'Overworked and unhappy' Apple Southampton store staff want to unionize

Posted:
in General Discussion

Staff at the Apple Southampton store have formally requested that management recognize their union, following Apple "eroding" customer service and staff conditions.

Apple Southampton (Source: Apple)
Apple Southampton (Source: Apple)



Once considered a symbol of how retail should be done, Apple's hundreds of stores have been seeing calls to unionize in the face of what are said to be worsening conditions. Apple has mainly fought against unions, including taking illegal anti-union measures, but it has at times agreed to recognize unions in certain stores, such as Apple Glasgow.

Now in an announcement posted to Twitter/X, Apple Southampton staff have formally requested the same treatment as Glasgow.

"Staff at Southampton's Apple Store have today formally notified store management of their desire to be recognised as a unionised workforce," says the announcement. "As members of the United Tech and Allied Workers (UTAW) -- the CWU's national tech worker branch -- they have requested what is known as 'voluntary recognition,' where the store agrees to recognise and work with unionised staff as a single bargaining unit."

The announcement also includes quotes from Apple Store staff on why they need to have a union representing them.

"Apple Retail is touted as a top employer but the reality is one of an overworked and unhappy workforce," said an unnamed employee. "They try to keep us sweet with various benefits but don't pay nearly enough for the amount of hard work, skills and knowledge that are required."

"We've tried bringing issues up through employee forums and internal grievances but these are always dismissed with a fake smile," he or she continued. "That's why we decided to form a union."

Apple Southampton staff's announcement also specifically calls out Apple over "the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent and chronically ill staff as well as fears around job security, particularly associated with changes being made to Genius Bar."

"[Increasingly], in-store repairs are being outsourced to cheaper contract labour in large service centres," said an Apple Genius from the store. "It means a reduction in the quality of service and adds shipping time to repairs."

"We've always had repair facilities and staff in every store, our technicians pride ourselves on a quality experience and quick service," continued the Genius, "but Apple is eroding the service to squeeze every penny it can out of its retail stores."

Apple has not commented publicly on the call to have a union recognized in the store. According to the announcement, management now has two weeks to respond.

While it hasn't responded yet to this specific announcement, Apple has previously and repeatedly expressed the same anti-union arguments.

Deirdre O'Brien, head of retail, has claimed before that Apple has a relationship with its retail staff "based on an open and collaborative and direct engagement." She said worries "about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship."

This description of how Apple Store staff are respected does seem to tally with the original years of the stores. However, it's now more common for staff -- including Apple Southampton ones -- to say that any attempt to communicate over issues is simply ignored.

One US employee summarized talking to management as being "like writing a letter to Santa."

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Recently announced NLRB rules should crimp Apple’s knee-jerk anti-union proclivities. As an OG Apple fanboy and holder of a goodly chunk of stock, I find this un enlightened early 19th century attitude towards unions an enigma from an otherwise progressive company. 
    OfertokyojimuAlex_Vronngrandact73elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 21
    I worked at Apple Retail years ago.  It is tough, no doubt about it.  My solution was to find another job.  That's what I'd recommend for those trying to unionize.  Former Apple employees are in demand.
    williamhpjohntralphie
  • Reply 3 of 21

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    pjohnt
  • Reply 4 of 21
    mobirdmobird Posts: 757member
    "Deirdre O'Brien, head of retail"
    Time for new leadership for Apple Retail Division.
    ronnHugeAppleFan
  • Reply 5 of 21
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    The principle of being overworked is exactly the same for an hourly or salaried employee.
    ronnOferHugeAppleFanhammeroftruth
  • Reply 6 of 21
     "They try to keep us sweet with various benefits‘

    Oh no. Not benefits. 
    laytechhammeroftruthcharlesn
  • Reply 7 of 21
    I worked as a Genius for Apple Retail almost 15 years ago. So sad that the complaints we had then are the same complaints as now. 
    grandact73ronnhammeroftruth
  • Reply 8 of 21
    mobird said:
    "Deirdre O'Brien, head of retail"
    Time for new leadership for Apple Retail Division.
    This job has become the Defense Against the Dark Arts for Apple.
    HugeAppleFan
  • Reply 9 of 21
    I worked at Apple Retail years ago.  It is tough, no doubt about it.  My solution was to find another job.  That's what I'd recommend for those trying to unionize.  Former Apple employees are in demand.

    That's great for the people who can move on to another job but someone has to do that job. Might as well unionize while they're there and do a lot of good for themselves and the people who come after them
    ronnmuthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 10 of 21
    The luxury employees have these days is choice. Choice to work where you want work and for who, or you have the choice to find another job. There is no law stopping you from leaving. You may love your work and the job but feel under valued or underpaid or both, and that is a true shame but you may find that balance elsewhere.

    What I have learned as an employer, is that pay rises are quickly spent and the satisfaction is short lived. The dissatisfaction quickly returns and those passing around the toxicity soon start to bring it back again. A job is more than just pay but pay of course is important but it is not the overriding factor. 

    Unionising will solve nothing. Business have had to compromise in the past 24 months to levels never seen before. I often seem to forget who is working for who, the employee or the employer. 
    edited September 2023 mobirdFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 21
    As a former Genius at a UK Apple Store and one who worked at this store, I can tell you that life is fine.

    They are the highest paid retail employees on the high street, have great benefits package including free private health care. Great pension and stock options.

    What I found is that the tenure of Genius’ was crazy high. They get super comfortable in the job, love the pay rises and can’t find work elsewhere which matches the salary. So they stay for 10’s of years.

    Retail = it’s busy on weekends and you have to stay around a little bit longer to help your customer. Launch days are long, but you are well fed and that’s it!! Tough life aye!

    I think Apple employees forget it is retail… 

    The Genius team were asked to help out more out front and put through referrals to the sales team or business team. It put people’s backs up and that’s where it all stemmed from in the UK.

    Again, tough life.

    It’s a great topic, so I’m more than happy to have a discussion about it 
    mobirdFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 12 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,897member
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    edited September 2023 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 21
    avon b7 said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    Yeh, those were the days! Luckily now everything is done via iCloud and is a lot quicker or can be done at home.

    I don’t miss customer sitting with their Mac’s for hours uploading or download backups!! 
  • Reply 14 of 21
    torb9h said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    The principle of being overworked is exactly the same for an hourly or salaried employee.
    Sorry, but "overworked" is a really vague complaint when you're being paid to, you know... work. I'm not saying the concept doesn't exist. If you're being forced to work unpaid overtime, for example, you are indeed being "overworked." Or perhaps you took the job with the understanding of a 5-day week and there are demands, instead, for you to work 6 or 7 days. Fair enough. So what's the issue for Apple retail workers? They never really say what is beyond or "over" their expectation of the work the job would entail. Retail is hard. And Apple stores are generally busy. You may be on your feet dealing with customers for your entire workday every day that you're there. But that's the job. Where does the "overwork" part come in?
    dewme
  • Reply 15 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,897member
    avon b7 said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    Yeh, those were the days! Luckily now everything is done via iCloud and is a lot quicker or can be done at home.

    I don’t miss customer sitting with their Mac’s for hours uploading or download backups!! 
    Yes. They were trying to get me to sign up to a paid tier from the outset on the claim that everything would be easier. 

    I said I wasn't going to do that to upgrade. I reminded the guy that iTunes on Windows was basically good to go almost as far back as Windows 95, something that made my situation even more grating. 

    Curiously, we have just accepted a new promotional tariff from our carrier with a device included at a reasonable price but according to them we had to request it at the time of acceptance. 

    We chose an iPhone 13. It came 'new' (official green arrow seal on the box, model number starting with M etc).

    The transfer was a nightmare experience. It failed wirelessly three times in a row. Appearing to 'hang' with a spinning wheel on the new phone or an error message saying contact had been lost with the other phone and stating to restart the 'iPhone' but failing to make it clear to which one! 

    Apple really hasn't thought the failure recovery procedure through enough. 

    Terrible experience and communication with the user was a fail and pain point.

    My wife now has a paid iCloud plan so we decided to try that. More problems and cryptic messages, only to reach some outright alarming points including that the purchases made by my wife were being merged with those from another AppleID! 

    What! 

    Then the killer. A message popped up asking for the password of an AppleID (email address presented) and asking for a password which we obviously didn't know because that AppleID had nothing to do with us. 

    We were however able to skip that and get the phone up and running. 

    Suspecting the phone wasn't new we decided to erase it a return it. 

    I told my wife to go into the 'old' phone and disassociate it from her AppleID. A message was returned saying the task couldn't be carried out be the new device was still being updated! 

    That's when I pulled the plug and reset the phone to factory settings. It's now back with the carrier and I opened up a chat with Apple to give them all the details. They say they will contact the carrier to investigate further. 

    Kudos to Apple here as the chat process was very clean and efficient (it was also 2am local time). Only downer is that although I have a case number, they don't provide a copy of the chat itself. 

    edited September 2023 muthuk_vanalingamformergeniusapp
  • Reply 16 of 21
    torb9h said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    The principle of being overworked is exactly the same for an hourly or salaried employee.
    Well, not really. When you're salaried, you're paid the same whether you work 40 hours per week or 60. Hourly employees in that scenario would be paid 1.5 times as much for working the 60 hours. Is it really that hard to grasp?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    laytech said:
    The luxury employees have these days is choice. Choice to work where you want work and for who, or you have the choice to find another job. There is no law stopping you from leaving. You may love your work and the job but feel under valued or underpaid or both, and that is a true shame but you may find that balance elsewhere.

    What I have learned as an employer, is that pay rises are quickly spent and the satisfaction is short lived. The dissatisfaction quickly returns and those passing around the toxicity soon start to bring it back again. A job is more than just pay but pay of course is important but it is not the overriding factor. 

    Unionising will solve nothing. Business have had to compromise in the past 24 months to levels never seen before. I often seem to forget who is working for who, the employee or the employer. 
    Surely the intent is to be working together to achieve a shared goal?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 21
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    Yeh, those were the days! Luckily now everything is done via iCloud and is a lot quicker or can be done at home.

    I don’t miss customer sitting with their Mac’s for hours uploading or download backups!! 
    Yes. They were trying to get me to sign up to a paid tier from the outset on the claim that everything would be easier. 

    I said I wasn't going to do that to upgrade. I reminded the guy that iTunes on Windows was basically good to go almost as far back as Windows 95, something that made my situation even more grating. 

    Curiously, we have just accepted a new promotional tariff from our carrier with a device included at a reasonable price but according to them we had to request it at the time of acceptance. 

    We chose an iPhone 13. It came 'new' (official green arrow seal on the box, model number starting with M etc).

    The transfer was a nightmare experience. It failed wirelessly three times in a row. Appearing to 'hang' with a spinning wheel on the new phone or an error message saying contact had been lost with the other phone and stating to restart the 'iPhone' but failing to make it clear to which one! 

    Apple really hasn't thought the failure recovery procedure through enough. 

    Terrible experience and communication with the user was a fail and pain point.

    My wife now has a paid iCloud plan so we decided to try that. More problems and cryptic messages, only to reach some outright alarming points including that the purchases made by my wife were being merged with those from another AppleID! 

    What! 

    Then the killer. A message popped up asking for the password of an AppleID (email address presented) and asking for a password which we obviously didn't know because that AppleID had nothing to do with us. 

    We were however able to skip that and get the phone up and running. 

    Suspecting the phone wasn't new we decided to erase it a return it. 

    I told my wife to go into the 'old' phone and disassociate it from her AppleID. A message was returned saying the task couldn't be carried out be the new device was still being updated! 

    That's when I pulled the plug and reset the phone to factory settings. It's now back with the carrier and I opened up a chat with Apple to give them all the details. They say they will contact the carrier to investigate further. 

    Kudos to Apple here as the chat process was very clean and efficient (it was also 2am local time). Only downer is that although I have a case number, they don't provide a copy of the chat itself. 

    I used to find that when another apple
    pops up on when restoring a backup, it’s because it’s spotted some content within the backup (usually music) associated with another Apple ID 

    This is when the user of the phone has downloaded music from another source other than iTunes. That music is associated with an Apple ID. 

    I’ve seen that many times in the past and you can skip that step, but it doesn’t tell you which songs won’t be downloaded. 


    muthuk_vanalingamronn
  • Reply 19 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,897member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    Yeh, those were the days! Luckily now everything is done via iCloud and is a lot quicker or can be done at home.

    I don’t miss customer sitting with their Mac’s for hours uploading or download backups!! 
    Yes. They were trying to get me to sign up to a paid tier from the outset on the claim that everything would be easier. 

    I said I wasn't going to do that to upgrade. I reminded the guy that iTunes on Windows was basically good to go almost as far back as Windows 95, something that made my situation even more grating. 

    Curiously, we have just accepted a new promotional tariff from our carrier with a device included at a reasonable price but according to them we had to request it at the time of acceptance. 

    We chose an iPhone 13. It came 'new' (official green arrow seal on the box, model number starting with M etc).

    The transfer was a nightmare experience. It failed wirelessly three times in a row. Appearing to 'hang' with a spinning wheel on the new phone or an error message saying contact had been lost with the other phone and stating to restart the 'iPhone' but failing to make it clear to which one! 

    Apple really hasn't thought the failure recovery procedure through enough. 

    Terrible experience and communication with the user was a fail and pain point.

    My wife now has a paid iCloud plan so we decided to try that. More problems and cryptic messages, only to reach some outright alarming points including that the purchases made by my wife were being merged with those from another AppleID! 

    What! 

    Then the killer. A message popped up asking for the password of an AppleID (email address presented) and asking for a password which we obviously didn't know because that AppleID had nothing to do with us. 

    We were however able to skip that and get the phone up and running. 

    Suspecting the phone wasn't new we decided to erase it a return it. 

    I told my wife to go into the 'old' phone and disassociate it from her AppleID. A message was returned saying the task couldn't be carried out be the new device was still being updated! 

    That's when I pulled the plug and reset the phone to factory settings. It's now back with the carrier and I opened up a chat with Apple to give them all the details. They say they will contact the carrier to investigate further. 

    Kudos to Apple here as the chat process was very clean and efficient (it was also 2am local time). Only downer is that although I have a case number, they don't provide a copy of the chat itself. 

    I used to find that when another apple
    pops up on when restoring a backup, it’s because it’s spotted some content within the backup (usually music) associated with another Apple ID 

    This is when the user of the phone has downloaded music from another source other than iTunes. That music is associated with an Apple ID. 

    I’ve seen that many times in the past and you can skip that step, but it doesn’t tell you which songs won’t be downloaded. 


    That's very interesting. Thanks for the heads up! 

    We're now waiting for the new models to appear next week and then we'll check how they impact the pricing of the older models in my carrier's catalog. 

    There is a bit of weirdness going on there at the moment. The vanilla iPhone 13 is now more expensive than the vanilla iPhone 14 and that wasn't the case two weeks ago. There will be some fluctuations over the coming days. 

    When we finally pull the trigger on one I'll pay close attention to the point you've made and try to see if the problem re-appears and if so, which store it is related to (iTunes, App Store or something else).

    She hasn't ever used the iTunes music store (knowingly at least) and her music content (on phone) was pulled out of a local iTunes backup when she got the XR years ago. No new content was added (AFAIK) because she's been using PlexAmp and streaming from our NAS, as storage on the phone itself is full.

    Nevertheless, the information you've provided is something I hadn't considered and is nice to know. Thanks! 

    muthuk_vanalingamformergeniusapp
  • Reply 20 of 21
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    clexman said:

    "overworked"

    I've never really understood that term when it comes to an hourly retail job.
    My experience with an iPhone purchase might shed some light on that. 

    I was managing the purchase of an iPhone via trade in but with an iTunes backup sitting on a vintage laptop. 

    I foresaw problems from the outset and tried every way possible to anticipate and resolve the potential problems I had flagged. 

    The staff (online and in retail) simply weren't up to the task. 

    The first line was the overly friendly and smiley guy who was clearly after the sale. That was his sole ambition. Problems? He was sure anything that popped up could be dealt with. Of course, by then, he would be out of the picture and any problems would be for someone else. 

    For privacy reasons, the old phone would have to be erased in front of me so I reminded him of the backup sitting on that vintage Mac/iTunes combo. He insisted in his overly friendly/smiley and now somewhat condescending way, that I shouldn't worry so I insisted and asked him to check for me. No one available for that he said. 

    So the phone was erased and the new one purchased and I was sent over to a table with about eight users in the same situation as me. Setting up and moving data to their new phones. All using different configuration combos and overseen by just one employee who was clearly not keeping up with all the questions being fired at him by confused users. 

    As soon as he saw my MBP he joked about it being a relic. I just thought "well, boy have I got some work for you" and proceeded to explain all the problems I could foresee. His eyes seemed to glaze over and it became clear he was out of his depth - and he was taking me with him! 

    His first reaction was blind faith - plug in the new phone and follow the instructions. 

    Bang! The iPhone wanted the latest version of iTunes. I told him, things are going to get nasty from here. All the while he was being bombarded with questions from people at the table and trying to answer them. Some required him to move away from me. From there it was virtually impossible to get him back. 

    Sure enough, the new iTunes requiered a system update but the latest OS wouldn't run on that machine and it was impossible to download a previous version. This is a very STUPID Apple thing. 

    I was now officially screwed as my only backup was sitting in iTunes and there was no way fish it out of there simply because Apple had made it 'impossible. 

    The smiley/friendly guy was nowhere to be found at this point and when I finally got the attention of the other guy he went pale. 

    He knew the' I warned you' line was coming. 

    So he had to escalate the problem to someone who knew more than him so off we went, only to find an 'expert' who was in the same situation as him, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time. 

    That expert had to consult with another expert who was also dealing with multiple customers at the same time. 

    The result? I would have to book an appointment with a 'Genius' but there was no guarantee a solution could be found and it could take up to a week to get the appointment. 

    I'd been in the store for hours by this time and said, screw it. 

    I'll do my own thing. 

    This is a 120km round trip for me. 

    In the end, and with a huge amount of hassle, I got the transfer done but if just one thing is clear, it's that the staff at that store were being worked off their feet and the customer experience was taking a hit as a result. 




    Yeh, those were the days! Luckily now everything is done via iCloud and is a lot quicker or can be done at home.

    I don’t miss customer sitting with their Mac’s for hours uploading or download backups!! 
    Yes. They were trying to get me to sign up to a paid tier from the outset on the claim that everything would be easier. 

    I said I wasn't going to do that to upgrade. I reminded the guy that iTunes on Windows was basically good to go almost as far back as Windows 95, something that made my situation even more grating. 

    Curiously, we have just accepted a new promotional tariff from our carrier with a device included at a reasonable price but according to them we had to request it at the time of acceptance. 

    We chose an iPhone 13. It came 'new' (official green arrow seal on the box, model number starting with M etc).

    The transfer was a nightmare experience. It failed wirelessly three times in a row. Appearing to 'hang' with a spinning wheel on the new phone or an error message saying contact had been lost with the other phone and stating to restart the 'iPhone' but failing to make it clear to which one! 

    Apple really hasn't thought the failure recovery procedure through enough. 

    Terrible experience and communication with the user was a fail and pain point.

    My wife now has a paid iCloud plan so we decided to try that. More problems and cryptic messages, only to reach some outright alarming points including that the purchases made by my wife were being merged with those from another AppleID! 

    What! 

    Then the killer. A message popped up asking for the password of an AppleID (email address presented) and asking for a password which we obviously didn't know because that AppleID had nothing to do with us. 

    We were however able to skip that and get the phone up and running. 

    Suspecting the phone wasn't new we decided to erase it a return it. 

    I told my wife to go into the 'old' phone and disassociate it from her AppleID. A message was returned saying the task couldn't be carried out be the new device was still being updated! 

    That's when I pulled the plug and reset the phone to factory settings. It's now back with the carrier and I opened up a chat with Apple to give them all the details. They say they will contact the carrier to investigate further. 

    Kudos to Apple here as the chat process was very clean and efficient (it was also 2am local time). Only downer is that although I have a case number, they don't provide a copy of the chat itself. 

    I used to find that when another apple
    pops up on when restoring a backup, it’s because it’s spotted some content within the backup (usually music) associated with another Apple ID 

    This is when the user of the phone has downloaded music from another source other than iTunes. That music is associated with an Apple ID. 

    I’ve seen that many times in the past and you can skip that step, but it doesn’t tell you which songs won’t be downloaded. 


    That's very interesting. Thanks for the heads up! 

    We're now waiting for the new models to appear next week and then we'll check how they impact the pricing of the older models in my carrier's catalog. 

    There is a bit of weirdness going on there at the moment. The vanilla iPhone 13 is now more expensive than the vanilla iPhone 14 and that wasn't the case two weeks ago. There will be some fluctuations over the coming days. 

    When we finally pull the trigger on one I'll pay close attention to the point you've made and try to see if the problem re-appears and if so, which store it is related to (iTunes, App Store or something else).

    She hasn't ever used the iTunes music store (knowingly at least) and her music content (on phone) was pulled out of a local iTunes backup when she got the XR years ago. No new content was added (AFAIK) because she's been using PlexAmp and streaming from our NAS, as storage on the phone itself is full.

    Nevertheless, the information you've provided is something I hadn't considered and is nice to know. Thanks! 

    Once an Apple guy, always an Apple guy. No worries at all! 

    Now I feel ‘overworked’ :smiley: 
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