Poor Treatment of Non-iPhone Customers at Apple Store

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by wake6830, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. wake6830 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    Last Friday evening, my Wife and I were at The Grove in Los Angeles for some other shopping, and had also planned to get her a MBP for the upcoming fall semester if the Apple Store wasn't TOO crazy.

    As we walked up, we could see the huge line but could also see that there were not very many customers actually inside the store. We walked up to the front of the store and told the Apple employee at the front that we were there to purchase a MBP (and that we knew exactly which one we wanted), only to be told that we'd have to wait in line with the iPhone customers. I asked if she was sure that was the policy, explaining that it didn't make much sense to make us wait in line with those waiting for an iPhone when we didn't have anything to do with the phone and knew exactly what we wanted, and was told that yes, we would definitely have to wait in line. Yea, no thanks, lady.

    I was a little peeved, but knew of the activation problems earlier in the day and figured the local manager was being a little overzealous.

    I called around the next morning to a few other local stores and found that almost all had the same policy. Yes, you could come into the store to buy a computer, but you'd have to wait in the iPhone line for god knows how long in order to do so.

    I did get a different answer at the Beverly Center store and went there right away. They still had a substantial line, and the inside of the store was just as busy as it was at the Grove the night before, but they simply asked us to wait off to the side for a minute until they could get us a personal shopper. Just as soon as she said that, another employee came over and walked us into the store, answered all of our questions and helped us buy the computer without any issues at all. He even took the time to get our printer and iPod rebates into the system on one of the display computers. During the short time we were in there, I saw a few other non-iPhone customers get the same treatment. All in all, as a result of this particular store's intelligent treatment of their non-iPhone shoppers, they made about $3000 and a dedicated customer in about 10 minutes. I'll be buying another MBP for myself in the coming weeks, and will go straight to the Beverly Center location when I'm ready to do so.

    Today my Wife read that the moronic policy we ran into at The Grove is still going on, a week later! Despite a relatively calm atmosphere in the store, they're still making all customers line up outside, regardless of what they're there for. They even made a person wait holding his iMac he brought in for repair! Link here.

    I am a fan of the iPhone (my wife and I both have the 1st-gen), but I'm primarily a fan of Apple's great computers and their generally excellent customer service. I am disappointed to see a 100% focus on the iPhone and the iPhone only, at the expense of all other customers. I truly hope that my (and others') experience at The Grove location is merely the result of coincidentally poor decisions by store managers instead of a corporate policy.

    I sent my comments to steve@mac.com, but couldn't find any address for general customer comments about Apple retail stores.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think this stems from people saying they're coming in to buy a computer and they walk out with a phone. There have been reports of that happening. However, I would say if you say you're coming in for anything other than a phone then they simply shouldn't allow you to purchase the phone. It seems simple to me. Identify true iPhone purchasers by giving them a ticket, stamp (not a tramp stamp ladies), or something else that would allow them to be seen as iPhone customers vs any other customer.
  3. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    wow thats a pretty idiotic policy.... i think all the stores in NYC are letting people in with a personal shopper like the last store you went to. they made more money with you in 10 minutes than they would make with 10 iphone customers, which would take probably over an hour with activations and everything. Lol it seems almost ridiculous to suggest someone waits on a line when they have no interest in the product. weird
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    1) I don't think it's that crazy. I can see why you think it is, but you're all customers. iPhone people would be complaining if Mac buyers got special treatment.

    2) Go to www.apple.com/store and get a customized MBP. You can get the education discount and it gets shipped free.

    3) You must love dealing with the crazies more than I do because I'm staying away from AT&T and Apple stores until this wild dog iPhone 3G thing dies down. I have hope that the iPhone forum on here may return to sanity one day as well, but I doubt it. Still a lot of DUMB questions that get answered three times daily.
  5. wake6830 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    Yes, we're all customers, but they're all there for a specific thing that takes a long time, and I'm there for something completely unrelated that takes a few minutes at most.

    You could say that all people at a theater are moviegoers, but you wouldn't force everyone to wait in the theater-circling line for the hot new blockbuster if some of them were there for some other much less popular movie.

    Maybe I'm weird, but when I buy expensive things, I like to have them in my hands right away. After making the decision to finally pull the trigger on buying the computer, who wants to wait a week or more for it to arrive?
  6. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    For future reference, you can also go to the retail page and set up a personal shopping appointment (which it kind of sounds like the Beverly store did for the OP in an impromptu manner).

    Not sure if that would help at the other stores but if you could show that you're in the system, I'd be surprised if they'd make you wait.

Share This Page