The Painful iPhone Launch (White City)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by realph, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. realph macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2007
    So I arrived at the Apple Store in White City (Westfield) for 11AM on the 23rd (the day before). First in line with a couple of friends we went straight inside to talk to a manager on the specifics of the launch and the queuing, he let us set up our deck chairs in store while we watched the football and waited on launch details from the mall's security.

    A couple hours later and after they'd smoothed things over with Westfield's security we were photographed in order and told to come back at 12AM - not a bad deal when you're in a huge mall.

    After some food and the football we all arrived for back in place for 12AM on the dot ready for the wait. Fast forward to 7AM and Apple were late opening the store due to a late delivery on the micro sims - fair enough.

    As the store got closer to opening a random few people joined the queue, in front of us :confused: When the store eventually opened (7.30AM) this new queue were the first to be let in the store. Apparently not only does a pre-order guarantee you a phone but makes you eligible for queue jumping.

    They refused to let any of us (who hadn't pre-ordered) in until the pre-order queue had cleared, which you can imagine kept on getting longer and longer as time went on.

    After about half an hour an Apple employee came over to us and asked to get a shot of us doing a mexican wave on camera - you can imagine our reaction. Me and few others in the queue started to kick up a fuss. A long story short and their argument didn't hold up against the hundred that had been queuing overnight, eventually they decided it was best to just let us in.

    This new pre-order system really shocked me. Anyone else experience anything like this?
  2. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Pre-ordering essentially means these people made an appointment to pick up their iphone. Part of the pre-order benefit is a separate faster line for picking up the phone.
  3. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    I had a reserved phone. While it was obvious they were giving preference to our line to get people in, they weren't insisting we all clear before the walkins got in (which I think would have been totally unfair. And yes, some of us reserved camped out for quite a while too). They'd let a group of reserves in, then a walkin or two, then another group of reserves.

    Honestly, I have no qualms with them giving the reserve line preference (I think the reasoning is these are the people who wanted the iphone enough to research it and figure out to reserve rather than just walkin). But, I think how your store did it was completely horrible. They still should have let the walkins trickle in as well rather than make them continiously wait for any reserves to clear. That's ridiculous.
  4. realph thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2007
    That's fine if you have a fast line, not a queue jump facility which gives you a free ticket to stroll past people who have been waiting for 20 hours straight.
  5. Vertigo50 macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    How did a bunch of people suddenly get in front of you without you making a fuss about it?

    I don't get it.

    I'm pretty passive myself, but if I had been waiting that long and a bunch of people cut in front of me, they're going to hear about it.
  6. realph thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2007
    God knows! I didn't want to say anything until I was sure on what was happening, but when the doors opened and they were let in we started to complain.
  7. iambasil macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    London, UK
    realph, I agree with you. Were you the dude in the white t-shirt?

    I was annoyed for a few reasons:

    1. Those pre-order guys had their stash secured and could have shown up at any point in time - the non-reserved stock was finite. Why not just get through the line in a fair order? (they were letting 1 non-reserve in for every 10 reserved)

    2. I wanted to reserve and was probably the first on the apple store website to do so.. but when I got there the only option was to buy it outright to be delivered (meanwhile Orange and the like didn't come through on their promises for pre-order but kept us waiting for them to tell us!!).

    3. By the time I eventually found the reserve section of apple's site (not on their store), only the 16GB option remained. Knowing that there is no way I was going to get the 16GB, I left it to another fortunate soul who did want that version. However, when I got to White City they said that it didn't matter what people reserved, they could pick up either the 32 or 16GB and choose at the time. Grrrrr!

    4. Having queued up from 6am (Westfield said that they only opened the mall at 6am!), I had about 300 people ahead of me... they ran out of stock of both 16 and 32 about 5 people in front of me. But when I ask about them taking my details and making me preference to pick up one of the reserved iphones that isn't collected, they get all confused and say it's down to Steve Jobs what they do about those reserved phones that aren't collected. I got nada!

    I feel like setting Mr T on those fools.
  8. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Was there too! Almost counted myself lucky, only 4 ½ hours in line :p
  9. RyanTheGeneral macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    me and a couple people who I got cool with where at my mall since 9pm the night before and some people before then..

    people who showed up basically when the store opened left right away.. I know for a fact a friend of mine who reserved and got there at 1 was in and out at 7:05..

    this wouldnt have bothered me at all, none of it except for one thing....

    They let us in the mall at 6am, set up the lines outside the store. 7am store opens they do the right thing and let reserves go first..
    AN HOUR LATER, they finally let 1 walk-in go in. This is not an exaggeration, an employee came out and told us we were going to get the phone but reserves had first priority that there was a ratio.

    I think they might of realized something wasnt right because after that hour of no walk-ins they let 1 in, I was around 15-20 somewhere in there for walk-in and after the one person they fixed the ratio, the line went from 0 walk-ins from 7am-8am to at least 15-20 from 8am-8:30am as I was out of the store by 8:36am give or take.

    sorry for long post, but I think the way they did it wasnt the best.. again dont get me wrong nothing wrong with reserves getting priority over walk-ins.
    But don't say there is a ratio and not let any walk-ins get a phone for an hour.

    what was the ratio??? 100 reserves to 1 walk-in?
  10. Nebrie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    There were a bunch of threads from before the launch where people called in and were told that walk-ins won't go in till an hour after reserves. I know the stores around me told people not to come if they didn't reserve because they most likely won't get a phone.

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