Rule Numero Uno | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

Rule Numero Uno

04 February 2004

Rule Numero Uno is, “Never Send An Email When Upset.” Doing so results in a high likelihood of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth – which is what I did this morning.

Apple Europe has an IT problem. Shipping addresses entered into their ordering system can be truncated when passed to their logistics systems. I’ve been bitten by this in the past, and had the unpleasant experience of dealing with Apple’s “After Sales” team in order to get it resolved. That experience went something like this:

  1. I reported to After Sales that the shipping address had been truncated and that I would likely not receive the shipment.

  2. After Sales said I’d have to wait two weeks, in case that, by some miracle, the shipment actually arrives.

  3. After waiting two weeks, a reshipment was dispatched, and promised to be sent via express mail. It turned out to be sent via normal post, and took an additional four weeks to arrive.

Earlier this week I placed an order with Apple Europe, and asked the sales representative to check that the address translation problems of a few months back had been resolved. He said he had no responsibility in the matter after taking my order, and that I’d have to call… you guessed it… After Sales.

Two days later, my shipping confirmation email arrived from Apple, and, lo and behold, my address had been once again been truncated!

Quite upset, I quickly pounded out an email to the sales representative, telling him, in addition to the fact that I couldn’t believe their IT systems hadn’t been fixed, and that I sure wasn’t looking forward to days on the phone again with Apple Sales, that I might just post the entire episode on Steve Job’s weblog – – and see if Steve has any interest in their problems.

Well, turns out I should have just sat on that email until I’d cooled off. While I’m happy with 90% of what I wrote, had I cooled off, I would have certainly removed the ridiculous (and empty) threat of posting to It turns out that is not Steve Job’s website, but a parody.

So, probably my email is posted in the coffee room at Apple Europe in Cork, just next to the support request from the lady that can’t find the “any” key.

Oh, well, that’s what I get for breaking Rule Numero Uno. Lesson Learned (again): Never, ever break that rule.

PS: The whole ordeal didn’t turn out too bad, though. First, I got a nice email from the Head of Apple Store Europe, who is taking the situation quite seriously. Then, my shipment arrived. Being such a small town, it seems the delivery man may have remembered the last time this happened.

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