Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:
As anyone who visits an Apple store knows, you’re first greeted by a friendly person with an iPad at the store’s entrance. I told the greeter that I had a Genius Bar appointment for my iPhone XS Max, and she asked for a brief description of my problem.
I explained that my device was randomly shutting down and wouldn’t come back on for several hours. As soon as I finished the explanation, the greeter said, “Have you considered upgrading to a new iPhone recently?”
I was holding my iPhone XS Max in my hand.
A source tells 9to5Mac that this is a new policy at all Apple retail locations. Employees are being instructed to push for an upgrade instead of repairing an existing device. In some stores, the source says, an employee is tasked with pitching iPhone upgrades to Genius Bar customers as they wait for appointments. Other stores have the Geniuses themselves to pitch an upgrade.
This slide into upselling seems new. I’ve always found the Apple Store to be chill, there to help or give me the opportunity to learn about new product. I certainly hope this isn’t the new Apple Store. And I can’t help but wonder if this policy, if it is indeed the new policy, has anything to do with the change at the top.
The Apple Store has never been defined by the hard sell. In fact, it boldly fought against it. Apple retail employees have never earned commission because the goal was to give shoppers the right advice, and match person to product based on need and wants, not which one gives the biggest kickback.
These new initiatives to juice iPhone XS and iPhone XR fly in the face of the principled stance Apple has established in the past. Staff advice is distorted by upper management marketing pressure, rather than monetary incentives, but the result is the same for the customer. The advice is currently biased towards hitting Apple’s targets, not what the person walking in the shop really wants.
Perfectly put. This is not the Apple I know. And love.