I’m Starting to Think Apple Treats Their Customers Very Poorly

Every Connected Generation

For the past 3 years or so I’ve become something of an Apple fanboy. It started with making a switch about 3 years ago from being a 15 year PC user to my first MacBook Pro as my primary computer.

Then I drank the kool-aid and waited in line overnight at the Palo Alto store for the very first iPhone (that was fun). Then I bought the second iPhone right away.

Then I waited in line again for over 6 hours to buy the third iPhone 3GS. Then I bought a new MacBook Pro spending over $3,000. Then I bought my daughter an iPod mini. Then I bought a Mac Mini for the kitchen at home. Etc. etc. You get the idea.

All along the way Apple products have slowly been replacing competitor’s products in my house and in my life.

One of the things that I’ve always liked about Apple is that they have physical stores where when things go wrong I can go deal with them.

Back in the olden days I bought a Dell PC once. It had problems and I literally had to pack the thing all up, deal with the hassle of shipping it, send it back to Texas, had to wait for a few weeks and finally got my fixed PC back. So a big appeal to me with Apple products is that they have stores where I can go to deal with issues if they pop up (and issues *always* pop up with technology).

But lately I’ve been feeling like the service that you get at the Apple stores is complete crap and that they treat their customers (many loyal users who spend thousands of dollars per year with them) very poorly.

A few examples.

1. A few months back my MacBook Pro wouldn’t boot. I was bummed. I use this computer every day. I hate not having it. It was 6pm or so on a Friday night. I drove down to the Emeryville Apple store. I got there and the store asked me the dreaded question of whether or not I had an appointment or not. I said no and so they said no dice. I said I could wait, 30 minutes, an hour 2 hours, 5 hours. No luck. They simply refused to see me.

They were willing to make me an appointment for later that night at the San Francisco store, so I took that and had to drive across a traffic infested Bay Bridge, pay to park at Union Square, etc. in order to get over there.

Once I was there and got to see a guy, he tried to boot up my computer and no luck. He tried 3 or 4 different things and then sort of gave up. He hooked something up to my Mac and said my hard drive was dead. I told him that everything was working flawlessly before and I was surprised that this would be the problem etc. etc. But rather than really digging into it and trying more things he simply dismissed it as hard drive failure.

Of course Apple didn’t have the hard drive and so they’d need to order it (on a Mac less than a year old). I’d have to make another appointment to bring it back once the hard drive came in etc. etc.

To make a long story short, while waiting to get the hard drive in at the Apple store, I was able to work on it more at home myself and finally got it back operational, reinstalled the system software and got my Mac back.

I’ve been using this same hard drive for the past few months with zero problems. I felt like I was told that my problem was a hard drive failure because it was the fastest easiest way to deal with me, even if it meant I’d possibly lose data and be inconvenienced with the repair.

2. A few weeks back I decided that I needed a car battery charger for my iPhone. So I stopped off at the Apple store at Walnut Creek. It was 9:45 a.m. and super cold outside. The front door to the store was unlocked. There were people back at the genius bar working with customers. And there were about 10 Apple store employees just standing around with their hands in their pockets.

I was greeted by a woman at the door who again asked me if I had an appointment. I said, no that I just wanted to quickly purchase a cigarette lighter power adapter for my iPhone. She told me that they couldn’t sell me one until 10a.m.

So I said ok, I’ll wait then. To which the woman replied, I’m not going to be able to let you wait in the store (even though there were plenty of other customers with “appointments” I guess already in the store and the front doors were unlocked).

Now it was really cold outside that morning and to make matters worse I had two little girls (my daughters) age 5 and 7 with me. So this Apple employee literally boots me out of the store and so there I am sitting on the cold concrete outside the store for 15 minutes with two little girs who are complaining about being cold. Because the Apple employees (all sitting around doing nothing) can’t take 2 minutes to sell me a simple accessory and to make matters worse, won’t even let me wait in the warm store with a heater on and instead put a dad and his two little girls outside in the cold on the sidewalk.

By the way Apple, that photo up above is of one of my little girls, one of the little girls that you made sit outside in the cold in Walnut Creek on the sidewalk using your iPhone.

3. The headphones on my iPhone went out. This is the 3Gs iPhone that I bought less than a year ago (it hasn’t been out a year yet) and is still under warranty. So yesterday I went up to the Apple store on Union Square and waited in line to see a cashier and explained my problem and asked if I could swap them out for a working pair. The cashier said they couldn’t help me. That I could only swap my headphones out with an appointment from the genius bar (WTF?).

So I went upstairs and of course there were no appointments. I was also told again that I couldn’t wait that there was nobody period to see me. That I would need to make an appointment. To do a 2 minute swap out of my headphones I asked incredulously? Yes, I was told. I explained that I was leaving today (which I am) for a trip to Miami and had really hoped to be able to listen to my iPhone.

So the person suggested that I buy a new pair of headphones. Come back and return them within 14 days, make an appointment to have my headphones replaced under warranty, and go that route. Which sounded just stupid to me (all for a 2 minute procedure) so I complained one last time and the person at the genius bar had another person take me back downstairs to the same cashier line I’d been it at the very beginning and swap out my headphones for me (which I really appreciated, but it probably shouldn’t have taken 40 minutes to get this done).

So these are my three of my four most recent experiences at the Apple store. The fourth one was a no brainer. I wanted to buy a MacMini. They sold that to me in about 5 minutes all lickety split like no trouble indeed there. Sure were happy to take my money.

I’ll probably continue buying Apple’s overpriced hyped products because I love them and they make great products (or maybe I won’t). Am I a sucker? Maybe. But I sure wish they didn’t treat their customers like such crap. Maybe it’s stupid of me to feel like after spending thousands of dollars every year with a company that I ought to get treated a little bit better, but I do feel that way.

And I sure wish Apple would require their employees to go through Nordstrom’s customer service training or something. Because while they may get away with treating me like crap for now because they have great products, eventually somebody else will have a better product and the way I’ve been treated will make it that much easier to switch.

I’ll tell you one thing though. I sure as hell didn’t pre-order an iPad. At least that makes me feel a little better.

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63 comments on “I’m Starting to Think Apple Treats Their Customers Very Poorly
  1. Katharine says:

    I had that same problem with my headphones. And I did the same thing, thought it would be simple, didn’t make an appointment, drove 45 minutes to the nearest apple store, waited around and made a pest of myself until they did it without an appointment. Unfortunately, they gave me the WRONG HEADPHONES. Instead of the stock set with the 3GS I got some other set that is much harder to use.

  2. Webomatica says:

    This is one instance where my experience has been the opposite, and I can see one reason: always make a reservation at an Apple Store in advance: http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/

    From there, you’ll eliminate half the stress above from nobody paying attention to you. Best experience was a MacBook with a dead hard drive died, they gave me a new one within warranty, plus replaced the stained top case no charge for either: http://www.webomatica.com/wordpress/2007/03/10/my-macbook-and-the-apple-genius/

    My parent’s iMac recently died, and they were able to wheedle the Mac store folks into restoring a new iMac from the Time Machine backup.

    Not saying Apple is perfect. But another thought: am positive you’d get worse service if you bought a PC from BestBuy or Fry’s, had a problem, and tried to deal with the geniuses at those stores.

  3. SteelToad says:

    Good luck if you do get an iPad and ever want to replace it’s battery, especially if you ever want to tinker with the device that you bought (not licensed)

    From the iPad’s FAQ:

    What is iPad Battery Replacement Service?

    If your iPad requires service due to the battery’s diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will replace your iPad for a service fee.

    Note: Your iPad is not eligible for Battery Replacement Service if the product has been damaged, for example, as result of an accident, liquid contact, disassembly, unauthorized service or unauthorized modifications, or if the product is not operating correctly as a result of a component failure. Please review Apple’s Repair Terms and Conditions for further details.

    How much does it cost?

    The service costs $99, plus $6.95 shipping. The total cost is $105.95 per unit.
    All fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to local tax.

  4. Raoul says:

    I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with Apple Support in the past, but my latest one was great. (See http://raoulpop.com/2010/02/01/kudos-to-apple-for-a-great-customer-service-experience/). It sounds like it’s hit or miss, or perhaps it depends on the store, and the tone set by the store manager when it comes to customer service.

    We did have a similar thing happen to us when we visited an Apple Store in Aventura recently. It was a few minutes before opening time, the doors were open, we went right in, along with 10 or so other people, only to be told we needed to wait outside because the store wasn’t open yet. So we did. Literally a minute later, the employees gathered around the doors, started clapping and let us in. I guess they wanted to do their store-opening ritual, but I do hope that common sense would trump customer service rules every once in a while.

    If you’re coming to Miami, let’s meet for tea or coffee. My wife and I are in town, in the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood area, but we’re leaving early next week. It’d be nice to get together after knowing each other online for years. Send me an email if you’re interested.

  5. William Beem says:

    Sorry to hear of your problems, but my experience in the Orlando area has been quite the opposite. While sometimes it’s annoying trying to find someone to help me check out for a small purchase, I’ve had no problems getting assistance with a swap.

    For example, I like the Apple In-Ear headphones. They’ve gone bad twice, but I’ve always been able to walk into the store, show them my receipt that proves I’m within the warranty period, and walk out with an exchanged pair that works just fine. That’s something I wasn’t able to do with much more expensive headphones from different brands.

    My iMac suffered a hard drive failure once and I took it in. They were willing to replace the drive for free, but I would’ve had to wait for the replacement part to arrive. I opted instead to buy a drive online (1TB instead of 340 GB), since the price at Apple was too much and installed it myself. The iMac isn’t all that friendly to replace your own drive, but it’s possible.

  6. Ed says:

    Hmmm… so…let’s see.

    You are complaining that Apple doesn’t treat you right because

    A) You can’t skip in line without making an appointment because your time is more valuable than those that do so YOUR problems can be helped because you have a 2 minute problem and other people’s time and hardware problems aren’t as important.

    B) You can’t read the times when the Apple store is open and will drag your little girls to run an errand where you show up to a store 15 minutes early. But because you did arrive before open, you deserve to be served?

    Ok. Bad Apple. Didn’t realize you were so important.

  7. Kevin Behringer says:

    Thomas:

    I agree with you completely. I have usually had decent service with Apple, but have had to exchange my headphones three times, with each being a different experience.

    Once I just walked in, they did it quick and I was out of there. Other times I have had to wait for an opening at the “Genius” bar. Even when there were multiple salespeople standing around.

    The last time I was in there was for a service on my original iPhone. They were able to “fix” my problem (I told them what I had seen on various web forums as a fix and they tried it and it worked. The “genius” said, “huh, never seen that…”). Once it was done, I pointed out another small annoyance that started with the most recent firmware upgrade. He said, “Well, we don’t see too many of these original iPhones in service anymore. They’re still technically supported, but the new software is written for the new phone and the old one doesn’t have the processing power.” Which I know is crap because it’s a glitch with the podast list scrolling – and the same scrolling works in other parts of the iPod.

    I guess my point is that I think Apple is trading on their brand history right now. When they were the “little guy” fighting for their place at the table, they were forced to have exceptional service and product quality to be in the game. Now that they’ve become the cool kid on the block, I think they’ve gotten a little lax in both departments.

    The thing that kept going through my mind when I was in the store the last time was how people say they like Macs because they “just work.” Yet, every time I go in there, it’s tough to get a Genius Bar appointment and it’s packed with people having issues with their machines….

    Kevin

  8. Sean says:

    Apple has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry. I suppose you’re free to move to a company with a lower rating. That should solve the problem.

  9. James says:

    Have you learned the lesson yet? Make an appointment and see how you are treated.

    http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/

    One of the ways that Apple maintains their customer support reputation is by having the Genius Bars. Unfortunately, the Genius Bar is very busy. So Apple set up a completely fair system where Genius Bar visitors sign up at home, online to make an appointment. If Apple starts letting some people jump the line because the customer’s opinion is, “that it won’t take long”, the system falls apart. It seems obvious to me but since you didn’t seem to get it the first time, maybe it isn’t.

  10. Eric in SF says:

    Sorry, but having worked in retail myself, your attitude is the reason I left retail.

    Make an appointment. Period. I support an office full of Macs and I always make Genius Bar appointments for the downtown SF store and they always treat me like a king. I actually ENJOY going there with a busted staffer laptop.

    Show up when the store opens, not 5, 10, 15 minutes early. One of #1 things that drives retail people absolutely crazy is the “but it’s just a little bit early, make an exception for MEEEEEEE” repeated several dozen times before the store actually opens.

    Now I will absolutely agree the store should not have been unlocked until opening time – that’s poor customer service.

    Do some self-reflection on what it means to have a sense of entitlement.

  11. Matthew says:

    Your experience is not typical, as shown by Apple’s customer service ratings (reported by the non-profit Consumer Reports). They are 20 percentage points higher than their nearest competitor on laptops, and 30 points higher on desktops. I think they need the appointment system due to the large demand for their products, and they’re trying to build more stores to keep up with demand. You can get lucky without an appointment sometimes, but you’d be better off making an appointment in the future.

  12. mark says:

    1. I agree, poor attitude from that particular genius. You should register a complaint about that.

    2. When stores open and close for business are, in most towns, governed by business permits. And stores could have waivers for training prior to the store officially opening for business since no sales transactions are taking place. But you can’t be in the store because you don’t have an appointment for training; the fact that the doors are unlocked is actually a nice gesture for those who come for training. There are all sorts of legal reasons that could apply for why you can’t be in the store before opening (if you don’t have an appt). (It also doesn’t matter how many staff are in there; excepting the trainers, they’re not paid to handle customers until the store opens.) In any case, absolutely no one wants to violate their business permit and find themselves stuck in an unpredictable government process. (Note that there are others who’ve complained that Apple sets aside staff and computers for training during regular sales hours.)

    3. The process needs to be followed, otherwise, it results in chaos (and lack of service) and in our society, lawsuits for discrimination. Having a problem with a product you own? Clear process – make an appt to see a genius. Or for something like a headphone, just own a backup to tide you over until your appt. You are not more special than the other 50-100 people in the store, all of whom could’ve bought as much or more Apple stuff.

  13. Paul Merrill says:

    The thing that amazes me about your story is that Apple didn’t comment back on your post.

    If *I* were Apple, I would have hopped right on it. Well, maybe some of the pro-Apple comments were by Apple employees. Ya never know.

  14. John Baum says:

    Funny the timing of this post.
    I have been considering buying a Macbook pro as I am a freelance video editor/graphics person and being proficient in Final Cut is beginning to be expected in my field.
    But I was looking at that $2500-ish pricetag and looking at the specs and was having a really hard time resolving the two, since it’s essentially a $1000 dollar laptop.
    So what’s really giving me pause is the amount of times you seem to need to go to the Apple store to get stuff fixed. For what they charge they really should “just work”.

  15. Tony says:

    I’ve been a Mac user for at least 15 years. Have had 2 occasions to contact Apple in that time, both within the last 6 months. The mute button on my out of warranty iPhone had come off (well spotted by an Apple Store staffer because I hadn’t notice) – made an appointment to get the button replaced and they gave me a replacement iPhone same spec, in and out in 10 minutes. Unable to reset an Airport Express, made an appointment, the Apple Genius struggled for 20 minutes before he could get it to reset, but couldn’t say why it had been such a difficult task, and it has worked fine since then.

    Apple Store staff are helpful, not pushy, in my experience and from observation can be very patient with difficult customers. Not looking to have problems but have been very well treated on the 2 instances where I needed help. But really what I’ve liked is that the Apple kit just works and I’m still using 15 year old Apple powered speakers on a daily basis.

  16. Jocca says:

    I have been absolutely floored by the few instances when I had to have my mac products taken care of. My iMac G5 (first generation) suffered a power break down this December after my house was victim of three successive power outages. My iMac would not go to sleep and will just shut down on me when I tried to make it snooze. So I brought it to the store. I did not have to pay a $75 up front to have them take a look at it, even though the machine was five years old and out of warranty clearly. They detected what was wrong with it and charge me only for the cost of the part that went bad. I was not even charged for the labor to install and the check up to make sure everything else is working.

  17. badboy says:

    You are a whiner and an article like this borders on abuse of the press. Everyone can cite examples of less than stellar customer service from every entity in the world. Does that mean they all suck and are going down hill? Did you see the Consumer Reports survey on tech support? Now that is meaningful.

  18. Darwin says:

    What part of make an appointment do you not understand? Why do you think people in the Apple store should drop everything every time you have a problem? Is everyone else supposed to just stand aside for you? Is the Apple Store supposed to have hundreds of employees to help everyone who walks in the store? Are they supposed to stock every single part that you might need? What a stunning display of arrogance and ignorance.

  19. Tasha says:

    The Apple Store opens early for training customers only. There are a couple of managers and 0 Sales staff on the clock at this time. Just before store opening, there is a staff meeting. This meeting covers stuff people need to know for their day (ie Sales Goals, new policies etc). Most all of that stuff is Apple Employee only, so they don’t want customers (beyond the couple of folk getting training) into the store. Also having a ton of customers in the store before the sales staff is punched in is a security risk for the whole store.

    As for your other issues. The Genius bar is a place where a technican tries to get a feel for the problem a machine has. It’s triage. Basically trying to see if it’s something easy to fix (and doable at the bar) or if it’s something that needs to be checked in and placed in que to wait for a genius to really dig into diagnosis. So It’s quite possible for a genius to misdiagnose a machine at the bar. I have seen very experienced techs that work for many companies make mistakes during that initial diagnosis.

    As for making an appointment. Basically you have a choice. Make an appointment and have a genius that can talk to you for your alloted time when during your appointment or you can wait in line for hours like they do at Best Buy’s Geek Squad. Apple decided that it was a better customer experience to make folk make appointments for the bar. They sometimes have other openings, but you will never see those on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays. Those are the busiest times of the week for the Genius Bar.

    BTW Headphones are parts and are part of what the Genius bar does. When they exchange those they must check your phone (or ipod) into the database and assign the part to you, so it can be replenished by the parts depot. This also allows them to check to make sure that your phone is under warranty. That’s why it requires a checkin to the bar. BTW they also tend to check the phone(or iPod) to make sure that the issue is with the earbuds and not the iPod itself. You would be pretty upset if apple replaced those earbuds and you found out that your phone had the problem and not the earbuds.

    So now you know.
    Tasha

  20. Andrew Denny says:

    I’m with Thomas on this. I’ve only been into UK Apple stores, but I guess my experience is equivalent. It’s the ‘don’t worry your pretty little head about it’ and I find it infuriating. What other retail store makes you make an appointment at the complaints dept?

    But the elephant in the room here is all these hardware failures. Or maybe not hardware failures, as Thomas’s experience with his own laptop HD suggests. If it had been a Dell, people would have sworn and cursed Microsoft and said ‘sigh, time for another wipe and reinstall, better get a Mac’.

    But because it’s a Mac, fanboys can act all smug and blame it on a component supplier and the end user, not Apple. Ergo, Apple keeps its “It just works” reputation, and it’s implied that Thomas is too stupid to be a customer.

  21. luxx11 says:

    Get a PC and a Nokia, or whatever works, life is too short to be addicted to corporations

  22. Mandy says:

    I’ve always had superb service (business and personal) the few times I’ve needed it at Apple stores. However, I’m totally fine getting in line like everyone else.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Being treated badly is intentional and an integral part of the brand image of Apple – you need to make appointments for even simple stuff like changing headphones; if you don’t make an appointment you get treated like the piece of dirt you are, but if you make an appointment you get to feel the privilege of tehm actually dealing with you…. and you feel that awe for the brand that makes you stick with them.

    If the treated you efficiently and with respect you’d think they were Wal Mart and you would avoid buying that stuff – why else do you think the Mac Stores exist ?.

  24. discarted says:

    i’ve dealt with the “genius” bar myself. they’re useless.

    but, you sure must have a lot of money to afford all of these gadgets

    wish i knew your secret

  25. David L says:

    I’m inclined to agree it’s a hit-and-miss thing. I’ve had mostly positive experiences — on two occasions, I’ve had to rush to the Apple Store in Stonestown for emergency reasons without an appointment (online concierge was booked up both evenings) but they asked if I was prepared to wait and they did fit in me in within about 45 minutes.

    One was a hard-drive failure and it was in warranty but another was a swollen battery that was out of warranty and they switched it out no questions asked.

    As Apple’s market share grows, an unfortunate by-product will be a reduction in customer service — the nature of the best, I fear. For me, though, the sheer convenience of having a bricks-and-mortar store where I can take the problem to (as opposed to shipping it off not to be seen for days or weeks on end) makes up for a multitude of sins because my MBP is like my second brain or third arm. Can’t live without it.

  26. Good for you, TH! I think the iPad is going to really reveal the flaws with Apple’s closed door, limited store. I’m game for what appears to be some nice pads, from Dell, based on Android.

  27. Larry M says:

    Business permits are not written with restrictions such as “no customers or sales before 10am”, Tasha uses this as an excuse, but they are usually written with much broader scope such as not before 8am and not after 10pm.

    They could have allowed you an your daughters in the store in either case, no one would have balked even if a mayor, district attorney, and chief of police where there. Expecially in San Francisco city limits. That was plan and simply a power play.

  28. Mac says:

    The part about need an appointment to get a replacement earphones is true, in my experience. It’s always, ‘do you have an appointment?’ Everything seems to go through the Genius and that’s frustrating for some stuff.

    Also, the part about having to wait outside till the store was officially open or no sale till 10 AM; the first part is crap and the second probably is store policy which is also crap, IMHO. In my experience, the Walnut Creek store isn’t that bad.

  29. Xrys says:

    1) yYou are a fool to use a drive that has already failed the service diagnostics, if may have not failed now, but it will and you will be sorry. hope you have a time capsule or running time machine to and external.

    2) If you had really drank the kool-ade you’d know all Apple retail stores require an appointment regardless of the reason to speak with a genius.

    3) use self service. if you dont like having to wait for an appointment apple has many self service options on its website. including one to replace your faulty headphones through a do it yourself process.

    go to a dell store and try to get any of the options offered to you as a mac user… you cant.

  30. Cory O'Brien says:

    Aside from the ‘always make an appointment’ rule, which they don’t seem to publicize enough, I’ve actually had remarkably good service every time I’ve had to deal with the Apple Geniuses. Once, they replaced my broken iPhone even though it was a month past its warranty, and another time, they replaced my iPhone sync cable that had begun to fray with no questions asked.

    Sure, they’re not perfect, but after trying to deal with ANY kind of issue at a store like BestBuy, I’d much rather wait for an appointment with Apple folks who usually care about the customer as more than just a number vs. trying your luck with a typical employee that just wants to do anything they can to get you to go away.

  31. Cory Z says:

    You should buy a Dell! And while we’re at it, trade in your car for a Yugo!

  32. If S.M.A.R.T. or service diagnostics says the drive is unreliable, REPLACE THE DRIVE. Drives are stupid cheap these days anyway. Is your data?

    I guess the price of the convenience of having an Apple store is making an appointment. We don’t have one in this town, so I don’t really know.

    But I suspect Steve Jobs would be upset at your kids being made to wait outside in the cold, if it poses a threat to organs he could potentially harvest in the future to prolong his own life.

    Also: http://hijinksensue.com/2010/03/20/a-sudden-stevepiphany/

  33. I am new 1.5 years to Apple from PCs. I love the I Mac machine and I love Apple support! It is good to have immediate help with problems.

    We just got a HP Touch Screen thinking we thought we need a PC in the house. I would trade it in a minute for another I Mac.

    I haven’t been impressed with the couple of trips to Apple stores though. Like initially when we were looking into Apple computers.

    Then we went into a Best Buy looking at hubs and luck into a salesman that showed us the Time Machine and we ended up buying a I Mac and the Time Machine.

    I later went back to an Apple store for a class and was not impressed enough to go back. The store was crowded and you could do as well with the online tutorials.

  34. Tremaine says:

    Sorry Thomas, I have to agree with Ed and the like comments. You have to make an appointment. The get really busy real fast and sometimes the appointments can drag on for a while. If you want to skip the line and whatnot buy an Apple Pro Care card. It’s like a VIP card and does work. I’ve brought one and used it and few times when I had trouble with my Mac I’m due to renew it. As far as issues with your computer, the tip I got from MacWorld magazine is to keep a log of all the issues you have. So I did just that I keep a dedicated notebook to my Mac for when I have issues and take notes of all the things that happened and the exact things that I did to try to fix (nothing like opening the computer or anything really stupid) or recreate the problem. The loved me for it. It took three trips, I pretty sure it was the USB from the mouse that was causing, they didn’t believe since Macs are so great and said that’s a PC problem (whatever) either way I got a new Mac out it. No one was ever rude and I didn’t mind doing what I needed to do to try to resolve the issue. I live with a techie (my mother) and have been in retail I know the drill and always try to be courteous, understanding, and give a bit of leeway to certain things. Mostly to keep my blood pressure and stress levels down. I always make sure when I have any kind of problem, I figure out ahead of time what I am willing to deal with/lose and how far I am willing to go. It’s just best to figure out and deal with your limits first. Always be prepared for the worst but work towards the best. But I am sorry you felt you had a bad experience. I do hope things go smoother and speedier for you next time.

  35. ForeveR says:

    So.. what you’re saying is

    1) You don’t follow the rules and expect special treatment, and if they don’t give you priority then you’ll throw a fit on your website

    2) You don’t learn even after the first time that you need an appointment if you want customer service at the apple store

    Seriously dude, how would you feel if you actually made an appointment and have some jerk waltz in and take your spot?

  36. Don says:

    I am astonished by the people here saying that you are somehow being unreasonable in asking to wait for an available genius. Making an appointment may be a way to avoid some pain but the refusal to let you be space-available is insulting and maddening when you have a malfunctioning piece of hardware.

    I’m a little more sympathetic to the approach on computers, but the Apple store continues this approach with the iPhone as well. “Sorry, no appointments, come back in a few days” – and I have been told there were no appointments till the weekend is over – is simply not an acceptable response for a critical communication device.

    Busy stores should have someone tasked with taking walk-ins. Maybe that means a 2 hour wait, but sometimes the need is desperate enough that you’d do it. The existing system is a statement that Apple’s time is more important than ours.

  37. Nate Piazza says:

    Well have any of you heard of simply computing i don’t know if they are only canadian but they are a type of apple store they have very nice service they also due everything apple does but you don’t have to make an appointment!

  38. My only justifications for not liking apple products is that they are somehow boring and lonely little devices. They are a very clean and prestigious feeling company, but I just find the interfaces of their computers to be depressing. It doesn’t seem like there’s all that much to do, and their kind of limited. I know the whole point of them is to not be that way, but I don’t know. I don’t care for the programs either – I know, I know – you probably hate that, haha! :)

  39. Mike says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is you better have an appointment. If there is ANY issue what so ever, you better have an appointment. If you want to but something, then walk right in.

    I had my screen and battery go out on my MacBook Pro. It took a little fighting to get the to replace the battery, but the screen was diagnosed in about 10 minutes. They kept it for 2 days and returned it.

    But those guys at the bar WILL not help you unless you have an appointment.

    I wonder how that model is working for Microsoft in their new Store??

    - MC