Apple And John Lewis Prove That Being Nice Gets You Nothing!


A few weeks ago my brand new Apple iPad Air blew up while charging and almost burned down my home. After getting over the initial shock and thinking about what might have happened I then decided to do a little experiment to see how both Apple and John Lewis dealt with this.

Which approach should I take?

The Bad Guy


The Nice Guy


I was quite certain that if I had taken the bad guy approach I would have been showered with apologies, gift vouchers and whatever else they could offer to shut me up and calm me down.

However, I decided to take the nice guy approach as I wanted to try to prove that it’s always better to be nice…and I was still hoping to be showered with apologies, gift vouchers etc etc.

Upon reporting the incident to Apple, I was kept on hold and transferred between numerous different people but I didn’t complain about it I just kept re-telling the story.

Of course, they were very apologetic and after about an hour the end result was that I was to get a new charger to replace the damaged one. At this point I had to state again that the iPad itself had stopped working too. Also, during the call it was actually suggested that it might be my house wiring that had caused the problem. Had I been the “bad guy” this would have made me shout but I was the “good guy” so I didn’t.

Once I had my replacement iPad I decided to send a follow up email to Apple to see how they would deal with this. Again, I was the “nice guy” – perhaps overly nice…and here is a copy of the email I sent…


“I’m writing this in response to the service I recently received after my safety and broken iPad experience that I had. Usually people are too quick to write complaint emails and forget about praising the good experiences they have so I decided to take the time to do the latter.

After only having my latest Apple product, the iPad Air for a few months when leaving it on charge one day the charger (an official Apple one) exploded causing not only the adaptor to come apart (photo attached) but also burn the socket, trip the circuit breaker and destroy the iPads charging ability. My first thought was that although it was quite bad it could have been so much worse. What if it had caught fire was one of the thoughts running through my head. I was lucky it wasn’t any worse but I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen to anyone else who maybe didn’t have such good circuit breakers installed.

Of course, I needed a replacement iPad too…I contacted the relevant department and every effort was made to ensure I spoke to the correct person and they couldn’t have been more helpful (Stephanie & Vincent). I was confident that my concern it could possibly happen to other people was going to be investigated and that I would also get a replacement iPad by visiting the local Apple Store. Vincent also made a suggestion that it might be down to the wiring in my home so even although it’s a new house I organised for an electrician to come and double check the wiring just to make sure. I’d rather pay to be safe than have any more accidents with more serious consequences.I also had my stereo attached to the same socket as the iPad so I was initially worried about that as it’s a Bang & Olufsen.

Apple and Bang & Olufsen are the only two brands I really appreciate – I guess I have good, but expensive taste. It wasn’t a brand new one, it was a ex display model as I couldn’t afford the full asking price so after saving up for a long time for it I would have been gutted if it too was broken. It wasn’t, I checked it and it’s still working. Again, to be on the safe side I’m going to arrange one of the engineers from Bang & Olufsen to give it a once over just to make sure it’s not suffered any damage.

The visit to the Apple Store went so smooth. I was asked to go over the situation again but didn’t feel as if I was going over the same thing over and over again and I swiftly had a replacement – brilliant! The only thing is I forgot to mention the screen protector which I had on the broken one but that really doesn’t matter as it was a glass version and I don’t think the Apple Store stocks them.

The whole experience could have easily made me ditch Apple altogether but I have a renewed confidence in the brand. When I saved up money for my IPad Air I had also saved up enough to get a Mac Mini too so now together with my iPhone and iPad Mini I almost have a complete set. My Apple savings will once again start so I can get an iPhone 6 and an iWatch. I’m also really excited for the Apple Music service coming later this month!

Thanks once again and keep up the great work and producing fantastic products!”


I haven’t even received any response to this email yet – never mind any offers of compensation for…

(1) Reimbursing the costs of an electrician – £120

(2) Reimbursing the costs of the engineer to check my Bang & Olufsen – £75

(3) Replacing my Bang & Olufsen as it has now actually stopped working properly – £800

(4) Replacing the screen protector – £35

(5) Almost burning my house down – PRICELESS (although I’m sure Apple could have came up with something)


So, thanks for nothing Apple!

I also informed John Lewis, as this is where I purchased the item, of what had happened, advising them of the above information too and how Apple had been dealing with it. All I got back from John Lewis was basically  a “thanks for your feedback” email.

So, thanks for nothing John Lewis!


This, in my opinion, sadly proves that niceness gets you nowhere!

What do you think? Have you ever been the “bad guy”? What experiences have you had? I’d love to know.


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17 thoughts on “Apple And John Lewis Prove That Being Nice Gets You Nothing!

  1. I’ve been going through some very poor customer services issues with British Telecom and I always, always, treat people how I would want them to treat me. I don’t get angry, but I do say, ever so nicely, “I’ll be contacting Anne Robinson and Watchdog about this, and also the newspapers”, and that generally helps. Companies hate bad publicity.

    I’m so shocked to hear what happened to your iPad and how dangerous the situation was. John Lewis are suppose to have one of the best customer service records but I, to, have come accrues some very unhelpful staff in their customer services department. Last time that happened I took to Twitter, and got some results. I was shocked by how fast they got back to me. Oh the power of Social Media 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a shame – I’ve always found John Lewis to be fabulous with customer service. I’ve had an ongoing issue trying to get Sky Broadband installed in my new house. After several phone calls (some where I wasn’t rung back I was expecting a call) I did lose the plot a bit and turn into the Bad Guy. It made no difference. I was told a complaint would be noted on my account, but no one has rung back to discuss my concerns. They don’t even have an email address for you to put your complaint in writing, only a Live Chat thing (which I hate) or a different phone number (and I’m so done with phone conversations with Sky). I don’t know how they get away with it. 😤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The main thing is that the house didn’t burn down. I lived in a house that had power surges and would fry what was on that fuse. I blew up a TV box, my daughters apple charger and another brand new machine. When I got the electrician in he said there was nothing wrong with the wiring. We moved. .
    I agree that it is hard to get anywhere by being nice. I had a problem with our IRD and sent off 3 irate letters and they rung me back and sorted it all out. I hate doing it but sometimes it is important to get your views across.
    An expensive incident for you. Hope you sort it all out soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s not 100% a product issue but, my son had 6 ear infections this year. My pediatrician referred us to an ear, nose, and throat doctor. 2 weeks pass, no one calls to schedule an appointment. I call, 5 days in a row, leaving polite messages asking for an appointment. My son gets sick again and I had it. I called in, finally got a person who TRANSFERRED me to VOICEMAIL. I told them quite rudely I would call every hour in the hour until someone scheduled us a damn appointment.

    I reviewed a call back within 10 minutes of that voicemail.

    It’s a shame being horrible is so effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no that’s awful! Its always a tricky one, because I’ve done many jobs in the industry and hated it when people used to yell at me, but there have been times where I have been fobbed off by rude and dismissive customer service reps and I have been Little Miss Bitch in response. Little Miss Bitch has got the result that I wanted, but I didn’t feel good about myself afterwards, even though the people I was dealing with were rude.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am always a nice gal approach kinda person, but my hubby uses the bad guy one and he manages to get much sorted out! Free, or discounted things, replace,nets etc… I guess you are just wired internally to be one or the other!

    Liked by 1 person


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