How a Reddit user convinced Tim Cook to change Apple’s on-hold music

"Low-fi on-hold music at Apple? Not on my iWatch!"

“Low grade on-hold music at Apple? Not on my watch!”

When you’re a company the size of Apple (whose co-founder Steve Jobs famously made comments about how it’s not the job of users to know what they want) you’d be forgiven for thinking they don’t listen to the little guy.

Over the weekend, a story popped up on Reddit, however, revealing how one user supposedly convinced Tim Cook to change Apple’s on-hold music — telling him that it sounded distorted and therefore surprisingly un-Apple-like in its lack of quality. Cook apparently listened and – hey presto! – people dialling into Apple now get better-sounding hold music while they wait.

The full post can be read below:

“I once sent Tim an email about the quality of music while on hold with Apple. It was super low quality, therefore an upbeat rock song sounded like pure distortion and really aggravated me because I was on hold for 20+ minutes for something so simple (iPhone didn’t turn on, needed to set up a repair as in my country no Apple Store = have to send it to another country).

Much to my surprise a lady from Cupertino called me up the next day, saying she’d received a concerning email from Tim about ugly distortion hold music while on the phone, that Tim had tested this himself and agreed that something had to be done. She assured me that the hold music would be tested to make sure it sounded pleasant on all types of phones and connections.

The next time I called Apple, the hold music was indeed very pleasant.”

Like Steve Jobs, Tim Cook’s email ((sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)) is public and there are multiple stories of him responding to those who email him. During his 2013 address at Auburn University, Cook commented that: “I receive hundreds of e-mails from customers every day, and I read them all.”

Apparently he has quite the efficient (team of?) personal assistant(s) to turn that reading into actions, as well.

  • Tallest Skil

    So… no, some Reddit user DIDN’T have any effect, because Tim had already experienced the problem.

    • Windlasher

      NO, Im thinking Tim went and checked it out after getting that email. Im sure Tim Cook has direct lines to whomever he needs to speak with and had never actually been on hold.

      • Tallest Skil

        Nice assumption. It’s pretty much as valid as mine, since you know no more than I do.

      • PMB01

        Not an assumption. You don’t put the CEO on hold. Tim would have no reason to have experienced this on his own.

    • Bryan Kennedy

      Did you not read the story? Tim read the email, tested it and fixed it.

      • Tallest Skil

        It says nothing whatsoever about him having read the e-mail.

      • crummett

        “I receive hundreds of e-mails from customers every day, and I read them all.”

      • Tallest Skil

        Except no, his personal assistant read and replied to this one.

      • Munkoli

        Are you blind? It says some lady from Cupertino rang up and said she had a call from Tim Cook about it. Why can’t you piece this together?

  • boioglu

    The audio quality for Apple’s waiting line is just as bad as it was an year ago. Nothing’s changed.

    • BM

      I think it’s your mothers fault. Call her and tell her she’s a cunt for giving birth to you through her ass.

  • Quim

    Very good, are manufacturers of a new accessory for iPhone, iPad and iPod, the support connector http://www.icreatiu.com. Anyway, I took one year trying to contact Apple, exactly one department evalue our product and we should give an answer, positive or negative, if we have options to sell our product in Apple’s online store, or some Apple physical Store. The truth is that we have not been possible until evolution of someone treats us in this matter. We called muchissima Apple people, we have sent emails to all known emails, even to grant the MFi license by Apple itself as proof of exclusive manufacturers for their devices, we asked to indicate a point of contact for such management, but we could not conseguilo. We have even sent emails to Mr. Tim Cook explaining our problem and asking if we could help or pointing one way, but not obtubimos replies. When I read this story, if it is true what you say, it hurts me to see how a simple song into a voice replied to this person, and instead about Professionals who invest in research, design, manufacture and commissioning of a exclusive accessory for Apple products, and all the people who have it and to our knowledge, are delighted with it and use it daily, we can not get a simple answer, indicating the operation of Apple’s own on the subject, and thus know if we have a chance or not, to sell it at an Apple Store, which by iCreatiu, and great is our greatest goal. Greetings to all our customers, this blog in his day presented us with a post, and all your readers.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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