A Look at Apple's Handling of Customer Emails to Executives as Tim Cook Takes Charge

Steve Jobs has been famous for his willingness to interact with customers via email, issuing terse and sometimes surprisingly candid answers to users' questions and complaints on occasion. With Tim Cook now officially taking the reins at Apple, some have questioned whether he has any interest in similar interactions with customers.

Cook has clearly been flooded with emails over the past few days, many of which have offered him congratulations on his new position. Notably, Cook does seem to be taking the time to respond to those emails, suggesting that he may indeed be interested in personal communication with Apple customers. Most of the responses so far seem to have been of a simple nature thanking the senders, although some have included a bit more detail relevant to the senders' content.

One example given in a comment thread on an article at iDownloadBlog comes from a customer who mentioned that he used Apple products to communicate with his family from Iraq, to which Cook responded thanking him for his military service. Another example comes via an Auburn University fan, who connected with Cook, an Auburn graduate and devoted fan himself, over the school. Cook included in his reply a mention of Auburn's famous "War Eagle" battle cry.

cook war eagle email
Apple has historically paid close attention to emails sent to Jobs, and will likely continue to do so with Cook. One example of Apple's tracking of executive email contacts has been provided to MacRumors, showing Apple's efforts to respond to early criticisms of its MobileMe service, which experienced a series of missteps at its mid-2008 rollout. According to an internal Apple presentation highlighting the status of MobileMe support issues in early 2009, Apple closely tracked on a day-by-day basis the 242 MobileMe complaint emails sent to Steve Jobs over the first six months of the service's history.

jobs mobileme customer emails 1
Apple support staff analyzed each of the 242 MobileMe-related emails sent to Jobs over that period, categorizing them by "root cause" in order to better understand where customer complaints were coming from.

Jobs of course remains as Chairman of Apple's board of directors, and his email address presumably will remain active. It is unknown, however, if he will continue to answer customer emails sent his way now that he has stepped down. Jobs does not appear to have answered many emails, if any, in recent months, and thus he may have already stepped away from that communication channel.

And while customers hoping that channels to the chief executive remain open under Cook may be heartened by his recent responses, it remains to be seen whether he will continue to engage with customers via email once the flood of congratulatory messages passes and the emails become more focused on questions and complaints.

Top Rated Comments

bigcat318 Avatar
136 months ago
Tim would probably rather you buy a different phone than return 7 iphones
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattwolfmatt Avatar
136 months ago
Wait, you're telling me that in the first 6 months MobileMe was launched, Jobs received only 242 complaints?

If so, about 10% of those are from me.

Are we sure we aren't missing the "in thousands" small print somewhere?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cms2 Avatar
136 months ago
I am a dyed in the wool Georgia Bulldog (forgive the mixed metaphor), and I was trained to loathe all things Auburn. I love Apple's products, but I'm going to have a damn hard time giving money to a company that has a CEO who will in turn pump money back into the coffers of a team and school that I REALLY don't like...

Man, that is devoted... I rarely know, much less care, where the CEO of some company went to school.

Originally Posted by END3R
never have I heard of someone returning it 8 times, let alone twice.

This seems to always be done incorrectly on MR forums for some reason. It should be: "Never have I heard of someone returning it twice, let alone 8 times" :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
END3R Avatar
136 months ago
"Hi Tim, can I please have an iPhone 4 that actually works? I am on my 8th phone in 9 months.

PS, WAR DAMN EAGLE"

A rational person might begin to think after that many it's not the phone. With all the people I know with iPhones, friends, neighbors and nearly everyone I work with, never have I heard of someone returning it 8 times, let alone twice.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SpinThis! Avatar
136 months ago
I'm going to have a damn hard time giving money to a company that has a CEO who will in turn pump money back into the coffers of a team and school that I REALLY don't like...
Is that the the only reason? You're doing pretty well. Boy those affiliations run deep in some people. If you base your purchases based on affiliations or donations, you'll prob end up never buying anything, ever from any company.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sesnir Avatar
136 months ago
I sent him an email on Aug 25th and got a nice reply less than 5 hours later. I imagine it's because a "thank you" is quick and easy, while something like answering a MobileMe complaint is not.


So what's tim 's email address? tim@mac.com???
tcook@apple.com
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
microsoft office icons

Microsoft Releases Office for Mac Update With Full Apple Silicon Support in Excel

Tuesday January 18, 2022 4:15 am PST by
Microsoft has released a new version of its Office for Mac productivity suite that includes an updated Excel app with 100% native support for Apple silicon machines. According to the release notes accompanying version 16.57, Excel will now run natively on Macs powered by Apple's M1-series processors without having to use the Rosetta 2 translation layer, which means anyone using a Mac with an ...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Rumored iPhone 14 Pro Feature Delayed Until Next Year

Wednesday January 19, 2022 3:00 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored under-display Face ID technology will not be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, according to recent reports. Based on the latest rumors, it now looks unlikely that the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature Face ID technology under the display as several reports claimed over the past year. Display industry consultant Ross Young, who often reveals ...