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Apple Retail Store Nightmare

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I guess I can't say I was not warned about the incredibly poor customer service and arrogant attitude of Apple.

After buying the new iPhone 3GS, and having it less than 2 weeks, phone over-heating and inability to keep a charge forced me to seek a replacement. After contacting Apple technical support, I was informed that indeed, I needed to have the phone replaced. I was also informed that my only options to do so was to allow Apple to hold onto $700 of my money while the new phone was shipped to me and my phone was sent back... or travel over 30 miles to the nearest Apple retail store (Northridge, CA) to get the replacement in person, alleviating the need for the ransom. I opted for the retail store option. I made a reservation to meet with one of their "Geniuses" (that's what they actually call themselves. Further example of the Apple arrogance). Since I was traveling such a great distance, I called to verify that they would have one in stock. I was informed that they would not divulge that kind of information. I would have to take the chance that they would have one in stock... but was assured that surely they would have several of my model.

Upon arriving, and waiting thirty minutes beyond my agreed appointment time, was informed that they did not, in fact, have any in stock. They then proceeded to direct me to another store (Topanga Mall, Canoga Park, CA), which was 15 miles further. I asked them to call to verify that this other store would have one in stock. The "genius" says that the store would not divulge that information, not even to him. Having no other recourse left to me, I proceeded to this second store... and was promptly informed that they too did not have any in stock either... but I could travel another 15 miles to a third store (Sherman Oaks, CA)... but they could not find out if they had any of my phone in stock.
Figuring that surely a third time would be the charm, I stupidly drove the additional miles to the third store, now almost 60 miles from my home... only to find... you guessed it. They did not have any in stock either, but would be HAPPY to order me one and I could drive back a week or so later to pick it up!

I turned down the ridiculous offer and headed back to the first store, and placed the order there. Not only did they refuse to expedite the order to make up for the ordeal they just put me through over the past several hours, but would not commit to when the phone would be there for me to drive back to pick up. When I asked if they would at least call me when it came in, I was told that it was against the Apple retail store policy to do that... but I could call every day to see if it was in!
This is the incredible, moronic arrogance of Apple and the terrible lack of customer service I had been warned about, but did not believe.
Yet another glaring reason to stick with a PC!

Question:
a) Why on Earth is it against policy to inform a customer if you have a product in stock?
b) Why could the order not be expedited or at least sent to my home to help amend the situation
c) Why is it against policy to inform a customer when their product arrives?
d) Why should ANYONE have to undergo such treatment or experience this scenario simply to replace a defective, EXPENSIVE, product that they have owned for a mere ten days?
post #2 of 28
It's possible to have a bad shopping experience?
Thanks for letting us know. We had no idea.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Yet another glaring reason to stick with a PC!

Wasn't this to do with a phone? I don't think you'd get the same call reception carrying a PC around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Question:
a) Why on Earth is it against policy to inform a customer if you have a product in stock?
b) Why could the order not be expedited or at least sent to my home to help amend the situation
c) Why is it against policy to inform a customer when their product arrives?
d) Why should ANYONE have to undergo such treatment or experience this scenario simply to replace a defective, EXPENSIVE, product that they have owned for a mere ten days?

e) Why are you asking us?

This forum isn't affiliated with Apple.

It's odd that some people come here and their first post is a complaint about Apple like we can do anything about it - we even get copies of 'Dear Steve' letters.

I imagine their policy on stock levels is to do with not having loads of people flocking to stores outside their own area. The people closest to the store really deserve to get one first.

The order probably wasn't expedited because if a new buyer doesn't get one, that's worse for them than if you don't get your replacement.

Not informing customers when their replacement arrives I agree is pretty stupid but they are affiliated with AT&T now so maybe their call charges would be through the roof. This is an issue to take up with Apple directly though.

The last question you could ask yourself. Why did you choose to go through that? I suspect like many others it's because you wanted the phone. If you don't want it after that ordeal, ask for a refund - you've only had it 10 days. If in the end you decide to keep the phone, you will have answered that question.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Interesting replies. Lots of attitude. Where is that coming from?

But I think the point I am laboring to express speaks to the broader policies and attitude of Apple as a company. Not merely a single "shopping experience", as it was snidely referred to by another poster.
Of course this forum is not affiliated with Apple. Only a moron would think it was. The questions were rhetorical in regard to this forum. I suppose merely relaying an experience does not qualify as a valid post to this forum?
In answer to your last query, "Why did I put myself through this?"
Good question. Always is in retrospect.
I was faced with four options;
a) return the phone
b) keep the phone, and be a victim
c) Have them mail me a replacement, and allow them put a hold on $700 of my money for the week or three that it might take to complete the transaction. I'm not that wealthy.
d) Deal with it at the store, where it would have been a simple exchange.

I chose "D", and by the time I was faced with the BS from the other stores, I had already invested gas and time, so it was a gamble that the other stores would have at least one.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Wasn't this to do with a phone? I don't think you'd get the same call reception carrying a PC around.



e) Why are you asking us?

This forum isn't affiliated with Apple.

It's odd that some people come here and their first post is a complaint about Apple like we can do anything about it - we even get copies of 'Dear Steve' letters.

I imagine their policy on stock levels is to do with not having loads of people flocking to stores outside their own area. The people closest to the store really deserve to get one first.

The order probably wasn't expedited because if a new buyer doesn't get one, that's worse for them than if you don't get your replacement.

Not informing customers when their replacement arrives I agree is pretty stupid but they are affiliated with AT&T now so maybe their call charges would be through the roof. This is an issue to take up with Apple directly though.

The last question you could ask yourself. Why did you choose to go through that? I suspect like many others it's because you wanted the phone. If you don't want it after that ordeal, ask for a refund - you've only had it 10 days. If in the end you decide to keep the phone, you will have answered that question.
post #5 of 28
I've got to agree with aart12, that is atrocious customer service.

It makes you wonder how Apple consistently come top of customer service satisfaction surveys. I guess it's hard to be 100% perfect.
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post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Interesting replies. Lots of attitude. Where is that coming from?

But I think the point I am laboring to express speaks to the broader policies and attitude of Apple as a company. Not merely a single "shopping experience", as it was snidely referred to by another poster.

You'd receive more welcoming of a response if you didn't paint an entire organization as "moronic" and "arrogant" because of isolated incidents. Overly broad accusations and an angry tone aren't typically met with a smile.

You certainly had a bad shopping experience. What you fail to realize is that this isn't the norm. The company you're lambasting routinely has the highest customer satisfaction ranking of all of its competition.

It would be more productive (and honest) to point out specific problems and weigh possible solutions. While this was done to some extent, your goal seemed more aimed at convincing everyone that they should hate Apple too.

If you have this level of hate for Apple, it is hard to imagine you ever liking any company if evaluated under the same criteria. Apple is far from perfect and they didn't provide you with good customer service. But this is an unfortunate reality of the retail system.

It's possible to hold their feet to the fire without flying off the deep-end and losing all perspective on what constitutes "moronic arrogance" at a corporate level.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

[FONT="Book Antiqua"][SIZE="4"]I guess I can't say I was not warned about the incredibly poor customer service and arrogant attitude of Apple.

I like this font best for complaints.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes. I must agree. That is a very fine font for the expression of complaints.
Nice choice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

I like this font best for complaints.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
At no point did I ever mention hate.

Merely expressing dissatisfaction for what has become the norm, accepted by so many sheep... as demonstrated by the replies I've seen here! lol. Ah, well. I am through with this thread.
What has happened to our society? Everyone seems so concerned about upsetting the status quo, they don't realize the deteriorating effect their complacency has... which is exactly why companies like Apple feel like they can treat people any way they choose.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

You'd receive more welcoming of a response if you didn't paint an entire organization as "moronic" and "arrogant" because of isolated incidents. Overly broad accusations and an angry tone aren't typically met with a smile.

You certainly had a bad shopping experience. What you fail to realize is that this isn't the norm. The company you're lambasting routinely has the highest customer satisfaction ranking of all of its competition.

It would be more productive (and honest) to point out specific problems and weigh possible solutions. While this was done to some extent, your goal seemed more aimed at convincing everyone that they should hate Apple too.

If you have this level of hate for Apple, it is hard to imagine you ever liking any company if evaluated under the same criteria. Apple is far from perfect and they didn't provide you with good customer service. But this is an unfortunate reality of the retail system.

It's possible to hold their feet to the fire without flying off the deep-end and losing all perspective on what constitutes "moronic arrogance" at a corporate level.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Merely expressing dissatisfaction for what has become the norm

What evidence do you have that it has become the norm?

As has been pointed out to you, Apple consistently comes out top of customer satisfaction surveys. How do you explain that if your experience is the norm at Apple? How bad must the other companies be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Ah, well. I am through with this thread.

O RLY? What a surprise
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post #11 of 28
i think this link would have helped you find an iPhone
http://www.apple.com/retail/iphone/availability.php
post #12 of 28
It doesn't say if you talked to the store managers of all those stores you went to?

I'm pretty sure a real customer wouldn't torture themselves after that second store experience.

It's also amazing that none of the "geniusus" there directed you to the website that shows the AVAILABILITY of iPhones in all the stores.

and WHO is the arrogant Apple person you keep referring to?
I thought Apple was a company made up of people?

I think people who trash Apple for the sake of trashing are moronic and arrogant.
post #13 of 28
So you're pissed off or disapointed that you're not getting a "wake-up" call ? or a service call ? I mean... i am not sure what you expected from them, I wouldn't go to expecting them to call me

I'd call the apple store every day if I had to ... yes, i would feel bad about not getting first class treatment by them calling me when it arrives, yet having a device such as the iphone is a first class experience in itself i'd say

enjoy your new phone,
i really hope this issue is easily forgotten and may the positive force and good luck be on your side
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post

So you're pissed off or disapointed that you're not getting a "wake-up" call ? or a service call ? I mean... i am not sure what you expected from them, I wouldn't go to expecting them to call me

I'd call the apple store every day if I had to ... yes, i would feel bad about not getting first class treatment by them calling me when it arrives, yet having a device such as the iphone is a first class experience in itself i'd say

enjoy your new phone,
i really hope this issue is easily forgotten and may the positive force and good luck be on your side

You didn't read his post properly. They refused to tell him over the phone whether they had an iPhone in stock, so he had to go to the store. When that store didn't have one, they refused to find out if the next nearest store had an iPhone in stock, and told him he had to drive there to find out. Repeat for the next store, and he ended up driving over a hundred miles without getting an iPhone. Don't forget, this was to get a replacement iPhone. I'd say that that is the bulk of the poor service right there.

The "adding insult to injury" part is the fact that if they ordered-in an iPhone especially for him, they wouldn't call to let him know when it was there. This is odd as it would actually be more efficient use of their time to do that, rather than have someone answer a phone call every day, then have to check whether or not the phone had arrived.
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post #15 of 28
Owww ... thanks for clarifying and sorry for the misunderstanding.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

I guess I can't say I was not warned about the incredibly poor customer service and arrogant attitude of Apple.

After buying the new iPhone 3GS, and having it less than 2 weeks, phone over-heating and inability to keep a charge forced me to seek a replacement. After contacting Apple technical support, I was informed that indeed, I needed to have the phone replaced. I was also informed that my only options to do so was to allow Apple to hold onto $700 of my money while the new phone was shipped to me and my phone was sent back... or travel over 30 miles to the nearest Apple retail store (Northridge, CA) to get the replacement in person, alleviating the need for the ransom. I opted for the retail store option. I made a reservation to meet with one of their "Geniuses" (that's what they actually call themselves. Further example of the Apple arrogance). Since I was traveling such a great distance, I called to verify that they would have one in stock. I was informed that they would not divulge that kind of information. I would have to take the chance that they would have one in stock... but was assured that surely they would have several of my model.

Upon arriving, and waiting thirty minutes beyond my agreed appointment time, was informed that they did not, in fact, have any in stock. They then proceeded to direct me to another store (Topanga Mall, Canoga Park, CA), which was 15 miles further. I asked them to call to verify that this other store would have one in stock. The "genius" says that the store would not divulge that information, not even to him. Having no other recourse left to me, I proceeded to this second store... and was promptly informed that they too did not have any in stock either... but I could travel another 15 miles to a third store (Sherman Oaks, CA)... but they could not find out if they had any of my phone in stock.
Figuring that surely a third time would be the charm, I stupidly drove the additional miles to the third store, now almost 60 miles from my home... only to find... you guessed it. They did not have any in stock either, but would be HAPPY to order me one and I could drive back a week or so later to pick it up!

I turned down the ridiculous offer and headed back to the first store, and placed the order there. Not only did they refuse to expedite the order to make up for the ordeal they just put me through over the past several hours, but would not commit to when the phone would be there for me to drive back to pick up. When I asked if they would at least call me when it came in, I was told that it was against the Apple retail store policy to do that... but I could call every day to see if it was in!
This is the incredible, moronic arrogance of Apple and the terrible lack of customer service I had been warned about, but did not believe.
Yet another glaring reason to stick with a PC!

Question:
a) Why on Earth is it against policy to inform a customer if you have a product in stock?
b) Why could the order not be expedited or at least sent to my home to help amend the situation
c) Why is it against policy to inform a customer when their product arrives?
d) Why should ANYONE have to undergo such treatment or experience this scenario simply to replace a defective, EXPENSIVE, product that they have owned for a mere ten days?

Sorry for what has happened. Customer service has taken a dip and much more measures should be stepped up to prevent services of such poor quality! I sympathise with you, OP. But could you please make the font size smaller?
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

What evidence do you have that it has become the norm?

As has been pointed out to you, Apple consistently comes out top of customer satisfaction surveys. How do you explain that if your experience is the norm at Apple? How bad must the other companies be?




O RLY? What a surprise

O RLY= ( Oh really )
> Mr Grammar Police.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankenstein View Post

What did you expect? You already knew Apple were crooks just by the prices they charge for cheaply made products. Did you think going into one of their stores would be a better experience?

You trollin? You calling Apple's products cheaply made gives a 70% that you are a troll.. You are also not helping the OP in any way..
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGSStateStudent View Post

O RLY= ( Oh really )
> Mr Grammar Police.

O RLY? is an especially sarcastic form of "oh, really?".


Quote:
Originally Posted by SGSStateStudent View Post

You trollin? You calling Apple's products cheaply made gives a 70% that you are a troll.. You are also not helping the OP in any way..

Just check out all his other posts. Yes, he was/is a troll, fortunately he was mostly ignored so he went away.
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post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

"]I guess I can't say I was not warned about the incredibly poor customer service and arrogant attitude of Apple.

After buying the new iPhone 3GS, and having it less than 2 weeks, phone over-heating and inability to keep a charge forced me to seek a replacement. After contacting Apple technical support, I was informed that indeed, I needed to have the phone replaced. I was also informed that my only options to do so was to allow Apple to hold onto $700 of my money while the new phone was shipped to me and my phone was sent back... or travel over 30 miles to the nearest Apple retail store (Northridge, CA) to get the replacement in person, alleviating the need for the ransom. I opted for the retail store option. I made a reservation to meet with one of their "Geniuses" (that's what they actually call themselves. Further example of the Apple arrogance). Since I was traveling such a great distance, I called to verify that they would have one in stock. I was informed that they would not divulge that kind of information. I would have to take the chance that they would have one in stock... but was assured that surely they would have several of my model.

Upon arriving, and waiting thirty minutes beyond my agreed appointment time, was informed that they did not, in fact, have any in stock. They then proceeded to direct me to another store (Topanga Mall, Canoga Park, CA), which was 15 miles further. I asked them to call to verify that this other store would have one in stock. The "genius" says that the store would not divulge that information, not even to him. Having no other recourse left to me, I proceeded to this second store... and was promptly informed that they too did not have any in stock either... but I could travel another 15 miles to a third store (Sherman Oaks, CA)... but they could not find out if they had any of my phone in stock.
Figuring that surely a third time would be the charm, I stupidly drove the additional miles to the third store, now almost 60 miles from my home... only to find... you guessed it. They did not have any in stock either, but would be HAPPY to order me one and I could drive back a week or so later to pick it up!

I turned down the ridiculous offer and headed back to the first store, and placed the order there. Not only did they refuse to expedite the order to make up for the ordeal they just put me through over the past several hours, but would not commit to when the phone would be there for me to drive back to pick up. When I asked if they would at least call me when it came in, I was told that it was against the Apple retail store policy to do that... but I could call every day to see if it was in!
This is the incredible, moronic arrogance of Apple and the terrible lack of customer service I had been warned about, but did not believe.
Yet another glaring reason to stick with a PC!

Question:
a) Why on Earth is it against policy to inform a customer if you have a product in stock?
b) Why could the order not be expedited or at least sent to my home to help amend the situation
c) Why is it against policy to inform a customer when their product arrives?
d) Why should ANYONE have to undergo such treatment or experience this scenario simply to replace a defective, EXPENSIVE, product that they have owned for a mere ten days?


Sounds like a nightmare to be sure. I don't know that I would call it "the norm," though I've had several really poor experiences with the Apple Store. Lately it's been much better, though. I filled out an online feedback form for my store after a bad experience once, and the GM called me. I wrote a few e-mails or what not. I clearly stated what the problem was. Interestingly enough, most of my concerns seem to have been addressed.

I don't know about the $700 thing. I've never heard of that. Could you give some more details? I've had things replaced before... all they ask is that you return the old one in the reusable box. Concerning stock, there is the iphone availability link that was previously posted.

As for driving around: Respectfully, that is your fault. You could have checked stock yourself online at the store with iphone avail. page. I do think Apple should have shipped you one, though.
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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Could you give some more details?

This thread is quite old. The OP has long gone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

As for driving around: Respectfully, that is your fault.

Hmmm. Don't you think it might have been good service for the Apple Store employees to have told him about the stock-checking page? Why did they tell him to drive to the next store if he could have just checked availability over the web?

I don't know about you, but knowledge doesn't just suddenly appear in my head; I have to read about it, be told it, or work it out as a logical consequence of what I already know. My point being, it is not reasonable to expect someone to "just know" that the stock-checking web page exists, they have to be told about it.
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post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

This thread is quite old. The OP has long gone.




Hmmm. Don't you think it might have been good service for the Apple Store employees to have told him about the stock-checking page? Why did they tell him to drive to the next store if he could have just checked availability over the web?

I don't know about you, but knowledge doesn't just suddenly appear in my head; I have to read about it, be told it, or work it out as a logical consequence of what I already know. My point being, it is not reasonable to expect someone to "just know" that the stock-checking web page exists, they have to be told about it.


The thread is from July. And I'll reply to what I like. Secondly, why do you need to take that tone? I didn't claim they acted properly.
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post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The thread is from July. And I'll reply to what I like.

Sorry if you feel I berated you for replying, that was not my intention. I was merely pointing out that you shouldn't expect a reply from the guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Secondly, why do you need to take that tone?

You stated it was his fault he drove to those other stores; I presented a counter-argument. I note you don't raise any specific issues with the actual content of said argument.
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Sorry if you feel I berated you for replying, that was not my intention. I was merely pointing out that you shouldn't expect a reply from the guy.

Fine.

Quote:



You stated it was his fault he drove to those other stores; I presented a counter-argument. I note you don't raise any specific issues with the actual content of said argument.

I really don't know if I believe him to begin with. That said, I'm not going to drive 60 miles on the word of a retail employee...are you? It's his fault he drove.

As for good service: I agree, but they didn't make him do anything. The whole thing sounds fishy to me.
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

O RLY? is an especially sarcastic form of "oh, really?".




Just check out all his other posts. Yes, he was/is a troll, fortunately he was mostly ignored so he went away.

Yup I know that ( abovementioned post ). Thanks. He ( the troll ) will not get away soon.. say, you are also the police..
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

I like this font best for complaints.

I like people who use this font to say that they like this font best!
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

It's possible to have a bad shopping experience?
Thanks for letting us know. We had no idea.

At the ATnT store = no surprise. Go to Macrumors and see the number of people who had a bad experience at the ATnT store.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I've got to agree with aart12, that is atrocious customer service.

It makes you wonder how Apple consistently come top of customer service satisfaction surveys. I guess it's hard to be 100% perfect.

100%? How about 99%?

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/...action-survey/
Quote:
RBC Capital and ChangeWave Research found that 99 percent of the 200 iPhone 3G S users surveyed between were “satisfied” with their phone. Of those 82 percent said they were “very satisfied” with the device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aart12 View Post

Merely expressing dissatisfaction for what has become the norm, accepted by so many sheep... as demonstrated by the replies I've seen here! lol. Ah, well. I am through with this thread.

4 post, 1 thread wonder. Wow, I wonder if he was a troll?
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