After time and much reflection I feel it necessary to giggle at myself a little here. My biggest pet peeve is for people to try and shame a business using social media, and I used my blog to do this. The truth is it’s my fault for not backing up my photos, and that’s that. I now use Dropbox and iCloud AND carbonite 🙂
Let me start with this… I have had an iPhone since inception. I’m a huge advocate of Apple products and what some might consider a brand loyalist.. to the max. I’ve been beyond happy with my iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iPad and numerous iPhone’s over the years. I choose Apple because they have always provided a superior product and that is important to me and my business. I don’t mind that they cost a bit more because you definitely get what you pay for and my business is dependent on the performance of these products.
That said, this past week has been a nightmare of epic proportions with my iPhone 5. I stopped using iCloud a while back because it was randomly synching other people’s photos to my phone and who knows who my photos were being shared with. I just uploaded my iPhone photos to iPhoto weekly instead and it worked out great. Last week we took our family to Disney World on a vacation that I saved up and planned for over a year. We didn’t just want to go, we wanted to go and do everything, and we did. I took my “2 hander” camera (Nikon DSLR) for special photos but used my iPhone for the majority of photos and video because who wants to lug around a large camera and then worry about it while on rides? No problem, iPhone has a decent camera and will definitely do the trick. Right?
I had touched nothing, updated nothing. The screen just popped up. That is perhaps the most infuriating part of it all. I can see me accidentally updating to a new software without backing up and kicking myself for it, that would be 100% my fault as I chose not to use iCloud. But I did NOTHING. The screen just appeared out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. When I connected my phone to iTunes the only option it gave me was to restore as new iPhone. No “backup and restore”. I attempted to turn my phone off and on, but the screen just kept coming back up.
I didn’t use my phone for the next 24 hours in hopes I would somehow be able to recover the memories of the past week we would never be able to get back. Once we landed in DFW I called Apple customer support (useless) and the agent attempted to make me purchase an additional support plan, I told her no. She then got a “waiver” from her supervisor to assist me further. She ended up treating me like an elderly person who has no experience using electronics even after I informed her I’ve had an iPhone for years and am aware of the normal troubleshooting procedures. After that, I went straight to the Apple store where I was told “Sorry nothing we can do, it would cost thousands of dollars to hire someone to attempt to recover your photos.”
So, I drove back to my parent’s house and attempted several YouTube tutorials to recover my photos, Tiny Umbrella RecBoot etc… Nothing worked. I decided I would just have to restore my phone, and I did, and everything was gone. Everything. I sobbed like a baby for a few minutes before I became extremely pissed off. At myself for not backing up, even though I had no reason to believe it would be that crucial in the midst of a vacation and at Apple for letting this crap happen when they’re freaking Apple.
We drove home to San Antonio the next evening and my phone continued to turn itself off and on and put itself into recovery mode several more times. I threw it. I was angry. Forget that I’d lost all of my photos and videos from a once in a lifetime vacation, now I can’t even answer emails for my business much less rely on this phone for anything at all. I called Apple customer support, again. They were very nice but told me there was nothing they could do and I would need to go into the store. The store that is 45 minutes away without traffic and it would be rush hour by the time I had a chance to get there after picking Chloe up from school. I went because I had to, I had no phone and running a business kind of requires that you be connected to that business while also having the ability to make a phone call if need be.
Upon arriving at the Apple Store I was forced to retell my entire story to 4 people before being placed in the queue for assistance. I played on the iPads with my amazingly patient 5 year old for nearly an hour and then someone came over took my phone and said I’ll take care of this. Finally, someone is going to fix this. Hallelujah. 20 minutes later he returns with my phone and tells me I need to click the erase button, enter my password etc. All the while he is staring at my screen while I enter my passwords and then repeating them back to me? Who is this guy? After I did all that he said “I’ll be right back.” Another 20 minutes later I get up to see where this guy took off to and find him helping another customer. When he returned he handed me a new … iPhone5. I asked him if this was going to continue to happen and he said “Probably, we don’t sell iPhone5’s anymore because of this very reason.” I am definitely a “you catch more flies with honey” kind of gal, but I’d been pushed to my limit. I let loose, in my own way, which probably still included a kind tone and multiple “I’m sorry, buts” but I didn’t hold back my feelings. “I have lost photos and videos from a vacation that I can never get back, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that they’re gone. However, I cannot continue to lose the ability to run my business while on the go. I have 2 small children and my phone is the center of everything. Can you just give me the 5s or let me upgrade to it, I’ll pay, I don’t even care at this point.” Do you know what he said? “I guess now you see why it’s so important to backup your phone.” Are you freaking kidding me? I wanted to unleash the fury of a Mama picturing her little girls meeting Cinderella in a video I no longer have, or my baby dancing during the It’s a Small World ride, knowing I will never get those videos back… but I kept my cool, although my face probably threw a few expletives at him, I didn’t let them come out of my mouth at least… The last thing he said was “Wait until you have a full upgrade available and get the 5s” I could no longer speak. If you don’t have anything nice to say…
I finally just left. With a pit in my stomach. The brand that I’ve loved and endorsed for years had failed me in compassion and that was the thing I loved most of all. In the past when I’ve had an issue they have gone above and beyond to at least let me know “hey that sucks, I’m sorry.” And those issues were minute compared to this one. I do, however, realize that a few people do not make up an entire brand and do not hold the entirety of Apple responsible for my poor experience. I do, however, hold them responsible for releasing a software update knowing it would cause issues with a recent phone and not doing anything about it. I sell digital products and cannot imagine releasing something knowing it would crash someone’s website without doing a darn thing about it. Software is going to have hiccups, I get that more than most. But this is not just a hiccup and the resolution is unacceptable.
I’ve researched other phones because I’m that upset and wary of future updates. At the moment I’m considering the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but still not sure. My Husband purchased the HTC One and it’s a pretty neat phone, but there is definitely a transition period required that I’m not sure I’m ready for right now. As it stands I’m just upset. Upset without anything I can do about it beyond telling my story and hoping that nobody else has the same issue, although after some googling I found that it’s beyond common if you have a 5. They should have just called the darn thing iPhone5 BETA.
Since having had the first issue with not backing up, I used iCloud. And guess what? When my phone failed again NOTHING had backed up to iCloud despite having it activated and giving it ample time to do so.
On the bright side (because I’m an optimist) I have several photos and videos that I texted to family and friends as well as a few I uploaded to instagram. I also have 2 or 3 photos that Disney took on our photopass. The photos I lost on my phone were over 1000, but the few I have will provide great memories.
A disheartened former brand loyalist