(Some at least) Apple employees are utterly Watch-clueless.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by WilliamG, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    I was just at the "flagship" WA State Bellevue Apple Store (the only store in the state where you can try on an Apple Watch Edition), and my wife and I walked by an Apple rep informing one lady that the Apple Watch Edition pricing varied from $10,000 to $24,000.


    We were there to have my wife try on a Modern Buckle in stainless steel (only available on the 38mm). We asked for the small band to try on, and a different rep told me he "thought" the Modern Buckle were all small in the store. I took the Watch he was holding, flipped it over and showed him the "L" on the band - denoting LARGE. He told me he had no idea that identifier even existed on the bands..

    How come these reps aren't being trained at all? It's truly appalling that you can be misled so badly about band sizes, and it would have been so easy for my wife to order the wrong band size based on what she was told in the store.

    Just.... so lame.

    Oh and to add to that - they have no clue when watches will be available in store, whether you can swap out bands in the store e.g. the small Modern Buckle for the medium without canceling the order and starting from scratch. Clueless.

    Now, this last part is definitely Apple's communication with the stores (or lack thereof), but it just feels like SUCH a wishy-washy retail environment regarding these Watches. It feels especially poor compared to any launch of any Apple product in the past, and I've been part of pretty much all of them.

    Anyway, there's my $0.02.
  2. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    I was told the Apple Watch Sport could only work with the rubber bands, but that the stainless steel and gold models could be used with any band including the rubber. Don't know if that's not misinformation or what.
  3. SLQ03 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale
    My Apple rep seemed a little clueless as well. He was shocked when I showed him the settings option to change the orientation for lefties. #

    But, I'm also that guy that knows more about the cars at the dealership than the salesman.
  4. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    Misinformation. People on the forums have been allowed to switch it out at try ons. And it was on some of the leaked watch training stuff.
  5. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    Yeah, same experience here. I went three times in across two different stores (went alone first, took friends who hadn't seen it yet afterwards) and all of the employees were pretty passive to the whole thing, and all of them seemed to know very little about the product itself. I too got the "Sport can only be used with sport bands" speech from one of them. It wasn't terrible, but it seemed off.

    I asked each of them if they're getting one and they all had this "ehhhh, maybe" attitude in some way or another.

    It's weird being passionate / interested in the Watch but having to deal with the face of the company not being too hyped about it / not interested in owning one.
  6. AaronChicago macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Same here. Went in for an appt and the asked the girl to try on the stainless steel 42mm version. She hands me the space grey aluminum....
  7. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    Apple needs to do a better job screening watch employees and maybe pay them better.
  8. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    What you have to remember, is that quite a lot of people working at Apple Stores don't care, and aren't interested in the products.

    It's just a job to get them through University, or untill something else comes up.

    The people on this board are not normal people. I mean that in the nicest way possible, and i'm including myself in this, but we are fanatics who obsess over all the smallest details, and to be honest, we all probably know a lot more about the Watch than most Apple employees.

    Because we are interested in this stuff. If your not interested, all the training in the world will go in one ear and out the other.

    Apple tends to do a pretty good job with their staff, but there will always be some less keen employees slipping through the net.
  9. specik, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015

    specik macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Former Apple employee here. I can say that this isn't surprising. When a new product comes out, the retail stores are literally the last people to get any details about it. The only training offered comes via some online training documents that you have to read and then take a basic 'quiz' about (managers get a report of who's taken & passed the quiz or not and will nag you about it until you do it).

    There's no hands-on time offered with the product at all. When I worked at the store (flagship store in NYC), the only way we could even see whatever new product we got was by going out to the sales floor and looking at the customer demo units. The smart thing to do would be for Apple to loan retail employees a Watch that they can use during their shift. This alone would make them infinitely more familiar with the Watch. But, Apple is too untrusting of it's retail staff to ever do anything like that.
  10. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012
    The specialists at my local store had all the pre-launch training as you describe it. I happened to talk with several specialists who were very enthusiastic about the watch. They had devoured all the training and knew what they were talking about. If a particular specialist didn't care about the watches and didn't put much effort into the training, I can see that he wouldn't know much on launch day.

    The specialists were a little handicapped by minimal hands-on time with the watch. The try-on watches were only available on the morning of the April 10, before the store opened. They had an hour or so before the store opened, when they tried them all on, helped each other fit them so they could get used to working on another person's wrist, and fiddled with band swapping and other details. Each new shift of specialists was repeating this exercise through the day, before they came out and worked with customers.

    The other problem they had to deal with was that each try-on station was stocked with a different, semi-random collection of bands and sizes. They hadn't had time to learn what was in each station, so as they migrated around helping different customers, there was a little "let's see what's in this drawer" game.
  11. AbeFrohman macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2011
    The guy that helped me during my appointment (South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa CA) said that I was his first appointment and that his first ever look at an Apple Watch was an hour earlier. At least he wasn't trying to BS his way through things. I was able to point out features I had learned about here and via other reviews. Stretched my 15 minutes into around 45 as I played with the models and bands and he learned some stuff too.

    The first wave was for rabid fans who wanted to get their hands on one ASAP after they were released to be seen (myself included). I can only assume things with the sales folks will get better over time so those that are thinking about it and want a true demo and discussion will get better trained and more knowledgeable sales personnel.
  12. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    Former employee here as well. Apple Retail is like any workplace, you get some passionate people, some indifferent, and then you have otherwise friendly people that just need a paycheck to pay their tuition/loan or even a slew of parking tickets (believe it).

    For every Apple retail employee who bleeds rainbow-Apple-logo blood, you'll find 5 who like the products and do their required trainings, but the average forum enthusiast here will outsmart them on any product specification or nuance of a feature.

    There's no "insider knowledge" at Apple retail. The line between corporate and retail is severe, retail employees don't get anything ahead of time you can't also read on apple.com, aside from store procedures and how they'll manage a line for example.

    Part of the issue is that a LOT of people want to work for Apple, thus they don't have to pay particularly well for the caliber of person they can get to do the work -- the smartest most capable employees don't always hang around that long - there are a LOT of companies that provide a smoother work environment, with better schedules and more pay.
  13. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    How did you show him that without having a watch paired to your iPhone? I ask because when I did my appointment I tried them all on my right hand and the demo loop was upside down.
  14. Glene macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2014
    Ft Lauderdale
    Very well said and grounded in reality. Both my "try on" experiences were good, with knowledgeable, friendly watch staff.
  15. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
    This is probably one of the downsides to Apples product secrecy/hype machine. If they had extensive training seminars weeks before launch to get everyone up to speed, people would end up giving out details that Apple would rather be kept under wraps.
  16. SLQ03 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale
    I showed it to him on the display model that's attached to that block with the iPad in it. That's the only way you can toggle through the actual apps, but obviously can't wear it.
  17. nolegirl01 macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I gotta agree with what the former employee said. Most all of the employees didn't get to see the watch until launch day and most got their training with the watch a couple hours before they hit the floor. Apple did not want the employees to play with the watches and train on them before launch which to me is ridiculous.

    The only training they received was in pdf and powerpoint formats, none of which actually included how to work the apple watch operating system. You only got to train on the operating system and how everything actually works when launch day arrived and you could actually play with the watches. They know some of the features but few know how to actually do them on the watch.

    I feel like this is not the employees fault but rather Apple's fault for not providing the right training and materials for employees. They were so concerned on keeping the whole thing a secret that they were in fact alienating their own employees. I get the whole let's keep secret until launch but when you are depriving your own employees with the necessary tools for them to do their jobs and basically setting them up for failure I think its wrong. How do I know all of this? Let's just say I have an inside source that works for an Apple store :D:p
  18. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    I had to show 2 reps at the Apple store I went to how to access the heart rate sensor on the demo wall.
  19. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    I was under the impression that the settings were all managed through the iPhone app. I didn't know you could change the orientation directly on the watch.
  20. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    Must be great OP knowing everything all the time.

    What a great time to be alive.
  21. nolegirl01 macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Sure some people are just there to get a paycheck and don't really care but I don't think that it's a majority of the employees. The amount of stuff you have to deal with on a daily basis and all the stuff you have to know and learn to work there, I think will make someone who doesn't care to be there go crazy. I think most people that work there are fanatics and like the brand or else you would not put up with some of the stuff that goes on in those stores. TRUST ME. Like I said they are not all 100% fanatics but for someone to not care or not like the brand you will have a hard time working there and you will most likely not last long and quit. You have to really like working there and really like the brand to stay employed. But we all have our opinions. I respect yours and this one is just mine :D
  22. DC Wallaby macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2014
    They are instructed to tell us that. I had this conversation yesterday when I convinced my father that he had to do a try-on. During the try-on appointment I had on Saturday (at a different store), the salesperson told me flat-out "you can't change the straps on the Sport," which I knew to be false already from doing my own research. The guy yesterday said that they're instructed to say that, but obviously they experimented with swapping bands on their own before talking to customers and it works just fine to put non-Sport bands on the sport.

    I think this is the policy for two reasons:
    1. Up-sell people to the Apple Watch collection if they want a premium band.
    2. Try to manage supply of additional bands.

    Not a fan of that, but I understand why Apple is encouraging employees to suggest that the Sport is stuck with Sport bands.

    Also, after two different visits and two different stores, I can safely say that my try-on experience on Saturday was awful: I knew more about the product than the salesperson I spoke with, who seemed completely disinterested in being there and didn't even bother to turn on the demo loop for me. The guy my father spoke with was far more friendly, knowledgable, and honest--which allowed him to make a sale.
  23. SHKLMRE macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2013
    My apple employee told me that the sport won't work with different bands because the connector is different... But he did say that the watch and watch edition works with sports bands. I didn't understand the logic behind that wrong information. He claimed the sport watch was "not compatible" with other bands... Although we all clearly know that was wrong. I didn't argue with him though, I just nodded my head and looked at different bands I want to buy for my sport watch.
  24. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    I had a try on appointment yesterday, and although I only spoke with one rep, I too had a somewhat clueless (but very friendly) employee.

    I asked to see the Space Gray Sport 42mm and she brought it out and put it on my wrist for me, and I stated "Wow this looks really nice, I'm glad I ordered this one." And then after the generic "it looks really nice on you" comment that she was programmed to repeat every 30 seconds, she then told me that the colors will vary.

    I was confused, and she explained how the "demo models are a slightly different color, and that mine will be darker but basically the same". Erm.. Okay.. She seemed new and even nervous actually, so I didn't say anything or try to give her a hard time. I thanked her and removed the watch and went on my way.

    Still, it baffles me how misinformation like that even generates. Actual color will vary? Sheesh.
  25. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    I saw a video on YouTube of a try-on session where someone asked about battery life and was told 9 hours!

    I get that many staffers may not know how many pixels are on the 42mm screen vs the 38mm screen, but there are some basics that you should really really know.

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