At the same time this is going on Steve Jobs is spinning his marketing and customer service teams into action to find the public perception war. Employees are told to say that the device's reception performance "is the best we have ever shipped" and that its critical antenna flaws are "a fact of life in the wireless world." Apples employees are told not to perform service on iPhones with these problems and instead to give customers a PR driven recitative instead. Also, while some folks have reported that using a bumper case prevents contact with the antenna band and preserves reception quality, AppleCare reps are being told to not give bumper cases to disgruntled users.
Here's the full text of the Apple employee document reported:
1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy -- your tone when delivering this information is important . . .
- The iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4's overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.
- Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.
- If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.
- If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.
- The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.
3. Don't forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.
4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.
5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers -- DON'T promise a free bumper to customers.
I like to buy products from companies that have integrity to admit problems when they exist and handle them appropriately. Management teams are faced with difficult decisions everyday and this one is turning out to be a PR nightmare similar to BP (British Petroleum).
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