Apple ProCare service revamp to offer less bang for buck

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Mac users mulling an Apple ProCare license may want to buy into the extended training and repair service within the next 48 hours, as changes due later in the week will effectively double the cost of today's offerings.



According to people familiar with the matter, Apple on Wednesday will split the existing $99 per-year retail service into two separate packages -- one for repair-related services and the other specifically for one-on-one Mac training.



The first $99 package will retain the "ProCare" brand and continue to offer Genius Bar reservations up to 14 days in advance, "Fast Track" priority same-day repairs, and general Genius Bar expedited service for up to 3 computers.



ProCare, however, will no longer include Apple's in-store personal training sessions, which will instead be broken out into a separate offering called "One-to-One." Interested Mac owners will be asked to fork over an additional $99 for the Creative-based training service, which will offer up to 52 one-hour sessions throughout the course of the year.



School teachers -- not students -- buying into the new One-to-one service will receive a $20 discount, bringing the cost of the package down to $79, those familiar with the changes say. On the other hand, there appear to be no cost saving opportunities available to customers who purchase both ProCare and One-to-one.



As part of this week's service shift, Apple is also expected to re-brand its complimentary Talk Mac computer consultation service under the "Personal Shopping" moniker and equip its retail employees with new Spring tee-shirts.



The moves by the Cupertino-based company are the latest aimed at boosting the revenue of its software and service segment, which has seen only a modest 6 percent rise over the past year. For the three-month period ending March, the segment generated about $345 million in revenues, down a percent from the December holiday quarter.



The high-margin repair and training services are often a subject of frustration for Apple retail employees, who are reprimanded by management for failing to push the offerings on new computer buyers. Apple Retail stores typically set specific ProCare and Apple Care goals (or "attach rates") which employees are expected to meet in a given period of time.



It's unclear how the service split will affect Apple's attach rate expectations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Maybe this will finally mean there will be some focus between the two.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ProCare, however, will no longer include Apple's in-store personal training sessions, which will instead be broken out into a separate offering called "One-to-One." Interested Mac owners will be asked to fork over an additional $99 for the Creative-based training service, which will offer up to 52 one-hour sessions throughout the course of the year.



    Will we see diplomas of the people giving us the "one on one" training seesions to show us that the instructors will actually be well versed in the subject matter? I only ask because I definitely do not want to be taught by the individual Apple Store staff that I encountered. It would not be worth even the $1.90384615384 (99.00/52.00)... to pay for his session!







    Quote:

    As part of this week's service shift, Apple is also expected to re-brand its complimentary Talk Mac computer consultation service under the "Personal Shopping" moniker and equip its retail employees with new Spring tee-shirts.



    Forget new Spring tee shirts, how about "springing" for knowledgable floor staff! See above rant!!
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Will we see diplomas of the people giving us the "one on one" training seesions to show us that the instructors will actually be well versed in the subject matter? I only ask because I definitely do not want to be taught by the individual Apple Store staff that I encountered. It would not be worth even the $1.90384615384 (99.00/52.00)... to pay for his session! Forget new Spring tee shirts, how about "springing" for knowledgable floor staff! See above rant!!



    Man, I could not agree with you more. Everytime I go into the Apple Store the sales people are bone heads. None of them have any clue, I swear, what a processor is. Our industry is moving toward the service aspect. Companies that offer spectacular service are finishing strong. Currently Apple's service is terrible, is this a way for their service to possibly get even worse? I would not pay any extra for service that sucks as it is. Gosh darn it just increase the price of computers by $100 and give free service of some kind, customers will be none the wiser, and it appears at though Apple gives complimentary service!
  • Reply 4 of 39
    For the longtime Mac users like myself who really don't need training (I prefer to teach myself usually anyways) this is not bad, since I'm not paying for something I don't need. I would have liked to see it lowered in price, but yay for splitting up



    I'm sure the ever important stock holders are happy



    It really seems that the procare and 'creative' staff are more towards teaching people how to work a computer. I was in an apple store the other day and I heard a (rather) elderly gentleman with a Crative literally say 'I went to open iTunes and it dissapeared from my computer!' What had happened was he dragged his itunes icon off of his dock and didn't realize what happened.



    Class is out. Back later
  • Reply 5 of 39
    I highly doubt this will affect many people. You either used it for the training, or the technical support. I'm glad to see ProCare going back to its roots, and giving the One-To-One training its own service.



    -Jay
  • Reply 6 of 39
    A hundred bucks for up to 52 hours of one-to-one training of any kind is a steal in this industry, even if you get something out of it only half the time...
  • Reply 7 of 39
    floccusfloccus Posts: 138member
    It makes sense that Apple is giving the teachers a $20 discount as they're the ones that probably need the help. Most young students, although mostly raised on Windwos, are still way ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding how most apps work. Also, this is a great extension of Apple's education plans as it allows teachers to see new/better ways to take advantage of the software that is available to them, and they in turn can instruct the students in their classrooms. Sounds like a decent plan to me.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cubbybear View Post


    A hundred bucks for up to 52 hours of one-to-one training of any kind is a steal in this industry, even if you get something out of it only half the time...



    Amen. Have we forgotten about our friend's over at the Geek Squad? $229 for a two hour "at home" training session and $39 for a 30 minute phone call on Vista basics. If you find a price to beat Apple's I would love to see it.



    -

    Jay
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Forget new Spring tee shirts, how about "springing" for knowledgable floor staff! See above rant!!



    Hopefully Best Buy doesn't catch on...
  • Reply 10 of 39
    bdj21yabdj21ya Posts: 297member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustBrady View Post


    Man, I could not agree with you more. Everytime I go into the Apple Store the sales people are bone heads. None of them have any clue, I swear, what a processor is. Our industry is moving toward the service aspect. Companies that offer spectacular service are finishing strong. Currently Apple's service is terrible, is this a way for their service to possibly get even worse? I would not pay any extra for service that sucks as it is. Gosh darn it just increase the price of computers by $100 and give free service of some kind, customers will be none the wiser, and it appears at though Apple gives complimentary service!



    I'd have to disagree with both of you. I don't claim the sales people are especially knowledgeable, but they're not the ones helping with ProCare (or shouldn't be). However, the Geniuses in charge of ProCare have been VERY helpful in my experience. Apple's in store help option is revolutionary for the industry. I talk to so many PC users who wish they could take their computer somewhere for free one on one support. The Apple Stores are one of the greatest things about being a Mac user.



    Apple does include free service on all of its computers, without charging the extra $100 you suggest. Are you even a Mac owner? You can schedule same day service at the Apple store.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    I find it outrageous that these "training sessions" are heavily slanted towards pushing more sales. Several of my friends who were Mac newbies went to the Apple store, got ProCare so they could actually talk to a "genius", decided to take advantage of the so-called "free training sessions" that come with ProCare... and got a time-share-like sales pitch for dot-mac.

    Not that dot-mac is inherently a bad solution for newbies, but it really is expensive and I find it rather disingenuous for Apple to have this "hidden agenda".
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post


    I find it outrageous that these "training sessions" are heavily slanted towards pushing more sales. Several of my friends who were Mac newbies went to the Apple store, got ProCare so they could actually talk to a "genius", decided to take advantage of the so-called "free training sessions" that come with ProCare... and got a time-share-like sales pitch for dot-mac.

    Not that dot-mac is inherently a bad solution for newbies, but it really is expensive and I find it rather disingenuous for Apple to have this "hidden agenda".



    Well, it obviously HAS to be a sales pitch. There is no way that it would be profitable for them to offer that much service otherwise.



    And there is no way to actually get 52 classes out of it. The reason being is that you have to schedule the classes in advance. The typical wait period is about 2 weeks. You cannot schedule a second class until your first class is completed, so at best, you can get classes every 2 weeks. Even still, the price is a good deal compared to other companies offerings.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Salesperson vs. Genius

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdj21ya View Post


    I'd have to disagree with both of you. I don't claim the sales people are especially knowledgeable, but they're not the ones helping with ProCare (or shouldn't be). However, the Geniuses in charge of ProCare have been VERY helpful in my experience. Apple's in store help option is revolutionary for the industry.



    As a supplement to the above post:



    The main reason why you see smart Geniuses and dumb salespersons is because to become a salesperson, you have to have been born 17 years ago, and able to work. The only knowledge you need to sell a product is what it does, what problems of customers it solves, and prices.



    To become a genious you have to be laptop, desktop, and OS certified before they even look at you.



    I'm proud to say I'm working on becoming a genius !



    Its like if you bought a HP computer from Walmart, would you go to the guy that sold you it and seriously expect him to help solve your fatal error with an error of 0x0000031? So why would you go to a salesperson in an Apple store when their job is to sell, not service.





    And I like .mac. Its really good product/service, I'm just a starving college student right now. Hey is .mac an education expense?
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post


    Not that dot-mac is inherently a bad solution for newbies, but it really is expensive and I find it rather disingenuous for Apple to have this "hidden agenda".



    I highly doubt Apple has any hidden agendas. None of the specialists, creatives, or genii are commission based. I've been to the Apple store numerous times for different things, and I find that they are pretty much there to help you make informed decisions.



    As far as the .Mac goes, it still is a great buy. Again, like this ProCare issue, find me a service that you pay $99 a year for webhosting, online storage, backup software, E-Mail (which has far better spam protection than most, imho). In Windoze world, you'll pay around $50 just for a a decent backup program.



    I certainly must live next to a good Apple store...
  • Reply 15 of 39
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Does anyone actually USE the service? It certainly doesn't fit my needs, and a price doubling/ service halving or whatever this is would make it less desirable. I think it's probably better to use some of the online pro training services, which are probably a lot more comprehensive and more convenient. It's probably a decent value, but the pressure to add services on top of that may means that it may be paying for itself.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjayBot View Post


    I'm proud to say I'm working on becoming a genius !



    And I like .mac. Its really good product/service...



    You've got a long road ahead of you.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cubbybear View Post


    A hundred bucks for up to 52 hours of one-to-one training of any kind is a steal in this industry, even if you get something out of it only half the time...



    Assuming you are retired and live next to the store, yes.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Does anyone actually USE the service?



    I've been a ProCare member for three years now, and like I said earlier, I don't use the one-to-training. I think most ProCare members really use it for just training or just for service.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Does anyone actually USE the service? It certainly doesn't fit my needs, and a price doubling/ service halving or whatever this is would make it less desirable. I think it's probably better to use some of the online pro training services, which are probably a lot more comprehensive and more convenient.



    Its really geared towards two people:

    Older people who don't have time or patience to sit down and figure out this confounded machine and have a nice enough income to pay someone to train them (I remember trying to teach someone how to use a Windows computer for the first time. Never again )



    Professionals who have the money to blow to learn every bell and whistle of Final Cut or Logic Pro. (fine programs might I add)





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wilco View Post


    You've got a long road ahead of you.



    Tell me about it. I've got the books on the certifications, and they are quite a read. One section takes 6 hours to finish. Not to meantion the word on the street is it takes a couple times before you can actually pass the exam (its tough)



    And its okay. I'm a fresh college student and I've got the energy for now
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Seems to me that they are just separating it so they can make more money.



    I would like to know what is excluded from those trainnings and who will be teaching the class?



    I have made appointments to the G bar where they had to get me someone from the backroom that was Unix geeck enough to answer part of my question about some files and configuration settings.



    Not every G is going to know what you are asking about and they are going to staff a lot more if people are going to come in that offten.



    I bet they are banking that most people will come 2 to 3 times a year.



    If they can teach PRO tools I may go for it, and make it a point to show up for at least 40 lessons. If it is just basic computer handling, how to do backups, and iLife, I rather save my money and my time.
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