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Bought a new PowerBook: My Apple Store Experience

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've been a Mac user all my life (all 19 years) and I have never bought from an Apple Store before. So yesterday, I ventured on down to the Apple Store at Washington Square (Portland, OR) to take advantage of the "Cram. And jam." promotion. What better way to start off the new school year than to replace my old PowerBook and get my first iPod? Sadly, my experience was not what I was expecting.

Having been to the SoHo store in NYC and having a great experience, I was expecting great things from this store. After dealing with the SoHo employees, maybe I had my expectations too high. So anyway, I got to the Washington Square store at about 5:45 PM and there were 3 employees working. All of them were helping customers at the time (the store was fairly busy). Since I knew what I wanted, I went to the register to buy. There was nobody there. After waiting there for 10 minutes I sat at the Genius Bar which also was unoccupied. The 3 Apple Store employees were still helping the same customers. The fancy screen at the Genius Bar informed me that there was nobody in line ahead of me and that my wait would be "0 minutes." Only problem was that there was no genuis. So I sat there for 15 more minutes and finally (afer 25 total minutes!) one of the sales people finished up and asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted a 12" Combo Drive PowerBook and a 20GB iPod. They were all out of 4G iPods but he was willing to sell me his last 3G iPod for the same price! Obviously a thoughtful guy! He also said that I was getting the last 12" PowrBook, which if really true is kind of scary. They should probably have more stock. But this didn't really bug me.

My dad was with me and he started asking the guy questions about the computer. He's not too tech savy but he was doing ok. He kept accidently calling the PowerBook an "iBook" though. This is where I got pissed (at the sales guy). When my dad called the PowerBook "iBook" the 3rd time, the store guy goes, "Oooh, do I sense a Windows user in the store?" He was not at all joking and came across as really rude. My dad responded with "No, I'm just old and computers didn't even exist when I was your age. All the laptops are the same to me." This kid obviously didn't know how to deal with older (he's only 52) customers. I think this is bad because a lot of people that need the most computer-buying advice are my dad's age or older.

So we finally got to the register and the guy tried to sell me Apple Care. I told him that I'd get it only if it covered accidental damage. He said it didn't but he also said (in all seriousness), "If you damage the computer, just don't tell them you did anything and they'll fix it for free." I'm smart enough to figure that out myself thank you. But I don't think it's good for an employee to be telling a customer how to screw his company. I also asked the guy if he had any tips on transferring my data from my old 'Book to my new one. He told me to setup a file sharing network and drop all of my files into one folder. Well when I turned on my new PowerBook, a window popped up and it said that all I had to do was plug in a Firewire cable to the two computers and press "continue" to transfer all of my data. It was so easy! Apple Store employees should know about this feature because I'm sure I wasn't the first guy to ask that question.

I'm sure I cannot possibly convey in words how terrible the service at this store was. I am having a hard time describing this sales kid and I can't think of a more fitting description than "douche bag." He was a jerk. If I wasn't a Mac user, I would be very put off by his "I'm way smarter than you" attitude and would likely assume that this what buying a Mac was about. I was distressed by the poor service because I want Apple to sell machines and maybe get a few Windows converts. But they will never do it with this terrible service.

I think I will email this to Steve Jobs because he should be concerned about his company's image. On a different note, I love my new PowerBook! It's so much faster than my old 866 Mhz one. Too bad I didn't get that iPod yet. They put me on a waiting list, but by the time it comes in to the store, I will already be down in Texas at school.
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post #2 of 27
Interesting experience. I too would have expected there to be 1st class service at Apple's flagship store.

I would strongly recommend you get the Applecare warranty, expecially with laptops. I think you can by it anytime before your current warranty expires. If nothing else, it will increase the resale value if you decide to sell it before 3 years.
post #3 of 27
I had a similar problem here in Seattle with the Apple store in University Village. 2 young salesladies were there sort of getting ready for lunch and had no time to answer a couple of questions that I had, but had lots of time to fuss with our puppy that we had brought along with us. After they fussed for a while they left for lunch.

I ended up buying from a great saleslady on the Apple store on the web.

The only good thing about the store is that you can actually see the stuff.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude
"Oooh, do I sense a Windows user in the store?" He was not at all joking and came across as really rude.

What a moron! Insulting the customer. This kind of people shouldn't be allowed to keep their jobs without changing their attitude.
post #5 of 27
yeah, that windows user comment made by the apple store employee is sad. kinda makes me proud to say also use Windows
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by sammick
I had a similar problem here in Seattle with the Apple store in University Village. 2 young salesladies were there sort of getting ready for lunch and had no time to answer a couple of questions that I had, but had lots of time to fuss with our puppy that we had brought along with us. After they fussed for a while they left for lunch.

I ended up buying from a great saleslady on the Apple store on the web.

The only good thing about the store is that you can actually see the stuff.

Were they hot though ?
post #7 of 27
Should this be the case for all Apple Store, then Steve, or any higher authority, need to discipline the employees. The employees should be pleasant to talk to, not be so insulting the customers. I've never to the Apple Store because I do all my business online. I just hope I don't encounter such employee when I visit the Store.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude
I think I will email this to Steve Jobs because he should be concerned about his company's image.

Straight to Steve?

Why not just call the store manager? Steve knows that there will always be bad employees in a company this size. Attempting to reach Steve on a matter this trivial is ridiculous. If you succeeded, all you will have done is divert his attention from something more important.

This is why retail managers exist, to handle the staffing of low-level retail positions. A good portion of their job is to ensure that problems like this are prevented and/or resolved well.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Jiminy C.
Should this be the case for all Apple Store, then Steve, or any higher authority, need to discipline the employees. The employees should be pleasant to talk to, not be so insulting the customers. I've never to the Apple Store because I do all my business online. I just hope I don't encounter such employee when I visit the Store.

I'm fairly sure a higher power than Steve responding would involve lightning bolts and plagues
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dfiler
Straight to Steve?

Why not just call the store manager?

Because I forgot to mention that the store manager was standing there bragging to one of his friends about how he sold 3 years of Apple Care to someone who bought an eMac and REALLY didn't want it. Maybe that makes him a good salesman, but he's crooked too. Plus, I've had positive results with my e-mails to Jobs in the past.
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post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude
Because I forgot to mention that the store manager was standing there bragging to one of his friends about how he sold 3 years of Apple Care to someone who bought an eMac and REALLY didn't want it. Maybe that makes him a good salesman, but he's crooked too. Plus, I've had positive results with my e-mails to Jobs in the past.

there may be a district/area/zone/territory manager that oversees 3 or 4 sores, if not that there must be some other form of higher-up that you could call, the manager has to answer to somebody, this isn't the wild wild west, everybody has a boss.
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post #12 of 27
the store here in fashion valley used to be horrible
somewhat improved now
kick out the snots & macheads & get some unix people in
there who know & understand machines & can understand
tech issues
nothing is more annoying than an arrogant apple ass
looking down on other os's

people are their to look & if they like buy hardware
or peripherals....in short DO NOT piss off the customer
or they may not come back

that being said the new set of people in the san diego
store is a huge improvement over the old one & much more
polite to boot.
post #13 of 27
Oh no Martha! Crappy service at a retail store? How can this possibly be? Get over yourself. As you said the obviously understaffed store was busy and you expect them to wait on you hands and knees? They ran out of powerbooks? Yeah stores tend to sort of run out of things they sell stuff.


And a guy bought applecare when he didn't want it? lol what a douche, tell me where he lives so i can sucker him too. Sorry but if people aren't strong enough to say no to a salespitch, then what else is there to say?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by nwhysee
Oh no Martha! Crappy service at a retail store? How can this possibly be? Get over yourself. As you said the obviously understaffed store was busy and you expect them to wait on you hands and knees? They ran out of powerbooks? Yeah stores tend to sort of run out of things they sell stuff.


And a guy bought applecare when he didn't want it? lol what a douche, tell me where he lives so i can sucker him too. Sorry but if people aren't strong enough to say no to a salespitch, then what else is there to say?

The crappy service is understandable but insulting the customer that's crossing the line.
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post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by nwhysee
Oh no Martha! Crappy service at a retail store? How can this possibly be? Get over yourself. As you said the obviously understaffed store was busy and you expect them to wait on you hands and knees? They ran out of powerbooks? Yeah stores tend to sort of run out of things they sell stuff.


And a guy bought applecare when he didn't want it? lol what a douche, tell me where he lives so i can sucker him too. Sorry but if people aren't strong enough to say no to a salespitch, then what else is there to say?

Last time I checked, Apple prided itself on a different kind of retail experience. I assumed that mac users would want Apple to have good service, but it seems like you don't care. You sound like a guy that does all of his shopping on the internet anyway. Maybe you should get out into the real world more and see how non-hermits interact with people.

My point about the applecare thing was that I wouldn't report bad service to the manager, because the manager himself was a pushy rude salesman.
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude


When my dad called the PowerBook "iBook" the 3rd time, the store guy goes, "Oooh, do I sense a Windows user in the store?" He was not at all joking and came across as really rude. My dad responded with "No, I'm just old and computers didn't even exist when I was your age. All the laptops are the same to me." This kid obviously didn't know how to deal with older (he's only 52) customers. I think this is bad because a lot of people that need the most computer-buying advice are my dad's age or older.

He said it didn't but he also said (in all seriousness), "If you damage the computer, just don't tell them you did anything and they'll fix it for free." I'm smart enough to figure that out myself thank you. But I don't think it's good for an employee to be telling a customer how to screw his company.

1. that seems like the typical apple jackass they have working their stores that tries to be geeky wise ass/jokester with the customer but it doesn't work because the people they hire really have no personality or basis in reality or real people skills.

2. i don't see anything wrong with that. personally, i appreciate his honesty. if you weren't such of an apple fan boy you wouldn't take the view of him "screwing his company" but instead helping the customer.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut

2. i don't see anything wrong with that. personally, i appreciate his honesty. if you weren't such of an apple fan boy you wouldn't take the view of him "screwing his company" but instead helping the customer.

Actually, my opinion comes from dealing with employees at the place I work. We had this one guy who would constantly tell people to just buy something from one of our suppliers so they would save money. I don't like people who have no loyalty to their company.
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post #18 of 27
I am sorry to hear about your bad experience but honestly I am not terribly surprised. Unless you become a regular at their stores, they will treat you like a low class computer user. If you go in there on the other hand completely clueless (or acting this way) about computers then their attitude would most likely be completely different. But we should not have to do that.

Sadly the associates just do not care. I am not sure what kind of package they get these days for being an Apple Store employee but it must not be what it was when I was an Apple Store employee when the stores first started popping up or the moral would be much higher. I also know the pay is terrible, and the push to sell AppleCare, .Mac and other service plans is at an extreme....so much so that if you do not meet very demanding quotas, your job is gone. And as far as I know, the rewards for meeting your quotas only happen once a quarter, if that.

Everytime I go into the Apple Store in Walnut Creek I always see a new face, and I must go into the store at least twice a month. Pretty sad for a company that prides itself on its people and its retail presents.

It is very sad to think that the Apple Stores are not a mecca as they should be but rather just a pretty environment to see the latest and greatest. It is the one organization within Apple I am let down with the most, and exteremly disappointed in and, that does not just include my personal experiences.
post #19 of 27
At the two stores here in the Minneapolis area, I have had nothing but positive experiences. I recently bought my 4G iPod there, but had also gone in just to ask questions about my old 3G. I was always treated, even by the youngest members of the staff, with courtesy and respect no matter how stupid the question. I can only imagine how I would have been treated by the employee described at the SOHO store if I had come to him with the iPod issue I once had where it only needed a reset. In Minneapolis, in a non-condescending way, they told me what they were going to do, why it was the right thing to do and why it ultimately worked. Typical for what I have come to expect from my fellow midwesterners.

I am, in fact, moving to Brooklyn in ten days and I will be interested to see if there really is anything to the old stereotype that Midwesterners are just brought up to be nicer people than the East Coasties are. Certainly out here we generally take pride in our courtesy and our willingness to help eachother out. I've visited NYC many times now and find that the average Joe on the street there is pretty much the same as he is here, just in a much bigger hurry! I have noticed, however, that in general, the quality of service in NYC sucks unless you are paying through your nose for it.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude
Actually, my opinion comes from dealing with employees at the place I work. We had this one guy who would constantly tell people to just buy something from one of our suppliers so they would save money. I don't like people who have no loyalty to their company.

Go watch Miracle on 34th Street
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by G4Dude
Last time I checked, Apple prided itself on a different kind of retail experience. I assumed that mac users would want Apple to have good service, but it seems like you don't care. You sound like a guy that does all of his shopping on the internet anyway. Maybe you should get out into the real world more and see how non-hermits interact with people.

And last time i checked no store says "We're gonna aim for mediocre service". It just happens that way. Frankly i don't care how the employees there act as long as my computer works. Furthermore i bought my ibook at the apple store not online, but the difference between us is that i understand the plight of the working man, because the trurth is employees are stupid but customers are just retarded.

And you're calling me a hermit? Come on look at the post count.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by nwhysee
the trurth is employees are stupid but customers are just retarded.

Now there's something we agree on. But just because I know all of my customers are stupid, doesn't mean I treat them like they are.
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post #23 of 27
Ofcourse not, we treat them like the 'special' people they are
post #24 of 27
So is Apple hiring CompUSA flunkies?
post #25 of 27
Don't worry too much because at the prices the sales people get, some shitheads will make it through. The key will be if that kid is still working in 6 months. If so, then you should worry about the store.
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post #26 of 27
How do you become an Apple Store employee in the first place? Do they have to pass some tests? Then the tests must be extremely easy.
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Kishan
At the two stores here in the Minneapolis area, I have had nothing but positive experiences. I recently bought my 4G iPod there, but had also gone in just to ask questions about my old 3G. I was always treated, even by the youngest members of the staff, with courtesy and respect no matter how stupid the question. I can only imagine how I would have been treated by the employee described at the SOHO store if I had come to him with the iPod issue I once had where it only needed a reset. In Minneapolis, in a non-condescending way, they told me what they were going to do, why it was the right thing to do and why it ultimately worked. Typical for what I have come to expect from my fellow midwesterners.


Umm, his crappy experience was at the Portland, Oregon store.
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