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Iwavvns

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 11, 2023
533
654
Earth
I went into one of my local carriers and looked at the iPhone 15 a couple days ago. I was looking to upgrade from my iPhone 12 and wanted to see if the hardware features were worth the effort. The first thing that gave me pause was that a store employee told me “the back of the iPhone 15 is metal so you don’t need a case”. I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked. He said I didn’t know what I was talking about, “metal conducts electricity”, he said.

Aren’t those people supposed to know what they’re doing?

Anyway, after going back home and doing some research I returned to that store and upgraded to an iPhone 15. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think the Dynamic Island would be all that useful but it’s growing on me. I don’t think I’ll be putting as much faith into the statements that carrier employees make going forward.
 

Sheepish-Lord

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2021
2,388
4,878
I went into one of my local carriers and looked at the iPhone 15 a couple days ago. I was looking to upgrade from my iPhone 12 and wanted to see if the hardware features were worth the effort. The first thing that gave me pause was that a store employee told me “the back of the iPhone 15 is metal so you don’t need a case”. I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked. He said I didn’t know what I was talking about, “metal conducts electricity”, he said.

Aren’t those people supposed to know what they’re doing?

Anyway, after going back home and doing some research I returned to that store and upgraded to an iPhone 15. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think the Dynamic Island would be all that useful but it’s growing on me. I don’t think I’ll be putting as much faith into the statements that carrier employees make going forward.
Unless folks are interested in the topic, most people just go on Apple's marketing and Apple rarely references the glass back on iPhones so everyone thinks they are either ALL titanium or aluminum, which are both types of metals. At the end of day it's just a person with a job that doesn't require a specific skillset just a broad one similar to car sales. These days there's so much info on the internet most consumers know more about the products than the ones selling them.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,151
9,201
USA
Aren’t those people supposed to know what they’re doing?
Absolutely not. I bet you go to Walmart and ask the guy and hardware. What’s the best paint for the outside of your house. you’ll get the same bad answers.

People working retail for the most part are just trained in sales. Since most people don’t have a clue with the back of an iPhone is made of, it doesn’t matter. It’s made out of glitainium lol

Apple Store employees are trained a little better but that’s the exception rather than the rule.
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 11, 2023
533
654
Earth
Unless folks are interested in the topic, most people just go on Apple's marketing and Apple rarely references the glass back on iPhones so everyone thinks they are either ALL titanium or aluminum, which are both types of metals. At the end of day it's just a person with a job that doesn't require a specific skillset just a broad one similar to car sales. These days there's so much info on the internet most consumers know more about the products than the ones selling them.
I don’t want to just have an iPhone, I want to know how it works.. I even studied transistors down to the point of knowing how electrons flow from source to drain through a gate. I never buy or use anything without knowing exactly how and why it works the way it does. I grew up like that, I thought everyone was like that. I just don’t understand how someone can be happy just barely sliding by through life.
 

Devyn89

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2012
882
1,413
I went into one of my local carriers and looked at the iPhone 15 a couple days ago. I was looking to upgrade from my iPhone 12 and wanted to see if the hardware features were worth the effort. The first thing that gave me pause was that a store employee told me “the back of the iPhone 15 is metal so you don’t need a case”. I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked. He said I didn’t know what I was talking about, “metal conducts electricity”, he said.

Aren’t those people supposed to know what they’re doing?

Anyway, after going back home and doing some research I returned to that store and upgraded to an iPhone 15. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think the Dynamic Island would be all that useful but it’s growing on me. I don’t think I’ll be putting as much faith into the statements that carrier employees make going forward.
They make minimum wage and are only given information that Apple gives them. If you want more informed sales people that are more educated than they need to be paid more, simple as that.
 

Devyn89

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2012
882
1,413
I don’t want to just have an iPhone, I want to know how it works.. I even studied transistors down to the point of knowing how electrons flow from source to drain through a gate. I never buy or use anything without knowing exactly how and why it works the way it does. I grew up like that, I thought everyone was like that. I just don’t understand how someone can be happy just barely sliding by through life.
You don’t have to understand it, people live their lives differently. Also not knowing what the back of a phone is made of isn’t exactly ”sliding through life”. Maybe they have a lot of expertise in something they’re more passionate about and simply view this as a job to pay the bills. You can’t expect everyone to have the same interests as you, and what a boring world that would be if everyone had the same interests.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,048
27,328
The first thing that gave me pause was that a store employee told me “the back of the iPhone 15 is metal so you don’t need a case”. I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked.
I'm just going to assume here that you are aware that the iPhone 5, the 5s, the iPhone 6 series and the iPhone 6s series have metal backs. So at the top of the 5 and 5s (on the back) is a glass window and the 6 and 6s series have antenna lines. I cannot speak to the iPhone 7 and 8 series or the X series as I never had those phones.

I will mention that underneath the glass back of my iPhone 11 Pro Max is…metal.

My point is that whatever the employees do or do not know, Apple knows. I get signal with my 6s Plus, it's on an active line and when I was using my 6 Plus and my 5, I got signal. Metal backs - no faraday cage.

Now to directly answer your question, most carrier salespeople are selling stuff to uninformed people. There are exceptions, but most of them are just trying to remain employed by meeting their sales metrics. They know what the job requires them to know.

I don’t want to just have an iPhone, I want to know how it works.. I even studied transistors down to the point of knowing how electrons flow from source to drain through a gate. I never buy or use anything without knowing exactly how and why it works the way it does. I grew up like that, I thought everyone was like that. I just don’t understand how someone can be happy just barely sliding by through life.
If this is true, why would you go to a carrier store? The carriers do not sell phones/devices because they make profit off them. They sell them (often on promos) because it either signs up new customers for the service or gets old customers to upgrade to newer more expensive plans. So the salespeople know only what they need to know to sell to the most people.

You can go to an Apple store and purchase an iPhone for your carrier. In most cases you can also get your carrier's deals and financing through Apple. And if Apple doesn't know about their own products then you've got a right to complain.

As far as 'sliding through life', why would you assume that they are dedicated to their job? People want to put food on the table and pay bills. In light of that, knowing all the intimate details about what they sell is not that important.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,048
27,328
They make minimum wage and are only given information that Apple gives them. If you want more informed sales people that are more educated than they need to be paid more, simple as that.
Some are good at this and make a lot of money at it by knowing the product they are selling. Generally, those people work at corporate stores and not third party resellers that use the carrier's branding.

But, I will give you that those employees are rare. Most of them are exactly what you said. And the fear of losing their jobs because they failed to meet their sales metrics means they're only going to learn what's required of them.
 
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Iwavvns

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 11, 2023
533
654
Earth
You don’t have to understand it, people live their lives differently. Also not knowing what the back of a phone is made of isn’t exactly ”sliding through life”. Maybe they have a lot of expertise in something they’re more passionate about and simply view this as a job to pay the bills. You can’t expect everyone to have the same interests as you, and what a boring world that would be if everyone had the same interests.
Fair point.
 

jedimasterkyle

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2014
464
684
Idaho
I grew up like that, I thought everyone was like that. I just don’t understand how someone can be happy just barely sliding by through life.
There is a very real possibility that whomever you talked to at this carrier store is working there for a few reasons:
  1. Has a genuine interest in SALES and is not technically minded.
  2. This is a 2nd job because the main job doesn't pay enough.
  3. Needs money for school but has bigger aspirations afterwards and doesn't need to commit themselves to learning electrical engineering for a sales job.
  4. Is so burnt out from the corporate/retail world that "sliding by" is the best they can do. They've likely been burnt before by other sales or retail jobs that they just dont care to learn about about the product they are selling. As others have pointed out, 99% of retail jobs anymore, especially commission based, are all about quotas and how well you did for the quarter. It's very, very, VERY rare to find someone working at a carrier store (or any store for that matter) who genuinely cares about how something works vs getting as many sales as possible for a bigger paycheck.
  5. If you pressed them on more technical questions, I'm sure they would have just Googled the answer because that's how things are done anymore.
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 11, 2023
533
654
Earth
There is a very real possibility that whomever you talked to at this carrier store is working there for a few reasons:
  1. Has a genuine interest in SALES and is not technically minded.
  2. This is a 2nd job because the main job doesn't pay enough.
  3. Needs money for school but has bigger aspirations afterwards and doesn't need to commit themselves to learning electrical engineering for a sales job.
  4. Is so burnt out from the corporate/retail world that "sliding by" is the best they can do. They've likely been burnt before by other sales or retail jobs that they just dont care to learn about about the product they are selling. As others have pointed out, 99% of retail jobs anymore, especially commission based, are all about quotas and how well you did for the quarter. It's very, very, VERY rare to find someone working at a carrier store (or any store for that matter) who genuinely cares about how something works vs getting as many sales as possible for a bigger paycheck.
  5. If you pressed them on more technical questions, I'm sure they would have just Googled the answer because that's how things are done anymore.
If that is the case, then I doubt I could ever work at one of those stores.. I likely wouldn’t get very far. I’m not interested in making money, I’m more interested in knowledge.
 
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WarmWinterHat

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2024
241
799
They make minimum wage and are only given information that Apple gives them. If you want more informed sales people that are more educated than they need to be paid more, simple as that.

They don't make minimum wage. Cell phone sales aren't high-skill jobs, but they aren't that low on the list. Here, an average cellphone rep in a cell store makes around $32k, starting, which is a little over $15/hr. The minnimum wage is $7.25.

Hell, even McDonalds and Whitecastle start at double the minimum wage here, and I live in the middle of nowhere midwest...

Some are knowledgable, most aren't. Same as many professions.
 

winxmac

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2021
1,313
1,528
Tech savvy, tech enthusiast, tech nerds, are way better when it comes to specs of a device [product knowledge] compared to sales people... They or some just lack the marketing or whatever skill sales people have but when it comes to knowing the product, much more passion about the product, tech people can't be beaten...

Tech people just have to explain it in layman's terms so customers will understand when they ask about difference or advantage of one product versus another...
 
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jedimasterkyle

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2014
464
684
Idaho
If that is the case, then I doubt I could ever work at one of those stores.. I likely wouldn’t get very far. I’m not interested in money, I’m more interested in knowledge.
My wife works at Best Buy and has been in the retail game a long time. The expectation from corporate is that they hire people (mostly teenagers and college kids) do the job good enough so that the sales numbers match corporates expectations. Corporate DOES NOT care about someone having knowledge of something. If you have knowledge of computers, great, but that's not what gets you in the door anymore.

The idea is that if you, the retail worker, can give the bare minimum in terms of information about a product while presenting it in a way that makes it sound all kinds of wonderful and you are able to get the sale, then in corporates eyes, you're doing a good job.

However, if you're the type of worker who knows everything about a product and bombards a customer with all of this info, that has the potential to work against you because the customer wants bite sized pieces of information and can easily get overwhelmed. Alternatively, if you are a retail worker who has all of the knowledge and someone walks in who has ALSO done their homework on a product, you suddenly find yourself in a sparring match over who knows more and corporate doesn't care about that.

There was a time when being a "know it all" was sought after. Now, they only care if you can make the sale or not. They want to know that you can BS your way in an out of a sale, regardless if the information you provide the customer is true or not.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,220
12,034
I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked. He said I didn’t know what I was talking about, “metal conducts electricity”, he said.
You're talking to a retail salesperson. They get at best a brief set of bullet points on the products they're selling. They're not experts by any means.

Arm yourself with information going in (as you have) and then you really only need to engage with them about carrier-specific stuff like terms of purchase, contracts, whether there's a carrier lock, etc.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,220
12,034
They don't make minimum wage. Cell phone sales aren't high-skill jobs, but they aren't that low on the list. Here, an average cellphone rep in a cell store makes around $32k, starting, which is a little over $15/hr. The minnimum wage is $7.25.
You're right. For that kingly wage of $15/hour you can truly expect them to be technical experts on all aspects of the hardware they're selling. :rolleyes: They're sales people. It's basically an entry-level job. The requirements are to be reasonably articulate, even-tempered and presentable. And frankly, for a barely survivable wage like that, not sure what more anyone would expect.
 

Devyn89

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2012
882
1,413
If that is the case, then I doubt I could ever work at one of those stores.. I likely wouldn’t get very far. I’m not interested in making money, I’m more interested in knowledge.
Me too, and I work at one of these stores. My sales numbers are fine, enough to get by, but I’m certainly not a top performer. I know I’m valued on the team but honestly I don’t make much money because I’m not as sales focused. I’m hoping to find something more up my ally in the next year or so. If not I might try and head back to school.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,151
9,201
USA
I never buy or use anything without knowing exactly how and why it works the way it does.
This reminds me of people who buy a car to get them from A to B and couldn’t tell you basic specifications but others want to know every detail about how it functions. I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t have the time or energy to learn every detail but I want to have a good understanding about it.

Also there are “know it all’s” who know a little about something and sometimes wrong stuff but act like they have a doctorate degree in the subject. Try not to be one 😂
 

trusso

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2003
815
2,490
I don’t want to just have an iPhone, I want to know how it works.. I even studied transistors down to the point of knowing how electrons flow from source to drain through a gate. I never buy or use anything without knowing exactly how and why it works the way it does. I grew up like that, I thought everyone was like that. I just don’t understand how someone can be happy just barely sliding by through life.
Careful, you’re preening.

I guarantee, unless you designed the circuitry yourself, you do not and cannot understand how the iPhone works to the level you’re talking about, nor do you need to. Tim Cook doesn’t. Steve Jobs didn’t. People who work for Apple but aren’t on the iPhone hardware team don’t.

I’m an electrical engineer myself, but I work for a different industry and on different devices. While I can understand and “speak the language” of iPhone hardware design, I make no presumptions of knowing how it’s designed (to the level you think you must know) nor do I need to. In this capacity I’m simply a consumer, and I know enough to make an informed purchase decision - of which knowledge of the internal design of the phone plays essentially no part. Ever.

“Does it do what I need it to do?” That’s my criteria for such a purchase. I don’t look down on salespeople for not knowing things that most people don’t know, because I understand, like me, that they are not paid to understand such things to that level, and while I love a curious mind, people should also be able to enjoy life in-between the hours they’re slaving away for the man.

Welcome to the real world. Try to play nice with the other kids.
 

TechnoMonk

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2022
2,170
3,238
So you just abused some poor soul making minimum wage by selling devices, his employer doesn’t even manufacture. You won’t get any different answers in Walmart hardware section about stuff they sell. It’s not a customer experience center to learn about products, these are sales folks who want to sell and make a living.
 

Nate455

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2022
24
11
I find that some employees have no idea what they are doing, that employee should not have talked to you like that.
 

WarmWinterHat

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2024
241
799
You're right. For that kingly wage of $15/hour you can truly expect them to be technical experts on all aspects of the hardware they're selling. :rolleyes: They're sales people. It's basically an entry-level job. The requirements are to be reasonably articulate, even-tempered and presentable. And frankly, for a barely survivable wage like that, not sure what more anyone would expect.

I didn't say the wage was good, I said the wage isn't minimum wage.

The phrase minimum wage has a strict definition.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,449
5,330
I went into one of my local carriers and looked at the iPhone 15 a couple days ago. I was looking to upgrade from my iPhone 12 and wanted to see if the hardware features were worth the effort. The first thing that gave me pause was that a store employee told me “the back of the iPhone 15 is metal so you don’t need a case”. I tried to argue that having a metal case would interfere with radio communications.. I even asked him if he knew how a faraday cage worked. He said I didn’t know what I was talking about, “metal conducts electricity”, he said.

Aren’t those people supposed to know what they’re doing?

Anyway, after going back home and doing some research I returned to that store and upgraded to an iPhone 15. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think the Dynamic Island would be all that useful but it’s growing on me. I don’t think I’ll be putting as much faith into the statements that carrier employees make going forward.


The fact that you're on a forum discussing a product means that you likely know more about the generalists who sell that product. That's a good general rule.
 

LouisPiper

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2021
53
81
Careful, you’re preening.

I guarantee, unless you designed the circuitry yourself, you do not and cannot understand how the iPhone works to the level you’re talking about, nor do you need to. Tim Cook doesn’t. Steve Jobs didn’t. People who work for Apple but aren’t on the iPhone hardware team don’t.

I’m an electrical engineer myself, but I work for a different industry and on different devices. While I can understand and “speak the language” of iPhone hardware design, I make no presumptions of knowing how it’s designed (to the level you think you must know) nor do I need to. In this capacity I’m simply a consumer, and I know enough to make an informed purchase decision - of which knowledge of the internal design of the phone plays essentially no part. Ever.

“Does it do what I need it to do?” That’s my criteria for such a purchase. I don’t look down on salespeople for not knowing things that most people don’t know, because I understand, like me, that they are not paid to understand such things to that level, and while I love a curious mind, people should also be able to enjoy life in-between the hours they’re slaving away for the man.

Welcome to the real world. Try to play nice with the other kids.
Fantastic post!
 
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