A personal gripe concerning Apple’s supply chain

On January 21, I ordered iLife from Apple so that my daughter could do some movie editing that she needs to complete by the end of the month.  I ordered it with 2-day delivery.  The Apple representative forgot to let me know that iLife was not going to be mailed until January 30th and then it will arrive two days after that.  My clear urgency for getting the softwaree apparently did not tip off the Apple representative that they should tell me that the software wasn’t available yet.     I called Apple today (January 26) to find out why my software had not yet arrived.  And so, I learned that I would not get it till February.   In principle, I should have learned the delay when Apple sent me an e-mail acknowledgment, but they sent this to a now now-defunct address and didn’t verify with me the e-mail address.

But the purpose of this note is to gripe about Apple’s supply chain (or at least a part of it) and not their customer service.  So, I’ll do it next.

I canceled the order today.  Even though Apple will not mail me the software for another four days, they cannot cancel the order.   They claim that it is too late to cancel it.  Instead, they will mail the package to me in four days, and I must mail it back to them, and they will treat it as a return.   Huh?  How can this make any sense as a way for Apple to run their supply chain? 

Perhaps one of my friends from the O.M. community will explain to me why it makes perfect sense.    I will graciously listen to him or her.   (OK, maybe I won’t be so gracious).  But afterwards, I will still believe that it is a stupid way for Apple to run their business.  

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One Response to “A personal gripe concerning Apple’s supply chain”

  1. Aurelie Says:

    Maybe Apple is counting on the fact that, once the customer has become less angry and finally received his package, he’ll decide he does like the software after all and will keep it.

    It’s like giving people mail-in rebates in the hope that they will lose the receipt and will never qualify for the rebate after all, or offering one month free for a service and then making people pay – get a foot in the door, give people a taste of a product, and then count on their laziness to keep it instead of returning it or canceling the service. Then the manufacturer can blame his inadequate IT software for not letting the customer cancel the order before he gets it, and it’s all the computer’s fault, rather than part of the company’s strategy.

    Amazon.com does let people cancel their orders before they ship, but that makes more sense since customers could read a book and then try to return it.

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