FIRST PERSON | One would think the world was ending with the words “Apple store goes down.” So many people depend on Apple to run like a well-oiled machine, and mayhem and panic strike if apple.com or the iTunes store loads slowly or not at all. When I hear “Apple Store,” my heart beats faster, and not in a good way.
As an owner of a MacBook and an iPhone, I like my Apple products, but I have always hated the actual brick-and-mortar Apple Store; even just walking by the entrance in the middle of the mall makes me nervous. The store is never empty. There are always swarms of people huddled around the modern tables playing with gadgets and waiting for an appointment time. The last thing I want to do is make my way through the hordes of people to look at something.
However, I have now had to enter the Apple Store three times in the past two years, and it looks like I am going again Thursday. The first time I went was to trade in an old iPod for a new one. The second time I was having trouble with my iPhone 3GS battery. The last time I was trying to get an uncooperative iPhone 4 to register the sim, and I ended up just sending that whole phone back. Now I have a new iPhone 4 (a lovely white one), which I just received Friday, and I have to take it tomorrow to get the back plate replaced because it shattered on Monday. I was wholly at fault; it slipped out of my hand to the ground, and the back completely shattered.
After calling the Apple Store and making my Thursday afternoon appointment, I took a deep breath and convinced myself that this visit would be just as painless as the last one. See, even though I hate the idea of going into the Apple Store, I haven’t actually had a bad experience. Sure, it is always crowded. But the salespeople are well-trained, and I have never been ignored or taken care of late.
So as I shuffle my way through the throngs of people tomorrow; hand my sad, new iPhone to the technician; and pay the $30 it costs to replace the plate (plus however much a case costs — clearly I need one STAT), I will leave the Apple Store satisfied with my transaction. This is why Apple is doing so well: Many people love frequenting the store and upgrading their devices. Others can’t stand the process of going into the busy store, but they generally leave satisfied. I hate to like Apple sometimes — they’re trendy and busy and everything I try to avoid — but I find myself loving Apple products and workers alike, and I have yet to have a negative experience in-store.