View Full Version : Honestly, thumbs down for the Apple Store.
I went to the local Apple Store to see if I could score a 16GB iPad. First of all, the setup where I have to find a roving cash register is ridiculous. I waited for quite a while, giving them the "I want to buy" look as they dazzled the non-paying customers with their knowledge. After about 25 minutes of stalking them and occasionally playing with some of the stuff there, I finally managed to bark out that I needed help to a guy and he told me they had no more iPads.
And not to sound judgmental, but the employees seemed type-cast from some hipster movie, guys with sideburns, scruffy beards, and converse all-stars and girls being sexless horn-rimmed glasses wearing geeks.
Not impressed. Put up a counter that I can walk up to and just tell them what I want. Some people actually research a product before they walk into a store.
May 5, 2010, 10:02 PM
It seems whenever I walk in with intention to buy, they all ignore me. Whenever I walk in to mess around, they jump on me like crazy. It's an annoying set up regardless.
You can simply walk up to a Concerge in front of the Genius Bar, and tell them what you need. They will then get someone to help you. To be honest, you should have been asked when you came in by the greeter what you were looking for. Also, back when they did have cashier stations, it was the same situation, so it wouldn't help.
May 5, 2010, 10:04 PM
What about this approach: ask any employee to help you purchase this product and state that you have made up your mind and don't need any convincing. Either they refer you or they might even be able to help you directly.
I know that communication is fubar in many circumstances, but in a customer-employee relationship it shouldn't be that hard to make contact.
I have my problems with proper communication, but if I'm at some store and want to buy something I make VERBAL contact, as the eye contact approach can be misinterpreted.
May 5, 2010, 10:21 PM
Apple store is a cult, i get that sick feeling in my stomach everytime i go there. The one in manhattan always have more employees than customers (which is fine), but they would all huddle together in small groups holding some kind of apple gadgets and just discuss among themselves about random apple stuff like air port wave (air wave port?) or some time capsule feature.
All of them have the same feature as described above with the trademark blue shirts, I remember seeing one guy presenting an iphone to customer by hold both hands together and place it in the middle, then slightly bowing (like in the movies when the subject present some treasure to a king), i wanted to walk up and slap him in the back of the head.
Then downstairs they have the cult "reeducation" center for the new joiners, the middle aged housewives or countryside tourists would gather in small groups, listening (and GASPING) to more blue shirts bragging TRUE CUTTING EDGE apple technology - stuff like connect a laptop to a tv, or upload a photo from a camera...etc..
The funny thing is when you actually try to ask those blue shirt guys some real questions like if the safari browser is 64 bit same as 10.6 osx, or what type of ssd is in the new mbp, or if objective-c codes written in 10.5 is compatible with 10.6 (full 64bit), they just look at your blankly. Of course when some old lady asks how you check emails her son setup for her, you got 3 guys all falling over each other trying to tell her.
May 5, 2010, 10:23 PM
I wonder if Apple uses secret shoppers. if not, they should.
May 5, 2010, 10:42 PM
Why are you making something so simple so hard? Just walk up to any employee you see and tell them what you want. Done. You will be out in a few minutes. It's not a regular store where you actually need to go to a cashier.
Sometimes when I go into an Apple store just to look around, I get asked if I need any help non stop. And sometimes I don't get asked..
May 5, 2010, 10:43 PM
I wonder if Apple uses secret shoppers. if not, they should.
They regularly survey their actual customers' opinions (via an email w/ a link to an online survey) of how their visit to the store was, whether it was for purchasing, using the Genius Bar, or attending a One-to-One training session.
It even links the survey back to the receipt/transaction number, which ties the visit back with the specific employee that helped you with the visit. This allows the managers to give specific feedback to the employees based off of customers' comments (as well as to track trends with employees).
If you want to give your opinion about a store visit, but didn't get a survey, you can take it anytime at:
(just google for apple store survey, it's the first link)
Basically, if you rate your overall satisfaction with the visit at 5 or below, you will should receive a call from the store management to talk about your experience.
May 6, 2010, 09:26 AM
The Apple Store is a busy place. People like to browse while waiting for assistance. Would you rather have them set up a line to stand in like at a bank, or take a number like at my barber shop?
I mean, don't just vent. Propose something that you think would be better.
May 6, 2010, 09:42 AM
Every Apple store I've ever been to (mostly NY, NJ) always has a ton of employees, I've never had any trouble going up to someone and telling them I need something. At most I may have had to wait a couple of minutes for any employee to finish asking someone's question.
May 6, 2010, 10:49 AM
every time I've been in an Apple store, the help has been very fast and 99% of the time very friendly. Every time I've been in the stores, it's been very busy and clogged with customers, so I'm often surprised I get service as fast as I do.
That said, they often have a higher employee to customer ration than most other stores.
May 6, 2010, 11:25 AM
I haven't had any experiences such as the OP had in any of the Apple Stores I've been to (Fairview Mall and Eaton Centre). Most of the time, my experiences shopping there was quick and effortless. In both stores, customers do outnumber employee most of the time, so getting an employee to help is sometimes a hard endeavour, but usually I can either find a free employee or one would finally ask me if I need help if I just stand in one spot for a few minutes (like when I was researching to buy my iMac last year). But I do agree in that the employee customer ratio is pretty high.