Frustrating Apple Store Line experience today

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TB07-NJ, Oct 25, 2013.

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  1. TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

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    FORMERLY NJ now FL
    #1
    I have heard stories about certain groups of people buying up iPhones for sale in their home country for big money and not for personal use (perfectly legal). Anyway, I was at the Menlo Park NJ mall this morning around 11AM for something I needed and saw a relatively short line (counted 57 people not including myself) of people waiting for a 5S. So I decided to wait so I can get one for my wife since I already have mine.

    Of the 57 people in line 49 (counted) were seemingly of the same "group" all seemingly knowing each other in what seemed like one big family and chattering in a foreign language. I was able to watch through he window as virtually every purchase being made while I was standing in line (all were at the front 4 tables). Every person (husband, wife & sometimes "older children") in each group that went in 1 group at a time purchased 2 phones each and all paid by cash with LOTS of large bills pretty obviously buying "no contract" devices.

    It took around 55 minutes for the line to get to me and I was finally the next one. With about 3 people ahead of me a rep came out and said all he had left were 32gig Verizon (which is what I wanted) and 64gig ATT only in gray. Well, I finally got "escorted" in and placed my order, waited 3 minutes for the "getter" to bring my phone to the sales guy when .... "sorry Sir, all sold out."

    I was pissed. Not so much because I didn't get one (which did bother me somewhat because I wasted an hour) but because it was so obvious what was going on with what I would call these "gangs" of people buying phones simply for sale elsewhere and not for their own use. All legal, can't argue with that, just so dammmm frustrating.

    I guess there is no way to fix this problem since (as the Apple guy said when I said that the chances of any of these phones being activated in this country are slim to none) "we're just here to sell phones, doesn't matter what is being done with them." Just so annoying when obviously these large groups who gather keep "real" customers away from a chance to get a device. They must have some sort of "calling system" when they find a store with phones in stock because the vast majority did NOT seem like strangers to each other.

    It's worse than trying to get concert tickets. At least you do that by phone.
     
  2. AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    #2
    There's a tear in my beer cause I'm crying for you dear...... They have every right to buy phones as you do, gang or not. Suck it up and go back another day. Nothing like feeling you're owed something huh.... well except for the heart break when you don't get it.
     
  3. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #3
    what do you want, apple to not sell devices to customers because they assume they might resell them?

    How would you feel if apple had told you, "I'm sorry sir, we can't sell you a device today because you look like someone who will resell it!"?????

    Sure it might be frustrating, but you can't seriously expect apple to turn customers down. The only solution really is to show up earlier or order online for in store pickup. If you would have went over to one of the many computers in the store and ordered one to pickup in the store, I can almost guarantee you would have gotten one, and you could have left for lunch while you waited instead of standing in line. Live and ya learn....
     
  4. Sekelani macrumors 6502

    Sekelani

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    #4
    Frustrating Apple Store Line experience today

    I feel your pain man. I'd be upset too. Maybe these people ordered before hand. It doesn't sound right to me. But business is business.
    Apple needs to make money.
     
  5. tcphillips12 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2013
    #5
    I was at Subway once with a friend just to buy one or two of their delicious cookies, when a Sprint worker ahead of us purchased all 23 of the cookies for him & his office buddies. I feel your pain. But it's business, although I never forgave that man.

    I hate Sprint.
     
  6. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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  7. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Man yeah they are so lowlife. Do you say the same things about janitors and mcdonalds workers too?
     
  8. deannnnn macrumors 68000

    deannnnn

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    #8
    The OP is just expressing his frustration about this practice. It frustrates me, too. Somebody who is buying a product for their own personal use should get priority over somebody who plans to resell it, especially outside the country where they know they'll make a huge profit. It's greedy.
     
  9. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

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    #9
    Understand that in today's central-bank dominated world, capital > labor. And thus, not only will this continue, you likely have an investor-class contingent cheering this behavior; every sale you witnessed flows to the bottom line. And that is all -- and I do mean all -- the bankster class cares about. Not you. Not us. Flows of capital and product.

    I'm not saying it's right. I'm neither defending nor criticizing. But this is capital flow in action, with the currency coming into your local Apple store, and the product going out, quite possibly to a foreign country.

    For the time being, we are stuck with this kinda crappy world, until such time that capital does not trump everything else.
     
  10. asleep, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2013

    asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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    #10
    WTF do janitors and MacDonalds employees have to do with Apple mules.
     
  11. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a

    powerstrokin

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    May 18, 2013
    #11
    No offense, OP... but how exactly are they any less of a 'real' customer than you? In Apple's eyes, you're all equal- NOTHING BUT DOLLAR SIGNS. This is true of any and all corporations. Welcome to how (most of) the world works!
     
  12. DanTSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    #12
    Wow. The second closet racist thread in there days in this subforum.
    The words you used to describe their association with one another are so the key veiled I don't know why you bothered even trying to cover it up.

    I'll tell you what, go get a bunch of your friends and family, go buy up all the iPhones you want. What does it matter if they knew one other person In line, or all of them. We are getting hundreds of thousands of these phones shipped a month and you want to complain that someone with cash beat you to it?

    I know, I know, it's not fair.............

    Had you thought about offering to buy an iPhone off of one of those customers?
     
  13. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Explain how those mules are low life's?
     
  14. DanTSX macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    #14
    Because iPhones are exclusive luxury items only for People that the OP aspires to be like.:rolleyes:
     
  15. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a

    powerstrokin

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    #15
    Doesn't Apple buy components just to have them assembled and resell them outside the country of origin for a huge profit? It's kind of the same thing.. ALL business works this way. Yes it's greed and they're all greedy. Just saying.

    McDonalds is not spelled MacDonalds. Go to school... learn something. ;)
     
  16. Akack macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #16
    Yes it's frustrating but you need to make a better attempt to getting one. Instead of lining up at 11 am get there before the store opens.
     
  17. techstyle macrumors member

    techstyle

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    Bay Area
    #17
    If i am not mistaken you could of reserved an iPhone on Apples website and just waited in line for your turn or something ;)
     
  18. AFDoc, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    Colorado Springs USA for now
    #18
    Yes I understand what OP is doing... why is he frustrated? IF it was not a "gang" would he still have the same complaint? OP feels entitled to an iPhone and was butt hurt when the "gang" bought them all ahead of him. Maybe OP should of woken up earlier to get in line in front of the "gang", or done what others have said and bought it for in store pick up. Could of done that in line as another had said.

    As far as being greedy.... you just described the American model of thinking. Country was founded by greedy colonists that took land others lived on simply because they "could". Then we fought a war because greeding colonists didn't want to pay taxes... our history is filled with greed.
    I bought a gold iPhone and sold it for $1000 and a space grey for $900.... Guess I'm a greedy douche! PLUS one might call your way of thinking greedy as you and OP expect a phone before other purchasers.
     
  19. mustu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    #19
    No Apple should at least on launch day do the following.

    1) Have 2 lines - one for people who one 2 phone's and one for people who want one phone.

    2)Stamp the hand of the person once they get the phone so they can buy more the same day.

    This is a simple process that should be in practise on launch day as in the UK there are loads of people who just go there to resell the phone's.

    Its legal but it should be controlled for end users.
     
  20. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #20
    2 lines would only make the people buying 2 phones go that much quicker...especially since most those buying more than one phone to resell are paying full price and don't need to have the phone activated with a cell company.

    Good luck with a getting a company to be able to permanently mark any customer with something that they can't easily wash off if they wanted.
     
  21. SanjeevRana macrumors 6502a

    SanjeevRana

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    Aug 2, 2011
    #21
    Well here in Singapore, Telcos are selling 5S to ONLY new/recontracting customers, only the Grey model is open to full price non-contract purchases ... its always like this till the stock stabilize.

    Only Apple Store or resellers are selling directly but of course very limited in stock
     
  22. dlondon macrumors regular

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    Sep 6, 2013
    #22
    Sorry, I disagree with the vast majority in this thread. This year, more so than previous years, it is quite obvious resellers are bulk buying phones (probably for export) which is preventing end users from buying phones. In previous years I've witnessed a few people buying up a couple of phones and putting them on eBay etc and it's difficult to prevent individuals from doing this. This year it has been organised bulk buying using lots of people.

    Whilst you could argue that this is simply business, this isn't right. It's very similar to the ticket touts who buy thousands of concert or sports tickets and then sell them at a premium - thus preventing genuine fans seeing the concert or game (or having to pay a huge premium if they do). That's business but it isn't right.

    Many people have raised this issue in various threads referring to these people as 'scalpers' (a phrase I had not heard before). This year, in London, I have witnessed similar circumstances to what the OP describes and I don't believe it is racist to give your observations. It is unusual to see only one group of people in a large queue. If everyone in the queue was female and not a single male, you would think this was odd. That's not sexist, it would stand out as odd. The same if everyone if the queue looked like pensioners. It's not ageist, it would seem odd. That's not to say that females or old people would not buy phones but if it was only them in the queue then you would make observations. It just so happens that the people in the queue might be from one ethnic group.

    So the question that has been asked many times in other threads is 'What do you expect Apple to do about it?'

    Well in my opinion, better communication and better processes for a better customer experience.

    This year in the UK it's a been on a 'first come, first served' basis. First people who turn up before the store opens, may or may not get a phone. I say may or may not because Apple employees don't know (or can't say) when deliveries are coming in so you would travel and queue with no chance of getting a phone (or the phone you want) on most days as deliveries were scarce. You pretty much need to be there first thing when the bulk buyers are out or you're unlikely to get a phone. The stores don't accept calls until the official opening time so you can't check before travelling (and if you waited until they opened, you wouldn't get there in time unless you lived nearby). Apple could be more open about when stock was coming in and whether all variants would be available.

    In 2010 in the UK, Apple offered a 'priority list'. You gave your name and email address and specified the model you wanted and when the item was available, you'd get an email inviting you into the store. This was a centrally managed queue line and was as fair as it could be. You might wait 2 weeks but you would be offered your phone in the order that the reservation was taken. It also meant that the Apple employee would spend time with you on the transaction, interacting, offering to set it up etc.

    Last year in the UK, you could go online after the stores closed each day, check stock and reserve your iPhone. This saved travelling to stores and waiting in line to discover that there were no phones. Similar to above in terms of customer service.

    This year in the US, they've had pay and collect service operating at most stores, which whilst not exactly serving customers in order does mean that you shouldn't have a wasted journey to the store. In the UK this year it felt like buying at a sale. The queues were long and the store employees just wanted to take payment, give you a receipt and be on your way. Even if they wanted to offer to help setup your phone, I think most people would politely decline for fear of making the queue even longer.

    So aside from reservations, if Apple want to operate a turn up at store service then they could insist on card payments, ID, Apple ID or email address as ways to reduce bulk purchasing. None of these are foolproof. I'm actually rather surprised that Apple have been accepting cash payments. I estimate that some stores would be taking in excess of £500,000 in cash on some days. This is more than most banks hold. I'm surprised no one has dared to rob the Apple stores.

    Whilst we know that demand always outstrips supply of Apple's flagship phones, this year seems particularly bad with 5 week waits online for some people, long queues at stores each day when the stores haven't received any stock - all made worse by bulk buyers when the stores do receive stock. In all honesty, I don't mind waiting for a phone but the experience of buying a phone from Apple this year has not been a pleasant one with multiple unsuccessful journeys to stores and an online order that I ended up cancelling because of the long delay and no updates.

    Apple has publicly said that it wants more people buying Apple products from Apple stores. Well they need to improve the buying experience. (Can't fault the after sales experience though).
     
  23. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #23
    They have very right to buy an iPhone just like you do. You didn't get one? Get to the store earlier and be further ahead in line so you get one.

    I went to the Apple store 14th street at 5am last Saturday and I was 81st in line. I waited 4 hours but I got my iPhone in the color and size I wanted.

    Don't complain because someone else is willing to work harder than you to get what they want.
     
  24. dlondon macrumors regular

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    #24
    I think the point here is that the people buying the phones don't actually want the phones. Sure, they got there first but if you had queued up for 4 hours and got to the front and was told 'Sorry, we just sold out', would you blame yourself for not working hard enough to get the phone? I mean, you get there at 5am and wait 4 hours (which seems a little extreme to me) and you still didn't get the phone? I'd be frustrated at the process.

    Regardless of whether it is morally wrong or right for people to group together and bulk buy phones, do you think Apple could have made it easier for you to obtain the phone without having to wait 4 hours - a month after launch? Perhaps giving you a reservation ticket and giving you the option to remain in line or return at a later time?

    If people weren't bulk buying phones like this, you may not have had to queue up so early in the morning and for so long. In fact you may have got your phone much sooner (assuming you tried before).
     
  25. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
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    #25
    you're making a pretty big assumption that you know what someone is going to do and where they are going to do it....

    How would you like it if Apple assumed that you were going to sell something and called you greedy and told you they were not going to sell the phone (whether they were right or wrong in their assumption??)
     
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