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Apple Store: ever any help?


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ToddG

 
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A number of folks on the forum have recommended visiting a local Apple Store as a step toward solving various problems reported here.

Tonight, I went to my local Apple Store (Montgomery Mall, Maryland). At 6pm, they had flashing video signs at the Genius Bar saying "no more Geniuses available tonight." There were six iPod and eight Mac users in the queue. With four hours left before the store closed, they stopped taking requests for help.

It's the height of Christmas shopping season and there was a single "Genius" working at the bar. Well actually there were two, but one guy was playing on one of their wired-in computers and literally ignored customers who spoke to him. How many people are going to stand around for hours waiting for technical help?

The one guy who was working seemed oblivious to the situation. He was helping the same woman the entire time I was there (more than half an hour) and I finally gave up waiting when they started talking about their pets.

There were, however, about a dozen salespeople available to sell me anything I wanted. As soon as they learned I already owned the Apple product they pointed me toward the Genius Bar and walked away.

Is this typical? Should I just write off using the Apple Store for help unless I can manage to go when the mall is empty? Or is this store just a bad example of how Apple operates? It was the third time I've been there since buying my Mac a few weeks ago and I've never once been able to get one of the Geniuses to help me.

edited to add: And yes, I remembered to bathe and brush my teeth today.
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imacmatt09

 
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Yeah maybe you should complain to apple about that. All my experiences have been good at the apple store. Soon as i walked in someone came up to me and asked me what i was looking for and stuff they where really helpfull but that doesnt seem right about what they did to you.
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mynameis

 
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You need to get an appointment with the Genius if you have Pro Car you can get one in advance, if not you have to sign up for one the day you want it.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Well actually there were two, but one guy was playing on one of their wired-in computers and literally ignored customers who spoke to him. How many people are going to stand around for hours waiting for technical help?

The one guy who was working seemed oblivious to the situation. He was helping the same woman the entire time I was there (more than half an hour) and I finally gave up waiting when they started talking about their pets.
The Apple Store was obviously helpful to some people that night. It is quite possible that the guy who was "playing around" was actually working on something for a customer.:black:
Still, it is nearing the holidays and stores do get shorthanded, even Apple's. Apple does hire seasonal help like most stores do, but the sales associates aren't always as qualified in the tech support area, and are likely advised to direct customers to the Genius Bar in situations like that.

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CrossBones

 
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I've made appointments at the "Genius Bar" and had no probelms getting to talk to them when my appointment time came...but not until whether they were busy or not!

I will say that a few times I have encountered sort of rude employees (gear heads) that kind of got in a huff when I told them I didn't understand what they were excplaing. It's sort of like the chemistry teacher who writes a forumla on the black board and when you ask how they got to that equation they get huffy and say ``well EVERBODY knows you have to know this (something not written in the formula) to get to the formula I just wrote"...huh? (well maybe you had to be there)

Anyway, on balance I'd say my experience in the Apple Stores is pretty good. Generally they are helpful but not always as knowledgeable as you would expect.
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macAttack

 
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they're always helpful...but sometimes i feel that I know more than the employees...hehe.......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
A number of folks on the forum have recommended visiting a local Apple Store as a step toward solving various problems reported here.

Tonight, I went to my local Apple Store (Montgomery Mall, Maryland). At 6pm, they had flashing video signs at the Genius Bar saying "no more Geniuses available tonight." There were six iPod and eight Mac users in the queue. With four hours left before the store closed, they stopped taking requests for help.

It's the height of Christmas shopping season and there was a single "Genius" working at the bar. Well actually there were two, but one guy was playing on one of their wired-in computers and literally ignored customers who spoke to him. How many people are going to stand around for hours waiting for technical help?

The one guy who was working seemed oblivious to the situation. He was helping the same woman the entire time I was there (more than half an hour) and I finally gave up waiting when they started talking about their pets.

There were, however, about a dozen salespeople available to sell me anything I wanted. As soon as they learned I already owned the Apple product they pointed me toward the Genius Bar and walked away.

Is this typical? Should I just write off using the Apple Store for help unless I can manage to go when the mall is empty? Or is this store just a bad example of how Apple operates? It was the third time I've been there since buying my Mac a few weeks ago and I've never once been able to get one of the Geniuses to help me.

edited to add: And yes, I remembered to bathe and brush my teeth today.
I think part of your problem was that you need an appointment with a "genius" at the apple store.

If you don't have pro care you have to make the appointment the same day.

you can make the appointment here for your store

http://www.apple.com/retail/montgome.../20061217.html

right below "shop online" you should see this:

Apple Store Concierge
Get hands-on help. Make a reservation at the Genius Bar. Customers with ProCare can reserve a date and time up to 14 days in advance.

My personal trips to the apple store have been very helpfull and usefull.

I suggest you try again, and make an appointment next time.


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caribiner23

 
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mynameis hit the nail on the head. You usually can't just walk into the store and speak to someone-- you need to make an appointment.

Even if you don't have ProCare, you can make an appointment the same day before you leave the house. Your store's web page is at http://www.apple.com/retail/montgome.../20061217.html and if you look for "Apple Store Concierge" you can make the reservation there.

That said, my experiences at the Apple Store Genius Bar have been about 75% good/25% not-so-good. My biggest complaint is that the store I usually go to (Schaumburg, IL) is understaffed during the busiest times: I don't think I've ever been served at the time of my actual appointment.

The best part is that if there's a warranty issue, they'll jump on it right there.

(edit: kordosean beat me by a minute :-))
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CrossBones

 
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Oh yeah I thought he knew that...you must make an appointment....unless you have ProCare which I do not! But it's easy (see link above) and works very well.
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ToddG

 
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. According to the signage up at the store, it seemed like "make an appointment" was an option rather than a requirement. Good to know and I especially appreciate all the link advice.

THANKS!
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dohidied

 
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I usually have trouble finding someone to take my money at the Apple Store. Since they don't have a dedicated cashier, all the employees are usually showing people iPods.
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