(I’m not sure if this is an actual re-run or an overlooked draft. I found it on one of my laptops while working on my next book but it didn’t have a title accurate enough to use in searching past posts. All I can determine is that I wrote it at least five years ago and it still holds true)
My Beautiful Saxon Princess shared a shaggy dog story with me today about an outraged computer user who returned a “defective” laptop after trying in vain to open the screen/lid . The punch line ? A sales clerk in the store took the laptop, rotated it 180 degrees and opened it right up, the user have mistakenly identified the hinge for the opening because the manufacturers logo was positioned to appear upright (and more identifiable ) to other people when the screen is open .
At first I took it as another one of those wacky user stories, like the person mistaking a CD drive tray for a cup holder, but then I got to thinking: Opening a lap-top is a patterned motion almost identical to opening a book, and in the Western world that motion starts getting ingrained to the point of intuitive motion from time we picked up our first Dr. Seuss book. I would have made the same mistake.
It’s sad – rather than a story about a whacky impatient user I saw it as an example of a company much more concerned with branding than providing for the user. Yes, I am a geezer, but I do remember a time when building a trusting relationship with your customer base was more important than charging your account as quickly as possible and avoiding customer service as a revenue drain.