Why buy the new AppleTV? (aka the apple TV Mk4, 4th gen Apple TV, or just “the new Apple TV”… because apple naming conventions are ARSE sometimes) – Why I’m replacing the Xbox One & my Google Chromecast with the new AppleTV… or at least trying it out as a replacement media consumption device.
Plus, Gaming on the new Apple TV… with Steelseries’ new “Steelseries Nimbus” gaming controller for apple TV
Curious about the DISASTROUS customer service I got at TWO Apple Stores while trying to buy the new Apple TV? here is the letter of complaint I lodged (and sent to Tim Cook, coz why not? ;) )
My name is Nate Burr, I write to you, with great disappointment, and more than a little frustration, to make a complaint about THE WORST experience I’ve ever had with Apple, Apple Stores, and Apple Employees,
And in fact, one of the most frustratingly irritating cascade of ineptitude, disrespect, and infuriating experiences I’ve had at ANY retail store.
To make this clear from the outset, my issue is NOT with the triggering event, but the fact I was repeatedly, demonstrably LIED to, and jerked around by Apple store employees when all I wanted was some straight answers about why I was being refused a simple sale of the new Apple TV.
On the morning of the 30th of October, I waited outside the Flagship Sydney CBD Apple Store, intending a brief, simple, and quick transaction, I simply wanted to buy the new Apple TV.
Upon store opening I waited on help from an employee, and when one got to me I made my request, only to be told that “We can’t actually sell them yet, they’ve only just come in, and we haven’t unpacked them yet”
I thought this extraordinary, for a “flagship” Apple store to be this ill-prepared for the launch of a new product, frankly, it’s unheard of in my many many years of owning Apple products… but “shit happens”… so…
I inquired as to how long the wait would be, and how such a blunder was allowed to happen, I was the told “It’ll be about an hour, come back at 10am and we should have them ready to sell”
An hour… to unpack at least one box of product… unheard of. I spent the better part of a decade in retail, some of it in management, and I knew this was ridiculous incompetence at best, a flat out LIE at worst.
The Employee then avoided my direct questioning about the length of time it takes to unpack stock, and about who was responsible.
After talking in circles of vague excuses, getting nowhere with this girl, I made the assumption that perhaps the courier was to blame for a late delivery, and so I quietly waited out the hour I was told.
During this hour I was glared at by the store security, and hassled once about “sitting around”, loitering.
After more than the hour has past, I sought out the first free employee I spotted, asked to purchase an Apple TV, relaying that I had already been kicking my heels for an hour, as I was asked to do.
The second employee then claimed that they were not able to sell the new Apple TV yet because the units were not “checked into the system”.
Frustrated now, and KEENLY aware I’m am being lied to, I asked how much longer I was expected to wait, “another 30 minutes, maybe an hour”
After making clear, calmly but pointedly, my frustration about having had my time wasted, and the massive blundering at play, and how I don’t believe for a second that “not being unpacked yet” or “still checking them into the system” were the reasoning, I asked for the name of the Area Manager, I was told two first names only…mumbled… I made note and I left the store.
I visited the next closest Apple Store, in Bondi Junction, partly to see if I could just get the bloody thing today AT ALL, and partly to see if I’d be fed the same “story” and excuses.
Upon arrival at the Bondi Junction Apple store, I found an employee, made inquiry about buying an Apple TV, only to be told a THIRD “story” about why I cannot make a simple purchase of a device, on the day of its release, which each store has told me is SITTING IN THE STORE ROOM right now.
THIS time the ‘story’ was;
“It’s an IT problem, ’someone’ made a mistake on the date entry in the inventory systems, and we can’t sell them until ‘the rest of the world’ can”
I asked “okay, so there must be an exact time in “the system” then, what is it? WHEN will I be able to purchase the product?”
I was told “oh, about 12 oclock… or maybe ‘sometime’ this afternoon”
I asked how it could be an issue of the “wrong time” being place in the inventory system, if she could not actually TELL ME what time had been incorrectly input, and thus when the product would be available to purchase.
All I got was repeated excuses and bewildered blinking.
So, three employees, three different stories. Clearly I’m being lied to, at least twice. For all I know at this point, all three stories are complete horsecrap. All credibility for these Apple employees is already gone.
I asked for the contact details of the area manager, wishing to take my complaint about this ridiculous situation, and the employees LYING right to my goddamn face.
She refused, and instead fled to fetch the in store manager, she did not return with him.
To him, a John H(something)… whose full name I asked for three times, each time he deliberately mumbled it, like a four year old trying to avoid responsibility.
I explained to him the events of my morning, much as I have done here, I made clear to him my frustration at being jerked around, and most of all, being lied to.
I asked him what the “story” was, he rattled off a slightly different version of the last story I got told, only this time the blame was shifted away to “the IT contractors”… a mystery entity he refused to give any actual details on… or why “IT contractors” were responsible for checking in stock inventory to retail stores.
I pressed him for an explanation on why I was being lied to by staff, he avoided the question. I asked him how a data entry issue about the timing of release could be met with such ambiguous timings as “10am… then 11am.. or 11:30… or 12… or “sometime this afetrnoon”, I got no answer.
I asked, repeatedly, for the contact details of whomever HE reports to, he refused. Stating HE was the manager, I should be talking to him.
I explained to him that I thought it pointless making an official complaint, to HIM, about HIS behaviour.
I asked again for the details of whomever it is above him in the chain of command, he refused stating he was “not permitted to release that information” … a lie.=, in no retail store I have EVER worked in, or managed, was a customer ever refused the right to escalate an unresolved issue to an area manager.
He said I have to use the “customer feedback” form on the main apple website, to which I suggested would get far too much garbage and spam flooding into it, I doubted MY issue and MY complaint about HIM and his fellow employees would ever see daylight or see any kind of legitimate response…
…a suggestion to which he, of course, smirked.
He then said, that unless it was “LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION”, he was unwilling to discuss this issue any further.
So… I was lied to, repeatedly, I was mocked, and I was denied my right to know WHO THE HELL I could even make a legitimate complaint about all this to.
All this over the simple desire to buy one, single, product on the day of its release.
I’m sure I don’t have to say the words “Utterly unsatisfactory customer experience” here to seal off my point.
I’ve been an Apple user for a decade, whenever practical, I have ALWAYS buy my apple devices from Apple retail stores directly, for the focused customer experience, and the reliability of stock availability.
I have owned Five Macs in this time, two iPods, three iPads, EVERY version of the iPhone, and innumerable support appliances and ancillary accessories.
I say this not as to claim some kind of “entitlement”, I should be entitled to be told the truth, and treated with respect by store employees regardless. I only point out that I have a DEPTH of experience buying from Apple stores, and NEVER have I been treated like such a JACKASS.
After treatment like this, what would possibly be my incentive to frequent either retail store ever again?
I await a swift response.
Yours, in severe disappointment,
And Update; Turns out the guy who was identified as “the manager” at Bondi, WASN’T… he was just the “floor leader” or whatever the shit that means… the ACTUAL manager wasn’t even presented to me as an option. So there’s YET ANOTHER LIE I was told on that day, right to my face, from Apple Store employees.