The iPhone, the white screen of death, and Youtube

I had an awful experience this morning, one of those real ‘punch in the guts’ moments where you see stretching out in front of you a road of high cost, endless customer service conversations, and all through no fault of your own…

…because when I switched on my iPhone, it looked like this:


Just a bright, white screen.  THE WHITE SCREEN OF DEATH.

Nothing I did would get rid of it.  At all.

I swore quite a lot.  For about five minutes.


…rather than trying to find the instruction manual, or head to Apple’s site or whatever, I just searched for ‘iPhone White Screen’.



That top search result was pretty appealing… a solution?  Really?  Brilliant…

I click through, and get a video of RichyRich7777… an American fella filming on his webcam, telling you how to fix the ‘White Screen of Death’…

The solution worked, perfectly.  Thanks RichyRich7777.  The sense of relief… words can’t capture it

Anyway, it got me thinking.  There’s three things at play here which are characteristic of how the internet is changing the customer service model for companies.

Firstly, there’s me, the customer.  For whatever reason, I didn’t feel that even a company like Apple is going to provide an easy to find solution on their own website.  I didn’t search for ‘Apple helpdesk’ or ‘iPhone problem’.  Experience with the internet has clearly taught me that the quickest route to things is to use Google to search on my precise self-diagnosis.

Then there’s RichyRich7777, who’s the service.  He had the same problem I did, and found a solution.  Presumably he didn’t find it on someone else’s video, because he felt compelled to save people the hassle of going through the same pain he did and filmed a video himself.

Finally there’s Apple, the company.


On the search results, they just about manage to sneak onto the first page with a solution on their forum… to a different problem.

RichyRich7777 is providing the service, and has done so for free.  And it works, it’s simple.

So what should the company do?  Point people to it?  Recommend it?  Embed it on their own website with the creator’s permission?  Or just leave people to their own devices like they’re doing now.

What would you do if you were Apple?