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.

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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