Steve Jobs is known for replying to some of the emails sent to him by Apple customers and he normally replies only to important questions regarding their products. Recently, a college journalism student from Long Island emailed Jobs complaining about the Apple PR department and apart from this she also wanted a quote from Steve Jobs about the iPad in academics. But things didn’t end well between them and it turned into an argument. In the end, Jobs had to ask her to “Leave us alone.”.
Chelsea Kate Isaacs , a 22 year old journalism student had been emailing Apple to get a quote for her assignment regarding the use of iPads in academics. After sending many mails and not getting a reply, she decided to send an email to Jobs himself. Her first email was lengthy, but this was the important paragraph in which she didn’t look happy.
Mr. Jobs, I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students, whether it be with the latest, greatest invention or the company’s helpful customer service line, and yet, ironically, the Media Relations Department fails to answer any of my questions which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance.
Normally, I don’t think Jobs would have responded to an email like this since, I suppose, their are many other people like this complaining about different things related to Apple. But this time Jobs replied and said.
Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.
Isaacs was definitely frustrated after this reply, but if somebody asks me, I would say that it is not the responsibility of the CEO of Apple to reply to every single angry customer. And it is definitely not Jobs’ responsibility to help anyone get an A grade. If you talk about other Apple customers, we think most of them are happy with the service given by Apple. Then she sent Jobs another email:
I never said that your goal should be to “help me get a good grade.” Rather, I politely asked why your media relations team does not respond to emails, which consequently, decreases my chances of getting a good grade. But, forget about my individual situation; what about common courtesy, in general —- if you get a message from a client or customer, as an employee, isn’t it your job to return the call? That’s what I always thought. But I guess that’s not one of your goals.
To this, Jobs replied:
Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can’t respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.
AND the reply:
You’re absolutely right, and I do meet your criteria for being a customer who deserves a response:
1. I AM one of your 300 million users.
2. I DO have a problem; I need answers that only Apple Media Relations can answer.
Now, can they kindly respond to my request (my polite and friendly voice can be heard in the first 5 or 10 messages in their inbox). Please, I am on deadline.
And Steve Jobs ended the whole thing by saying:
Please leave us alone.
Some would say Jobs treated Isaacs rudely and a positive response wouldn’t have hurt, but considering the number of customers, it is impossible for Jobs to give statements to every student iPad owner with a dealine.