Usually when someone dares breathe a word of negativity about the iPod, a firestorm immediately ensues. So we assume that Joe Nocera's piece in Saturday's New York Times has gotten relatively muted reaction only because a fee is required to read its original version online.
In a column headlined "Good Luck With That Broken iPod," he chronicles his frustrations in trying to get his busted player fixed or replaced by Apple Computer after the usual one-year warranty had expired. His larger point is that consumers should reasonably expect a $300 product to work at least for the period he owned his iPod, which was less than two years. "Consumers buy it with the expectation that they'll put all their music on it and they'll carry it around for a good long time. And when that doesn't happen, they feel betrayed," Nocera writes.
His plight hasn't garnered much sympathy among bloggers, who generally seem to be saying: Welcome to the real world, Joe.
Blog community response:
"There is no implied or otherwise agreement that if you are a doofus and break you iPod that Apple should offer you some sweet repair option. No, you should be forced to purchase another iPod so that you will perhaps remember not to drop it on hard concrete (is there any other kind?) or put it in you back pocket and then put all +150 lbs of weight on it."
"There's still a business called the Fountain Pen Hospital. When you buy a pen for $100, you expect that maybe you can get it fixed. But pens are now disposable fashion items, not tools that last a lifetime."
"Nocera might be right in his implied argument that consumers are behaving irrationally by ignoring evidence like this. The optimism bias is among the most robust of the cognitive tics exposed by experimental behavioral law and economics literature."