Themediaslut points to reason N to the nth power why I hate Apple. Actually, THIS STORY - which you need to check out and watch the video just validates what I've known for a long time - APPLE IS ARROGANT to the point of alienating customers.
Are you kidding me, how do you screw this one up? A little girl tosses a softball, a letter as part of a homework assignment, addressed to Steve Jobs on how to improve the iPod. You've got a probable customer for life who loves her iPod and makes suggestions on how to improve it and she gets back a letter from the office of Apple's General Counsel that the company doesn't accept unsolicited ideas. Quite.
Well, they should be listening but the fact is that they're clearly too smart to take someone else's suggestions.
Of course, any company that "gets it" - as we hear so often - listens to customer feedback. Takes the dings along with the praise and figures out how to make customers feel involved in product development, and highlights the successes, including the mitigation of bad customer experiences.
Again, if I were Sony and I were trying to knock Apple off the throne it used to hold (I had a Walkman way back when) I would open up my product development to customers, and I would implicitly solicit iPod customers to give us your feedback so we can design the iPod killer.
I'm blown away. Even if this letter wasn't from a 9 year old - and was say from me - the point is to thank someone for the unsolicited advice and let them know it is certainly something they will consider. You don't tell a customer to get stuffed when they're offering ideas.