Listening to Customers

by Giles Turnbull

Apple's decision to come clean with the iPod nano screen problem will be welcomed by a lot of people, not least Matthew Peterson, who started the online campaign highlighting the issue.

It was a nice change to see Phil Schiller publicly declaring that Apple was aware of a problem, and was immediately doing something about it. Did Peterson's campaign change their hearts? Perhaps.

This is by no means the first time people have complained about Apple products. There's been plenty of complaints about the iMac G5's internals getting too hot and occasionally melting, but eventually Apple responded with a repair program. Then there was the battery recall for G4 iBook and Powerbook laptops earlier this year.

None of which will be much comfort for people who have had problems with dead pixels on their flat screen displays. Yes, this is an old one but it still gets my goat every time I think about it. Apple, along with every other computer manufacturer, points out that if they absorbed the cost of replacing every machine with dead pixels, those machines would retail at far higher prices in the first place. As a result, a certain number of dead pixels is considered "acceptable".

In the UK, though, there's a law that says that any product sold has to be "fit for purpose", and that the company that sold you the computer, not the company that manufactured it, has initial responsibility for dealing with your complaint. Ian Betteridge wrote something very informative about this recently which explains the details.

I'd be interested to hear if any UK-based readers have managed to get a dead pixels problem resolved by the retailer under this consumer protection law.

Any more positive experiences?