My Crazy Apple store line story, share your own!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by anobvioustable, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. anobvioustable, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

    anobvioustable macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    My big mistake

    I preordered an iPhone 6+, 16GB ATT with a two year contract. I guess it didn't register when I clicked the 64GB tile and didn't realize my mistake until after submitting in a rush. I couldn't order another at contract pricing as I just resigned a contract for 2 years. I called the apple store and explained my situation. They said they would be able to swap out the iPhone for a 64gb but only if they have it in stock. I decided to wait in line to get one to swap with my pre order.

    The wait, police, hysteria, mall security sucks.

    3am I left my house to go to the apple store in the Towson Town Center Mall in Towson Maryland. Around 3:20 I arrived and saw a line of 20-30 people across the street from the mall. They were lined up, sitting in lawn chairs by the sidewalk in front of a shopping center directly across the street from the mall entrance. Mall security wouldnt let anyone on the property or on that side of the street. They wouldnt let anyone park in the mall parking garages or anything until 6:30am. If you walked over their they quickly pulled their mall security cars in front of you blocking you and told you to leave the property or the police would be called. I parked in the shopping center and staked my place in line. I was around 25-30th in line. Talked to some people for several hours, they said they tried forming a line at the sidewalk on the other side of the street but mall security threatened to call police if they didnt move, got starbucks at 5am in the shopping center when they opened. Many were worried about their cars being towed including me as the shopping center parking lot was packed all ready and no stores were even open yet besides starbucks. Signs specifically said no mall parking or you'll be towed. I placed my receipt and starbucks napkins on my car window to show I was a paying customer just in case lol but I was still worried.

    Many people showed up, by 5:30am there was at least 200 people, shopping center lot was full, I was still around 25-30 in line as me and the people allowed each other to leave the line to go to starbucks and such to get things as they watched each others spots/ chairs. I made friends with several people in front and behind me. 6:00am. Police cars made several passed by, I guess to ensure order, never said anything to us about being on private property. People were getting nervous and expecting everyone to sprint across the 5 lane road to line up in front of the mall entrance when they allowed us on the property. Several people in the line started talking and going down the line asking if people would be respectful of the unofficial line when the mall allowed them on the property, most people agreed. In the shopping center parking lot, around 10 cars sat at the light to cross the street and go into the mall entrance. These people were going to jump the line, at 6:30am and beat everyone to the entrance. People were getting nervous and tried talking to them, especially those who were first and been waiting there since 7pm. 6:15am. We decided to cross the street so we didnt have to wait for traffic when the time came that allowed us onto mall property. As we started cross mass hysteria took place, next thing I know 300 people screaming, running, leaving their chairs and blankets behind ran across the 5 lane street.

    We got to the mall entrance down the entrance road out of breath(about 1500 feet down a small road from the main street that lead to the garage and the main entrance was right there.) Mall security started screaming at us "LEAVE THE PROPERTY NOW, NOT UNTIL 6:30, GET THE ******* OUT." We started retreating, until we saw that the mall security started lining people up. Most people didnt listen, there was maybe 3-4 guards and 300+ of us. After several minutes they decided to let us stay since no one was listening. I was around 100 back from the front of the line. People were screaming that they were in line for hours and in the top 10 across the street, mall security said too bad, they dont care about the line across the street. They had nothing to do with it. Several people I was around made it to the front, me and the young girl and several others who were around me in the line across the street said screw it and started to walk the line to the front. Security told us to go back, some listened but we kept walking, ignoring them. We found the people who were in front of us, they were in the front group, around 20 people back. The line was suppose to be in a single file, but it was around 4-5 people wide bunched up the entire length of the line. They pulled us in and said huddle close or they will kick you to the back. We did, to the dismay of people behind us then explained that we were in this spot in the line across the street, several people up front vouched for us. Surprised how these people were actually being decent and fair and let us cut in. After all we were there since 3am.

    For the next 20 minutes, mall security was screaming at us to form a single file line and to move back to form a single file, we couldn't move back, there were people practically getting intimate with my backside, you couldnt even get your phone out of your pocket. We had to tell each other when we need to pull our phones out so they could make room to pull our arms back up. Eventually they got the people at the end of the 1000 foot line to back up and we were able to form a single line after half an hour. Police were called to bring order and help enforce security's requests. They then began to divide the lines, apple, verizon, att stores. Only 10 people were in line for the verizon and att stores combined. Everyone wanted to stay at apple, all 400 of us. Best chance of getting the phone they wanted.

    6:40am they let us in the mall, they had to stop and break the line in sections to stay in line with fire codes. I was in the second group, first 25 people got to line up in front of apple store, the second group including me lined up down the escalator from the apple store, right at the bottom. They made a quick announcement that they do not have any TMobile iPhone 6+s' which I found most apple stores didn't have. I talked to several apple employees. They explained the reservation pass and how I will be able to leave after guaranteeing my iPhone. I even explained my situation and they said once I get my iPhone that was shipped I can come back and swap no problem. Apple employees handed out bottles of water and granola bars to everyone in line. At 7:15 they finally got to me for reservation pass creation, asked what phone I wanted and how many, they had plenty so I could have gotten any 2 phones I wanted being around 30th in line. I got a 64gb, space grey iPhone 6+ ATT. The rep stayed with me until the text went through. I got my pass texted to me, said goodbye to my new friends who were getting 6+'s and made my way back to my hopefully non towed car. I walked the line, it was long. Made several loops in the mall and continued through the entrance to the street all the way to the main road.

    UPS Store, more lines ugh

    Went back to my car, drove 20 minutes back to my house. Got something to drink, used the bathroom, rested my feet. (should have brought a chair instead of standing for 4 hours.) 9am I left to go to the UPS Customer center. Since the delivery date was between 8am-7pm and I wanted to exchange I changed delivery to will call pickup to get my phone as soon as they opened. I got there at 9:10. Parking lot was packed, had to park on the street, luckily there was only 10 or so people in the small lobby waiting. The UPS place had two people up front, the one girl was new and kept messing up on the barcode scanner so it was 20 minutes before I got up there. Every person who went up was asked if they were picking up a phone as they set those aside in the back. Surprisingly some people weren't there picking up phones but just dropping off packages. As I left, several people in the growing line asked if that was the new iPhone I was holding. I told them yes and that I'm heading to the apple store to swap now and there was over 400 people in line when I left.

    Driving back to the apple store after a break at my house, it was around 10:40 when I got there. I entered the mall from the other side and made my way to the apple store. The line was still there, I was told to go the the back....I got to the back of the line it was around 200 people and I was last. I was told by an apple employee that the wait time for my part of the line was 5-7 hours. They handed out snacks and water, I asked if they had enough phones even though I had one reserved I was curious if these people were waiting for nothing. She said she doesn't know but they were sold out of some options already. WTF....It hardly moved in the first 20 minutes but we finally got inside. I was the only person in line, clutching a plain box that held an iPhone 6, but was still in line. I felt dizzy, not eating yet and getting over a cold. We finally got inside the mall. Another 30 people lined up behind me. I then asked an apple employee if I could jump the line, since I had a reservation pass from earlier and was guaranteed a phone and the people in front and behind me weren't. He said he would be right back to find out. He came back and escorted my passed 100 or so people, booing as I walked by. He placed me behind the last person who had a reservation pass who had been there since the original line.

    I just skipped around 4-5 hours of waiting so I was happy. The line moved maybe 10 feet per half an hour, there were only 40 or so people between me and the apple store, the line still continued outside the entrance. I fought off the urge to leave and accept the tiny 16Gb storage and open my new iPhone that I already held in my hands. After an hour they came out and announced they were out of iPhone 6+s' but had 6's left. Many people exclaimed their disappointment. They came down and started taking reservations just like earlier before they opened from those without reservation passes that started behind me. They were out of a few options of 6's from what I overheard, a lot of scalpers picking up 2 iPhones from what I heard. I'm not sure how far down that line they got, I mean it continued outside the mall entrance and headed towards the street as more and more people lined up in the early afternoon. Some people around me sat down in chairs they took from tables right next to us. Security kicked them out and said put the chairs back even though it was 3 feet away from the line and no one other customers in the mall were even using them. People complained that their feet hurt, and they have been standing for hours, they said that's not their problem, they are not forcing you to get this phone and sit on the mall floor. I let the women in front of me who hardly spoke English get food and use the restroom as I watched her spot.


    I had around 20 people left in front of me when they announced they were sold out and only those with reservations could continue waiting. I'd imagine quite a few people in that massive line behind me were upset. After 4 hours I finally was paired with an apple rep, I explained my story, he said no problem. After getting some help from someone higher up we opened my UPS package, and started the process of swapping activation to my new phone. We managed to deactivate the pre orded apple online phone without even opening it so it could be put back into inventory I guess? They activated my new iPhone after I paid the difference and I walked out, with my apple bag and new iPhone 6+, the one I wanted. Thanks Apple!

    Pic, I'm 2 people up from the guy in the red shirt in that big front group. This was before they sorted the line out to a single file and it stretched all the way several hundred feet to the main road and intersection. The one security guard with the hat in the picture pulled out his $20 prepaid phone and said "Yall crazy waiting for a phone that costs $600, this is all I need.":

    Local news story:
    iPhone 6 Towson Launch

    Any other waiting in line stories? Share them!
  2. anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Figured I'd put a tldr:

    Pre-ordered 16gb instead of 64gb by mistake in a rush at 5am since apple was down for me the first 2 hours. Waited in line for 4 hours at apple store since 3am with a lot of drama and hysteria as well as disagreements with mall security being a bunch of jerks, reserved 64gb. Picked up my iPhone from UPS store after waiting in line for another 20 mins. Back to the apple store, another 4 hour wait. Swapped iPhones and activated no problem, took them 15 minutes, paid the difference now I have the iPhone I want. Thanks Apple!
  3. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    Woah woah woah we need some paragraphs, that is rough on the peepers.
  4. anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Fixed, sorry..:confused:
  5. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Mine was far less adventurous and it was at best buy.
    10 minutes to preorder
    20 minutes for pick up
    Met a fire arms instructor. I will be taking the course next month.
  6. flatfoot99 Guest

    Aug 4, 2010
    layed around the house til fedex dropped it off around 10:00 am...
  7. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Thanks for the tldr - absolutely no way I was going to read that first post of yours!
  8. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    You should make this a book. I even read the whole thing :eek:. That was a interesting story I really enjoyed it.


    My story:
    Go to AT&T to find out if I want AT&T next or if I want 2 year.
    Pre ordered on the 14th
    Got a tracking number 18th
    FedEx dropped it off at my house at 10:58 am when I was at school.
    Got home as fast as I possibly could.
    Ripped the shipping box off
    Looked at the box
    Opened it on camera so I could have an unboxing video of it
    Went to AT&T to activate it.
    Went to Apple for case.
    The End
  9. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    You couldn't be much more rude than this.

    I read the whole thing and it was interesting. Thanks for typing it. Next time, don't bother adding the TLDR post. If a person can't focus for a few minutes to read, they aren't worth your energy.
  10. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    I respect your perseverence but man, your experience should be a textbook lesson on why you should avoid waiting in line to buy on launch day if you possibly can. Just miserable.
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I haven't stood in an iPhone line since the iPhone 3G, but the nasty mall security in your story reminded me of that experience.

    I was at an AT&T store at a strip mall in northern NJ, right next door to a Starbucks. Got there at 4:30 am and the line was short until around 6:00 when everyone started showing up, easily 75 people by 6:00, and they started queuing up past the Starbucks entrance (the line was about 20 feet away from their door). It was nice, because the line was very peaceful and orderly, and everyone was watching each other's place while they'd get some Starbucks. The front counter staff were very happy that we were there, lots of business for them.

    Then, the Starbucks morning shift manager showed up.

    She took one look at this line of people blocking "her" Starbucks' entrance, and wanted none of it. After berating us for a while and demanding we break up the line (which didn't happen), she ended up calling the police to move "these freaks who are blocking ["her"] entrance and scaring off [her] customers."

    Cops show up a couple minutes later, and were very polite. They were the textbook good cops: While they couldn't possibly understand why anyone would stand in line in the wee hours of the morning for a phone, they didn't see why we couldn't either, so long as no laws were broken. After politely explaining the Starbucks manager's "concerns," and hinting that they knew her calling was a bad move on her part, they went so far as to organize an orderly move of the line going the opposite direction, AWAY from the Starbucks.

    At that point, the Starbucks registers stopped ringing. Dead as a doornail in there after that. And as the line doubled and word spread about what the Starbucks manager did, people started organizing runs to the Dunkin' Donuts a couple blocks away.

    TL;DR: Starbucks next to an AT&T store got a lot of business on a launch day, then lost it all when the manager was a jerk over the line.
  12. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Oct 5, 2011
    Orange County, California USA
    I read your first and last paragraph and got the just of it. That was great cliff notes reading. Glad things worked out for you.
  13. lke macrumors 6502a

    Jun 19, 2009
    Your story is great but if you have recorded video or photos of everything you could have uploaded a great video to youtube.
  14. kerbero9, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

    kerbero9 macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Got to my local Apple Store at around 4am Friday. Saw that they were already over 200 people line. I would say about 175 of them were scalpers. Said f this. I figured I would try the Verizon store by my house.

    On my way out of the mall, I decided to walk past the Verizon Store and to see what the situation was there. They had the line dividers setup the night before and there wasn't a single person in it. So I setup my chair in front of the line, took out my iPad and relaxed. Talk a bit with a guy who was by himself in line at the Sprint Store right next to Verizon. After about half hour a few people got in line with me. Each of us were taking turns getting out the line to walk down to the Apple Store and check out the zoo it had became. They had to call in the police and have extra security guards due to all of the line cutting shenanigans by the scalpers.

    Verizon line grew to about 25 or so by 7:00 when the Verizon employees arrived. They greeted us good morning and set out coffee and donuts for the line. Told us they were going get setup and come out and hand out tickets. They came out around 7:30 handed tickets to the line which maybe only grew by 10 or 15 at that time. Promptly at 8 they opened up and I was in and out with my iPhone 6 64GB space gray in about 15min.

    Very pleasant experience from start to finish. The line atmosphere was cool. That buzz and excitement was in the air like it should be and you could actually hold a conversation with the people you are in line with. Sorry to say but I will never go to an Apple Store for a product launch again. It's just not worth it anymore. Carrier stores or pre-order online from now on. I remember lining up for my 3G and 4s at Apple stores and they were awesome. Such great memorable experiences. It's a shame that this is what it's become. The first people in line used to come out of the store holding their new phone up in the air with a huge smile on their face. Now the first people in line come out with two phones still wrapped and bagged up. No emotion at all, just simply looking for the boss or ringleader to hand the merchandise over to and then they quickly get to the back of the line and try to do it all over again.
  15. NativeTxn macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    At least your hours in line were occupied writing that post! ;) Just kidding - actually quite the interesting story.

    But your story is the exact reason I either pre-order online or wait until a week or two after launch...I do not care of crowds in the least. Mainly because too often people act like jack holes and like they are the only ones there (or at least the only ones that matter).

    Glad it worked out for you - and now you have an entertaining story to boot (though it would be even better if the first person to get it had opened it and it fell flat on the ground in front of a TV camera. Man, I sort of felt bad for that Aussie dude).
  16. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Drove to the UPS depot, waited in line for 0 seconds and walked out with my iPhone 2 minutes later. Couldn't be any easier, I don't get why people wait in line.

    tl;dr: no wait at UPS
  17. anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Yeah, I hated it, especially with the apple store being in the mall and mall security not letting anyone on the property until 6:30 it was hell. That's why I preordered but got the wrong phone, wouldn't have waited in line if I preordered the right phone the first time! It was an experience though!
  18. EJ8 Suspended


    Oct 13, 2010
    Are you looking for publishing rights for that post?
  19. mikejg macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    I walked into my local Verizon store on 9/19 at around 0930, about an hour and a half after opening. It was a little crowded, but there were no lines.

    I was greeted at the door and handed off to one of the sales guys. I told him what I wanted, a silver 64Gb 6. He went to the back and got the phone, tried to sell me some accessories and 15 mins later I was on my way, pleasantly surprised.

    Of note, the store was having issues with their trade-in system and told me to do it online once I got home, so I'm waiting for the pre-paid packaged to ship my iphone 5 in for the trade-in.
  20. Starrbuck macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    At 11:30am on Friday, I walked into the Verizon store. At noon I walked out with a 64GB Silver iPhone 6. The end.
  21. anobvioustable, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

    anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Good story! The starbucks in the shopping center got a lot of business and let us use their restrooms! They didnt say anything about the parking lot even though they had every right to! While waiting in line several mall food vendors gave out free samples of french fries, smoothies etc. Even giving us coupons for buy one get one free! It was pretty cool!


    Scalpers definitely ruin the atmosphere. When I went to the 5 launch at an ATT store, I wasn't getting a phone as I had mine pre ordered just going with my friend who wanted protection (mall in the city, friend was a petite girl). Only 30 people there, it went smoothly. When the first person came out there was applause he let people hold his phone and check it out. It was pretty cool. Nothing like this year, people bringing their whole families to scalp iPhone to sell. The guy in front of me (prob around 25, looked like he did a fair amount of drugs by the track marks and the age in his face) he brought his equally worn looking girlfriend, his friend, his uncle, 50+ old father and mother all to get 2 phones each.


    No pictures, my phone died very early in the event. Didn't come prepared at all! They had charging stations near the line inside but I didnt have my charger. I do have a link to the local paper story. They have some of their times off though, no media coverage was allowed there at the request of apple from what I heard.,0,4059784.story

    Also one pic, here was the start of the line, I was in that group at the front, you can see me two people ahead of the guy in red on the outside of the group. This was before they sorted it out to a single file and it stretched all the way several hundred feet to the main road and intersection. The one security guard in front in the picture pulled out his $20 prepaid phone and said "Yall crazy waiting for a phone that costs $600, this is all I need."
  22. magrat22 macrumors 6502


    Apr 29, 2010
    Calgary, AB
    Wow, great story, sorry some people are too lazy to even spend 2 minutes to read it. I don't understand how mall security were allowed to behave the way there were. They actually endangered peoples lives with the way they dealt with the situation. There's tonnes of room around that mall that they could have had people line up if they didn't want them on the main street. Like by Crate and Barrel they could have had everyone there and then brought them in in groups. Honestly I'd write a letter of complaint to the mall on their dealing with the situation, you are bringing in money to the mall through being there most of the day. Anyway thanks for sharing :)
  23. anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Yeah they were harsh! Like it was such an inconvenience for us being there. Someone said last year for the 5S they let them line up right at the mall doors and everyone was cool and stayed in place, no mad rush across the street down the road to the mall entrance, no hours of waiting for nothing when hundreds of people rush in front of you like in that newspaper article link I posted.
  24. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    All that for a phone with 1GB of RAM.

    btw, I enjoyed the read
  25. anobvioustable thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    Doesn't matter when the operating system is tailored to run perfectly on 1gb.

Share This Page