Saturday, 06 September 2008

(Column) - In today’s day and age, criticizing companies based on customer service is pointless, since none of them are outstanding, but when a company truly outdoes itself, it deserves appreciation. Apple Computer recently issued a patch to limit volume levels on its 5th-generation iPod and iPod Nano music players. The patch lets parents lock their children’s iPod music players at a designated volume setting to prevent them from pushing the limits, in turn negatively impacting their hearing.

Granted Apple issued a patch as a result of an ongoing lawsuit, but it’s still considerate of Apple to tackle the issue instead of burying it. It’s not just about the newly issued patch either. Apple’s entire culture depends on customer service, which is actually needed to attract new customers, but most importantly, have a stable relationship with the current ones.

The interesting thing to note now is the reaction of iPod competitors. Will Samsung, Creative, iRiver, Sony and others announce similar patches to stay in tune with Apple? After all, they all appear to have a liking for Apple and its products. Wouldn’t this be a logical step?

According to research reports conducted on portable music players and hearing loss, CE companies are in fault, and blasting MP3 players at full volume do in fact cause hearing loss after extended periods of usage. Knowing this, it should be reasonable for other companies to implement similar locks in their portable units.

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