We’ve heard from a handful of former Apple staffers since we began reporting on the flaw in iPhones that prevents Apple customers who switch to Android from receiving texts. (Briefly, it’s difficult to remove your phone number from Apple’s iMessage system, so texts from iPhone users end up stuck inside it instead of being delivered to your current Android phone.)
Interestingly, the staff we’ve heard from are as steamed about the issue as their customers are. The employees who emailed us are all former Apple retail or Apple Support workers, rather than engineering staff from the Mothership in Cupertino, California. So we can’t say anything about Apple’s progress in fixing the problem. Nonetheless, these staffers say the issue is serious and common.
We’ve repeatedly begged Apple to talk to us about this issue. But the company’s official position as that as iMessage is the subject of a potential class action lawsuit from Android customers, it will not comment.
A former Apple employee in the Dallas-Fort Worth area says, “I worked for Apple for over three years, mostly at the Genius Bar. I, of course, have seen numerous issues related to iMessage, however, this one has to be the worst by far.” The staffer tells us that after he left Apple he switched from an iPhone 5S to a HTC One M8 (the employee likes phones, and switches frequently between models). No matter what he tried, he had trouble receiving texts from iPhone users. “I [even] had a buddy that still works at my former store check the knowledge base for deactivation procedures.” No joy, however. He still can’t get texts from some people.
“It’s interesting that it’s being brought forth as a lawsuit, considering they will probably not get any damages from it, but it seems to be one of the only ways to really get a company’s attention sometimes,” he says.
A former AppleCare Advisor tells us “this is not a surprise at all. … Consumers were always calling in – complaining about this.” The ex-staffer says he worked for Apple for one and a half years through 2013. “I am not able to say which location (it would be in violation of the contract I signed).” The staffer believes Apple isn’t incentivized to fix the problem because it causes trouble for people who want to leave the ecosystem for other brands.
Another Apple store worker, says she bought a $US500 Samsung Galaxy device after she left Apple. But because she couldn’t resolve the iMessage issue she was forced to go back to iPhone. “I myself am a former Apple employee and have almost one of each of Apple’s products it is a very frustrating situation to be in.”
Other readers — more than 400 of whom emailed Business Insider with their stories about iMessage issues — say Apple Support staff told them no fix was imminent. One staffer called it “a perfect storm”; another said, “engineers were working on it but have not figured it out.” A third said that a help staffer said there was no fix to the problem and that for customers who switch and discard their iPhones without shutting down iMessage properly, “we’ve exhausted all possible solutions.”
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