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Apple – Tim, listen up. Steve would be Ashamed!

So there I was on my weekly jaunt to visit my offices near London’s Covent Garden next door to that most shining of temples, the Apple Store. My wife’s Android phone was dying a death so I thought I would treat her to a shiny new iPhone 6. I popped in to a reasonably busy store and quickly located an available blue shirted priest in the newly formed Watch section.

“Hello” I said, “I’d like to buy an iPhone”
“Do you know which one you want sir?” Replied the assistant.
“Yes I do” said I
“Well” said the assistant, “I’m taking appointments for the new Apple Watch, can I ask you to join the queue to speak to my colleague over there who’s in the iPhone section? She shouldn’t be too long and the queue for iPhone’s is quite short”
“So let me get this straight” I said “I have to join a queue to speak to an assistant even though you are free and then I have to join another queue to purchase the phone?”
“Yes sir, but it should only be about 5 minutes” said the assistant.
“OK” said I “I’ll go home and order it online, thanks, bye”

Now I don’t have a problem with people who wish to queue once a year to be first to buy the latest gadget. I don’t even have a problem queueing if it’s busy. But if there are free assistants and the phones are on the shelf, why do I have to queue for a specific assistant and why do I have to queue again to checkout the phone?

Apple, I hope your not getting complacent in your old age, we customers are loyal to a point, but we can spot customer contempt and complacency a mile off.

In the mean time, I’ll buy the phone I want online. Let’s hope there is no queue there.

Meanwhile while I wait the ubiquitous five minutes for this text to be transferred from my iPad to my Mac via notes so I can publish on my blog, I check my iPad calendar. 2 of the 5 calendars no longer update, so I’m going to have to remove and reinstall my iCloud accounts from my iPad for the 5th time. Oh and I’m actually paying for iCloud storage to suffer these problems.

Rant over, it’s been a bad day.

3 thoughts on “Apple – Tim, listen up. Steve would be Ashamed!

  1. Dear Mike,

    I, too, have offices near the Apple Store in Covent Garden, and suffer BT Broadband failure almost every afternoon, but in regard to the annoying queues at the Apple Store…I’m afraid it’s not Apple…it’s Britain. This does not happen in New York or Newport Beach, California. Two stores I’ve visited frequently. There the service is swift and to the point with no fuss. The only time I’ve ever had to make an appointment is at the Genius Bar and, believe me, these stores are busy, too. Soho, NY bustles everyday.

    Though I love the UK, I find my constant mantra since moving here a dozen years ago is….”I’m trying to give you my money and you’re making it so hard!”



    1. Thanks for the comment Kitty.

      I agree the US is still streets ahead of the UK in customer service. We don’t yet understand that “Have a nice day!” is a philosophy, not a throwaway comment.
      I hasten to point out that my broadband issues are at my home in Oxfordshire, not my offices in London.
      I’m in New York in a few weeks time, I’ll pop in and compare the difference.


  2. I thought I’d give an update as a few months ago I tried buying myself a new iPhone in first Boston, then New York. In Boston, both shops I went into were so busy with people just hanging out, that I couldn’t get to speak to anybody to serve me.

    In New York, I tried two stores, the Apple store in Grand Central Station was so busy I again couldn’t get to speak to anybody. So I waited to late evening and went to the iconic underground store adjacent to Central Park and my hotel. Even at 9pm, the store was crammed, but I was able to speak to an assistant.

    Now I appreciate that New York has a service attitude all of its own, but the Apple store staff were brusk even for New York. After asking to buy an iPhone, I was asked which network I wanted it on. I explained that I did not want it on any network as I would be taking it back to the UK. I was politely advised that this generation of phone required it to be registered to one of the four US networks.

    C’est La Vie.

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