I actually wrote an email to Steve Jobs yesterday (firstname.lastname@example.org). He will be missed.
However, I never looked at the whole Apple experience. My wife has always been a huge Apple fan. One time, the USB cord for her iPhone stopped working. She took it to the Apple Store and they exchanged it for a new one, no questions asked. You don't know how remarkable that is unless you've spent hours-upon-hours chatting with a Dell employee in Mumbai, trying to figure out why the hard drive isn't being recognized by your computer or why you can't get a network connection even though you have a Mac and two iPhones on the same network that are working fine.
But I became a die-hard Apple convert when I took my iPhone into the Apple Store today. Last week, I had had an issue with the camera not working properly and after re-installing the operating system, the phone stopped powering up a couple of days later. I figured that my tinkering was at fault. Unbeknownst to me, our child had taken the phone into the bathroom and dropped it in the sink while washing his hands. Of course, he didn't tell us until we went to the Apple Store and the associate explained to us that the water sensors had been triggered.
Well, having experience with the water damaged cell phone before (a Motorola SLVR dropped in a cup of water), I knew what was coming...a long lecture on why a water damaged cell phone isn't covered under the $100 warranty you bought with the phone.
As expected, the Apple associate started explaining that typically the phone warranty would be invalid...however, since I had only had the phone for four months, he would be willing to replace it, at no cost, this one time.
I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
After all the devices that have broken on me, I've heard every excuse in the book as to why a warranty is invalid (I once had a brand new laptop screen crack after being in a car overnight only to be told that it was an "Act of God" which, of course, wasn't covered under the warranty).
I have never, ever had someone tell me that they would happily honor the warranty, even though they didn't have to. To empower your associates to solve customer problems, even though it might not be the "cheapest" thing to do for the company, is remarkable.
So I want to aplologize that I doubted you. This Summer, I bought my daughter her first computer. I looked at the MacBook, but it was $200 more than a "comparable" HP Presario. She wanted a MacBook like her mother, but I convinced her that the HP was "good enough". Well, after it failed to connect to our network about a month after I gave it to her, she's not interested in using it anymore. I fixed the problem with about 20 man hours of my time but it's just not the same as the MacBook. The "touchpad buttons are harder to click than Mom's" and the "screen isn't as bright."
My mistake. It turns out that your products, like your customer service, are indeed better than everyone else's.
I will never buy anything but an Apple computer again. And I'm sorry I doubted you, Steve.
I wish you the best of health.