Many people have experienced Apple's world class retail experience, and their awesome customer support. They've done it right, and it's at the core of the company's soul.
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Apple customer support, a first hand experience

Apple-store-customer-service

 

Never before had I needed to contact Apple customer support. I like to think I am technically adept enough to use their machines or to know where to look if I do have a question. I’ve also had really good luck with their hardware, minus my 2009 MacBook Pro. As with most people, I had heard their customer support was excellent, especially in person at an Apple retail store. I usually do not have a chance to walk into an Apple Store considering I live 100 miles from the nearest one.

My iPhone 5 began to develop a sort of spotting on photos taken with it’s rear camera. Whether this be an issue of dust getting under the lens, or a fault in the sensor, it does not matter, but it is a know issue. My family was planning a trip to St. Louis, MO and I decided then would be a good time to get this issue checked out at a local Apple Store. On Friday I made an appointment for 1PM Monday.

Fast forward a few days, I checked with an Apple Store employee with a green iPad cover. A few minutes later, precisely on time for my appointment, a gentleman approached me, asked my name, and made sure he understood the problem. I then showed him the iPhone in question. Without any shucking or jiving, he stated that they would replace the phone as it was still under warranty. He took my phone, popped open the sim tray, and looked at the moisture sensor. I noticed this merely because I waiting for him to do it. To the casual observer, it would look like he was just checking the SIM card. The gentleman disappears with my phone, and a few minutes later comes out with a new iPhone 5, asked me a few benign questions regarding the replacement, and then has me sign a few documents on the iPad he had been carrying with him.

The longest part of this adventure, was downloading my iCloud backup. Even over Apple’s network in the retail store (20MBit/ second, I tested) it still took fifteen minutes to download, not counting the downloading and installation of apps. However, once everything has been downloaded, it’s like nothing has ever happened. As it should be.

This story is surely not a surprise to many Apple customers. It was to me however. Everything about it was painless. I was never doubted. There was no arguing. There was no wait. I walked in, was addressed, made happy, and went on about my day. A stark contrast from, say, an electronics big box store whose favorite colors might be blue and yellow.

While I was there, some of the Apple Store employees were hosting their summer camp with kids. The parents sat back and fiddled on their iPhones as the kids tinkered on iPads. In another corner of the store, a table of mostly older folks intently listened to a man with a microphone who was teaching them the basics of iOS on the iPad.

All of this culminated into a great shopping experience, even though, I was brought in due to an inconvenience. It’s a world-class act, where the employees seemed knowledgable, busy but not overworked. Everything seemed busy, on the cusp of hectic, but streamlined and under control. It was impressive.

Again, this can’t be that impressive to many people, because, after all, many people live near an Apple Store. However, it underscored one core fact about Apple, as a company- the emphasis on products. An Apple store embodies the company’s culture in a condensed form. Products are the focus.  The employees should know about them, and the store should present them with little in the way. This even goes for the customers using the products. The products are made accessible to customers, both in regards to purchasing and usage. This to me, was impressive. Let’s hope that Apple never strays away from this focus. They got startlingly close once already.

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  • timothyhood

    It is service like this that adds value to iDevice purchases. I had a similarly amazing experience with my iMac (too long to go into here, but it i valves me being able to purchase AppleCare even after the warranty expired.

    Imagine if you had another brand of phone. The retailer might have taken it in for repair and told you to wait 2-3 weeks while they ship it out for repairs–if they even acknowledged it was their fault. I can see the finger-pointing now. For someone who relies on their devices, the difference can be between outstanding (Apple) and completely unacceptable (most others).

  • fallen apple

    I’m curious did you have apple care on the phone or did they just replace it because it is a known issue?