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Apple repair consultants upset over changes to Apple Retail referral policy

post #1 of 27
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Members of the Apple Consultants Network are displeased with a recent change in policy by Apple that now outsources non-warranty support calls to a third-party service and has consultants compete against each other for referrals, according to a new report.

Apple has begun working with computer repair service provider OnForce to setup a new support structure for contracting non-Genius Bar repairs to certified Apple consultants, TUAW reports. Existing members of the Apple Consultants Network (ACN) are reportedly unhappy with the move.

Previously, Apple Store managers would create a referral list by interviewing consultants who had completed Apple's certification process and paid the annual ACN fees. Customers at the store whose issues could not be resolved by the in-store Genius Bar were provided with business cards of eligible consultants.

This method, however, has reportedly "rubbed Apple Retail the wrong way," as it gave Apple little oversight of pricing, quality and service.

According to report author Steven Sande, in 2009, "Apple began testing a new support structure that used an existing organization, OnForce, to distribute support calls to ACN members who wanted to sign up as part of the program." After initial testing in the LA Basin and Boston areas in 2009 and the Denver/Boulder and Detroit markets in 2010, Apple is now rolling out the system on a nationwide level, the report noted.

The new system relies on OnForce to receive work requests from customers, categorize the requests, set a price for the work and then send an "open call" to participating consultants. After the job is finished, customers rate the quality of the work.

However, Apple consultants have expressed concerns about the new program because of its "my way or the highway" solution, said Sande. Though consultants aren't required to join the OnForce program, those who decline will be unable to receive referrals from Apple Retail. ACN members are also unhappy with rules prohibiting them from representing themselves or their companies during site visits contracted through OnForce. Also bound to draw criticism is the fact that OnForce quotes are generally lower than what most consultants are used to charging for comparable work.

The report also notes that consultants have complained of excessive paperwork and increased competition from uncertified consultants with no Mac or iOS experience.

In response, some consultants are planning to discontinue their Apple Consultant Network memberships and may even band together to create their own alternative certification group.

Apple's recent changes to its third-party repair policy, however, don't reflect a lack of emphasis on in-store repairs by the Mac maker. Apple Retail mastermind Ron Johnson has called the company's Genius Bars "the heart and soul of the Apple retail store experience." Last year, Apple made several changes to its Genius Bar service in order to improve wait times, overnight repairs and Genius multitasking.

The rise of Apple's retail stores has been a remarkable success story. In the first quarter of fiscal 2011, Apple's retail sales nearly doubled year over year to reach $3.8 billion in the quarter. Half of the record 851,000 Macs sold in its stores last quarter were to customers who had never owned a Mac before.

International store volume now exceeds U.S. store volume, with Apple's retail stores in China leading the way with the most traffic and highest revenue. Apple is reportedly planning new retail stores in Shanghai, Palo Alto and New York's Grand Central Terminal.
post #2 of 27
Hello Craigslist.
post #3 of 27
Not sure how I feel about this one, but one thing is for certain -- Apple sure is doing its best to piss off existing software developers/partners in the past few weeks.
post #4 of 27
I'm a little conflicted by this move. They are essentially outsourcing to a middle-man agency that will (in the end) do nothing more than take a cut of a consultant's pay for the service/"honor" of working on Apple products.

Oh, the agency will say in typical marketing-speak that they "strive to ensure the highest standards of quality and expertise to the customer", they themselves will provide zero services but make it look like they do.

I've worked side-by-side with (not for) agencies for the past 20 years and they are simply a sham. They charge $200/hr to a client and the folks doing the actual work (and they pay for their own benefits) will get $60/hr. In countless cases, the "consultants" know next to nothing about the field of expertise and usually end up causing more problems than what was originally there. It's a joke.

Really good folks I think will still do okay. Word of mouth travels fast and with proper marketing and exposure, guys that really know their stuff will be generally unaffected by it. At least, I hope that's what the end-result is.

Oh, and for the trolls and Apple-haters that will immediately compare this to the 30% cut Apple takes on iOS business, not the same thing.
post #5 of 27
Competition is good.

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post #6 of 27
SpamSandwich, yes competition is good and that is why OnForce will fail. This is a classic case of Apple "eating its' young". People who've worked with Apple for years will know what that means.

I have been an Apple user since 1979. I even worked at Apple as a Business Partner at a Flagship store for over six years so I know a little about what is going on at Apple. While at Apple, I used to spend a significant amount of time interviewing and working with ACNs. Keyword: working with them in partnership. They would drive me business by bringing me sales and I would drive them business where I needed a little help closing the sale or making sure the client was getting advice which I couldn't give. I could not leave the store to visit the clients office in order to give proper recommendation for their IT needs. That's what the ACN did. They made for a more complete sale and my relationship with the various ACNs ensured that I could match the proper ACN with the client. It was a service that really helped propel Apple Retail Business to the next level. I gained nothing from this relationship monetarily and I knew I was getting my customers taken care of. When a new manager took over my store, he wanted to get rid of the ACN list and just recommend one ASC(Apple Service Center) that he had a good relationship with i.e. his BFF. He also said we could use the consultant locator but not give personalized referrals. I totally disagreed with this means of referrals since it was no better than telling your client to look in the "Yellow Pages". My customers relied on me to give referrals based upon relationships and trusted me for this service.

So herein lies the hypocrisy at Apple. Apple says it's trying to drive down cost for the customer. Apple is trying to play down favoritism. Well, when I made a referral, I always gave at least two options and also showed the customer the consultant locator. I also told my customers that if you want a $50 per hour consultant, then you will get $50/hour expertise and service. Free Market Capitalism generally illustrates this. What Apple is doing is eating its' young alive. They did this to the majority of its' reseller network which had been in place before Apple Retail came about. It put many of those resellers who directly competed toe to toe with Apple out of business. The resellers that survived had to create a niche and focus on things that Apple could not provide like a "mom and pop" atmosphere or specialized service. Also, lots of the resellers focused on non-warranty repairs and the ability to perform service on site. Yes, Apple will perform on site service for your business.if you are Enterprise level. All the small to medium sized businesses are left out! By the way, the initial Site Inspection for an Enterprise Rep and Engineer just to come to your business was $6000 in 2008. And if you even balked at that price, I was told by an Apple Engineer that they viewed that customer as, "Not Apple Material".

OnForce is getting a piece of the action from the consultant. Apple is probably getting some kind of participation fee from OnForce. Ultimately, it's the Apple Consultant who gets screwed. And I say Apple Consultant because the most important thing you have to understand is that OnForce consultants don't have to be Apple Certified. It could be a High School student who is looking to make some money on the side. Of course they can underbid an experienced consultant! Also, if you've ever done consulting, it can be very difficult to "estimate" your time for a job. OnForce determines what "should" be the time to complete a job. Well, with IT, it's never quite that easy. There can be so many unforeseen circumstances that can complicate a job. Let's say you're getting a job to do a quick and easy setup which includes installing MSFT Office, getting on the Internet and setting up printer on a brand new iMac you just purchased from the Apple Store. Sounds like a job that should take about an hour or two? Generally yes. But any good consultant who is worth his salt will also run Software Update. As of today, a brand new iMac sold at the Apple Store needs about 1.5GB of downloads, including Flash(which is no longer included). Well, if you have a fast 5mb/s internet connection, that should take about 40 minutes. If you have a slower connection, it could take much more!

In this case, you would have to rebid the client and stop what you're doing. You'd have to contact OnForce and then go through the paperwork. OnForce would have to call the client directly with a new bid and get permission to continue the work. Sounds like a major headache and this is just a very basic example of how things can go wrong. (A good consultant would have anticipated this download and downloaded the updates before going onsite, maybe)

Ever since leaving Apple, I have joined an ACN which has been servicing clients for over 10 years in my area. We are one of the top ACNs and are growing quite a bit. We charge $160~$185 per hour and we are all very busy. When I say we, I mean all five of our technicians are booking at least 25 hours/week each! And we're looking for more consultants to join us!! Once we heard about the OnForce program, we laughed at it. We do not compete on price and the first thing we tell potential customers is that we are not the cheapest but we are one of the best at what we do. Our customers love us because we are passionate about what we do and they see it. This is one of the luxuries of servicing Apple customers: they are not always focused on price. They are focused on quality, relationships and getting things to just work. What Apple Retail is doing is trying to hoard all the relationships and not share. They want all the toys on the playground.

At MacWorld last month, Mimi, one of the ACN liaisons who works for Apple addressed the crowd of ACNs and ASCs. Nobody in the crowd seemed to be pleased about OnForce and Mimi kinda implied that she wasn't really putting a lot of faith in it. Not sure if she was placating everyone in the crowd or if she was genuine. Getting mixed signals here from Apple.

I feel really bad for the Apple Service Centers. Apple is really sticking it to them with the "Get to Yes" program. They are not following the rules that they set. Apple forces the ASCs to charge certain amounts for certain types of repairs. Yet, Apple and their Genius bars are not following the same rules lately. They are performing repairs below cost in order to "Get to Yes". What's next target in Apple's sight? Looks like the ACNs!!!
post #7 of 27
Good comments SFLocal and 79apple//e (cute historical reference to Apple's original trademark name of the Apple IIe as "//e"),

I tend to agree that, at first glance, this looks like a "bad thing" for both customer and apple service providers - at least non-corporate level service providers.

I remember years back (early 90's I think) while working at Computerland (RIP) that there was a huge outcry at one of Apple's destroying of their independent partner programs. I think it was the education reseller/consultants sector. I got to hear a lot of the complaints about that. In that time frame I think one of the fallouts was an overall reduction in Apples going into schools and the first real toehold for windows PCs, which now have a much larger share of education. (or perhaps I overgeneralize from my less than infallible memory, but that's the way it seemed then)

I also remember other similar 'lets get rid of our independent sellers/advocates/service providers because we can make more money doing it ourselves' programs which had bad results. Not the least of which was bad PR and loss of the financial aspect of so-called 'good will'.

Seems like may be sad times ahead for both those providing independent Apple support and customers seeking such service.

I hope I am wrong on this (especially since I am a non-affiliated service technician...). But time will tell.
I just wish Apple would not be in such a hurry to shoot itself in the foot every year or two.
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post #8 of 27
I agree with everybody's comments. Apple keeps making rules that other people have to live, with no regard to the consequences. Look how they are trying to charge subscription fees to publishers. All they have to do, in a troubled industry, is pay more than their normal profit margin to Apple. Now they are again doing the same out-of-touch policy with repair partners.
post #9 of 27
Is it just me or Apple really starting to turn into this disgusting company? Left and right, they are alienating everything and everyone that made them into what they are today and they are doing this because of the hordes of cash they now have without any consideration to the consequences. What they don't realize is that no matter how big you become, if people turn against you, you will fall. And this time around, no one will give a damn.

The on-board program is a BAD BAD idea and will lose a boat load of really good ACNs that will go rogue on their own. The ACN will become no different from the monkeys at Geek Squad or other crap like that.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 79 Apple //e View Post

... if you've ever done consulting, it can be very difficult to "estimate" your time for a job. OnForce determines what "should" be the time to complete a job. Well, with IT, it's never quite that easy. There can be so many unforeseen circumstances that can complicate a job. Let's say you're getting a job to do a quick and easy setup which includes installing MSFT Office, getting on the Internet and setting up printer on a brand new iMac you just purchased from the Apple Store. Sounds like a job that should take about an hour or two? Generally yes. But any good consultant who is worth his salt will also run Software Update. As of today, a brand new iMac sold at the Apple Store needs about 1.5GB of downloads, including Flash(which is no longer included). Well, if you have a fast 5mb/s internet connection, that should take about 40 minutes. If you have a slower connection, it could take much more!

In this case, you would have to rebid the client and stop what you're doing. You'd have to contact OnForce and then go through the paperwork. OnForce would have to call the client directly with a new bid and get permission to continue the work. Sounds like a major headache and this is just a very basic example of how things can go wrong. (A good consultant would have anticipated this download and downloaded the updates before going onsite, maybe)

Aside from the example you site not being a repair, and also quite an easy task that just about any user could perform on their own, it just illustrates the kind of problem that Apple is trying to avoid here-- that being incompetent consultants going above an estimate because they did not come prepared and charging for the extra time that they themselves are wasting for the client. By establishing ceilings and requiring the requisite paperwork for going above an estimate, Apple is protecting their customers. If a high school student is able to do the same quality of work in as little or less time than an ACN, that just tells me that the ACN is way overpaid.

I worked in repairs (admittedly a good while ago) for an independent, and would just be floored by the estimates my clients told me the competition had given them, on jobs that would literally take me only minutes to complete. Yes, the technology back then was a lot more simple than today's but still... Charging for the time you are just sitting around downloading updates that you should already have saved to disk... Sheesh!
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post #11 of 27
My company has three certified Apple technicians. One worked with the Apple II in high school and has either sold, serviced or worked on Macs since their introduction. Me, I've only used Macs since 1985, worked on them and consulted since 1993 and been on the ACN since 2006. The third has a mere 10 years of Mac experience and "only" one certification.

To us, the situation with OnForce is very similar to an organized crime ring's modus operandi:

1) Muscle your way into a territory.
2) Let all the business owners know there's a new sheriff in town, and lay out the rules.
3) Business owners are then required to pay a vig -- a small portion of their revenue -- in exchange for some service that was not heretofore required, needed or requested.
4) Punish those who don't pay up.

Where once our Apple stores could point people to one ACN or the other based on needs and experience, we now have to join OnForce or risk getting zero leads from Apple. No matter that my company has the staff, training and experience to handle complex Windows-to-Mac conversions for businesses up to 50 users. If the kid who just got certified yesterday joins OnForce, he can get the job if he answers the request first. Which he will, incidentally, since he's at home playing WoW on his second computer while we're on other calls.

I encourage all of you who think this is a good idea to check out some of the tickets on OnForce's website. It will show you how quickly a request was answered, how long the job took, what the consultant got paid, and whether or not they were reviewed well by the customer.

The results read like horror stories to any real professional. 7 hour gigs that pay $300. Customers that give a consultant a bad review because the consultant "didn't check in as instructed" at some regular interval with a point of contact. One entry I just read was listed as "Swap Out POS cable". The consultant responded in 1 minute and 7 seconds and set up the call. They were on site for 4 hours and received $168.

Okay, so let's break this down:

1) OnForce decided, presumably along with the customer, that this was a simple cable replacement for a POS.

2) It took 4 hours.


Something doesn't add up. What kind of cable takes 4 hours to replace? Guess what. The consultant arrived, swapped the cable and it still didn't work. It then turned into a troubleshooting scenario.

But let's move on:

3) They were paid $168.

With OnForce, drive/travel time is not paid. So let's assume the consultant lost 30 minutes total drive time. This is conservative for anyone who lives in a congested area, but I'm feeling generous. So they received $168 for 4.5 hours. A half day shot for what many of us charge in 60 to 90 minutes.

In my studies, the average rate paid to OnForce technicians is just below $45/hr for even highly technical work. One third of my company's average bill rate.

No, thank you.

On top of that, 10% is paid BY THE CONSULTANT to OnForce. Or rather, I should say OnForce TAKES ITS 10% vig first, then forwards the rest to you in 3 to 5 business days. So, you know, at least that part is a little different from the mafia.

So, if I book a 2 hour server update gig on my own, I get $250.
If I get it through OnForce, I get $90. And I pay 10% of that to OnForce. My net is less than 1/3 of my normal rate.

And finally, as a few others pointed out, you are FORBIDDEN from bringing ANY branded material to an OnForce job. If your car has your company name on it -- you can't drive it to an OnForce gig. Don't wear your company's shirt to an OnForce gig. Don't hand out your business card.

There is NOTHING about this program that appeals to any of us in my company, nor to at least two of our colleagues in the area. We've all noted that we could take 40% of each job we get on our own and put it into marketing to compete with OnForce an we'd STILL end up making more money than we would with OnForce.

It's not for us.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyapple View Post

Aside from the example you site not being a repair, and also quite an easy task that just about any user could perform on their own... Charging for the time you are just sitting around downloading updates that you should already have saved to disk... Sheesh!

I am a professional consultant and I actually disagree with the choice in the example, namely, that it's always wise to just run all updates from Apple right from the get go. Unless I know it's been in the wild for a few weeks & that there are known issues, I advise clients to wait a bit and shoot me an email to see if all will be well given their particular implementation. I don't charge for this.

Admittedly, most users will be fine and can do updates themselves. But I have most certainly seen updates from Apple break things or even hoes an otherwise perfectly functional system. As a profession, I actually look at what is being addressed in an update before running it. Unless it's adding a compelling feature or explicitly fixing a problem the client is experiencing, I advise waiting and letting the overall Apple user community vet the release. It is this type of advice (again, which I often give when in non-billing mode) that I think separates me from the high schooler or craiglister (and some of my fellow consultants).

I'm very busy and have had a hard time getting to small consumer jobs. And, frankly, they are many time ringing their hands over my rates anyway, which doesn't create the best work environment (in fact, it can be a total nightmare). So I suppose it's appropriate that people with simple needs be given this option. My guess is that it will make more business for me, because incompetence will invariably happen with cut rate consulting and then someone like me, who isn't just doing the obvious the majority of the time, will come in and fix it at my standard rates. Best of luck to those who use OnForce, but Caveat Emptor baby! I'm here if your Geek Squad wannabe flubs it.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyapple View Post

Aside from the example you site not being a repair, and also quite an easy task that just about any user could perform on their own, it just illustrates the kind of problem that Apple is trying to avoid here-- that being incompetent consultants going above an estimate because they did not come prepared and charging for the extra time that they themselves are wasting for the client. By establishing ceilings and requiring the requisite paperwork for going above an estimate, Apple is protecting their customers. If a high school student is able to do the same quality of work in as little or less time than an ACN, that just tells me that the ACN is way overpaid.

I worked in repairs (admittedly a good while ago) for an independent, and would just be floored by the estimates my clients told me the competition had given them, on jobs that would literally take me only minutes to complete. Yes, the technology back then was a lot more simple than today's but still... Charging for the time you are just sitting around downloading updates that you should already have saved to disk... Sheesh!

So ACNs are supposed to carry every single software update or they simply are not "prepared?" Get real. iTunes changes every 15 minutes and even a few updates can take significant time on a congested office network. And by "significant time" I mean enough time to turn the rigidly-priced OnForce job into a non-profit endeavor.

I do carry the massive OS updates but I'm not wasting my life trying to keep track of every tangential update for 10.5 and 10.6 on my own time. Maybe some shops do overcharge. I try not to but I have to make a living. The high school kid who lives in a basement does not.

It sounds to me like your previous job in repairs was as an employee. This is very different from being self employed and paying for overhead. Actual ACNs charge more because they pay for their own training, transportation, marketing, all of their own taxes and FICA, insurance of all kinds including business liability and, on top of that, they like to eat food and sleep under a roof. If business is slow, they don't get paid. If they're sick, they can't call in and get a paid sick day. A vacation means just days without getting paid.

Does it still sound like we just sit around overcharging people for things they could have done themselves? We get paid to make things right and sometimes that involves making sure the software is up to date.

And that brings up accountability. Would you hire the kid next door to fix a gas leak in your house? When it wasn't done properly and your home is ablaze, the kid next door is going to be roasting weenies on a stick and what are you going to do about it?

Same thing with your data. When the neighbor's kid deletes your iPhoto library, you only have yourself to blame because you wanted to save a few bucks.
post #14 of 27
Obviously this is a major mess created by Apple but the one part that jumps out at me more than any other is how on earth Apple is not requiring certifications to be part of the OnForce program. Apple requires certifications to just work part-time in its own stores and tries to be "better" than the competition in all other ways. But they are willing to let someone who has never touched a Mac to go on a Mac service call that they refer through their stores?!? I just cannot fathom what moron at Apple allowed this to go through.
post #15 of 27
While some of what's being reported does sound disturbing and reflects Apple's continued arrogance, I question why third parties are relying upon references from Apple stores in the first place anyway. It seems to me that if you're a third party doing service and repairs, you should be doing your own marketing to acquire clients indpendently of any Apple relationship.

Also, more likely than not, when dealing with medium to large size businesses, they don't need repair of a single item, rather they need continuous support.

My son-in-law does Mac consulting and at one of his clients, he puts in a minimum of 100 hours a month to keep their Macs in shape, perform backups, install software onto new Macs, maintain the network, etc. He is not a member of any organization and he was not referred by Apple. When there's something he doesn't know, he brings in other consultants. He doesn't even usually buy from Apple -- there's an independent Mac retailer in NYC (and they do repairs as well) and he usually buys from them as they're willing to negotiate prices.
post #16 of 27
I totally understand what you're saying about vetting Software Updates. Remember OS 10.2.5? I only used this as an illustration of how OnForce determining how much to charge can go wrong very quickly. Basically, OnForce is telling us how to do our jobs. One comment from a poster said the customer SHOULD communicate in the job request ALL the details. Honestly, most people don't even know how to find their serial number let alone send a FULL checklist of what is going on. That why ACNs have a job to begin with!

I would definitely communicate with the customer what is going on, especially if I see that downloading software updates would take 4 hours! But, sometimes no good deed goes unpunished! Let's say the non certified consultant freaked out and decided to leave with the justification that Software Updates were unstable anyhow.

"Dear OnForce,

The consultant you sent me did not complete the job. I asked for all my software to be installed. Well, my grandson came to visit me and the first thing he said is, "Grandpa, you don't have the Mac App Store and I can't play Angry Birds with you!" Boy was I upset. My grandson was able to do the software install. Something about 10.6.4 and 10.6.6. I don't know what that means. That's why I hired your consultant. Well, after my grandson hit some buttons and we had lunch, we were playing the games together.

I want to withhold payment for a job not done completely."

Ouch!
post #17 of 27
Why would anyone need support for their amazing innovative perfect Apple product?
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post #18 of 27
Sounds customer-friendly, to me. If these businesses want free promotion by Apple Store geniuses, then of course they’ll need to follow the new system. If not, they can still promote their Mac repair services on their own, and I’m sure many will.

I can certainly understand the interested party being bothered by the new system though, and I hope Apple exerts influence on OnForce as well to make the system work.

At the same time, I don’t see Apple as “evil” just because they don’t do what their partners want. It’s kind of nice to have a company that puts customers first. “Apple is evil” has made a fun catchphrase for the last decade, of course
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Sounds customer-friendly, to me. If these businesses want free promotion by Apple Store geniuses, then of course theyll need to follow the new system. If not, they can still promote their Mac repair services on their own, and Im sure many will.

I can certainly understand the interested party being bothered by the new system though, and I hope Apple exerts influence on OnForce as well to make the system work.

At the same time, I dont see Apple as evil just because they dont do what their partners want. Its kind of nice to have a company that puts customers first. Apple is evil has made a fun catchphrase for the last decade, of course

1. No sane ACN would expect Apple to do what an ACN wants them to. Apple is someone else's company. Likewise, we don't appreciate Apple trying to sell us off to a third party with disadvantageous rules, poor compensation, and expecting us to simply dissolve into the OnForce system for their benefit.

2. Apple isn't putting their customers first, they're putting their customers off to another company. This is convenient for Apple but not necessarily for the customer.

3. For most of the ACNs I know, store referrals are not a large or even significant part of their revenue. It's just unfortunate and we'll carry on regardless.
post #20 of 27
Out of warranty repairs (b/c Genius Bar usually can handle in-warranty repairs) don't make Apple money. Selling newer,updated devices does.
post #21 of 27
On a side note, what's up with Apple's stock? It was down over 7 yesterday, and down another 8 today
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

On a side note, what's up with Apple's stock? It was down over 7 yesterday, and down another 8 today

and now it's down 10.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Sounds customer-friendly, to me. If these businesses want free promotion by Apple Store geniuses, then of course theyll need to follow the new system. If not, they can still promote their Mac repair services on their own, and Im sure many will.

I can certainly understand the interested party being bothered by the new system though, and I hope Apple exerts influence on OnForce as well to make the system work.

At the same time, I dont see Apple as evil just because they dont do what their partners want. Its kind of nice to have a company that puts customers first. Apple is evil has made a fun catchphrase for the last decade, of course


It's obvious you know nothing about the ACN membership. You must hold certain certifications in order to even qualify to apply for membership (around $300 each cert.). Then you have to PAY Apple to become a member. One of the perks of me PAYING Apple the $700 a year membership fee, for the past 8 years, is that I would get the occasional Apple retail referral. We are not getting anything FREE from Apple by being an ACN member. I've proven my knowledge and skills and pay a lot of $$$ to Apple be a part of this "program".

When I first joined the ACN program it was great. Every year that goes by the ACN keeps getting worse and worse. Every year is more restrictions and requirements. Every year we're stripped of something that we had the year before. Every year I have to weigh the pros/cons when it's time to renew my $700 membership fee. I'm sure soon my ACN membership will no longer be more of a pro, but a con. I don't see being in this program much longer.

Dealing with Apple as a customer is not bad. Dealing with Apple as a partner is EVIL! Why does Apple have any right to tell me what I can put on my company website? Why does Apple tell me how much insurance I MUST have? Why is Apple now telling me that they will refer me, but I cannot market my business with anything that has to do with my company when dealing with these customers? All these stupid restrictions (and there's more), but it clearly states on the ACN site that none of us are affiliated with Apple in any way. If that's the case, then keep your rules and restrictions out of my business, which again isn't affiliated with Apple in any way.

It's getting ridiculous!
post #24 of 27
As an ACSP 10.6 Certified Individual and owner of an ACN with 3 certified consultants I don't see where this is that big of an issue. I have read the posts here and while uruzone is completely correct here is my stance.

I am taking the time and marketing the company itself as an ACN and not relying on Apple to send me the gigs. I have already gotten 4 jobs from Apple's locator website this year with another call today - those are all free referrals. As an ACN I'm not going to rely on the store's to send me jobs or that all my jobs have to come through them - as they don't.

Also the report is completely false, anyone that is an ACN and can log in - read the note that Apple has posted along with the video. This is not NATIONWIDE nor will it be this year. So the whole community affected thing is completely false.

Secondly if you own an ACN do your job as an owner and market yourself, get your name out there, don't rely on Apple to send you the jobs. Think of it this way if there are 3 ACN's in town and 1 of them has a great relationship with the local Apple Store right now the other 2 aren't even mentioned as a referral....This way OnForce will allow all 3 ACN's the opportunity and go to the one with the "best fit" for the client.

Thirdly you will always have people complain in the technology field. Everyone expects everything done instantly that's the "technology way" and it's only getting worse so no one is ever going to avoid ridiculous rating reviews. How many people take the time to comment about good service versus the amount of people that will go out of their way to write a bad one.

While OnForce does not affect me and will not affect my company anytime in the near future by the time it will my company will already be known for what it does and what service we provide and therefore people won't have to go through OnForce but if they chose to do that - great! it'll be just another revenue stream to add.
ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Why would anyone need support for their amazing innovative perfect Apple product?

Why would someone, who apparently knows everything, feel the need to post something which adds nothing to the mix?
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple Retail mastermind Ron Johnson has called the company's Genius Bars "the heart and soul of the Apple retail store experience." Last year, Apple made several changes to its Genius Bar service in order to improve wait times, overnight repairs and Genius multitasking.

If Apple wants to improve repair times, they can start by making all Macs, especially iMacs, easier for technicians to take apart and service. And inserting a stick of memory does not count.
post #27 of 27
Enjoy THIS one, fellow consultants:

http://www.9to5mac.com/53185/apple-g...-joint-venture

I'll spare everyone my rant.
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