When I worked in AppleCare, I worked across the hall from a team of people called Executive Relations. Among their duties was to field complaints from “important people” about Apple products that ended up in in inbox of Steve Jobs.
Executive Relations was tasked with placating these people. I’m unsure whether this organization still exists, but in those days, Apple was in dire straights. There was a fear that any small thing could blow up into a big thing. Remember the G4 cube that started showing up cracked? Even though the lines were aesthetic, surface scratches and were corrected early on, this reputation sunk the product, damaged Apple, and led to a one-day 50% drop in the stock price.
So, complaints from influential people were taken seriously and the people in this group had some latitude to make people happy, including replacing hardware or even giving out freebies.
Whenever the …