Is it possible your phone is too smart?

I can say with pride that I owned the very first iPhone. The iPhone One! And I paid somewhere around $600.00 for the thing. Remember when they came out with the second generation at a much lower price and early adopters complained so Steve gave us back a hundred bucks, in the form of an Apple Store gift card? Clever, Mr. Jobs. 

I remain fiercely loyal to Apple, in spite of some glitches over the years. Last month my 4 year old MacBook started to act up, spinning colored wheel more often than I like to see, the keyboard was acting funny, the machine would sometimes get super hot. I made an appointment with a Genius at the ONLY Apple Store in all of New Mexico. The wait is on average four days. To their credit the Genius took one look at the keyboard and said, “Well that’s not right.” My precious laptop had to go in the hospital for an entirely rebuilt keyboard and new battery – he said the battery was “swelling” but Apple was going to pay for it.  This was very unexpected and really helped to solidify my loyalty. Are we “making things right” for our members when something goes terribly wrong? 

How should I show my gratitude for this unexpected gesture? This was only 2 days before I was supposed to fly to the University of Georgia to teach marketing at the Southeast Regional Credit Union School (SRCUS). What’s a girl to do? 

Buy the brand new state-of-the-art iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil ($2500.00). I asked them to please transfer the files I needed from my MacBook to the new iPadPro and they could be off with it – unfortunately, I had not upgraded my operating system on the old laptop so the two would not talk to each other. AND to top it all off, their internet connection (Verizon) was being super slow that day so it took over 2 hours to update. Ugh. 

As I was traveling to Georgia with my fancy new iPad I noticed my iPhone SE (remember the cute small one?) started rebooting frequently. If I launched an app, screen would go dark, apple logo appeared, it was rebooting. I Googled this condition – death to the iPhone I’m afraid. Is this part of the Apple business model I wondered – planned obsolescence? And in fact, in 2017 Apple was slapped with a class action lawsuit after the tech giant admitted it slowed down older iPhones. Wikipedia defines planned obsolescence as “in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.” 

Apple wants you to buy the latest and greatest phone, iPad, laptop, which is why they relentlessly pursue innovations that others hope to merely follow. They have had an amazing run at being first to market with so many products we cannot live without. We are hostages. 

So now I have a new iPhone, the 8. It’s bigger than my cute little SE and it’s a real smart aleck. It’s “too helpful” if you ask me. I went to search for a photo the other day and it now groups my pictures in little albums that IT thinks I will like. It will suggest actions like “you should text John” or “you should share this photo.” And I know this is based on my activity – but I don’t appreciate the intrusion. I’ll text John when I feel like it and I’ll share a photo if I want to. Stop telling me what to do!!!!  I think it’s super important that we listen to our members to find out what is important to them rather than “pushing” products and services on them to make our sales goals. We are humans, not a smart phone, which means we ARE smarter……

My favorite “smart” thing my phone has done lately was when the caller ID said “Robo Call”…I almost sent it to voicemail and flagged the number, I thought about answering it and yelling at it….instead, curious, I just answered. A person said “May I speak to Denise please.” I said “Are you a robot?” She said, “No, this is the Apple Store I wanted to let you know your MacBook is ready to be picked up.” “Well, I said, your new iPhone isn’t very smart because it thinks YOU are a robot.”

I feel like I got the last laugh on that one. 

Denise Wymore

Denise Wymore

Denise started her credit union career over 30 years ago as a Teller for Pacific NW Federal Credit Union in Portland, Oregon. She moved up and around the org. chart ... Web: www.nacuso.org Details

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