Apple Store Not Focused on Customer
I do like the Apple products. I have found them to be easy to use and high quality. I have the original iPad (although half my apps won’t update anymore) and I think the Apple music players are still the best on the market.
That being said, I think Apple is very limiting in it’s openness and they will do things their way at the cost of customers at times. I use iTunes as an example. It is very hard to buy music, books, movies, etc… on iTunes and then be able to use them on an Android device.
Recently, I had another experience that showed me Apple wants things their way and aren’t focused on the customer. I bought an iPod Nano for my wife for her birthday. I ordered it online so I could have it engraved and picked it up at a local Apple store which was the first time I had ever been in an Apple store. My wife used it 3 times, did not drop it and the screen has completely popped off.
I decided I would take the 30 minute drive to the closest Apple store and get the iPod replaced. I arrived at 2:30pm and was greeted by someone who then handed me off to someone else to here about my issue. They were glad to exchange the iPod but there would be no engraving since they don’t do that in the store. I wasn’t happy about that but the engraving was free and I was hoping to walk out with a new iPod so I was too worried about it.
I was then informed that I couldn’t exchange it until 6pm that evening. Three and a half hours later! My first question was “why?”. I was told a technician had to do it and the earliest appointment for a technician was at 6pm. Of course, I asked “why does a tech have to do it?”. That is when I got my favorite response of all time, “Because it is a legal transaction and serial numbers needed to be written down.”
My jaw hit the floor as I asked how long it would take and the woman said, “Oh it will take less than 10 minutes.”
Now my eyes popped out of my head. So, I was going to have to wait 3.5 hrs for a tech to do a less than 10 minute transaction. A transaction that would have already been done by any worker in the store if I would have bought the iPod at Target or Walmart.
My first thought is that Apple does not respect their store employees because they don’t trust anyone to do a simple exchange transaction. Really. Think about it. Think about some of the people that have done exchanges/returns for you at Walmart. The process shouldn’t be that hard.
Secondly, here I am. An upset customer because a barely used product 2 weeks old is completely busted and now I will have to wait 3.5 hours to get it exchanged. Now I am doubly upset.
I did not have time to wait and took my iPod home.
A few days later, I took the iPod to the Apple store close to my place of work. I went in without an appointment just to see what would happen. I got a new iPod in minutes and was out the door.
I’m not sure if that was an Apple policy or a store policy causing the issue at the first store. Either way, they weren’t focused on creating a good customer experience which can lead to lost sales and in my case my just do that in the future.