Apple Store stories
I was listening to the latest TiPb podcast and there was talks of how wonderful the Apple Store experience is. I have five friends who buy Macbook Pro, Mac Pro and iMacs regularly. We have a couple of iMacs and a few Mac Pros, plus my own Macbook Pros I have owned. I'm in Ontario, Canada and just thinking about the topic of how Apple Store service in other countries would be. So post up your Apple Store experiences, good, bad or 50/50. Also include info like your country, city and store if there are multiple stores in the city. I have a couple of stories because of so many sources, my own, work, and friends. These experiences are also spread out over time so keep that in mind.
Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
Yorkdale Mall Apple Store
A friend of mine bought his Macbook Pro and opted to have the RAM maxed out at the Apple Store. When he returned to pick it up, they had broken the screen while putting in the RAM they wanted him to wait for the replacement screen to come in but he's a Professor and needed the laptop right away. So a replacement was given to him, it was a 50/50 experience because he was given the replacement but how do you break a screen adding RAM to the laptop?
Eaton Center Apple Store
The store is so close to my work so I regularly go there for myself and work. My experiences are great for my initial Genius Bar visits, horrible when waiting for parts to arrive, and great when picking up after the repair is complete so I give it a 50/50 although some of my experiences were quite frustrating tipping the scales for that specific incident.
I took an iMac from work to the Genius Bar because the user was experiencing multiple instances of freezing and crashes every day. So after a week of trying different things to remedy the problem I suspected the videocard might be the culprit because of some artifacts present before the freeze up. I brought it to the Genius Bar, the tech was great, I had screenshots which really helped isolate the problem. Then he checked to see if it was registered for Applecare, he couldn't find it in the system so he gave me a quote with a repair number and said he would order the parts. I was to figure out if it had Applecare and then call back with the repair number to find out if the parts had arrived after a week. I found the Applecare info, registered the system and called after a week, the parts hadn't come in yet.
After two weeks had passed I called in and still nothing. I was going on vacation and wanted to give an alternate contact, when I called the genius said they weren't able to add another contact but took my info and said the manager of the Genius Bar would call back. I didn't receive a call back but the next day I called back and the Genius was happy to take the info for the alternate contact. I get back from vacation, it's almost the middle of the 3rd week, no call from Apple Store about the parts. The user is pissed off at me, they are higher up the company chain so even suggesting a temp machine would get me shot. So I call in, the Genius tells me that the parts had come in and they tried to contact me but I didn't answer so the parts were sent back. I'm pissed off at this point because I gave an alternate contact and I'm getting crap from the user when there's nothing I can do. The Genius tells me that they had re-ordered the parts and it should be in by Friday. I try to console the user with this news, however low and behold on Friday I call in and the Genius tells me the parts aren't in and no Genius would have told me an arrival date. So the following week, a month later I call in and ask to speak to a manager. I get the manager and explain the whole thing, that it's been a month since the initial visit when the tech had ordered the parts. The manager puts me on hold then gets back on the phone and tells me they have the parts bring it in. I tell the user it's going to be 3-5 days, grab the computer and take it in. I call after 3 days to find out the progress and it's done so I go to pick it up. They replaced the videocard, they grabbed the system for me, we booted it up to make sure it looked normal and I told the user to really stress the system to make sure the problems were all gone.
I was quite happy with the initial and final Genius Bar visit, the problems were gone so the problem was fixed pretty fast. The problems waiting for the parts and the handling of the customer during that time was probably my worste experiences of all my experiences with that Apple Store. I think the managers should be alot easier to contact by some form, email, phone, etc. for user complaints.
- 10-05-2009, 10:01 AM #3
The only time I can remember as really positive was right after the release of the first iPhone. Mine would not fully charge. I went in and they said to have any service I had to have an appointment and they were already full. I held up my iPhone and the guy put me on the list to be next for anyone that would have some time. They replaced my iPhone after only 15 minute wait.
I normally avoid the Apple Store though. My idea of a good time isn't a store so full that you can't take one step without bumping into someone and so loud you have to almost yell to be heard.
I went with 2 friends who wanted to upgrade to the iPhone 3G about 3 months after it came out. We went to an Apple Store in Philly where they live and they put us in a line outside. There were 4 people ahead of us. After waiting and them only servicing 2 people after 40 minutes I went over to an AT&T store. They said they had all the models in stock. I went and got my friends. Maybe 10 minutes later they were done, phones activated and working. We walked back by the Apple Store and the guy who was right in front of us was still in line; he also left and went to the AT&T store.
When I had my 3G replaced a few months ago I just did it over the phone.
Eaton Center Apple Store
The following week after I got my work iMac above serviced I brought in my Macbook Pro to check out what looked like dust inside my screen. It turned out to be dead pixels and there were enough to warrant a change of the screen. My MB Pro is still under Applecare so the Genius ordered the parts and gave me the repair number. I gave it a week and called at the beginning of the second week to find out if it was in yet. The genius comes on the phone and I tell her that I'm checking if my parts are in for my repair. She starts to tell me that someone would have called if the parts had come in, I have called in lots of times before and the genius had no problem looking up the repair number for the status of the parts. So I said no they wouldn't necessarily call me and started to tell her about my experience just a week ago. She cut me off and asked me for the repair number, just as I was about to read it I heard her on the other end mumbling under her breath "Give me a break". I got upset at this point because am I not the customer? it's not like a MB Pro is cheap, then the added cost of Applecare. So I just hung up on her. I called back and asked to talk to a manager because that was just f'n rude. I got the "I can't contact the manager but you can leave your contact info and they will give you a call" which I seem to only get sometime. Well as usual I didn't receive any call back, I gave it a day and called back this time I got a manager? So I made my complaint which ofcourse they apologized and looked up my repair number. They didn't get the parts until the following week, took my MB Pro in and it was done in 3 days. I picked it up, powered it on, everything looked perfect and I'm lovin the new screen. So again the initial and final Genius Bar experiences are awesome but while waiting on the parts leaves alot to be desired in terms of customer service.
- 10-08-2009, 10:53 AM #5
- 10-08-2009, 11:15 AM #6
Streets at Southpoint, Durham NC
Bought 2 iPhone 3Gs, 1 iPhone 3G and a MacBook Pro (all at different times) and had a great experience every time I went in. Service was fast and staff was very knowledgeable. Never really too packed. All in all I'd give them a 9/10.
Greater Toronto Area, Canada
Sherway Gardens Mall
I had a co-worker who went in on the weekend to buy Snow Leopard. He picked up a family pack becuase he's got 4 Macs at home. He was surprised when the salesperson scanned it and it read 39.99 which was the single user price. The salesperson called the manager and the manager said well that's what it says on the scanner so that's what he pays. So my co-worker got $20 off the price off the family pack.
- 10-09-2009, 10:52 AM #8
I find the Apple Store at Memorial City Mall here in Houston to be ok, however a couple of the geniuses are a bit stuck up. When SL was released, I walked right in and they had the software right in front of the store. I walked in, picked one up, and walked out. Easy as pie.