Tim Cook emails UK customer: John Browett’s role isn’t to bring Dixons to Apple Retail

“Yesterday I saw the news that Apple were replacing Ron Johnson as Senior VP of Retail with former Dixons Retail CEO John Browett,” Tony Hart blogs. “As a UK consumer this appointment surprised me as Dixons have far from a healthy reputation in the UK. Having read a glut of equally concerned responses over at MacRumors, largely from UK forum members who have a familiarity with Dixons, I thought it might be worth writing an email to new Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask for reassurance! Steve Jobs used to be famous for writing brief, terse replies to personal communications and his email address was far from a secret. I’d never tried when Steve was CEO, but I figured the same approach might work with Tim. I duly fired off an email and was excited to receive a short, polite and reassuring reply some hours later. Impressed? You bet.”


I talked to many people and John was the best by far, I think you will be as pleased by him as I am. His role isn’t to bring Dixons to Apple, it’s to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction.


Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Eyebrows raised over Apple’s hiring of Dixons CEO to run Apple Retail Stores – January 31, 2012
Apple hires Dixons CEO John Browett as new retail chief – January 31, 2012


  1. We have “Dixon’s” her win the US as well. They’re called Radio Shack, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. All successful firms to some degree. Whether you like shopping there, or not, isn’t the issue. If the firm’s business model is to provide x amount of service and make a profit at the same time, that is OK.

    In mainstream retail if is very hard (if not impossible) to provide great service and maintain great margins simultaneously. Apple has that ability, so what they want from Browett isn’t his feel good relations with customers, it is something else. From what I’ve read about him, his strength is opening geographic markets (think more Apple Stores).

  2. Having just got back from England, I can tell you from first hand experience that customer service over there is not very good. We got a real runaround when one of our 4s’s stopped working. Apple very nicely comforted us and told us all would be fixed ….just go to the nearest Apple store (about 10 miles away). When we got there we got all kinds of excuses why they could not fix the phone. First they said they didn’t have the “North American serial numbers” to assign to the new iPhone. HuH?? Ending with, “UK iPhone 4s’s are not the same as NA iPhone 4s’s”. Double Huh???

    After arriving back to NA with no phone for two weeks Apple Store Genius says we just got unlucky and got someone who didn’t know what he was doing…even though we went through several so called “Genius’s” at the UK store.

    1. Don’t generalise from your one example. We have both good and awful examples of customer service here just as you do in America. Perhaps you pissed them off with your attitude!

      1. You just said a lot about the UK – you only have to help the people you like? Great customer service is about helping people resolve their problems – not just helping those you approve of. Customers don’t have a right to be jerks, but it happens – DEAL WITH IT, or find another line of work.

        1. I’m not pretending to represent UK customer service and I don’t work in customer service (fortunately as I’d be dreadful at it). What you say is entirely true but to use one example to tarnish a whole country and all our hardworking sales assistants is unfair. I’ve had both amazing but also rubbish customer service in the US and don’t think it’s any better than anywhere else I’ve shopped.

    2. Actually, if you have a Verizon iPhone (CDMA) than it would be unlikely that you would get a replacement anywhere outside the USA. If you have a GSM phone then ??? I guess they were stupid

    3. I was in the UK in Dixons one early Monday morning as they opened. I chose a TV with a ‘For Sale” tag on it,(Buying it for my brother). The staff were changing the prices as they’d had a sale on Sunday. By the time I got to the counter to pay they said the TV was no longer on sale. Luckily I had the sign in hand prior to them changing the price. I had a heck of a time to get the TV for the price on the tag in my hand. Then I really got the ‘evil eye’ at the cash register.

  3. “Tony

    I talked to many people and John was the best by far, I think you will be as pleased by him as I am. His role isn’t to bring Dixons to Apple, it’s to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction.


    That answer makes absolutely no sense, especially in light of Jobs insight that it was ultimately sales people that brought a company down.

    He actually thinks that bringing in a failure will make a great organization better?

    What is he smoking?

    1. To be fair, with the margins that the retailers like Dixons or Best Buy work with, it is impossible to operate their stores the same way Apple does. I would think that he would possibly run Dixons quite differently if they had Apple’s 40% gross margins

  4. There’s a reason he wants to leave Dixons, perhaps he wants to improve customer support and service there and is hamstrung by forces outside of his control. It happens.

    He may well be a top flight guy with great ideas. Tim Cook isn’t known for his bad decision-making skills, we really need to give Browett a chance here.

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