Anyone else incompatible with the Apple Store?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by sigsegv, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. sigsegv macrumors member

    sigsegv

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    I'm probably in the group of Apple's longest customers; I had an Apple II in the early 80's, and a Mac Plus in 1986, and countless (well, probably less than 100) other Apple computers and devices in the 35+ years since then.

    Now, when I walk into an Apple store I feel like I've turned up uninvited at someone else's party.

    Nobody makes eye contact, everyone is engaged in conversation, I need to search for cues on who is staff and who is a customer. It's almost like I'm invisible.

    Am I missing something? I shop happily everywhere else without any issues, but in an Apple Store it is invariably confusing. Eventually it progresses with: "See that girl in a grey t-shirt standing next to the silver pole in the corner of the store with the queue? Go over there."

    Then, when I get to the head of the queue: "See that table over there? Stand there and someone will be with you in less than 150 minutes"

    Am I supposed to bring lunch? Is there a pill I am supposed to take before I walk in that makes it all clear? Am I the only one to find this odd? I just need a USB-C to Lightning cable.

    Are Apple Stores actually not retail outlets but something else entirely? I'm not just speaking about the past week of hype, but any time in the past few years that I've had a hardware issue that needed fixing, or a cable I've needed, or anything else.

    I've never asked before, but this seems like a good place to pose these questions.
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    I quit before the system you're describing was put in place, but it sounds weird as fsck. Extremely alienating to the customer.

    Can you still use self checkout via the Apple Store App? I've set foot in an Apple Store twice I think since quitting, one for a lightning cable swap on a slow afternoon, but the other was for a cable I believe, and I used self checkout at that time.
     
  3. Longkeg, Sep 24, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018

    Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #3
    I too started on an Apple II. I feel it’s safe to assume that our history with Apple is similar. On the whole I agree with everything you say. I do have some observations and questions:

    Is it generational? Could Apple’s target demographic (ie. young people) be more accepting of this treatment? I suspect some may not know what good customer service looks like.

    Could the fault lie with us? As experienced users we usually know what we need. You KNEW you needed a USB C to lightning cable. I suspect most customers clogging the store have no idea what they need or what to do with it when they get it.

    Know what you’re getting in to. Apple Stores have peak times and down times. Figure out when the down times are and, if you must go, go during these times. If you don’t mind waiting for shipping the online Apple Store is a decent alternative.

    Over the years I have served as a guide/interpreter for friends and family on their first visit to an Apple Store. They were too intimidated by the crowds and chaos to go in on their own. I used to joke that for a post retirement gig I could organize safaris, taking Apple newbies to the wild jungles of the Apple Store.
     
  4. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #4
    I'm 28 (effective today) and the service described above is awful. If you count that as young, I find the service described as unacceptable.
     
  5. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #5
    you may as well bring lunch.... you'll finish it before you get an appointment.. I reckon service has gone way downhill..

    Perhaps more employees needed and/or just many more users at the store nowadays, than online (which Apple predicted people would move to buy their phones from, and less clutter in store)

    Allot changes in 35 years.
     
  6. sigsegv thread starter macrumors member

    sigsegv

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    Very true.

    I was joking about the 150 minutes, but I've learned that 1 hour in the parking meter is not enough for a typical Apple store visit where you know exactly what you want. I've spent ages waiting in the spot I'm told to stand in, even when I've made an appointment.

    Worse than that, the staff can't even think for themselves let alone "think differently". Everything feels scripted and I get the sense that any initiative will not go unpunished.

    I must not be a premium kind of customer.

    What really grates me is that I have several out-of-warranty Apple devices (iPads and iPhones handed down to kids, etc) and I get way better service when I take these to the local unauthorized repair shop. No waiting, fast and professional service (around 5-10 minutes for a battery or camera replacement), and no excuses. I get the feeling he's cracked open way more iPhones than your typical genius bar person.

    If only I could get the same level of service from AppleCare.
     

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5 September 22, 2018