Apple store comes up short

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by boxcar, May 21, 2003.

  1. boxcar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    #1
    So i had finally decided to give in and purchase a 12in pbook to fulfill my dreams of mac-ownership and home recording. My instincts were saying to wait out the month until WWDC, but alas my lust for this machine overtook me. I went to the apple store with credit cards burning my pockets. I walked in and perused the store, checking out the equipment and falling in love with the little pbook. after 20mins of playing i decided to find an employee and have them take away all my problems. I launched into a diatribe about performance on the g4 867 vs the ibook 900. Questions about speeds and altivec, etc.. etc.. the apple man responded with "well it looks like you did your homework" answering none of my questions. I then began discussing the possibility of free RAM upgrades if i were to purchase the machine at that moment, to which he responded "well if you buy applecare you won't have to pay for the ram if it has any problems" which didn't answer my question and came off as very pushy to purchase applecare. I went over to the genius bar, and tried to ask them some questions, but they told me to go ask another employee. I left, with my credit card intact. I wonder if this is typical in apple stores? the good thing is i am now most likely going to wait until WWDC to purchase, as i'm hoping that the prices on the 12" will go down, or the price will stay the same but maybe the revB 12 will get the all-important l3 cache, and maybe 1ghz processor.... we shall see.
     
  2. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #2
    I suspect that most knowledgeable people don't want to work as store clerks.
     
  3. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    On the free RAM upgrade, I don't think you'll get it. Apple isn't exactly one to haggle, I don't think. If you want a free (with install charge of $30+) RAM upgrade buy from MacWarehouse, MacMall, etc., or ask your local Apple Reseller if they'll make you a deal. They likely will; I got 256MB free with my iBook even though the store (Di-No Computer in Pasadena, CA) was not offering the promotion.

    On a side note, I HIGHLY recommend Di-No if you live anywhere near Pasadena. They have the best computer sales people in the area, IMO, who actually know what they're talking about and are perfectly qualified to advise you if you're not sure what to get. They also offer very good on-site service.
     
  4. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #4
    -boxcar

    I can't speak for your Apple store, but the two in the Chicago area that arte open right now (Schaumburg, Oakbrook) I've noticed a pattern - almost immediatly upon entry, and having worked as a retail sales associate in the past I'm sure helped in seeing this:

    Sales associates need two key things in order to be effective, knowledge of the product for sale (being marketed), and Sales ability (talent?).

    In the past in places like Circuit City, CompUSA, and Best Buy, their sales associates had that Sales ability, but didn't know the products very well - still don't IMHO. So they wound up not selling Apples.

    Well, all this being said, the point I'm trying to make is that at these afore-mentioned Apple stores, the salespeople have product knowledge (they're Apple geeks like us), but lack a bit on the Sales ability.

    They don't seem to know how to "create desire" (marketing term). To entice a purchase, and least of all, close a sale.

    I've been back to the Schaumburg store and have seen improvements, but they're still a long way off.

    I hope that this might shed light on your experience a bit.
     
  5. boxcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    #5
    It was silly on my part really, but iwas ready to purchase the machine. I had the information i needed, basically i was looking for someone to really *sell* the thing to me. Maybe it's just me, but if i'm going to drop a couple grand on something i'd like a little attention, a little help, and a little convincing. It sounds stupid but it helps. I'm in boston and we only have the one store, however i just discovered that there's also a store in salem NH (45min drive) which would save me the sales tax, so again it looks like it was better for me to walk out of that particular store. Maybe i expect too much from apple, but i was really looking for a mac-geek on staff to just allay my fears.
    I also asked them about stuff coming out at the WWDC, and the associate simply said "you guys would know about that before us!" which was funny, but somewhat off-putting. Why would i (some punk kid) know more about what apple is doing than someone who (albeit at a lower level) works for apple.

    anyway, thanks for feedback!
     
  6. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #6
    I used to work at an Apple Store here in Colorado, and I can tell you that is NOT how it usually is. Everybody at our store was willing to answer questions; if we didn't know the answer we would find someone who did, or look it up for you.

    As far as free RAM bundling goes, unless Apple is advertising it to the world, you're not going to get it. Prices are fixed, and the only deals you are going to get are the ones that are advertised. With AppleCare, that was always a sore spot for employees, especially when selling PowerBooks. I never felt it was worth the $350, and I always resented the fact that Apple wanted us to push it so hard.

    My advice: if you want answers for questions, come to a website like this. People here are knowledgeable, eager to answer questions, and they're not selling anything. Once your questions are answered either order from online, or walk into the store and buy the computer off the bat.
     
  7. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #7
    Just saw your post - Apple never tells its employees, much less its retail employees about product updates beforehand. We found out about the new PowerBooks at the same time you did. I suspect this is because Apple wants us selling products up to the last possible moment.

    For example, I sold an 800 MHz PowerBook, everything maxed out, to a guy who had a lot of money to spend, wanting the very best laptop we had. The very next day, we found out about and started selling the 1 GHz SuperDrive PowerBooks. The came came in a few days later furious with me for selling him the computer when "I knew something better was coming out" the next day. It took quite some time to ameliorate the fellow and convince him that I didn't know.
     
  8. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #8
    :) Sorry, but I really had to laugh reading your post..

    I worked in QA in Apple for several years, which meant we got our hands on the latest and greatest hardware and software several months before they were announced. But we were explicitly told; don't tell *anyone* about what you're working on, but in particular don't tell anyone in sales!!

    Still, even we didn't know the whole story until the release happened. While we knew the development schedule, we had no idea of release dates, only vague ideas of the configurations (Apple often tests several configs that don't ship), no idea of pricing, and little or no idea of what the final (hardware) product would look like; I remember the pre-production TiBooks being bigger than two phone-books on top of each other - I nearly choked when I saw how slim the release hardware was!

    Mike.
     
  9. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #9
    I can totally relate to the original poster's story. Just this past Sunday my girlfriend and I headed over to "Flagship" SoHo store to buy some new Apple toys. She was after a 10Gig iPod and a 900mhz 12" iBook, and I was in the market for a 12" PowerBook. To make it short, we finally got someone to help us out. The guy clearly didn't know anything more about Apple products than you could read off the back of the box. All he cared about was trying to sell us Apple Care, which is such a scam IMHO but I won't go into that here. He couldn't answer any technical questions and just threw around words like "FireWire" thinking we'd be impressed. And he stated over and over how "proud" he was of Apple's Extended Warranty service and just wouldn't let it go. I was making it very clear: "Just give us the computers, the Pod, and let us get out of here". Finally we were like "Look dude, just loosen that ponytail and sell us what we want. Don't you want our money?" He went on to tell us that they were sold out of 10Gig iPods and went into a sales pitch on why we should "go for the 15!". What a zero. We just walked away and went to Tekserve, the REAL Apple store in NYC. No hassles, no pushy staff, plenty of stuff in stock, etc, etc. I've been to 2 Apple Retail Stores in NY and both have sub-par & pushy staff, stupid "geniuses", and low stock. I don't get it, the way they operate is like they are trying to trick you into making a purchase. This was my girlfriend's first Mac and she almost didn't "switch" because of the experience. I really think they are leaving a bad taste in people's mouths and probably a bad impression on consumers. And an especially bad impression on anyone with even a sprinkling of knowledge of Apple products.
     
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    Re: Apple store comes up short

    Perhaps if the first thing you do with a salesperson is "launch into a diatribe" on performance, they're probably not particularly inclined to speak with you. If all you were doing was challenging them about the quality of the product, even in a nice tone, they probably figure "this guy already knows what the product does; what could I possibly tell him to make him buy." To get salesmanship, you have to ask for explanation of the product, not tell the salesman you already know everything about the deficiencies of the product.

    As for free RAM, Apple doesn't negotiate. They have resellers who do. Go to one of them for free upgrades.

    Maybe I'm misreading your post, but it sounds like your pissed off that the Apple store didn't kiss your tail and cut you all kinds of deals, and still let you buy the computer immediately. If you can wait a day, go mail order. If you can't realize you might not get all the benefits of online deal making.
     
  11. boxcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    #11
    Perhaps i mis-spoke. The diatribe was mostly questions concerning performance between the two machines running the same programs, questions about the advantages of altivec for certain audio recording/editing programs. What i was hoping for was some individual time with an employee and the two machines (the store was empty) to show me why i should go for the more expensive model.
    The free RAM thing was just a shot in the dark, i wasn't aware that apple doesn't inform their salespeople about upcoming updates, i figure they may be trying to move their stock out and might give me a deal because i was willing to purchase the computer that day (though if employees don't get comission then i suppose that wouldn't have mattered)

    I wasn't pissed, but i was certainly dissapointed. I wasn't looking for ass kissing, but definitly attention. Had i gotten it i would have bought the computer (though it's wiser that i didn't)

    I understand more though thanks to these posts, and perhaps i was expecting a bit much from the store.
     
  12. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #12
    hey, this is exactly what i was purchasing my machine for. i was in total limbo and couldn't decide between the 900 iBook or the 12" PowerBook. i mainly run Logic, Reason, and Abelton Live in OSX (finally) and was actually able to get the 2 machines running side-by-side at a local shop. the results sealed my decision to go with the G4. I used Reason as a basis because it's not affected by HD speed so the results are pretty much processor power only. i always questioned the Altivec optimization in Reason but it's WAY there and it's good. Same deal with Logic. Basically, I was able to do ALOT more with the lower speed G4 than with the G3. if you are using either of these apps go with the G4, you'll notice the difference.
     

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