Apple: Futuristic technology and design— but a Stone-age business model gives me the pip!
I went to the Regent Street Apple store today to buy a new MacBookAir laptop computer (see picture).
This slimline, aesthetically magnificent machine, weighing in at well under a kilo, and with a number of scintillating features, is due to be a replacement for my current MacBook Pro, which is becoming my backup/life support when in Greece, where there are no Apple Stores.
My current back-up will replace Alkmini’s faithful but now geriatric iBook.
All was planned.
I used my ProCare card to make an appointment with a personal Applestore shopper, who was to guide me through the nuances of the Leopard operating system, and the fine detail of how to get the most from this upgrade.
OK, there are some minuses.
Because of the thinness of the AIR an external drive is necessary for DVDs etc, as is both an external hard drive for backup, and a wireless system that allows computers in the same network to communicate with each other most efficiently.
But the positives in terms of lightness, elegance etc more than balance out these negatives.
So, I took the plunge after 30 minutes or so of demonstration and discussion…… and said I’d buy one ….. and then came the blow.
‘Sorry, but we have none in stock, but they come in practically daily’, I was told.
‘Shame’, I thought, but what difference will a day or two make?
I’m in the UK for a few more weeks before heading back to Greece, so I responded : ‘I’m happy to pay for it today and pick it up in the week?’……
I was, till then, blissfully unaware that no such facility exists in Apples’ Stone-age business model.
‘No, sir, sorry, but it’s first come first served on a daily basis…..or of course you can order on line for home delivery’
So, midst my busy schedule, I would need to make physical calls at the store (it’s easier to get through to the Kremlin by phone, so forget that option) to check on availability, and if I was lucky, and if a delivery has been made, and if the current stock hasn’t been snaffled by others by the time I struggled into the West End of London …. I might actually be able to purchase a new MacBookAir.
How difficult is it, I asked, to have a prepaid machine put on a shelf when it arrived, with a sticker saying ‘PAID/waiting for collection’, so that all this hassle could be avoided?
‘Sorry sir, the policy is…..’ etc etc
And as for ordering online, have you had the pleasure of waiting all day for a delivery?
Seldom if ever is a delivery time given, or stuck to….. and I just don’t have enough free days to waste on such an exercise.
This is no way to run a business Apple!
This begins to smack ever so slightly of the arrogance of another company, who shall remain nameless, but with whom you are in direct competition.
Apple is innovative
Apple is elegant
Apple products are a delight to use
….but just possibly all this has gone to Apple’s head? …. as Apple customer service is not exactly top notch, and this particular example suggests to me that Apple needs to reexamine its’ core customer service provision (sorry but it just popped out!)…..…..because today, apple gave me the pip!!
Nevertheless, sucker that I am, I will of course try my luck sometime next week…. but as I have heard a rumour that the new MacBookPro is soon to be released… perhaps I’ll wait and not buy the new dreamy slimline after all
……….. I think I need a cold shower!