Back in 2010 when the iPhone 4 was released users were reporting problems maintaining strong reception. As it turned out, there was a design flaw that caused an unfortunate short which severely weaken the strength of the phone’s antenna which was causing the problem.
So how did Apple and Steve Jobs respond?
They basically claimed that people were holding the phone incorrectly…Yikes.
I’ve seen some poor responses to usability issues with products, but this one is way up there towards the top.
The public response to this was all over the map. Apple had gained such a strong and loyal following from their user base that some rushed to the defense of Apple, while others saw it for what they thought it really was – ridiculous.
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The bottom line is Apple produced a faulty phone and tried to shift the blame. Their blunder is still taught today about how NOT to respond when you have an issue like this.
Instead, consider the advice of legendary UX pioneer Don Norman when he says that there’s no such thing as user error. I tend to agree.
If your product or service isn’t working for your customer or client it’s your fault and up to you to fix it. Don’t try to shift the blame that will only make your problem worse.
You can read more about this story here.