Apple store personal help you based on what you dress?

MacNoobie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
545
0
Colorado
I'm having a really odd shopping experience with two apple stores here where I live. A few years back I decided along with my father to buy a brand new G5 2.5 30" ACD the works we spent $8,000 on a new machine. My dad owns his own business he property manages and works harder then anyone I know painting, checking, upkeep on properties, raking, mowing, landscape just anything he can do he does it, naturally my dad doesn't dress like a lawyer he has a plain colored work shirt and jeans that aren't dirty but you can tell they've been worn in. Me I don't dress like a lawyer either I have a t-shirt and jeans nothing fancy.. my mom has a fake leather jacket black that she always wears. We walked into the store and no one greeted us, no one offered to help my dad or I even after standing in front of the Power Mac tower and 30" ACD talking about buying it. My dad stands in line at the register to get some help while my mom and I look around waiting to which a lady came up to my mom and asked her if she could be helped. She told the lady she was waiting for my husband to purchase a system to which the lady asked which one was her husband and when she pointed out my father the lady asked again who and kind of looked at her again. We finally had someone pull the system from the back and wheel it up. As my dad wrote the business check to pay for the system they had told him they needed to call it in. Ok no biggy its store procedure but it seemed like they gave my dad the third degree asked the bank if they were sure and wanted quite a bit of info that was already on the check, had to write it out.

Come to this story now which we went to a different apple store to buy a replacement keyboard since I had spilled coffee on my other one and that died so we walked in, again no one had greeted us, asked us if we need any help or had any questions. I finally found the keyboard I wanted and wanted to pay again my dad wanted to pay with a check but the associates now have card scanners for credit cards. One of the employee's a lovely lady told us we needed to go to the back where the genius bar was. I asked the guy there if we could check out with a check so he transfered us back to the girl who was with a customer, the guy didnt seem busy and almost looked like he could just hop on the terminal and do it.. We waited for the lady and asked another employee if we could check out to no avail he "wasnt authorized to use the register didnt know how to do it" and went to get the lady. During the process I noticed that each of the employee's kinda looked us over.

The lady eventually rung us up and we were on our way she thanked us for the wait and what not but in my mind why make it harder to just pay for an item with a check first off, no greeting not even a hi?

Later on we went to Lowes to order a new fridge, bam no less then 5 minutes we had purchased our fridge from the guy asking us if we needed help to having one in stock to be delivered to writing a check and paying for it. Should it be that much harder to buy a simple cheap keyboard vs a fridge with delivery?

My dad and I want to do a sort of social experiment so to speak I know that I want a new Mac Pro, my bro wants a new iMac and I'm trying to convince my dad to get himself one since he has problems with Windows.. even told him he could run XP/Vista if he wanted to. I should have my dad and maybe myself wear our work clothes the ones that have paint spots on them, wear pants that have those same spots also and see if anyone helps us. Then maybe come back later on for something and be nicely dressed to see if the employee's help us more.

I do love apple I love Mac so this isn't really so much a rant as it is just things my dad and I noticed, everywhere else CompUSA, Bestbuy, etc greeted and offered help (if they're on commission still so be it).
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
I've never been greeted at an Apple Store. I just walk in, get the item, and go to the counter. Usually in and out in five minutes.
Bit different with a Power Mac/Mac Pro.

Wouldn't surprise me. It may not be an apple specicfic thing for example I think you'd get the sam treatment in a BMW garage etc. It has to do with the perceived value of the brand which causes the staff to make social judgments.

Well thats why I think it happens anyway.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,824
7
For some reason they always come up and ask if I need any help. I guess they think I just look rich but confused :D
 

kylep6190

macrumors member
Nov 4, 2007
67
0
Well any store where you are buying $8,000 worth of products and paying with a check will definately be VERY careful. You can't say they where profiling, you can't just write a check then leave the store, or else anyone with a checkbook could buy anything they wanted. Paying for big purchases like that you should just use a credit card, or if you really want to pay with a check, use a cashiers check
 

St. Germain

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2006
364
1
Strange, when my wife and I went to the Apple Store to buy our iPhones, employees not only greeted us but also lined up next to the entrance to clap their hands for us. The literally cheered as we were leaving with our new phones. I always assumed that's how everyone is greeted at Apple Stores.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
Strange, when my wife and I went to the Apple Store to buy our iPhones, employees not only greeted us but also lined up next to the entrance to clap their hands for us. The literally cheered as we were leaving with our new phones. I always assumed that's how everyone is greeted at Apple Stores.
It had to be close to or on launch day.


To the OP. I guess in a way you have a point, but yeah...who writes checks anymore? I guess for $8k if you don't have a credit card with that kind of spending power then you may need to write a check. I am a jeans and shirt kind of girl and I've often been greeted by the staff. I'd kind of wish they would leave me alone though.
 

kkat69

macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2007
2,013
1
Atlanta, Ga
To the OP. Fortunately I have not had such an experience at an Apple store but I have had similar experiences at other stores where sales people judge you based on appearance.

Sad but true, this is a social commonality. If you look poor, they probably won't bother you, meaning, rather than (I'm pretty sure they aren't on commision but...) make a sale, they would probably rather go after a bigger sale.

I'm not saying that's what happened to you. It does sound like similar experiences I have had where I was passed up by a sales guy only to talk to the guy standing 2 feet from me even though I was there first (standing for about 10mins) AND I KNOW the sales guy saw me becuase we made eye contact. Oddly enough, the 6 people these 3 associates helped didn't buy a single thing (and I know this particular store they worked on commision) and every single time I was passed up for someone else. So after over an hour (yes I was persistant because they had the TV I wanted) I walked over to another part of the store where a sales kid (very young guy) instantly walked up to me asked if I needed help. I asked "you work on commision right?" he responded yes, I said well I'm about to make your day. I brought him to the TV section and said "I want this like NOW and I want you to sell it to me and YOU get the commision" and the 3 associates all stormed over and proceeded to tell me he couldn't because he didn't work that section. I demanded the manager and explained my long wait, being passed up by these 3 guys, and this kid didn't let me wait more than 3 mins before asking if I needed assistance and I demanded he get my sale. The manager asked the others if this was the case and each one really couldn't answer the question since they had ALL made eye contact with me and even one of them nodded as if to say "hi" as he walked right by me to another lady 2 feet from me.

The manager then said verbatum "Well, the kid gets the sale" and he helped the kid through the paperwork. A week later I went into the store to find the kid to confirm if he did get the sale and he said yes, and now he's working that section and 2 out of the other 3 are working the "slower" section of the store.

So you see, your not alone here. Sad that it happens yes, I can truely sympathize, but try not to take it to personally (even though I did) it's just human nature sometimes.
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
Strange, when my wife and I went to the Apple Store to buy our iPhones, employees not only greeted us but also lined up next to the entrance to clap their hands for us. The literally cheered as we were leaving with our new phones. I always assumed that's how everyone is greeted at Apple Stores.
I'd rather be ignored.
 

MacHipster

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
342
1
Chicago/London/Sydney
To the OP. Fortunately I have not had such an experience at an Apple store but I have had similar experiences at other stores where sales people judge you based on appearance.

Sad but true, this is a social commonality. If you look poor, they probably won't bother you, meaning, rather than (I'm pretty sure they aren't on commision but...) make a sale, they would probably rather go after a bigger sale.

I'm not saying that's what happened to you. It does sound like similar experiences I have had where I was passed up by a sales guy only to talk to the guy standing 2 feet from me even though I was there first (standing for about 10mins) AND I KNOW the sales guy saw me becuase we made eye contact. Oddly enough, the 6 people these 3 associates helped didn't buy a single thing (and I know this particular store they worked on commision) and every single time I was passed up for someone else. So after over an hour (yes I was persistant because they had the TV I wanted) I walked over to another part of the store where a sales kid (very young guy) instantly walked up to me asked if I needed help. I asked "you work on commision right?" he responded yes, I said well I'm about to make your day. I brought him to the TV section and said "I want this like NOW and I want you to sell it to me and YOU get the commision" and the 3 associates all stormed over and proceeded to tell me he couldn't because he didn't work that section. I demanded the manager and explained my long wait, being passed up by these 3 guys, and this kid didn't let me wait more than 3 mins before asking if I needed assistance and I demanded he get my sale. The manager asked the others if this was the case and each one really couldn't answer the question since they had ALL made eye contact with me and even one of them nodded as if to say "hi" as he walked right by me to another lady 2 feet from me.

The manager then said verbatum "Well, the kid gets the sale" and he helped the kid through the paperwork. A week later I went into the store to find the kid to confirm if he did get the sale and he said yes, and now he's working that section and 2 out of the other 3 are working the "slower" section of the store.

So you see, your not alone here. Sad that it happens yes, I can truely sympathize, but try not to take it to personally (even though I did) it's just human nature sometimes.
That's a pretty kickass story.
 

baz-ireland

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2007
20
0
Northern Ireland, Europe.
Apple Store? What's that?

Hey guys,
You should think yourselves lucky, an Apple Store, we dream of having one here in Ireland!! I have to go to a PC superstore (English owned chain) and climb over empty boxes etc just to get to the Apple Section. And once there, well you're lucky if there's a mac to start with never mind one even turned on!! Then software!! Ask for the Mac software section and the not-so-slick sales type (usually gathered together), look at each other as if to nearly burst into laughter. Ask for something else in the store like say a printer, and the reply has been "Oh is that all you want!". Get to the Mac Software section and then you understand the humor, maybe a dated copy of iLife 06 and a few obscure games!! Pleasant staff saying hello? or no store at all? Don't know what you think but I think to have an Apple Store at all would be great!!:mad:

bAz Northern Ireland, Europe.
by the way just bought a new iMac from Apple Online Store, seems the least personal way of doing things but by far our best option here anyhow!!
 

scoobydoo99

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2003
991
326
so cal
it's' a regional thing...

different parts of the country have different expectations, as well. in SoCal, it isn't unusual for exceedingly rich people to wear t-shirts and flip flops to make large purchases, so it doesn't seem that sales people are as judgemental here. i have purchased BMWs wearing old jeans and a t-shirt, and didn't find any hesitation or attitude at all. same is true at Apple or other high end retail stores. people know that your appearance doesn't necessarily reflect your wealth.

other places, tho, may still have a bit more "formality" to their thinking.
 

Canerican

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2006
216
0
Whenever I go to the Apple Store the Asian girl always says hi to me. Other than that its dog eat dog for service.
 

kjr39

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
374
3
I dress down on purpose when making a big purchase. It's something I learned from my Dad.

I get to go in, look around, check out everything about the product that I would want to, watch the salesmen to see which one would be best to engage, and then when I'm ready, pick one to talk to.

By the time that I go in to look at a product, I know what I am interested in, I don't need a run through because I know all of the features already, and if I engage sales, it is because I can't do what I want to with the product (test drive) or I am ready to buy.

I went to buy a new car and the 2 days I went to test drive, I did a day's worth of yardwork. With the exception of the Benz dealership, I got to walk through, look at, sit in, and answer all of the questions that I had before I ever had to worry about getting harrassed by sales. Hell, I think I could have whizzed on the floor in the Audi dealership and no one would have even paid attention.
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,930
5,669
Bath, United Kingdom
Well, going back to the original post I would say it was the Cheque for a largish amount that caused the staff not knowing what to do.

I am sure things are very different in the US, but here in the UK I really cannot remember the last time I used a cheque… Especially when paying for something expensive that I will walk out of the store with. :D

I really doubt that the way you all were dressed had anything to do with the "uncomfortable atmosphere". I mean, I never dress up just to go to the Apple shop… and I have never had a problem. :)
 

cheapa55

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
901
6
Lets just say looks does matter. It doesn't matter where it's at. For example. I make plenty of money, but I look like I'm in high school. I've been to car dealerships in the past with a checkbook in my pocket and no one helped, even when I mentioned the exact car I wanted, they said they didn't have in stock and walked away.

This past week, I went to buy another car, same situation. Salesperson talked for 5 minutes, asked me to go look around by myself and never came back.

Bottom line is, you will get that no matter what kind of store you go into, even those based on commission. You'd think they try to help everyone to maximize the commission, but I think they just pick and choose on the largest potential.
 

CashGap

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2007
411
0
Music City, USA
Reading the original post, it seems your VERY sensitive to how you're treated, and that's probably a big part of the issue. Sounds like you walk in a little "raw", very aware of the treatment you "deserve", very aware of every word said in greeting, every real or perceived lack of attentiveness.

Any checks are a red flag, big checks are a blazing red flag. Now that debit cards have been invented, two types of folks write checks:

1. Honest people who are eccentric and won't use a debit card. And oh, they have their "reasons" and I'm sure we'll get to read them in this thread, but they are really eccentricities.

2. Other folks with less wholesome motives.

Unfortunately, the only way to know if you are in the first category or the second is to call in the check.
 

kjr39

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
374
3
1. Honest people who are eccentric and won't use a debit card. And oh, they have their "reasons" and I'm sure we'll get to read them in this thread, but they are really eccentricities.
I'm sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that debit cards are treated differently under government regulations when compared to credit or checks and that, through the use of a debit card, you are assuming more risk as a consumer... Then again, maybe I am just being eccentric.
 

BruceEBonus

macrumors 65816
Sep 23, 2007
1,337
1,326
Derbyshire, England
Baz's PC World Woes

Hey guys,You should think yourselves lucky, an Apple Store, we dream of having one here in Ireland!! I have to go to a PC superstore (English owned chain) and climb over empty boxes etc just to get to the Apple Section. And once there, well you're lucky if there's a mac to start with never mind one even turned on!!

Tell me about it!. I went in there the other week. They had a 1.83ghz Mini with Tiger and much lesser spec for £329. They didnt want to sell it to me. Then they did. Then they didnt. Then agreed to let me have it for £299 .. then couldnt release it from the security lock. So I went in the next day and they still couldnt do it. Two days later - I went back. This time they said they didnt want to sell it me now .. even though Id paid for it. Then they reneged and said I could have it . .but had managed tocrack the casing removing the lock!. Needless to say I didnt bother. THey have about as much interest in Apple computer sales to Joe Public as Bill Gates. Locally a chain called Gordon Harwood Computers wipe the table with them - but cant do the Student Discounts like Apple can - so I ve been forced to go Apple Telesales. So thats yer choice in the UK. Apple Store .. 40 miles away. Good discounts. PC World - no discount, know nowt. Local reseller - full back up - crap discount. The moral of the tale?. Win the lottery and discounts wont matter .. then use your local reseller for FULL backup and advice and dont have a student daughter in the house to tempt you to the APple Store!.:)
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,395
8
San Francisco
That's because Apple trains their people to be shallow, inconsiderate and unable to Read Minds.

Get over yourself man. I mean, really this is just so silly to be bothered by.
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
That's because Apple trains their people to be shallow, inconsiderate and unable to Read Minds.

Get over yourself man. I mean, really this is just so silly to be bothered by.
He didn't say he was bothered by it, he shared his experience and opinion about it. Maybe you should get over yourself. :p

To the OP, I'm sure your observations are accurate, but it's impossible to generalize. It's not Apple training or selective hiring of stuck-up people that cause this. Apple shops are "boutiques" and you'd see this kind of behavior in any shop like that.

PS> It's one of the reasons I hate to shop at Apple retail stores. It seems like everyone is walking around showing off their status at how great they are to be shopping (or working) at Apple.
 
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