What's going on at the Apple Store?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by melburstein, Jan 18, 2015.

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  1. melburstein, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited by melburstein: Apr 1, 2016

    melburstein macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2012
    I've always been able to purchase an Apple computer from any employee on the floor. But I had a different experience at the Costa Mesa Store last Friday night. The first employee we met put us into a computer queue. It seems like only certain employees could take our order even though there were tons of employees available but not authorized to take orders. Is the something new?

    EDIT by tobefirst: Why is this post a wiki?

    EDIT by melburstein. I started this thread and have no idea how it became a wiki.
  2. andiwm2003, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015

    andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I had the same experience in Bulington, MA and Nashua, NH stores over the past year.

    It seems you enter the store and the first employee approaches you and asks what you need. The (s)he puts you in a queue and you wait for a second employee who sells you whatever you want. Then you wait until a third employee gets you the item from storage and hands it to you. Each of the employee tells you that you could install an App on your iPhone or iPad and somehow buy and checkout by yourself.

    I find this process extremely frustrating because even if the store is empty you wait at least twice in a queue. Also if you need several unrelated things and you need some time to think about the options you end up leaving and reentering the queue system multiple times. Also there is no time to just look at the options (let's say you want headphones or cases that you want to see visually before you buy them together with your iPad). You get either talked to the entire time by employee number two or you leave the "system" and have to go through the entire queue again. Every time you get told you could use the Apple store app.

    I actually avoid going to apple stores because of this now. I usually figure out what I need at home, check out only the Apple items in the store visually and buy at best the Apple items tax-free in the NH store. I buy all the rest through Amazon.com.
  3. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    It seems you enter the store and the first employee approaches you and asks what you need. The (s)he puts you in a queue and you wait for a second employee who sells you whatever you want. Then you wait until a third employee gets you the item from storage and hands it to you.

    Worse experience in Toronto if at same time getting help setting up an IPad or laptop. It goes to a 4th SET of employees who rotate around the setup table dealing with the same customer.
    This has always been my main beef with the Apple experience.
  4. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    I've noticed that recently too. They have a designated greeter, sales people, and stock room people. It makes sense. When the store is busy, you don't have a blue shirt free-for-all, which I've seen. And I think they've had issues with shrinkage due to too many people accessing the stockroom. Last time I picked up a web order in store, my sales guy told me that the item is scanned when they receive my order, scanned again when the stock guy pulls it to bring to the sales guy, and then the sales guy scans it again before handing to me. They keep a constant chain of control on every item to make sure things don't disappear.
  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Apple Store app

    That would streamline your purchasing of accessories, provided you have an iPhone.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I found two different/unusual things this past week.

    1. There is no "Genius Bar". There is no sign above the bar anymore and there is a separate table marked "Genius". Coming in for an appointment required seeing the store greeter first, who passed me to the scheduler, who passed me to a Genius. I was served at three different tables in the store.

    2. I saw, for the first time, the Apple Store in downtown Portland, but from a car. This was last Saturday evening and there was a long line visible, running the length of inside the store with people prepared (with stools to sit on) for a long wait. But what were they waiting for? I've never seen anything like this in the two stores that are closer to me, which I visit.
  7. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    I saw the same type of thing discussed here at the Bridgeport store around Christmas. It worked well for the couple that was deciding on which Mac to buy, and I think it is more for the people that need some hand holding on the purchase.

    For those of us that know what we want, it may be a bit too obtuse, but for those that want a personal experience, they seemed to love it.

    Plus, when I picked up my iMac Retina, Emma was cute, and made whatever she said (something about an App store or something) worth it.
  8. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Those are likely people being paid to wait in line to buy two (that's Apple's daily max) unlocked iPhone 6/Plus to be sent overseas and sold.

    If you're looking directly at the store from the entrance, the line was to the right when I was there. Refills every day, I'm told.
  9. gollys macrumors newbie


    Dec 16, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Yes the store at Robina, Australia is also stupid now - one person that meets and greets & then you are passed all over the place. And to get setup with something is embarrassing now as you are all sitting around the table and the one "assistant" going from one person the next - reminds me of when I was in pre-school and the teacher would go behind you to make sure you were doing the fingerpainting. It is kind of demoralising now and I do prefer the one to one experience that once was.......
  10. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I go to the Burlington Ma store regularly and recently had a hardware issue. I booked a Genius appointment and when I checked in, the greeter took my name and said go straight to the Genius bar. No problem. When I picked it up after repair, another person went to the stockroom and brought my repaired rMBP back in a few minutes. They checked my ID, asked for CC, processed it, and I was on my way. I've had times when I need to wait, but it is when the store is busy.
  11. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Well, I wish we had an Apple Store nearby to verify your thoughts :(
  12. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2007
    Lost in Space
    When the stores first opened, they were an experience. I remember when I went to the original Palo Alto store to buy my first iPod. It was truly 'different'
    Nowadays, I find them just them overcrowded with Lookie-Lu's and/or mall rats charging up their iDevices using the display models.
    As much as I have been entrenched in the ecosystem and have invested thousands of $$$ on Apple products, I find the lustre wearing off.
    As I am older, I will probably update my systems a few more times, but doubt if I would even step foot into an Apple store to do so, especially based on the current comments.
    Thanks Tim & Angela........for nothing......
  13. LiveM, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016

    LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    When I went there I only dealt with one, a woman who tried to argue with me after she asked me what I thought about the new Apple TV, for which I had come to buy accessories.

    In the main Brisbane store, I was approached by one girl who was too forward and after brushing her off I went about my browsing and then made my way past her to buy everything from a second girl who didn't look like a know-it-all and had expressed an initial pleasantry and happily left me to my own devices, so to speak.
  14. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Yeah.... I feel like Apple retail is there now to cater to the tech-clueless who come in because "their friend told them they should try the Apple stuff" (after they were hopelessly lost using whatever else they owned).

    The more knowledgeable you are, coming in the door -- the more insulting the whole shopping experience is for you.

    I've noticed they realize this is a huge issue for business customers so they tried patching over the whole problem by keeping "business account reps" at each store for corporate customers to work with. In reality? That's usually a waste of time. Every time my office needs a Mac serviced or needs an accessory quickly, I find it's fastest to hop on down to my local Apple store that's less than a mile from the office. Unfortunately, almost every single time I go in, the business account rep. they've "assigned me" isn't available right then. So either I make an appointment to come back and speak with him, or I just talk to a regular salesperson and get it done while I'm there.

    About the only thing their business rep has ever done is communicate with me via email 2 or 3 times to follow up on a purchase or maybe answer a question or two about new or rumored upcoming business services Apple had.

    It was definitely a MUCH more enjoyable experience visiting an Apple store 10-15 years ago. But that's when the general public still hadn't really caught on to buy Apple products, and the store was actually filled with tech-geeks who lived and breathed this stuff. (Not just a hipster who works there because it's the modern day equivalent of a record store.)

  15. maxforsyth macrumors newbie


    Jan 21, 2014
    Birdsboro, PA
    I've lost most hope of purchasing another Apple sanely. That being the case, I go to the Apple Store very infrequently. Last year, I went once to try on the Apple Watch. This year, I took my MacBook in for a charge and a fast internet connection while it reinstalled OS X after a botched update.

    I don't like spending much time there because I get filled with such troublesome thoughts as, "Will Siri respond from ANY of these machines if I belt the magic words loud enough?"
  16. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    Eh... You wouldn't want to experience that.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2016 ---
    Yeah...back then the experience was great. Now, I have to deal with clueless employees who thinks they know lot of things but I had to embarrass them in front of their colleagues. It's actually a great experience to embarrass them.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2016 ---
    Just go in there and embarrass them with Ustinov that they don't know about.
  17. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    This happened to me today. I tried to impluse buy an iPhone SE. The lady checking me in says it will be a 30 minute wait for a "sales specialist". I said I didn't need one, I just needed someone to go in the back and get me one. She said it didn't work that way and asked for my name for the list. I left. They lost a sale because of their dumb process.
  18. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Same at Solomon Pond Mall.
    I've been handed off to others denning on the purchase.
    I must admit, until this thread I never thought about it as the hand offs were seamless
  19. JAK2015 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2015
    The majority of complaints are around the way Apple has been forced to change because of customers. Apple changes. If something does not work, they will change it. Product, Process, Store.
    If you try the same experience in a different brand store, see how they handle the process.
    Many of the changes made, that are not appealing, are because of customers trying to abuse the free services available at the store or to take away from the next customers experience. Just trying to embarrass an employee defeats their goal, so next time you are in, are you working together with Apple to resolve an issue, or are you just wasting time, and the next customers time?
  20. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    That is exactly my experience with them these days. To be precise i haven't been in an Apple stor in 9 month or so.

    I wonder how often they lose sales that way. And also if this are lost sales forever or just delayed and then done online.
  21. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I used to love going to the Apple Store. I wouldn't even need an excuse. They had lots of software, books and magazines (Apple related, of course) and accessories I was interested in. There was a theater with classes in the back, and I could sit and listen or just relax. All these things reduced the earnings per square foot and where eliminated. I actually remember going there to watch Steve Notes before they were streamed live and there would be a crowd in the store just to watch.

    The sign of the coming apocalypse, for me, was overhearing a customer ask if he could install windows on a PowerBook (maybe it was a MacBook by that time) because he "liked the way they looked." And then the iPhone happened. And there's the hipster employees who must have either prominent tattoos or piercings to get the gig, but don't seem to need to know about Apple products beyond the keynote talking points, which I find tiring.

    I used to think that the tweener girls using photo booth would ruin the store, but now there are barely any computers on display and it's just people wanted phones. I don't even bother going in anymore. It's just another store at the mall. Get off my lawn.
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