Do I know more than the Apple Retail Employees?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Don Bagles, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Don Bagles macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2007
    I was in an Apple Retail store yesterday, in Seattle, WA, and I basically just walked around the store for an hour and a half, using the 30" ACD (which I really want now by the way), and the iPhones.

    Anyways, I overheard many discussions between employees and customers, and between the "Geniuses" and the customers and the genius bar. This one employee was helping out a girl with her MacBook Pro, and she told him that her dad wants her to put windows on her laptop, and asked him what he thinks about it, and the employee discouraged it, and said that Windows is prone to viruses, and that it's potentially harmful to the computer.

    Obviously this employee has no first hand experience with Windows on Macs, or he would've known that Boot Camp makes it quick, efficient, pain free.

    At another point, I asked an employee if I could see what it looks like when an ACD is plugged into a MacBook Pro, and he said "uh.. no. Because I don't have the right cable". WTF??!?!

    Then I asked him how the power is distributed between laptop display and external display, if they're both on, and he said "I wouldn't play an intense video game with both of them on, but the video card has the power to run them both!"

    He sounded like a consumer, who knows nothing about video cards, and just "knows" that it has the power to drive them both, because that's what it can do. You'd think an apple employee would sound a little bit more sophisticated than "It just has the power to drive them both", especially when asked precisely HOW the video card distributes it's Vram between the two.

    Then I saw this employee showing a customer the MacBook Pro's. They were looking at a 17" with a 1920x1200 screen, and the employee didn't know this until he went into System Profiler and saw the resolution. He couldn't tell it was high resolution just by looking at it?

    Has anyone else had similar experiences in Apple Stores?
  2. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    I think they know enough to educate the customer. Heck even when I was 13 I knew more then then people in the store, it's just if I explained something, I would go off into what the customer doesn't care about. But hey, when I'm 16 I'll try and get a job there(some places hire at that age), I turn 16 in a few months.
  3. Mistershark macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2007
    Yes, I have overheard quite a bit of misinformation given by the employees. It's usually the Mac Specialists (not the Geniuses) that can't get their facts straight. Thankfully, some consult a Genius before giving an answer instead of blurting out the first thing that pops into their head.
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    You'll find that everywhere. Not everyone can know everything, and even if they do know the technical explanations, I'm sure one of the desirable skills is the ability to easily "dumb down" the explanations for people. Maybe he wasn't sure how to judge your skill level with Macs so he played it safe.

    I remember a computer store here (one of the clone PC chop shops) that left a terrible impression in my mouth some years ago. I was building a PC at the time and looking for a particular model ATI video card. A friend and I walked in to the empty store and were greeted by a salesperson: "Can I help you find anything?" "No thanks, we're just looking." So far so good. We pop into the next aisle, and there he is again. "Do you have any questions?" "Not yet, thanks!" The third time he speaks up, I finally do ask my question. "Yeah, do you carry the ATI model X card, and how much would it go for?" The guy shakes his head without even checking. "ATI doesn't make anything like that."

    At this point, I'm getting frustrated, but still being polite. "Actually, I'm fairly certain that if you look it up in your computer..."

    The lady behind the counter looks up now, and still without anyone checking, says, "Well, I know for a fact that they don't make that card."

    My friend and I look at each other, shrug, leave the store, and backtrack 3 blocks to Future Shop, where I had been holding that very card not 30 minutes before. I buy it from there.

    I never stepped foot back in that little shop, and they went out of business a few years later.
  5. AppleGuy2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2007
    Hell I've had the same type of experience at my local apple store. Unfortunately i cant work there yet because I'm 17, but you know what is sad? I was actually helping people while I was there! I was answering questions about bootcamp, ilife, iwork, specs, ipod stuff, everything. The only thing missing was my black apple shirt and the ipod shuffle clipped to my sleeve. And thats not even the best of it. Believe it or not, I sold 2 MBPs at Fry's! The guy just had all these questions, I answered them and showed him features of the computer, and he ended up buying 2 of em.

    Ugh, Apple if you are reading this, hire me when I'm 18.
  6. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Before I bought my 17" Hi-Res MBP from Apple's online store in June, I went into the local Apple authorized reseller. I was shown what I was told to be a 17" Hi-Res MBP with an LED backlit display :rolleyes:. I knew for sure that it wasn't LED, but also didn't look Hi-Res, so I checked. Of course, it was not Hi-Res either. As I was getting ready to walk out I heard a man ask about a display and the salesman stated "Thats a 20" display." It was actually the 23". Funny he didn't even notice by the fact that they're set up and arranged by size :p
  7. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2005
    At the end of the day it comes down to one thing, these people work in shops. If they were any good they would have jobs that were not in shops. Of course they might just be "really into serving customers" but i doubt it.

    Its a good thing to remember when you feel a little humble walking around a really really expensive posh looking shop with snooty assistants......remember......the assistants, they work in a shop.

    Apologies to all people that work in shops, i'm generalising big time i know !
  8. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i think the question you should be asking is "do apple retail employees know more than the average apple consumer" but yes, i am most certain that many people in these forums know more than retail employees. that is why we have all gotten together here, to learn about apple what we cannot learn by simply walking in a store and asking, and in some cases we learn more here than calling in to applecare support!
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    That's exactly it, they're normal people like you or I, we can't automatically assume that just because they work for store X that they're automatically an expert in X.

    It's even happened to me when I worked in a store and this guy came in and had such attitude, like he knew he was making 10 times what I was because he was a software engineer (you could see the company logo on his polo shirt) and I was just a lowly little store guy. Well, I wonder if he would have treated me any differently if he knew that when I wasn't there, I worked for the same company that he did...
  10. Photo Monkey macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2006
    London, UK
    The main point of Apple stores is for people like Joe Bloggs. Joe was thinking of buying a Dell, but wanted to look at a Mac because apparently they're good. As Steve Jobs said, almost half of all Mac buyers recently are first-time Mac buyers. Apple need cool people who can simply and easily explain why people should buy a Mac rather than a PC. They don't want people who drone on about power ratio of monitors or use abbreviations like ACD.

  11. AppleGuy2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2007
    on the other hand, i think the need a few people like that around to answer those questions for people like us ;)
  12. Lau Guest

    Well, for starters, there's never any reason to look down on anyone because of their job – who knows their situation and why they're working there at that point in time.

    The other thing is that the reason that people in retail are employed isn't necessarily for their technical knowledge – it's for a mixture of good customer service, mixed with a good basic technical knowledge. There will be plenty of people that are amazing with customers, but who know bugger all, and, equally, there'll be plenty of folk that are incredibly well versed in technology, yet are impatient, smug, patronising or just plain crap when it comes to dealing with customers. Retailers tend to go for a good balance of the two, usually. ;)
  13. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    Actually, Boot Camp does not prevent viruses or reduce the risks of using Windows. It is still prone to viruses and can potentially harm the computer. Boot Camp just makes it easier for you to Windows on your Mac, not safer. As a salesperson, I would caution my customers against installing Windows too.

    Well he doesn't have the cable on hand... I guess you can say he's lazy for not getting it for you, but other than that, he's not doing anything terribly wrong.

    Technically, he is correct :p.
    I see your point that those salesmen aren't exact Mac geniuses, but you have to remember that you always have to choose salesmen that appeals to the majority of the population. And the majority of population would be satisfied with the answers that they've given. It's correct, simple answers, just not detailed enough for your likings. However, many people don't even understand the uses of Vram and such, therefore it's quite rare for the salesmen to need to answer such questions. Plus, Apple saves on training money. They figured if you know this much about computers and Macs, you can help yourself or go on to forums like this for help :cool:.
  14. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    <Raises hand> :eek:

    But then I don't need to - I just want to do stuff with my computer. Sounds to me like he was pitching to your average consumer - will it do this, yes/no? That's all that most people want. If a technical question comes up, then just refer to the documentation/ask someone who knows.

    You don't need to know everything about something to sell it. Do car salesmen have to be mechanics too?

    And mrfrostys post is pretty offensive. I worked in retail, contract cleaning, security, labouring and pubs in my life. I did them to put myself through college. Does that mean I wasn't any good while I was in college. In my experience the people who do these jobs are more often students, using it as a means to an end, or immigrants or other marginalised communities who suffer prejudice, and will never be offered anything better (particularly cleaning/security), or people who have other commitments, and can't work full time/regular hours.

    Never judge a person by what they do for a living, judge them by who they are.
  15. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    Wasn't this employee atleast partially right? Boot camp or not, Windows is prone to viruses, and it is potentially harmful to the (sanity of the user of the)computer.
  16. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

    May 4, 2005
    Unless they're pricks be kind to their mistakes. I onced worked in a computer shop and I really couldn'y hack it. I was there to demo music sequencing software which I was okay at but everything in the shop!!???? I was regularly smoked by teenagers who knew far more than me. But I was thankful to have a job, be able to pay my landlord and take my girl for a drink.

    That's a nasty side you're festering there MrFrosty.
  17. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    They are usually not as in the loop as MR people ;)

    I remember going to the Apple Store the day after the intel switch announcement. I walked in and was looking around, and nobody was there so I started making small talk with one of the salespeople. I asked what they thought about the big announcement.... blank stare. Guy had no idea what I was talking about.
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Retail employees are like car salesman, trained just enough to sell the product and which features to hype to close a sale.

    Go outside that limited knowledge and they get that glazed eye look. ;)


    If they are extremely smart and knowledgeable, why are they in a lower paying mall retail sales job?

    Take a few classes and get certified.
  19. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    Very well put!

    A good friend of mine works at an apple retail store as a specialist. but he knows his stuff. he's the way who converted me, way back in 2002-2003.

    Anyway, I miss those old days when we mac fans were small in number and special - when one didn't have to wait long (or at all) at the genius bar! But now apple's popular and they need staff. Even if they don't know as much as some MR folks, they get the job done and they convert people to Mac, so it's fine I guess.
  20. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    the thing that drives me crazy is when I have had to take my PBG4 (1.67) in for repair *three times at three different Apple stores) they geniuses assume that I have no idea what I'm talking about. Each time I had hardware failure, but the geniuses always assumed and tried to convince me that it was software related, advising that they needed to reinstall the system and charge me $50 to back up everything. After an average of an hour or so of them fooling around, they finally acknowledge that is problem is indeed what I originally stated. The Apple repair depot always agrees with me.
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    But in his're probably smarter than he is. You can't really blame him for saying something dumb.

    Mrfrosty may not work in a shop, but judging by what he said, maybe he should be.
  22. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    The proper cables are built into the displays, and carry DVI, power, FireWire, and USB. No adapters would have been necessary for the MacBook Pro, just plug and play.
  23. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    Don't you still need a cable to connect the mbp to the display?
  24. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    I knew significantly more then the person selling me the computer. She basically just used the cash register for me.
  25. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan

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