Fuck you, Steve

We went down to the Phoenix Apple Store today to get my lovely bride an iPhone. Or technically, to get me a new 3G iPhone, and give her my old one.

This turned out to be one of the worst retail experiences I've had in a while.

First, the store is an unholy clusterfuck. There is no sales counter; instead, there are adolescents in brightly colored shirts. If you find the right one, they'll give you a ticket, and tell you which other bright-shirted adolescent you're supposed to stand in front of.

So we did. We got our ticket, and waited by two guys in turquoise, while they helped some hipster doofus get his phone set up. They didn't acknowledge our presence. We waited, more or less patiently, for the first 25 minutes or so. Betsy went to the bathroom twice (or was it thrice?). After about half an hour, the doofus finally packed his new phone in a super-kewl translucent Apple bag and left.

Then the teal-shirted guys turned away from us, and the half-dozen iPhone customers assembled behind us. And consulted with another prepubescent. And walked over to a guy that had just walked in. And helped to sell him his iPhone.

I calmly watched for a minute or three, then walked over to ask these gents, in polite terms, WTF?

They ignored me, or at least tried. They wouldn't turn towards me, but I saw the taller Teal Guy notice me with a twitch of the eye. I got closer and asked more pointedly,

"So what is that line for, anyway?"

Teal Guy #1: "That's the iPhone line."

Me: "Yeah, I know. I've been standing at the front of it for half an hour, waiting for you guys to assist me."

Teal Guy #2: "You weren't waiting for us. You were waiting for the next available Specialist. We are helping this gentleman next."

Me: "Seriously? Then here." (as I hand him my ticket)

We walked out. Me disgusted, Betsy slightly embarrassed (she embarrasses easily).

Oh great Steve Jobs, why in the FUCK would you make me come to your shitty store to be either ignored or treated poorly by your obnoxious staff. My first iPhone was ordered online, delivered to my office, and activated from my laptop. No problems, no interaction with $6.50/hr self-important douchebags.

It was enough for me, a 15+ year Mac user and Apple customer, to consider not buying another Apple product. And definitely not from one of their retail establishments.

But of course after soothing myself and my bride with McDonald's ice cream cones, cooler heads prevailed.

We went across the street to the AT&T store, which was almost empty, rather than packed with homely hipsters and plastic Scottsdale types like the Apple store.

They didn't have iPhones in stock, but the courteous, professional sales girl ordered one up for us. I can pick it up in a week or so. No standing in line, no shitty treatment by little hipster wannabes telling us to step back from the aisle and wait. And since we were going to transfer Betsy's T-Mobile number, we'd have had to go to an AT&T store anyway to finish the transaction.

I should be able to get in and out of a store with a new electronic trinket in under 5 minutes. I shouldn't have to wait while a "Specialist" does some supposed magic. I give you my money, you give me the box, I leave. I've actually purchased cars in less time than it took me to not purchase a stupid phone.

I know his Steveness won't give a shit that he realized a miniscule less profit on this transaction. But the fact remains that I won't advise anyone to shop in an Apple store - retail or online. It's just a bad experience. And for a company that purports to be all about the experience, I think it's bad business.


Hilarious! You do know that you will experience extreme pressure not to use the F word when your kid is born.

Resist as long as you can.

Speaking as a future $6.50/hr self-important douchebag, I apologize profusely for the way you were treated, and will work tirelessly to improve the customer experience at all Apple Store's worldwide when the time comes. Which could be any minute now.

Um, Red...you obviously are not familiar with the frequency of which I drop the f-bomb compared to my more refined husband.

Deborah says you guys are a bad influence. She says I cursed a lot more after we visited you in July. Shame on you!

And I would have fired Morgan years ago.

Christian's picture

Well fuck, she's probably right.

I feel sorry for the Apple hardware team. All the juvenile shtick that pervades the company's retail stores, support, advertising, and website just sullies otherwise great work.

The demeanor of the company is just offensive to a few, intolerably inefficient to others, but I have the sneaking suspicion that most people find it appealing.

Curdles the blood.