Apple CEO Tim Cook Intervenes in Unlocking iPhone 3GS for AT&T Customer in Canada
March 21, 2012 11:01 AM
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Apple CEO Tim Cook
The customer couldn't get AT&T or Apple stores to unlock his iPhone, so he went straight to Tim Cook for help
An Apple user recently ran into some trouble when trying to unlock his iPhone through AT&T, but the customer got some help from the top dog himself -- Apple CEO
An AT&T customer was reassigned to Canada for his job, and decided to buy his wife an iPhone 4 while he took her iPhone 3GS. He was hoping to use the iPhone 3GS on a Canadian carrier's pay-as-you-go plan because he already had a BlackBerry that he used for work, but as an avid Apple fan, wanted his iPhone at his side as well.
When visiting AT&T to unlock his iPhone 3GS, AT&T said Apple was the only one who could do so. When visiting Apple for the same reason, Apple said only AT&T
could unlock the device
. He went back and forth hearing the same answers until AT&T finally told him to just jailbreak the iPhone.
The customer, however, didn't want to do that. He enjoyed the Apple user experience, and desperate from trying to achieve this goal with AT&T and Apple stores, the customer went straight to the head of Apple -- he emailed Cook.
A portion of the email is as follows:
Basically AT&T told me that they couldn’t unlock it, only Apple could. I called Apple (but was routed through Apple Canada) and they told me “ask to talk to a supervisor at AT&T because the customer service rep won’t know the process, but AT&T definitely can unlock it”. So I called them back and the supervisor was adamant that they couldn’t help me. “Just jailbreak your phone” was their advice.
I didn’t want to jailbreak my phone, I like Apple’s curated experience and I don’t want to stray from that. However after several more calls to both AT&T and Apple, I made no progress. So I’m turning to you for a final plea.
Cook took the message quite seriously, and contacted AT&T about the matter. He instructed the company to unlock this customer's phone. AT&T confirmed the IMEI's for the iPhone 3GS, then contacted the customer to tell him that it would make an exception for him per Cook's orders. The customer was told to tether his iPhone 3GS to iTunes to finish unlocking his device.
It didn't end there, though. After successfully unlocking his iPhone, the customer received a phone call from Cook's assistant making sure that AT&T followed through with the unlock.
"Mid day my wife sent me an email at work saying, 'Um, Tim Cook's special assistant just called and she wants to know if AT&T has unlocked
yet??? Why does Tim Cook care about your phone?'" said the customer.
9 to 5 Mac
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RE: I am not an Apple fan
3/21/2012 12:40:14 PM
Similar reports of direct intervention by the Steve were not uncommon.
I agree that this should have be handled about a billion places further down on the chain of command. But in this respect, at least, Mr. Cook is carrying on Steve Jobs' legacy.
RE: I am not an Apple fan
3/22/2012 7:58:33 AM
Some people wonder why Apple scores so high on customer service polls. Here is an example why.
I installed the 10.7 Lion MacOSX update on day one of it's release. Everything went perfectly except for one problem. When I accessed the new Mission Control preference pane in System Preferences and then accessed it's second panel (to set hot corners for invoking Mission Control) System Preferences crashed. The rest of my system was unaffected but I could replicate this crash every time by accessing that second pane.
I didn't have much time to troubleshoot this problem just then and it wasn't a big deal but I went on to the Apple Discussion Forum for Lion, discovered no one else seemed to be having the same problem and noted my problem in a thread that only had one other comment which was from someone with a System Preferences problem which was different to mine.
A couple of hours later I got an email from someone in Apple Engineering in California (I am in the UK) asking if they could call me and discuss my problem and support my attempt to resolve the issue. We arranged a time to speak. In the meantime once I got the time to do some troubleshooting I quickly narrowed the problem down to one other Apple preference pane which when turned on caused the instability. The problem preference pane was not one I used at all so turning it off solved my crashes and solved my problem but I went ahead with the telephone conversation with Apple Engineering. The call was pleasant and unhurried as we discussed at length and in depth the problem, my system set up, and possible causes and solutions. I agreed to collect some data to send to Apple so they could track down the bug. The Apple guy emailed a special and small crash data collection app and I sent him back the data, we exchanged a few emails and then after the first Lion patch the problem was gone.
Now I don't know about you but the fact that someone from Apple could spot a reported problem on a thread containing just two comments, contact me six thousand miles away and then work with me, to both try to understand and solve the problem, I find pretty impressive.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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