Many of you know that last year, the simple purchase of an iPhone and it’s incredible innovation, transformed me from a five-generation Blackberry user and subsequently a 23-year PC user, to my first MacBook Pro. Although there was a little bit of a learning curve and a bit of an expense to move all of my PC files over, and I miss the Outlook functionality that I can’t get from Mail and iCal, the experience has been mostly positive.
Now admittedly, this doesn’t happen often, but I received the email below from Apple as I had pre-ordered a top of the line iPad.

After visiting the order site to update my payment info, twice it gave me an error that “We were not able to update your payment info.” Now annoyed, I called the Apple store customer service only to find out that the iPad 3G model I had ordered won’t be shipping until the end of April and that the email below was sent in error. In the big scheme of things, not a big deal by any measure, but it was annoying and a complete waste of my time & effort which made me think and ask:
1. Even incredible brands like Apple do Stupid things! I’m reminded of a mentor’s comment that “it’s not about perfection; it’s a about progress.” What stupid things are you doing in your business and how can you stop?!
2. This error is certainly something I’d expect from other less prominent brands, but not from Apple and in a very small way, it dilutes my perception of the brand. What are you doing to enhance your brand and what’s diluting it? Go away (really hard to work on the business when you’re in the business), make a candid list and really focus on the positive highlights in the next 30-60-90 days. Stop overestimating what you can deliver in the short term, and underestimating the impact you can have in the long term!
3. I received the pre-order offer some time ago and am not sure what was the response / success rate for Apple? I do wonder, how those who in fact did pre-order will be treated, or how will the experience be any different if I just waited till they became available in my nearby Apple Store, or worst yet, waiting until the next generation of iPads a year from now? How are you elevating the experience for your most loyal and thus valuable clients?
Every situation in our lives – good, bad, ugly or indifferent is a learning opportunity. Never stop learning, never stop growing (personally & professionally), and never stop the magic of wonder!
Begin forwarded message:

Date: March 27, 2010 7:01:03 AM EDT
Subject: Action Required for your Apple Order
Order Date: Mar 12, 2010
Customer Name: David Nour
Order number:

Dear David Nour

Thank you for your recent order with the Apple Online Store. We
appreciate your business.

We have been unable to obtain payment for your order.

If we do not receive a response from you within one week from the date
of this email, your order will be cancelled.

We offer the following options for resolution:

1. Please contact the financial institution that issued your credit card
to review the reason for decline. You will need to resolve this with
your financial institution before this order can be processed.

2. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your financial
institution, you may cancel your order by visiting: You will need to login to your account
with your Apple ID to locate this order.

3. Please visit to change your form of
payment to a different credit card. Please ensure the cardholder name,
billing address and phone numbers on file for your credit card match the
information on your order. You will need to login to your account with
your Apple ID to locate this order.

4. If you wish use a different form of payment, such as a Money Order,
Cashier’s Check, or Wire Transfer, please call us at 1-877-422-5368.

Apple Online Store

Online Help:
Phone: 1-877-422-5368
Mon-Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific time
Sat-Sun: 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Pacific time

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