Friday, June 10, 2011

Apple's growing penchant for not supporting customers by changing services too radically

I admit I am an Apple fan, but they are gaining a reputation for abandoning customers too easily.

I am a Mobile Me user. I used to be a .mac user. They forced me off .mac some time ago and onto Mobile Me.

Then they forced me to update Mobile Me a few months ago, and this resulted in 'old' calendar data not being brought forward. They somehow thought that I would only care about 'future' and 'last month' calendar data. Wrong! I want to be able to look back at such things as past medical appointments, and other things I was doing on certain dates for many good reasons. I had backed up my calendars, but it was not easy to selectively pick the 'old' events and restore them; you have to manually edit the .ics files, which is something I would expect only a computer professional to be able to do.

Now we are told that Mobile Me will be replaced by iCloud, and that we will be given instructions to migrate later this year.  But they have left everybody in trepidation about what services will continue to exist in iCloud.

Surely they could have managed this in a better way. If I was their customer-relations department, the message would have been: 'Dear loyal Mobile Me subscriber, you have heard that Mobile Me will be replaced by iCloud. Don't worry; none of the functionality or data will be lost, this is primarily a rebranding exercise. When we change the technology and move to iCloud, your calendars and other synced data will continue to be synced, your galleries of photos will remain, your iDisk will still be accessible, and the Backup program will continue to make backups.'

Maybe it will be this way. If so they should have said it. If not they should be forthcoming and tell us which data will have to be moved somewhere else.

Maybe not a lot of customers are using Backup, iDisk or photo galleries so it is not cost-effective to maintain them. But at least they should move the existing data to some default place on iCloud. But my biggest plea is that they make calendar syncing transparent, without yet again forcing people to lose their historical data.

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