A great Apple Store experience

Tech

I’ve written a few times about negative experiences I’ve had at the Apple Store but after a trip yesterday I wanted to share a great experience.

As you can see I broke another iPhone (I won’t go into how) so I booked an appointment via the Apple Support app. For screen replacements the app makes a point of showing that they do it same day and also show a lot of third parties that I didn’t even know could do it. Luckily for me I have two Apple Stores within 45 minutes of where I live.

I made an appointment for the next day and for now just taped up my screen so I didn’t get any glass embedded in my fingers!

I arrived at the store and on being greeted was shown to a holding area. This is a great change, instead of just standing behind people waiting at the chairs having their appointments there was a separate table. I sat down and in front of me were a few wireless chargers and some iPhones that you could use. Yes it’s helping their sales to have them there but as someone that had a broken phone meant I could burn a few minutes whilst waiting. I also noticed they had Apple News+ enabled on them (not currently available in the UK) so I could try the service, maybe more on this in another post.

I waited for my appointment and on seeing my iPhone a diagnostic was run and I left my iPhone with them. I was told it would take an hour and was given a time slot.

I got some lunch and came back, I was only waiting 5 minutes before my iPhone came back out. In my case the screen was attempted but the adhesive to stop water getting in had run out. First off they gave me a replacement phone and only charged me the price of a screen replacement, putting the customer first for their mistake. This had to be approved by a more senior staff member so I waited another 5-10 minutes for this process to happen. I’m not sure if it was this extra waiting or to help me with their mistake but they also didn’t take this change of iPhone off one of my Apple Care + replacements.

I left the store feeling the best I had done for quite a while when using the store. Over the last few years I’ve really dreaded going in but the vibe of the store did feel different. There were more staff on the floor, they were greeting closer to the entrance directing people and had a definite split of Apple Today sessions and a table for people waiting for an appointment. The today at Apple sessions could happen without disturbing the queue of people waiting to get their devices sorted out. It was a much more pleasant experience and it looks like they are making moves in the right direction (in my store at least) of making sure you’re not left wondering where to go or feel awkward standing next to people having their appointment or getting a today at Apple session.

Nice work Apple.

Don’t use an Apple Store for servicing your products

Opinion, Tech

Over the last year I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t actually like going to the Apple store. I used to go weekly as it was close to work and found browsing for 10 mins to be a pleasant experience but stood in line for an already late running genius appointment I had an epiphany, I dislike getting service at an Apple store these days. It took me a while to realise it but in the last few years it’s become somewhere I dread going.

Today at Apple

At my local store there isn’t a great deal of space and in the last few months what space there was to wait for an appointment has been taken up with today at Apple spaces. I’m not knocking Apple for running courses, it’s great but not all stores have the space for it. I found I was just loitering next to the guy doing the course, not ideal for either of us.

Online and in store are two different businesses

Maybe not technically but it certainly feels like it. Over the last few years I’ve been sent to the Apple Store by online only to be turned away. Most recently I had a problem with my leather loop band and was told online to go to the store to swap it out. On turning up I was told there were no appointments and online shouldn’t have sent me to the store. If online tell you to go in store make sure you don’t or take a record of the conversation. In my experience if it’s online then stay online don’t try to get service in store.

Appointment availability

This is slowly getting worse in my area, if online try to book for you or you do it yourself then it can sometimes be two weeks before you can get something. It’s worth noting if you go early without an appointment you should be ok getting same day if it’s emergency like a smashed screen.

Running tests

Regardless of any tests run online the genius will need to run them again. If you’re even thinking about going in store just go don’t attempt to resolve online first.

Forget it if you have an Apple Watch issue

The stores can’t do much when it comes to the Apple Watch, it’s better to deal with this via online.

My advice – stick to online

After this realisation I decided that I’ll only deal with Apple support online and avoid their stores as much as humanly possible.

I’ve had a few issues with my iPad and series 4 Apple Watch and dealing with online is much easier. Often it follows this process

  • Chat online with their staff
  • A box is sent next day via courier
  • Pack up your device and take it to the courier the same day
  • It’ll go to Apple that same day, be looked at next day and typically you get it the day after that. So about a 3 day turn around, which I think is great

The only exception that would get me to a store is a broken screen.

What are your experiences of using an Apple Store at the moment?