!

  21. backbroken says:

    @glass: God help you.

    Actually you may be beyond his help.

  22. RINO-Marty says:

    I order a lot of Apple photo books, and I don’t have proof, but the things seem to get to my doorstep awfully quickly when I order just prior to major holidays. Much faster than the indicated times. This happenend to me last Christmas, when I waited way too long to order and the indicated shipping time was listed as Dec. 28th or so, and they got there on the 23rd.

  23. revmatty says:

    @LyriCali: It’s not just Apple. There’s a subset of people (not just on consumerist) who will criticize a company just for *having a problem at all*, for not being prescient and preventing the consumer from ever experiencing anything negative.

    I’m related to one of these people, it makes family gatherings a real treat.

  24. kerry says:

    @joshthephenom: I’d like to know the answer to that, too. A few years ago for Christmas I wanted to make some photo books for my family, and Apple’s prices were about 50% higher than those at Shutterfly. The books they had in the Apple store didn’t look worth the extra cost, so I went with Shutterfly and was very happy with the results.
    If the photo quality is higher now than it was then I’ll reconsider them for my next photo book.

  25. Totorototoro says:

    lol, the only thing funnier than diehard apple fans are the diehard apple haters like jpdanzig, who will grasp at anything negative :p

  26. Chris Walters says:

    @t325, joshthephenom, and kerry: I have ordered books from Apple and from Shutterfly, and Shutterfly was hands down the winner in both paper and print quality. My last comparison order was about 18 months ago, so it’s possible Apple’s printing has improved in the interim–but at the time I was stunned by how shoddy Apple’s print quality was compared to the high quality I was getting from Shutterfly (on both photos and photo books).

    At the time, I read that this was because Apple over-compressed your photos into a pdf file before transmitting them when you placed your order, whereas Shutterfly has hi-rez copies of all your photos and can use those to print from.

    Again, I’m not sure if this is still how Apple works, but you might want to look around the web for information on print quality in 2008 before ordering from them. (In my experience, Shutterfly also has exceptional customer service and prompt order fulfillment.)

  27. quiksilver says:

    I purchased a hardcover photo book from Apple for my Mom a few days before Christmas. I missed the deadline by a few days with the express shipping, but I figured as long as I get it within a few days of Christmas, it would be fine.

    I place the order on the 19th in the evening, by the next morning I get an email from Apple saying that since it was submitted a little late, normally it wouldn’t make it by Christmas, but they said they had rush processed it and would overnight it. I got it on the 21st. I was impressed, shocked, and excited. My Mom cried because she was happy after seeing the photo book.

    One of these days I’ll try Shutterfly, but just with the customer service from Apple, I would order photo books from them again.

  28. SarupraniAndromeda says:

    Here’s another story highlighting Apple’s willingness to reship an
    printed book that was not going to arrive in time for Mother’s Day:

    http://www.operationgadget.com/2008/05/how_apple_saved_mothers_day.html

    –Dave Aiello

  29. joshthephenom says:

    @Chris Walters: Cool, thanks.