Apple Watch preorders cause spike in Apple phone, chat support wait times

in Apple Watch edited April 2015
As can be expected from a major product launch, Apple Watch preorders and first weekend sales caused a spike in wait times for customers trying to reach Apple's service centers.

According to fresh data from customer service analytics firm StellaService, analysts polling Apple's response times on April 10 -- the first day of Apple Watch preorders -- waited 4 minutes and 51 seconds to reach a live representative over phone and 2 minutes and 22 seconds for help over chat. Phone-based support recovered on April 11 with delays down to 1 minute and 34 seconds, but chat still lagged at 2 minutes and 12 seconds.

By comparison, in the first quarter of 2015 Apple's customer service response speeds averaged 1 minute and 28 seconds for phone calls and 22 seconds for chat requests put in through its website.

A second, less dramatic spike was seen when Apple Watch shipped out to customers on April 24, with phone call times coming in at 1 minute and 54 seconds, while chats took at 80 seconds to connect.

StellaService does not speculate on what caused the longer than normal wait times, but it can be assumed strong Apple Watch demand is to blame.

With a sweeping advertising campaign targeting both technology and fashion markets, demand for Apple Watch was impressive from the outset and saw initial supply sell out within minutes. Further, Apple changed its order policy for both Apple Watch and the new 12-inch MacBook, which also went on sale on April 10, initially allowing only online availability of both items.

Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts addressed Apple Store employees after receiving word that consumers were confused about the policy shift, saying that future product launches would return to online preorders ahead of day one brick-and-mortar availability.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,419member

    And it's all Where's my Apple Watch?  When is it going to ship?  Blah, blah, blah.


    Patience, young Skywalkers!

  • Reply 2 of 8

    Heh. I plan to call them tomorrow about my Watch order. Joining the herd.

  • Reply 3 of 8

    "Support" wait times? Firstly how is this average time calculated? There are MANY different "wait lines" customers are sent to when calling depending on their issue. These people calling about the Watch were most probably routed to the Apple Online Store Support queue, as they didn't even have an actual product to call about.

    This is not a very important queue to the overall picture of Apple phone/chat support. 

    Also, a wait of under 5 minutes in PEAK call volume for a company like this is laudable no matter how the article try to skew it.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,363member
    4 min peak hrs is a "spike"? I just spent 40 min on hold with my ISP today and they're not launching jack shit. 10-30 min on hold is very typical in my experience with most companies.

    Also, take it easy guys. It will get there when it gets there. Plus or minus a few days won't kill you.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    slurpy wrote: »
    4 min peak hrs is a "spike"? I just spent 40 min on hold with my ISP today and they're not launching jack shit.

    With cable companies you have to know the right number to call. Call for sales and they'll answer that on the first ring. :)
  • Reply 6 of 8
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    I wonder when, or if, a news posting was made about any other company in history's wait times for pre-orders of anything. Ever.
  • Reply 7 of 8

    I had an completely unresponsive Force Touch on my watch and had to call on Friday (24th). The guy said that Apple brought in a LOT of support to deal with the product release and he said they were way overstaffed (basically twiddling their thumbs). I was his first call about the watch as of 2:00 EST; I waited about 20 seconds to get a hold of someone. Maybe I was just lucky.

  • Reply 8 of 8
    They do fast approval on apps with apple watch support, seems like they are paying more attention in watch rightnow than phone!
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