Why I’m moving away from Apple, and specifically, the iPhone and going to the store | ...

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And it has nothing to do with technology for the most part. On balance, Apple makes some great products. But there are two things that Apple sucks at:

– Customer Service (especially at an Apple Store – more on this later)
– Battery life

First off, I’d like to thank Luke C., one of the managers at the King of Prussia Apple Store for wasting 90 min of my life today. The same goes for the other manager of whom I didn’t get his name.

I have said this every time I’ve gone into an Apple Store lately….”Never again.” They are crowded and unless you are there to buy something, the Apple retail crew is not really interested in helping you. The tough thing with batteries is that you have to go through some difficulty to get issues addressed. That often means going to the store – and make an appointment at the “Genius Bar.” Don’t know about you, but when I pay premium prices for a product, I expect superior customer service. And more often than not, I usually get it. Tumi is a great example of a company that stands behind their products.

Anyway, for some time now, I’ve had issues with battery life wtih my iPhone. I had the phone replace in December – and for the most part – it’s been OK. Today, Luke C. stated that they had their process. They had to make sure it wasn’t a software related problem. I was agreeable. Fast forward 50 minutes and while they told me everything was OK – turns out that it wasn’t. The battery drains at a rate of about 1% every 2-3 min. The funny thing is, when confronted wtih an outcome he didn’t expect, Luke and his buddy stated – “I could buy a new battery for $89.” I then became disagreeable. What is it with these folks that work at the Apple Stores? Is it a requirement to be a pendantic d-bag? They clearly have lying down to a fine art. Whatever – I have to consider the source. These guys work in retail and are a reminder why I prefer the online experience when it comes to making purchases.

Often, when considering things like phones, tablets, etc – we evaluate based on technology. We really should be looking at customer service as well. And in the case of Apple, that charges a premium price for their products – they have a greater responsibility to provide superior customer service. The irony as to the store is that for all of the “experience” the Apple folks worry about, an Apple store today, has got to be the worse customer experience out there today. Others may disagree – but that is my opinion.

I’m just one guy and Apple won’t care as it’s market cap continues to creep toward a trillion dollars. Apple makes a profit of over $350 per iPhone and it is hypothesized that Apple generates $30 of profit on an iPhone for every $1 of labor. And the $89 battery? What’s that cost? $5…maybe.

I’m all for companies making as much as they can. I’m a capitalist. But…I’m also a “fairist” as well. In other words, I believe that companies should earn the premium they charge. Standing behind their products, when they are defective, is such a case when they need to earn that premium. Well…I have my remedy as well.