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World’s Worst Customer Service in the Apple Store, Stanford Mall

I made a 16:10 appointment to have the battery in my iPhone 7 Plus replaced at the Apple Store in the Stanford Mall.

At 16:20 I showed up ten minutes late (traffic), wandered into the store without any greeting or direction, and finally found someone who seemed to be checking people in. I was told to wait at a nearby table.

I waited patiently for 45 minutes, as it turns out in a lot of pain (a neck thing). But I sat there and waited.

After the first 45 minutes and watching the employee who checked me in walk out on break, I inquired again, only to learn “no one actually checked you in”.

I was checked-in, but I also asked for the manager. I was told to wait again. Fifteen minutes later, a tech showed up, and apologized (the only employee who did his job right, kudos). At that point, I was told another three hours (!) to replace the batteries in the two phones (or 90 minutes at least for one phone). The manager never showed (does one exist?).

I gave up after an hour. The manager never showed, I never got my battery done, etc.

This is the worst customer experience I’ve had in decades. I get far better service at Walmart.

I’ll live with the impaired battery. To go back to this dimly-lit 90-decibel hellhole is self-flagellation.

I watched Apple employees scratch their asses (so to speak) chatting with each other while I sat waiting for service. Nice training, Apple.

I don’t understand the Apple mystique—I guess it is the principle of “social proof”.

And... with all the problems in the world, this doesn’t matter in the slightest I suppose. But... I would like a battery that gets me through the day.

Phil A writes:

My experiences over the years have been the opposite!

While on assignment in the UK several years ago my MBP fell off its table onto a concrete floor, denting the case and resulting in a fan rubbing on something when it spun up. I was flying to Bologna the next day and took it into the Apple Store there. I explained that it had been my fault and was there any chance it could be repaired by the following day when my next shoot was on. Come back in an hour I was told (no problem in spending an hour wandering around Bologna!). I returned to be told the fan had been replaced under warranty and all was good! 

Another occasion I had just flown into LA and urgently needed to write captions for a book (and I needed to refer to images that were online) that the designer had sent to me just before I left Sydney. It was too early to check into my accommodation so I went to the local mall and asked the manager of the Apple Store there if I could sit at one of the tables for 2-3 hours and work. She was more than happy for me to do so.

Yesterday I went to the Apple Store in Perth to have a noisy AirPod Pro checked. Both were tested and replaced within 10 minutes.

In fact I have never had a bad experience at an Apple Store in the many years I have been visiting.

MPG: hopefully for Apple, Phil’s experience is that of most customers.

As for me, I remain with a battery in my phone that can’t make it through the day, after spending 2.5 hours at it (to/from along with the wait for nothing). I’m not eager to try my luck there again.

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