What's your view of the Genius Bar like?

musika

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
1,279
438
New York
I wrote a bit about the Apple Store this morning, and why I think that Apple should retire the name 'Genius Bar'.

The name used to really make sense, because Apple used to have big black-and-white photos of 'geniuses' from the old Think Different campaign up on the wall. It felt really honest, human, and generally just cool. But now, I think a lot of people view it as kind of pretentious.

I also mentioned that I think the reputation of these stores is hurt by calling the customer support team ‘geniuses’, and that by looking at Twitter, or even talking to any non-geek out there who has had a personal experience with the Genius Bar, you’ll notice not only a lot of people with negative experiences, but a lot of people mocking the store, too. You’ll notice a lot of people who like to say, “you know, those geniuses weren’t really all that genius”.

If you want to read the post, you can do that here. But I'm curious to hear what your experiences with the Genius Bar are. Do you know anybody who's not quite as technical as we are who have been rubbed the wrong way by their experience in the store?
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
I have always had great experiences at the Genius Bar when I have gone

I have had them look at my MBP, iPhone and iPad in the past for various reasons, and have always been very satisfied with the results

No complaints from me, and I don't care what they call them as long as they provide me with excellent service (which they have done)
 

musika

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
1,279
438
New York
I have always had great experiences at the Genius Bar when I have gone

I have had them look at my MBP, iPhone and iPad in the past for various reasons, and have always been very satisfied with the results

No complaints from me, and I don't care what they call them as long as they provide me with excellent service (which they have done)
You're lucky that you don't go to The Westchester Apple Store. :rolleyes:
 

musika

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
1,279
438
New York
I go to the Lenox Store in ATL or the Perimeter Store
Both have been awesome for me
I really love the Grand Central Terminal store. It's beautiful and the employees there were spectacular with me. Can't say the same thing about The Westchester store, unfortunately.
 

Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,641
146
Atlanta, GA
I go to the Lenox Store in ATL or the Perimeter Store
Both have been awesome for me
Agreed, really like the Lenox and Perimeter stores.

Used to live in MD, and would go to the Bethesda and Montgomery Mall stores. Both were good, but my experience with the Apple Stores in Georgia has been better.

Also used to live in CO, and the 26th Street Mall location in Boulder was pretty good as well.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
The handful of times I needed to go there, its been quite positive. I've been happy with the level of customer support, and knowledge they have exhibited.
 

Dontazemebro

macrumors 68020
Jul 23, 2010
2,173
0
I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
Most of the Apple stores in Houston, the Genius bar has been pretty reliable for the most part but you'll always have that off the cuff experience every now and then. Out of all my genius bar appointments, I've probably only had 1 or 2 bad experiences which isn't all that bad, so I really can't complain.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
Just an observation, but attitude makes a lot of difference IMO
Many of the posts I have seen on MR about bad experiences with the Genius Bar say more about the poster than the Genius

While the majority(?) of the folks going to the Genius Bar have a genuine concern and issue, there are a good number who are trying to cheat the system, make unreasonable demands, feel entitled, or are unreasonably obsessive over the slightest thing

Personally, I have a lot of sympathy for anyone in customer service who has to deal with people who are rude, arrogant, entitled, idiots, sneaky and more

Customer service of any kind is typically a thankless job with little reward

I'm not saying all Geniuses are angels themselves, but I tend to believe much of the vitriol directed at them is unjustified
 

Allanb1985

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2013
45
0
I have visited the Apple store in Glasgow several times over the years with several problems and have found their service second to none. From the minute I entered the store I was dealt with professionally and my problems addressed. My 3gs had dust particles under the screen and the handset was replaced with no problems at all. I have also had handsets that had intermittent faults and as always didn't show these on arrival at the store (typical) but again handset was replaced with no issue. I understand what you are getting at about the 'genius' but you have to realise that these people are the point of contact and on the frontline effectively when you have any issue at all and for that reason I feel they do a great job. They know the software and hardware inside out and just because some people outwith Apple may know as much as them it doesn't take away from the fact that this is their job. You also have to keep in mind that no other phone/tablet/computer manufacturer offer this level of service. This also has its downside because I have heard lately that Apple aren't just issuing replacements left right and centre now and are being more cautious and this can only be put down to people milking the service and gaining replacements when they shouldn't be. Until I receive unsatisfactory service or answers from the 'genius' I stick by the fact that they are doing a fantastic job and are a credit to the Apple brand.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
The Leawood, KS, store outside of Kansas City has been very helpful with my MacBook Pro issues (except for once a few months ago when a genius decided to treat a long recurring hardware issue as software and just reinstalled OS X).

For iPhones they're less helpful. Their automatic response is to do a full reset and not restore a backup. If the issue isn't physical and doesn't show up in diagnostics, they tell you to just reset your phone. Anything to do with signal and they blame the carrier.

I haven't been to the Plaza store in KC, but I would assume they would be much more focused in sales than service. It's a challenge to get to if you're not just going there to shop.

My mom had a good experience with the Towson Town Center store in Towson, MD. They fixed a stuck key that kept making the chirping noise on her 2010 17" MBP.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,179
13,020
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Phoenix Apple Store in the Arrowhead mall has always treated me fairly and decently. The Geniuses there have been very good.

The first time I went in early 2010 they examined my then seven year old PowerBook G4. They even managed to scrounge up some case screws for me because the seller had lost them.

They replaced ear buds on my iPod Nano in 2011 no questions asked. They replaced my iPhone 5 in November 2012 with no questions asked and they checked out my wife's 1GB iPod Shuffle with a smile. The Genius even liked the music my wife had on it. :D

And the experience of getting a brand new iPhone 5 for my wife last year was great. So, I guess it just comes down to who you get because so far I've not ever had a problem.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,914
1,596
New England, USA
My experiences at the Apple Store near me have been universally positive. They have been incredibly accommodating to my need to have my computer available, polite, friendly and helpful.

The name Genius Bar is...ah...dopey, but the folks have been great!
 

iLuvMyMacToo

macrumors regular
May 18, 2010
177
0
Australia
Based on experiences between Sydney and Melbourne I agree that today's so called "Geniuses" in the Apple store are nothing more than kids who know how to use Google. It's disappointing because when the Apple Store first came to Australia they were people in their 30s and up who actually knew something, now they're kids in their 20s who use the world "like" way too many times and ask questions such as "did you try restarting it first?" :eek:
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,544
6,503
Florida, USA
I once had a genius tell me that I had to dismiss apps from the multitasking bar to get my malfunctioning home button working again, rather than just replace my phone. (They replaced it on a subsequent visit to a different Apple Store)

They're truly not very genius sometimes.
 

richwoodrocket

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2014
2,127
111
Buffalo, NY
Just an observation, but attitude makes a lot of difference IMO
Many of the posts I have seen on MR about bad experiences with the Genius Bar say more about the poster than the Genius

While the majority(?) of the folks going to the Genius Bar have a genuine concern and issue, there are a good number who are trying to cheat the system, make unreasonable demands, feel entitled, or are unreasonably obsessive over the slightest thing

Personally, I have a lot of sympathy for anyone in customer service who has to deal with people who are rude, arrogant, entitled, idiots, sneaky and more

Customer service of any kind is typically a thankless job with little reward

I'm not saying all Geniuses are angels themselves, but I tend to believe much of the vitriol directed at them is unjustified

This is very true. People also come on forums to rant about the Genius Bar and the bad experience they had, more often than the good experiences.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,524
16,024
Based on experiences between Sydney and Melbourne I agree that today's so called "Geniuses" in the Apple store are nothing more than kids who know how to use Google. It's disappointing because when the Apple Store first came to Australia they were people in their 30s and up who actually knew something, now they're kids in their 20s who use the world "like" way too many times and ask questions such as "did you try restarting it first?" :eek:
Because age is a good indicator of the knowledge or even experience needed for any of this?

And because the whole restarting thing is actually something that works many times and many of the typical users have no idea about any of it? Logic would dictate to ask the simplest thing first, one that might actually resolve the issue in quite a few cases.
 

goonie4life9

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2010
158
125
Interesting to hear your experience about the Genius Bar in the Leawood store because I have had EXACTLY the same experience. I took my MacBook Pro in and after telling them what I had already tried (based on Apple Support articles), they got right to their more/intense diagnostics.

The complete opposite has happened when I've taken in ANY iOS device. Each time, I tell them everything I've done and each time, they've wanted me to do it again. On more than one occasion, I've shown them an issue in real-time (e.g., some weird crashing that was showing up in the logs on the phone - it was an odd hardware issue) only to have the Genius say, "I didn 'to know you could do that/see that."

It seems to me there are two "levels" of service staff - regular sales staff who are called-in to do service when they are busy (one has told me that he typically doesn't do device support) and the real Geniuses who are trained in servicing Apple's products.

The Leawood, KS, store outside of Kansas City has been very helpful with my MacBook Pro issues (except for once a few months ago when a genius decided to treat a long recurring hardware issue as software and just reinstalled OS X).

For iPhones they're less helpful. Their automatic response is to do a full reset and not restore a backup. If the issue isn't physical and doesn't show up in diagnostics, they tell you to just reset your phone. Anything to do with signal and they blame the carrier.

I haven't been to the Plaza store in KC, but I would assume they would be much more focused in sales than service. It's a challenge to get to if you're not just going there to shop.

My mom had a good experience with the Towson Town Center store in Towson, MD. They fixed a stuck key that kept making the chirping noise on her 2010 17" MBP.
 

Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,309
273
I live in Kentucky. My local Apple Store is in Fayette Mall. I have had to visit there numerous times since September over the iPhone 5c that I had. Everytime the geniuses were very helpful and did there best to figure out what was going on. They understood each time that I really did not want a replacement. Each time they did everything they could to ensure that I wouldn't have to replace.

Now that said I've had less then pleasant experiences with the Apple Executive Office, but that's another story... Another thread!
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,244
1,312
It seems to me there are two "levels" of service staff - regular sales staff who are called-in to do service when they are busy (one has told me that he typically doesn't do device support) and the real Geniuses who are trained in servicing Apple's products.
FWIW, this is from a few years ago:

New Job Position To Help Genius Bar Crush
Apple has created a new job position for its retail stores that will fill a double role of service and training. The new Family Room Specialist will eventually be an entry-level position, although initially it’s being filled by applications from existing employees. These Specialists will provide One to One training sessions, and also provide Genius Bar service for iPods and iPhones. The position will fit between the existing Specialist and Genius/Creative positions, and may have career tracks into those positions. Apple expects to eventually have up to 75 percent of iPod/iPhone appointments handled by this new position.
http://www.ifoapplestore.com/2009/02/28/new-job-position-to-help-genius-bar-crush/

Also, don't know if they still do it, but it used to be that employees' job titles were printed on their lanyards, below their names.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,696
I'm annoyed by crowds so I've always found store visits kind of obnoxious. Luckily they tend to cater to people like me with an excess amount of employees to help you if you need help but leave you alone without any salesman hassle.

Stores I've visited have been Lincoln park area Chicago, Christiana mall, DE (tax free), Atlantic city, NJ and Towson, MD. Some stores have been nicer then other but the experience has always been similar.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Interesting to hear your experience about the Genius Bar in the Leawood store because I have had EXACTLY the same experience. I took my MacBook Pro in and after telling them what I had already tried (based on Apple Support articles), they got right to their more/intense diagnostics.

The complete opposite has happened when I've taken in ANY iOS device. Each time, I tell them everything I've done and each time, they've wanted me to do it again. On more than one occasion, I've shown them an issue in real-time (e.g., some weird crashing that was showing up in the logs on the phone - it was an odd hardware issue) only to have the Genius say, "I didn 'to know you could do that/see that."

It seems to me there are two "levels" of service staff - regular sales staff who are called-in to do service when they are busy (one has told me that he typically doesn't do device support) and the real Geniuses who are trained in servicing Apple's products.
Yeah my opinion of their iOS support is more based on my boyfriend's experiences than my own.

He moved his AT&T 4S to T-Mobile and was having some signal issues (Edge in Lawrence, KS) and thought the phone was feeling too warm. The hipster genius dude couldn't explain the signal issues, and another girl thought there wasn't a heating issue since it didn't set off the warning. It felt warm through an Otterbox... He switched to a lighter TPU case which resolved the heating issue. He also switched to an actual T-Mobile 5 just before the 5s went on sale.

Personally, they replaced a lightening cable and the home button on my 5, but they couldn't explain why I kept dropping to 3G on Verizon. Even Verizon didn't have an explanation. They reset my network settings and gave me a new SIM. The issue resolved itself eventually.

Meanwhile with my 2009 MBP they replaced numerous SATA cables that stopped working and gave me a new hard drive out of warranty. There were only two annoying geniuses who dealt with it: the one who reinstalled OS X after years of documented repairs and another who cleaned the connector. Both Geniuses got my Mac working again, but only for a day or so. The ones that actually replaced the SATA cable got me a few months at a time.

I've found the attitude of the customer has a lot to do with how the Genius interacts with you. My boyfriend tends to be grumpy and expect an immediate fix or a replacement. I try more for the "My device is broken! Please fix it!" *insert puppy dog face*. When my Mac broke the next day after taking it in the day before I was more grumpy and wasn't treated as well. Then I waited a few months (and got my new rMBP in the mean time) and went back and was treated better again.