Services: Apple, Swisscom and SonyEricsson

My all too faithful and frail 15″ PowerBook has once more an hiccup with the display. This time is has a somewhat curved but diagonally running bright line about 3 mm wide and 3 cm long. it seems that it is a crack on that piece of glass or something that also lights up the apple logo on the case. Certainly if apple wanted to be really cool, they would do away with the charming logo on the cover. They could always emboss the logo somewhere is another part of the case and it would save some costs, albeit minimal. On Friday I gave applecare a call, we ran all the diagnostics, and it came out that I needed to take it to the apple dealer around the corner. I did that today, and now they have ordered the new display. Inshallah.

My experience with Swisscom has however been a bit different, amusing even, and certainly a bit frustrating. I recently switched my mobile provider for the simple reason that in my new working place I have no reception from the old carrier – sunrise – and it was somewhat not always amusing to be holding conversations in the middle of the garden where all neighbours could share in my astonishment and commitments. Now part of the issue that I am having with Swisscom, I also had with sunrise. Neither of the two provide a cheap mobile internet access package for us not-middle-of-the-pack mac users. If I had a PC, no problem.

This frankly is not too amusing. On Thursday in between appointments I made one of my regular visits to the Swisscom shop conveniently located at the train station, in order to find out if there was anything new that they could offer me and my mac other than a CHF 69.–/month subscription that would have my SE K610i as a modem for the PB. Nope, not really, they do not. The service staff was friendly and bent over backwards as to provide me with information. i jokingly suggested to that salesperson at the shop that perhaps the only thing that would make a difference was if I wrote to Adrian Bult himself and complained about my mac-predicament. Some years ago I had the good fortune of rubbing shoulders with Adrian, and he is indeed a good sport besides being the CEO of Swisscom mobile. Still, I thought that it was one hell of a ridiculous idea to be dropping names like that at some fellow just trying his best to satisfy some odd ball customer’s inquisitive nagging. However a series of events after that thursday visit to the train station shop made me change my mind. This is indeed an open letter to Adrian.

After my visit to the shop on thursday I got a text message politely requesting my participation in a customer satisfaction survey. Yes, the fellow had been very friendly, and for a reason beyond his control i walked out of the shop without solving my problem. Easy and cheap internet access from my mac, that is what I want.

Then today on running my errands – taking the PB to the apple dealer, post office, groceries – I tried exchanging a SonyEricsson Active Case IAC-25 for said K610i at another Swisscom shop. I had my proof of purchase and the 6 month guaranty with me. The case seemed like a good idea, and is a good idea, except that the one that I got had one snap that just would not stay put and the risk of it popping and the case plus phone dropping to the floor unnoticed was much too evident. Simply, the workmanship or material were defective. The item had cost almost CHF 40 and was purchased on the 18th of November at another Swisscom shop, however I had been much too busy to go exchange the case immediately. I was just a tad surprised when the good lady at that first Swisscom shop today was not about to exchange it, and sent me back to where I had bought it and told me not to hope too much. She also did not ask for my phone number, so clearly this time I would not be getting a customer satisfaction survey request. Clever girl, she knows how to game the customer satisfaction survey bit about employee performance. At the second shop, the one where the original purchase had been made, I told them the experience and recommendation of their colleague, and they exchanged said case and extended the guaranty with a smile.

Now I am totally confused about the subscription rates for the PC version anyhow, as those are also not really easy to figure out either, and then there is the lack of support, care and love for us mac users. Adrian, what have I done wrong?

UPDATE (05.12.2006 18:00)

I just heard from Swisscom mobile via email after my email exchange with Adrian Bult:

“It is in a company’s interest to receive feedback and criticism from its customers. We understand your irritation concerning the service you experienced with your Sony Ericsson Active Case IA-25 for your K610i at one of our Swisscom shops. We ask you to accept our sincere apologies.

Your requirements as a “not-middle-of-the-pack mac users” (quotation) were paid insufficient attention. In fact, we do have a PC Card Mobile Unlimited for Mac users: it is is our so-called 4in1 (HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS). It allows an easy installation with the Unlimited Data Manager (included in the package). The required software launch2net can be downloaded via Nova Media. For further information please visit our website
You will find a direct link to Nova Media on our website Mobile Unlimited.

We have an attractive offer for the 4in1: NATEL data time with Option 12 Hours or Month with a subscription period of 24 months for CHF 99.00, available online or at our Swisscom Shop.

There are no monthly costs, payment according to time used: if you make use of the service on an average of 15 min. per work day, then we recommend our Data Option Hour for 5.00.
If you are an average user, i.e. with surely more than 15 min. per work day, then your solution would be our Data Option 12 Hours for CHF 39.00. 12 hrs included, add. CHF 3.25 per hour. For the data transmission abroad we strongly recommend our savings options.

Further, another solution for Mac users will be launched in a few months (approx. in March 2007).

Besides, as a sign of our apology for the above mentioned service we have credited the amount of two monthly subscription fees to your NATEL bill of December.”

Within the next couple of days I will make a decision on this. I am however pleased that my complaint has been addressed, and that I am on the way to solving my issue. It is perhaps a bit distressing – to somebody or other – to think that it required the direct intervention of the CEO to finally get the right information. Thanks Swisscom mobile, we are on the right path!

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2 thoughts on “Services: Apple, Swisscom and SonyEricsson”

  1. the swisscom unlimited card seems to work under MacOS (cf this blog, and others found via google).

    In my case, I used them without problems under linux.

    You will just miss the specific windows software that tell you volume and manage the connections for you (handover from wlan to umts, …).

    If you just want UMTS access “on the road”, then it’s enough.

  2. Thank you dago. I am aware of some of the hacks, but they are not 100%.

    I must add that early this morning I have had a reply from Adrian Bult via email with the promise that Swisscom mobile will handle my issue directly and will be calling me soon.

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