Re: iPhone 4S and an unforgiving Genius Bar
I had a similar experience a couple of years ago (thankfully my Apple stores are not quite that extreme in distance from me)...We have two Apple stores in the downtown Atlanta area...one of them is in a higher scale area and one is in a more suburban area. The one closer to midtown tends to be less forgiving (and in turn less helpful unless you get lucky). I actually stopped using our closest one and drove to the other location about 10min. away and found the service to be 100% better. Some stores are just less courteous and more concerned with getting high volumes of customers out the door with hardware.
Now that doesn't help you obviously since the only one close to you is still 2 hours away as you said, but something that might help you is a tactic my wife used the last time we ran into an unapologetic Apple nazi...raise a stink, and take it to a level you feel comfortable with without making yourself seem like a horses ***. She actually stopped the lady we were initially talking to mid sentence and walked to another apple person that was walking by and asked if he could help (and he did!). Apple stores do NOT want you pissed off in their stores, and they'll bend over backwards to essentially shut you up...the problem we had was certainly of no cause of our own, but even if it had been, there's a level of service you expect from Apple, and when you don't receive it, make it known (i bet you'll get treated better at that point).
Those appointment times are loose for them, why can't they be loose for us as well? I've waited 15-20min. after my appointment time to be helped, they should have the same courtesy to the customers, since that's the ONLY reason they have a job in the first place. Don't let some youngster walk on you so easily if you ever find yourself in that same situation, you might end up with a little extra (in my wife's case, she ended up with an extra USB charging cord for free, lol.)
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Also, during a major hardware launch, those stores are buzzing with people and can be down right chaotic...keep that in mind when you're trying to make an appointment (that doesn't excuse a 10min. difference though, that should have been no problem for them).