Why don't Apple Store Employees know anything about the watch?

Arthur Driessen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 2, 2015
3
1
I went to an apple store and tried to get info on how the calorie tracker in conjunction with the exercise app works. No one knew the answers to my questions. I went to another store. Same result. I went to another store and tried to find out about what turns the heart beat sensor on and off. No one could answer my questions.

Why are apple employees not fully trained to answer questions like they are on the other apple products? Wouldn't it have been wise for apple to have a couple training seminars for their employees before they released the watch?
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,768
418
Eastern CT
I went to an apple store and tried to get info on how the calorie tracker in conjunction with the exercise app works. No one knew the answers to my questions. I went to another store. Same result. I went to another store and tried to find out about what turns the heart beat sensor on and off. No one could answer my questions.

Why are apple employees not fully trained to answer questions like they are on the other apple products? Wouldn't it have been wise for apple to have a couple training seminars for their employees before they released the watch?
I went into an Apple Store back in March and asked how to turn off the movement tracking and the Apple Employee simply told me "you can't turn it off". I later found out that you can and have since disabled it. They don't seem very say on the Health areas of the iOS, at least in my experience.
 

zmunkz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2007
920
228
I wonder this too... seems to be a pattern of lack of information, and even worse, misinformation. Not just about the watch either. No idea if their training docs are too thin, or what.
 

DynamicSausage

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2015
363
259
Leicestershire, UK
I would imagine that it's because the watch is new, many don't have one and most of the training has been given for the try-on appointments more than anything else.

Usually when I go to my local Apple store the staff will try to help out with personal experiences more than textbook training but when I went in 2 weeks ago, nobody was wearing a watch. The person handling my try-on seemed to know everything about the straps and knew the demo mode inside out but didn't seem to know to much about actually living with it.
 

Angeybabey

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2015
22
1
Simple, they cant know more than the basic.
They don't even know the basics. I went in for a "basics workshop" launch weekend. I was the only one in the class. And he said that my watch was the first real watch he had seen and if I had questions he could look it up in the manual for me...
 
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Aleks65

macrumors member
May 14, 2015
39
17
Canada
The limited training materials likely has to do with the fact that the watch OS was still in development up until launch.

Training materials often take a long time to prepare with all the localization. Apple might have also anticipated some changes to the OS and likely a lot more changes starting next week with the announcement of the next Watch OS at WWDC. I bet the training materials will be more detailed and complete then.
 
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srshaw

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2011
410
66
Can you blame them. They don't even sell apple watches in shops yet, and the only examples they have had in store having been running a demo loop. I would admit though they shoud say 'I don't know' rather than guessing. I wouldn't hold it against them.
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,768
418
Eastern CT
They don't even know the basics. I went in for a "basics workshop" launch weekend. I was the only one in the class. And he said that my watch was the first real watch he had seen and if I had questions he could look it up in the manual for me...
Ha. We can do that ourselves.
 
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profmatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2015
1,601
1,563
UK
The essential thing to remember is that this is not Angela Ahrendts fault. As I know to my cost, any criticism of her leads to all manner of aggressive counter-accusations on these forums.
 

jaymc

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2012
294
107
Port Orchard, WA
Went in to see what bands they had in stock and found the BSB with both black and silver pins mixed together. Suggested that they separate them and found the Genius didn't know that there are two different bands.
 

KojiH

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2012
312
28
The essential thing to remember is that this is not Angela Ahrendts fault. As I know to my cost, any criticism of her leads to all manner of aggressive counter-accusations on these forums.
LOL. This has certainly not been their best product launch.
 

KojiH

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2012
312
28
Yes it has. It has been the best product launch of any product from any company at any point in time. Ever. Bar none.
I'm so glad that they gave most of us so much time to prepare ourselves for the Watch from the time of preordering until receipt. How considerate of them to allow us time to clear our wrists and sell our old traditional timepieces before shipping the Watches to us. It was like they were looking after our best interests...
 

NavySEAL6

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2006
595
71
Well, most of them know more than the average customers, but we're not average customers if we're on this forum.

Also, they don't love apple as much and don't care to learn as much. At the end of the day it's a high end mall job, it's not a career for most of these people
 

AppleWes

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2013
467
379
They don't even know the basics. I went in for a "basics workshop" launch weekend. I was the only one in the class. And he said that my watch was the first real watch he had seen and if I had questions he could look it up in the manual for me...
I agree, and for those who say "can't blame them" then why offer a class? Even for a class named basic workshop I'd expect the employees to at least be wearing their own watch and understand the basics. Demo units are no where close to 'day to day' use. Apple won't make just one single (non-demo) watch per store for class training?

A lot of times if you walk into an Apple Store now wearing a watch the employees are as interested in it as the regular customers are! They seem to have received very very little training.

I know they sell millions so it doesn't matter but still would help. :)
 
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aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,245
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Why are apple employees not fully trained to answer questions like they are on the other apple products? Wouldn't it have been wise for apple to have a couple training seminars for their employees before they released the watch?
When I worked for Apple, the employee training wasn't any more in-depth than the information available to the owner.

So if you came rolling in right after a product launch with a question you couldn't find the answer to, and I didn't happen to know the answer, I would have to go back and talk with one of the managers or Geniuses and hope they knew the answer. If neither of them knew the answer, they had resources they could use to find the answer. Then they'd walk out and give the answer to the customer, and I'd stick along to listen and learn.

And then the next time a customer came in with the same question, I'd know the answer. I guess to subsequent customers that ask the same question, it looks like I got official training on that question, but that wasn't the case.

It just sucks when you're the first customer to come in with a question that wasn't in the training, especially if you run into an employee that thinks it's fine to say "I don't know the answer", and leave you hanging (instead of escalating it up).

To me, this is absolutely nothing new with the Apple Watch. It's how it's always been, and probably will always be.

Also FWIW, you can chat with AppleCare support reps from your computer, to ask technical questions. At least if they don't know and they don't offer to figure it out for you, you're not out the time/resources from visiting different stores.
 
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SisterBlue22

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2015
649
455
Arizona
Even for a class named basic workshop I'd expect the employees to at least be wearing their own watch and understand the basics.
Apple employees don't get free watches, nor do they get any preferential treatment in ordering...many Apple Store employees are still waiting for the watches they've ordered just like many others on this forum.
 

AppleWes

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2013
467
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Apple employees don't get free watches, nor do they get any preferential treatment in ordering...many Apple Store employees are still waiting for the watches they've ordered just like many others on this forum.
I understand that, sorry my original wording was bad. I just mean a watch that is provided from the store for them to use for class only, and not in demo mode (even if the store has only 1 single watch for class/training use). They have plenty for celebrities. ;)
 

576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,062
2,477
In my experience, Apple Store employees always feel very separate to Apple as a company. Which isn't the way it should be. It's as if they're consumers trying their best to sell products to consumers. They know little more than regular customers about the products they're trying to sell. Those of us geeky enough to hang around on tech forums such as this one all day would probably make better Apple Store employees purely because we are vastly more knowledgeable than them.

Although I do know Apple Store employees do use these forums and an interesting point was raised not long ago in a different thread. One employee was saying that they have to purposely play dumb on products because they cannot say anything outside of what Apple want their customers to hear. So even if that particular employee has a vast amount of knowledge on a product, they can't necessarily put all of that knowledge across to a customer because some of it might fall outside of what Apple want their customers to hear. So sometimes, when talking to an Apple Store employee, you might be getting a dumbed down version of their actual knowledge.

Although I feel quite privileged with my local Apple Store in that most of the staff in there are very chatty and happy to chat about their personal feelings regarding products. Heck, one Genius straight up told me not to buy a 5K iMac because they just weren't worth it yet/the GPU was lacking. Another one was quite open about his displeasure at the new MacBook. I quite enjoyed hearing those subjective opinions.
 

applepuree

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
367
506
BUT they DO get a 50% off deal!
On one watch yes, and we can not resell it within 12 months.

Most of our knowledge on the Apple Watch comes from the same sources as yours, Apple.com, Keynotes and rumour sites. We don't get technical training on any products, at least not if your in sales rather than tech support. As someone pointed out, our knowledge is more based on our personal experience and self learning.
 

ryanasimov

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2007
254
179
Does this fall under Angela Ahrendt's area? She's SVP of Retail and Online operations, so if it isn't her then who is responsible?