In-Store Activation=More Profits, Nightmare for Customers

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Thought I would take us back to this issue now that the iPhone is a good 5-6 weeks into it's launch.



I've visited the Apple Store King of Prussia, PA several times in the hopes of buying a phone recently. The first was a week after launch. I arrived over an hour early to find almost 100 people in line. I left. At this time, stock was the issue.



Last Saturday, I saw that all stores in PA reported having all models in stock. I arrived at the store with my daughter, and found a line of about 25 people. I was told by the employee managing the line (who looked to be about 17) that the wait was "at least a few hours." I was told I could get in line and she would make her way back to give me a claim check if I qualified. Since I had my 5 year old daughter with me, I really couldn't wait.



There is not doubt that Apple's requirement for in-store activation has caused a nightmare for customers. Granted, they are exerting more control over the process, but they've put their customers through hell just in trying to buy one. A two hour wait is not reasonable when a product is well-stocked and in its 6th week of release. I completely understand the lines in the first two weeks or so, when low stock and high demand caused long waits. But at this point, there is essentially no store that a customer can wait a reasonable amount of time and walk out with a phone. AT&T, of course, doesn't even have stock in its stores.



Obviously Apple has made a business decision here in trying to prevent phone unlocking. But I don't know that what they are putting their potential customers through is worth it. Experiences? Thoughts?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    Thought I would take us back to this issue now that the iPhone is a good 5-6 weeks into it's launch.



    I've visited the Apple Store King of Prussia, PA several times in the hopes of buying a phone recently. The first was a week after launch. I arrived over an hour early to find almost 100 people in line. I left. At this time, stock was the issue.



    Last Saturday, I saw that all stores in PA reported having all models in stock. I arrived at the store with my daughter, and found a line of about 25 people. I was told by the employee managing the line (who looked to be about 17) that the wait was "at least a few hours." I was told I could get in line and she would make her way back to give me a claim check if I qualified. Since I had my 5 year old daughter with me, I really couldn't wait.



    There is not doubt that Apple's requirement for in-store activation has caused a nightmare for customers. Granted, they are exerting more control over the process, but they've put their customers through hell just in trying to buy one. A two hour wait is not reasonable when a product is well-stocked and in its 6th week of release. I completely understand the lines in the first two weeks or so, when low stock and high demand caused long waits. But at this point, there is essentially no store that a customer can wait a reasonable amount of time and walk out with a phone. AT&T, of course, doesn't even have stock in its stores.



    Obviously Apple has made a business decision here in trying to prevent phone unlocking. But I don't know that what they are putting their potential customers through is worth it. Experiences? Thoughts?



    This is just not true. I walked into a store on July 14th and left with one in 20 minutes. I suggest that you try one of these things:



    1. Ask when they get new shipments in and when the lines are the smallest. My guess is that you could avoid any wait if you just go at a less popular time.



    2. Order from AT&T and go the the store when the phone arrives. You'll have to wait for them to get your phone, but there will be little time at the store when you go to get it activated.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rsmithgi View Post


    This is just not true. I walked into a store on July 14th and left with one in 20 minutes. I suggest that you try one of these things:



    1. Ask when they get new shipments in and when the lines are the smallest. My guess is that you could avoid any wait if you just go at a less popular time.



    2. Order from AT&T and go the the store when the phone arrives. You'll have to wait for them to get your phone, but there will be little time at the store when you go to get it activated.





    Well, I finally got one. I showed up for the early store hours at 9:15 Sunday morning, only to be told they just changed the hours back....meaning the store didn't open until 11 a.m. I was second in line, but the first person bailed because once I told her about the upgrade pricing, she realized she wasn't eligible. In any case, I number 1 and got my phone right at 11 a.m.

    All went well.



    That said, at about 10:45, there were 10 people in line, not counting the 10-15 or so lined up to just get into the store. At 11, there were almost 20 people in line. The store was mobbed with customers as soon as it opened.



    I'm not sure where you went, but around here one is going to stand in line pretty much no matter what. I've gone on different days and times. The line yesterday was the shortest I've ever seen.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    wait till you have to take it back!!
  • Reply 4 of 4
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post


    wait till you have to take it back!!



    No problems as of now. My only real complaint is the bluetooth. I get an echo with my Camry's built-in. Also, when I answer in the car, I have to tap the iphone "hands free" button to get sound. Everything else works quite well. Still getting used to typing though...
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