updated 12:15 pm EST, Tue November 22, 2011
Friendly exchanges balanced by insults
A new book, Letters to Steve by Mark Milian, chronicles and explores some of the email exchanges between former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the public, CNN notes. Jobs was unusual among major tech executives in having a well-known email address from which the public could actually get a response. In an official book description, the CEO is described as having "handled customer-service inquiries himself and carefully revealed hints about upcoming Apple products, guaranteeing headlines on blogs." In other highlighted exchanges, though, Jobs allegedly "lobs insults, bends the truth and uses misdirection in order to manipulate anyone on the receiving end."
As one example, in 2008 a customer is said to have complained about Apple not honoring the warranty on his Mac. "This is what happens when your MacBook Pro sustains water damage. They are pro machines and they don't like water. It sounds like you're just looking for someone to get mad at other than yourself," Jobs wrote back.
At other times Jobs is known to have done favors for people with broken hardware. A MacNN forum poster, Scott Steckley, recalls that during an endless wait for a computer repair, he sent an email to Jobs and received a call the next day from customer support, which ended with Jobs making a surprise appearance on the line. "I just wanted to tell you that I got your email. I just wanted to apoligize for your incredibly long wait. It's really nobody's fault, it's just one of those things," he is quoted as saying. "I personally put through a expedition on the repair. It should ship tomorrow." The executive also commended Steckley on his support of Apple products "in the good times, and bad."
Letters to Steve is currently a Kindle-only digital title, priced at $3. Milian writes technology content for CNN.