First off, this is not a flame post. I have an appreciation for many aspects of the Apple brand and the quality of its products. I have owned 2 MacBook Pros, 3 iPods, an iPad 3, a MacBook Air and probably some other products. My post is specifically geared toward my experiences with Apple retail stores. First experience (about a year ago): I was attempting to sell my Macbook Pro on e-bay and wanted to completely restore it back to its factory state. I could not find my Operating System DVD, so I decided to stop by the Apple store and pick one up. Long story short, I went through MULTIPLE customer reps, technical employees and a manager to answer the (seemingly) simple question of whether or not the OS DVD was only an upgrade or if it could be used for a fresh install. While they were not able to answer my question, I was constantly reminded by every single one of them that even if it was possible, I would no longer have the iLife suite. In fact, they seemed very perplexed that I would even consider a fresh install. Most recent (and last) experience: A couple days ago, I decided to buy my wife a new laptop and decided we could receive the product right away (instead of waiting for shipping) by purchasing at the Apple store. We visited with the exact model we wanted in mind and the money to pay for it. We enter the packed store of non-employees (I am reluctant to say customers because we seemed to be the only ones purchasing anything) playing with Apple products and employees scattered throughout. We stood around at the front entrance for a couple minutes without being greeted or directed and decided to walk up to a couple of employees that were having a conversation with one another. We waited patiently for several minutes only a couple feet away from them while they continued their conversation without giving us as much as a glance of acknowledgement; in the meantime, another customer walks up and waits for them to finish talking. When their conversation ended, one employee walks away to do something else while the other walks right past us and over to the customer that had just walked up -- doing so without even making eye contact with us. At this point, I was quite taken back by the blatant disregard of customer service and walked on past him while making a comment about how "at least an acknowledgement would have been nice." He turns around, looks at me, and snidely replies that, "SHE was here first, and that's the genius bar you're walking toward... THEY can't help you." I reply, "that's fine, we simply want to make a purchase." The employee then proceeds to walk me back toward the front of the store, while making a very patronizing comment to me about how "the store layout can be very confusing to some people." I bit my lip and continued on to the front. Once at the front of the store, I explained that I would like to make a purchase and already knew the exact product I needed. I was then told that it'd be about a 20 minute wait for me to do this. Really? I would understand if there was a line of people checking out; however, we seemed to be the ONLY ones paying for anything. It was furthermore infuriating to see a plethora of employees standing around with their earbuds in doing nothing. To be fair, the wait was only about 15 minutes. In the meantime, employees occasionally stopped by to assure us we'd be helped shortly and when we did finally receive assistance, the rep was very polite and friendly. We explained which product we wanted -- giving the model and exact specs -- and noticed the rep seemed as if it was a rarity for the customer to already know what they wanted. He explained to me that usually, he would ask us a series of questions gauging how we would use the product, and then recommend what would be best for us. It was at this point that I understood the 20min wait -- Apple wants all customers to fit an 'Apple experience' which includes the whole package of being told what best fits them, purchasing the product, and then being told how to use it. Their customer service and sales model is not geared toward those who already know what they want and would like to "get in and get out." For the others? Maybe its just expected that they purchase online. While the whole process seemed a bit condescending, I do understand that a many people (my family members included) would really enjoy being guided through the purchasing process and being taught how to use their product. However, it is for this reason (and a lack of alternative route for technical folks to quickly make a purchase in-store), that it seems that Apple retail stores just aren't meant for customers with greater technical knowledge. What are your opinions on this? I would probably accept that perhaps this was simply a unique instance that I experienced, though a co-worker mentioned that he had the same exact experience.