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View Full Version : Must be a Seattle thing. (MacBook Air purchase)




revelated
Jul 22, 2011, 09:02 PM
OK.

So I am in Seattle today on business travel. My last appointment ended at 3pm and I've got an 8pm flight. Figured I would just go ahead and pick up the base 13" Air to toy with on the trip back. That's too good a price for what amounts to an extremely impressive spec laptop.

I don't know if there are any Seattle people here, but I went to the University Village store. Let me first say that I have never in my life seen so many people wearing shorts. That caught me off guard, given it's Seattle. It's like they saw they have a day of near perfect weather and decided to just cut loose.

Anyway, I walk into the store, and straight up the Air. I'm debating whether to get a high end 11" or the base 13" - or if I should just go for broke on the high end 13". Realizing that I really don't need the extra storage, and realizing that functionally the i7 doesn't yield that much of a speed benefit, and given we're talking a near $400 in base price, I figured I would just get the base. So I'm standing there for what must have been 5 minutes. Nobody came up to me. Not one.

Thinking perhaps they didn't understand that I was actually interested in someone coming up to me, evident by the eye contact I made all the way around, I decided to hit the little Specialist button on the iPad Sign dealie. And I wait...and I wait. Then some guy who I can only describe as a cross between Howard Stern and John Lennon comes up. Total hippie gear, looked like the kind of guy who is bred to annoy you. Hair all over the place.

So he goes into this diatribe about the Air and all this...and I cut him off. I told him flat out, "just here to buy this". Let me tell you what he said to me.

" Are you sure you want to buy this?" Err....most people who go straight to the Air know they want the Air. In any case, I just told you I am here to buy this.

" These don't come with Lion installed. Would you like me to install it for you?" Huh? They all come with it pre-installed. "No, only some of them." It was at this point I knew his credibility was toast. To my knowledge the new Air can't even run Snow Leopard correctly.

"There's a lot of moving parts in here, ya know. Things can break rather easily when you have this much technology. Can never be too safe. I suggest you get AppleCare today." To which I told him that my understanding from other Apple store employees, and my own experience, is that Apple computers are known for their general reliability. Even still, there's 90 days of direct support (I was testing what he would say). "Yeah, but you know, after that 90 days if something happens..." and that sealed the lid on whatever credibility he may have had left.

"So do you know if you're eligible for a corporate discount?" Yes. "Ok. Can I see your employee ID?" Don't have one. The San Diego location simply looks in the order history and sees that the corporate discount has been applied on every order previous. "Yeah, we can do that for business customers, what's your business email?" It's not a business discount, it's a corporate discount as an employee to buy equipment for my personal use. Again, San Diego simply references the history. Or, I can show you a receipt that has the discount from my last order. "Well, we normally want to see a photo ID to..." I again point to the receipt clearly indicating my name and the discount applied against my Apple ID on a machine I bought in June. I even offer to forward it to him. This goes back and forth until finally he relents.

"OK, so your corporate discount level is 6%. You know if you buy AppleCare, that's 12% off!" Uh, no it's not. It basically equates to roughly 7-7.5% off if bought together.

"Would you like help configuring and getting set up?" No, I just want the machine. "We offer One-to-One and...." I JUST WANT the machine. "OK sir, I understand, it doesn't have to be..." If you would listen to me the first time I told you that I JUST WANT THE MACHINE, you would have no need to backpedal.

This is basically the horror story that people talk about huh...I've never had people at the Apple Store be THAT bad. In San Diego at least, I walk in there, tell them what I want, they know instantly by the fact that I know what I want that I'm not going to take any of their offerings. I know they're pushed to offer that stuff, but sometimes you have to learn how to walk away slowly.

Now I just need to sell my 2010 11" for a steep discount to make it go away. Feels good to have my backlight back.



Duke15
Jul 22, 2011, 10:24 PM
Wow thats terrible, well atleast you got one in the end.

ShiftClick
Jul 22, 2011, 10:29 PM
Damn hippies!

CapnJackGig
Jul 22, 2011, 10:34 PM
I live in Seattle. Don't paint the city with a wide brush because of one experience. If I did that, I'd tell people to avoid all of southern California at all costs. As for having one good day of weather, errr no. Seattle has the best summers in the US, and are probably only second to Vancouver. I did have a similar experience to yours when I was visiting my parents in Chapel Hill North Carolina. It literally took 30 minutes to get an employee to give a damn. Apple does not rank highly with me in the service department. I believe they've since added those buttons due to all the complaints from people who also werent being served properly.

bigp9998
Jul 22, 2011, 10:49 PM
When you realize that the employees' hours and wages depend on how much AppleCare and One to One they sell, you'll be a bit more understanding.

aristobrat
Jul 22, 2011, 11:12 PM
When you realize that the employees' hours and wages depend on how much AppleCare and One to One they sell, you'll be a bit more understanding.
The employee's NetMetrics score plays a lot in that too. If the OP got the email asking him to rate his experience in the store today, you think he'd be a Promoter, Neutral, or a Detractor? My guess is a Strong Detractor.

I worked in an Apple Store p/t for a few years. You've got to figure out the best way to position the services for a customer. If you get a customer like the OP, who makes it clear that he understands them and just isn't interested, you don't badger him. I've never seen badgering result in a sale. It just pisses people off, and then they typically tell a lot of people about the bad experience.

The San Diego market does sound a little unusual about their corporate discount policy, though.

revelated
Jul 22, 2011, 11:43 PM
The employee's NetMetrics score plays a lot in that too. If the OP got the email asking him to rate his experience in the store today, you think he'd be a Promoter, Neutral, or a Detractor? My guess is a Strong Detractor.

I worked in an Apple Store p/t for a few years. You've got to figure out the best way to position the services for a customer. If you get a customer like the OP, who makes it clear that he understands them and just isn't interested, you don't badger him. I've never seen badgering result in a sale. It just pisses people off, and then they typically tell a lot of people about the bad experience.

The San Diego market does sound a little unusual about their corporate discount policy, though.

I don't find that unusual at all. Rather logical if you ask me.

If I have bought (and I HAVE bought) over 7 different Apple machines, all with the same Apple ID, and all of them reflect the same corporate discount, it's a good bet I'm eligible for it. All they need to do is look in their 15" MacBook Pro sales app and see the history on my purchases to be able to confirm that I've constantly gotten that discount.

Even if he couldn't pull it that way, I showed him a receipt of purchase from Apple clearly indicating the discount.

Asking for an employee ID is not the best way to go about it, because not every company issues picture IDs. My company gives me a key fob to get into the building, nothing else. I do have a business card, but for all you know I could have fabricated it.

In other words, the only real way to determine whether I should get the discount now is whether there is a record I've gotten it before.

aristobrat
Jul 23, 2011, 12:04 AM
How is that a valid determination? Using your method, once you work for one company that's eligible and have established a purchase history, you'll always be eligible, unless otherwise challenged. You could have left that company the day after your last purchase.

The majority of customers eligible for corporate discounts that I've helped do have work issued badges. Others would login to their work webmail as proof. IMO, there is no 100% fool-proof method.

I thought it was weird because in the thousands of corporate discounts I did, nobody ever asked for that as validation. Which is good, because I wouldnt have access to look at it, which means you and I'd both be waiting awhile for a manger or business team member to free up.

Jaro65
Jul 23, 2011, 12:16 AM
Bought my 13" MBA at an Alderwood Mall Apple Store (just north of Seattle). Once I gave them my name, it probably took 5 minutes for one of the sales reps to come to me. They did tell me though where I was in the queue, as there were quite a few people in the store. Once I told them that I just want the box and I don't need any "advice" or configuration support, the process was pretty simple. It is likely that your hippie sales rep experience could have happened anywhere.

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 12:19 AM
The majority of customers eligible for corporate discounts that I've helped do have work issued badges. Others would login to their work webmail as proof. IMO, there is no 100% fool-proof method.


I was never offered that as an option. I would have done it readily. He was dead set on a picture ID and quite frankly, again, most companies do not issue picture badges unless they're larger organizations such as AT&T.

iNeedToDoHw
Jul 23, 2011, 03:35 AM
I'm sorry about your experience.
I live in seattle, and you can't judge the entire city by one apple store. That place is usually filled with students since it's very close to UW (one of the biggest campus in the nation).

The one in bellevue square is always nice and friendly...

Yumunum
Jul 23, 2011, 03:40 AM
Looks like you found..

A bad apple

axu539
Jul 23, 2011, 03:56 AM
Looks like you found..

A bad apple

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

Anyway, to OP: it's individual Apple Store employees. I had to visit the nearby Apple store twice (here in Northern Cali). The first day I got a really knowledgable guy who just made smalltalk with me while he tried to get the machine to register in the system (launch day, they ended up not being able to sell). The 2nd day when I was actually able to buy it, I got a complete moron that told me AppleCare can only be purchased at the same time as the machine. I ended up getting my computer, but it was a rough 20 minutes with that guy.

KPOM
Jul 23, 2011, 05:21 AM
When you realize that the employees' hours and wages depend on how much AppleCare and One to One they sell, you'll be a bit more understanding.

The associate at the 5th Avenue store wasn't pushy at all about it. I just said I wanted the notebook, and he ordered it from the back room. He asked about AppleCare, and didn't go into a spiel when I said I didn't want it. He didn't bring up One to One. I did go in there and went straight to the MacBook Air display. It took a few minutes to flag him down, but it was 8:30am on a weekday, and I looked like someone on my way to a Midtown office building rather than a tourist (for a good reason), so perhaps he just did a better job of sizing me up than the associate did with the OP in Seattle.

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 01:53 PM
I'm sorry about your experience.
I live in seattle, and you can't judge the entire city by one apple store. That place is usually filled with students since it's very close to UW (one of the biggest campus in the nation).

The one in bellevue square is always nice and friendly...

Everyone is jumping down my throat about the Seattle deal. Quit taking it so personally. It's just a statement that doesn't mean anything. Focus on the experience itself. The experience was a negative one.

And I said clearly, I understand they've got quotas but that's not my problem. They might sell more if they would enforce limits on how many brats can go in there just to browse Facebook and how long they can sit there using the machines. Less cybercafé and more sales outlet.

RickG
Jul 23, 2011, 02:18 PM
I must say its disturbing to see so many lip rings, noze hardware, tatoos, crazy hair , etc among apple employees ... i would like to see less of this and a more professional look- just my opinion....

theRick119
Jul 23, 2011, 03:23 PM
How are you liking the switch to the 13 so far? How was it on the flight compared your previous experience with the 11?

I'm debating going for the 13 for this revision, but would like feedback from someone who has actually spent some time with the 11.

Thanks!

CapnJackGig
Jul 23, 2011, 04:02 PM
Everyone is jumping down my throat about the Seattle deal. Quit taking it so personally. It's just a statement that doesn't mean anything. Focus on the experience itself. The experience was a negative one.

And I said clearly, I understand they've got quotas but that's not my problem. They might sell more if they would enforce limits on how many brats can go in there just to browse Facebook and how long they can sit there using the machines. Less cybercafé and more sales outlet.

You're telling people to focus on something, yet you're the one that turned it into a regional debate. Why even write about the location and cast aspersions on everyone that lives there?

Obscurelight
Jul 23, 2011, 04:04 PM
You are dealing with humans, each person will have varying experiences.

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 04:15 PM
How are you liking the switch to the 13 so far? How was it on the flight compared your previous experience with the 11?

I'm debating going for the 13 for this revision, but would like feedback from someone who has actually spent some time with the 11.

Thanks!

It's a little big, but it's not some massive beast like people say. Honestly the larger screen size was appreciated over the 11". No issues fitting it on the tray. That said, the 11" allows you to use the tray for the computer AND a beverage, and that's probably what people are commenting about. In my mind I'd rather keep the thing safe and put the computer away when I'm eating and drinking, and then bring it out afterwards. In that use case the 13" fits almost perfectly on the tray.

As an aside, that was my first time using in-flight WiFi. What an experience that was.

You're telling people to focus on something, yet you're the one that turned it into a regional debate. Why even write about the location and cast aspersions on everyone that lives there?

Because in my mind, people should focus on the purchase experience, not get hot and bothered and defensive about someone mentioning their city. Focus on the PURCHASE. That's what matters. There is no bait for debate. I shared an experience while in Seattle. That it was Seattle should not matter to the reader. That I even said Seattle should not matter to the reader. Ignore it. Focus on the PURCHASE. This is a learned skill in school; focus on what really matters.

rabid snake
Jul 23, 2011, 04:25 PM
It depends on who you got. I do all my apple needs at that University Village store and I had a really nice guy who helped me out with my needs.

bigp9998
Jul 23, 2011, 04:31 PM
because in my mind, people should focus on the purchase experience, not get hot and bothered and defensive about someone mentioning their city. Focus on the purchase. That's what matters. There is no bait for debate. I shared an experience while in seattle. That it was seattle should not matter to the reader. That i even said seattle should not matter to the reader. Ignore it. Focus on the purchase. This is a learned skill in school; focus on what really matters.

You wrote "must be a seattle thing" in the title of the thread!!!!

Samsumac
Jul 23, 2011, 04:42 PM
Apple company attire and grooming surely suck :rolleyes:
The CEO himself wears jeans, black turtlenecks and sneakers... The company would be so much better if they were all groomed to your perceived aesthetics...:cool:
Wearing a suit does not necessarily a dedicated professional make....

I must say its disturbing to see so many lip rings, noze hardware, tatoos, crazy hair , etc among apple employees ... i would like to see less of this and a more professional look- just my opinion....

iNeedToDoHw
Jul 23, 2011, 04:51 PM
Everyone is jumping down my throat about the Seattle deal. Quit taking it so personally. It's just a statement that doesn't mean anything. Focus on the experience itself. The experience was a negative one.

And I said clearly, I understand they've got quotas but that's not my problem. They might sell more if they would enforce limits on how many brats can go in there just to browse Facebook and how long they can sit there using the machines. Less cybercafé and more sales outlet.

I think cybercafe is what apple is going for in the apple store. They want people to hang out there and create a very social experience when buying a mac.

CapnJackGig
Jul 23, 2011, 05:21 PM
You wrote "must be a seattle thing" in the title of the thread!!!!

Exactly. Next time I serve dinner to my daughter, I'm going to tell her that there will be baked chicken, veggies, and a lovely cake for dessert...and then I'll tell her to not focus on the cake. Forget the cake. The cake is inconsequential. Why are you asking me about cake?!

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 09:01 PM
You wrote "must be a seattle thing" in the title of the thread!!!!

And reasonable people will look at the WHOLE title and say "oh...he's commenting on his Apple MacBook Air purchase while he was in Seattle. What's he have to say about THE PURCHASE while he was there? Oh, he met some hippy, so he thinks it's the Seattle style. Well he's wrong, but who cares, what's he say about THE PURCHASE?"

No. What you people do is, "OMGWTFBBQ!!!!111!!! How DARE you make fun of my glorious city and its people???!?!?!?" Even though that's not what I did.

Get over it. FOCUS ON THE PURCHASE. It's what matters. Or ignore the whole post and go to another thread.

KPOM
Jul 24, 2011, 05:50 PM
Apple company attire and grooming surely suck :rolleyes:
The CEO himself wears jeans, black turtlenecks and sneakers... The company would be so much better if they were all groomed to your perceived aesthetics...:cool:
Wearing a suit does not necessarily a dedicated professional make....

Apple's CEO is casually, but still neatly dressed. He's also very demanding.

Anyway, my experience with the Apple Stores is that the Genius Bar people genuinely try to be helpful. They aren't trained techs, nor do I expect them to be, but they should be courteous and listening, and most of them are. The associates walking the sales floor often leave something to be desired, however. It can sometimes be difficult flagging someone down to buy something. I'm the type who knows what I want and who doesn't need to be "sold" anything. I could go to MacMall or Amazon and get it a little cheaper, but I'll go to the Apple store for the convenience or to get something on the release day.

It could have something to do with the compensation model. With Apple's popularity and staggered releases, selling the base product is probably fairly easy. It's like it's always Black Friday. Who else has lines around the block for product releases, not just occasionally, but routinely (iPhones, iPads, etc.)? Hence the associates aren't rewarded for selling the Mac, but instead are measured by how many Apple Care or One-to-One upgrades they can sell. The stores are successful, however, so I don't see Apple changing the formula much.

stevenpa
Jul 24, 2011, 05:56 PM
Don't rag on a city just for your Apple store experience. Most "geniuses" and SA are nowhere close to someone with a decent amount of tech knowledge. For example, even the stores right next to Apple HQ, Palo Alto for example, have staff that are really bright and staff that should honestly know a little more about Apple.