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The Apple Store – A Case Study In Inefficiency

August 15, 2009

So I broke down and finally shelled out the grand-and-a-half for a new laptop, after my misadventure in Prague left me internet-less, alone.

I figure, if I’m gonna get a computer, I may as well get one that will last me the three soul-crushing years of law school I’m about to embark upon.  So like a good little consumer, I researched the options on apple.com and figured that the 13″ MacBook Pro would suit my needs for portability, durability, music recording, and of course, paying tribute to the dark RSS monster which lurks deep, deep inside my subconscious.

So, right, head to the Apple Store, tell them which computer I want, walk out with a brand new computer and commence with my final break from decent society.  One problem.  The Apple Store has no cash registers.

The lady in orange typing notes on her iPhone (very cute, Apple) looks promising so I tell her I just want to buy a computer and go.  No dice.  She puts my name on a list that would put Kristy Alley’s personal grocery shopper’s to shame and informs me that I have to wait 45 minutes.  Wait, wha? 45 minutes?  I just want to buy the damn thing and leave.

After half of the formerly interested customers left the store in disgust, my name was fortuitously moved up the list, saving me a good 10 minutes.  But even then, I wasn’t able to pay for my computer.  Instead, a threateningly handsome 20-something surfer dude needed to run through a tutorial on how to use the damn thing, even after I informed him that I’ve owned Macs in the past.  Finally when it was time to pay, he had to login through apple.com, Safari crashed, restart, then he leaves to go get the computer and finally comes back again with his portable credit card reader.

Total time spent buying something that I knew I wanted, research done before I entered the store: 1 hour, 25 minutes.  Brian couldn’t even go jeans shopping.

But I can’t say I wasn’t warned.  The previously mentioned lady in orange had a helpful tip: just buy it online when crowds are busy.  That’s some advice I will be sure to take next time I decide to allow Apple to do me the honor of selling me its computers.  Here’s mine to Apple: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  And there ain’t nothin’ broke about the traditional brick and mortar store featuring a sales person, manager, and cashier.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    August 16, 2009 6:12 pm

    So I used to work for Apple, and they didn’t do that when I was there. That is terrible. Just awful 😦

    • August 20, 2009 3:27 pm

      I just don’t understand why they can’t make a separate process for people who already know what they are doing?

      • Foster permalink
        August 24, 2009 10:18 am

        Dude, the same thing happened when Rush and I went to visit the Apple store at Lenox. It’s horrible. Waiting to talk to a person is SO 20th century.

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