My loving and adoring wife gifted me with an Apple gift card on Fathers day. I’ve been holding onto it until the right time, when I actually needed something. That time was yesterday or so I thought.Let me first state that I have been using Apple product since 1988 when I was working at SF Magazine as an editorial intern and we worked off of Mac classics. I was a Mac guy from that day on.
Fast forward, as I type this entry on a Mac, we have another mac desktop at home, I use Garageband alot and even purchased Logic Express. Once I master Express, I can see myself moving up to Logic Pro and the dedicated workstation it takes to handle such beefy files. I am an ideal customer. While not filthy rich, we have enough money to play with Apple and get new toys when we need to. In essence, we’re vertical and we’re in their wheel house when it comes to economic demographics–we can afford their shit.
I really enjoy the one-on-one program and have gained a lot of insight and help when it comes to using Garageband and other apps. I’ve been their advocate and upseller to Apple newbies. They need people like myself as brand ambassadors, so on and so on, blah, blah, blah.
Ok, I got the love out of the way. Now for the unbridled anger I feel for them today
So last night, I took my son and my $100 gift card to Apple to buy an external hard drive so that I could start working with video. I roll up and see a line in front of THE EMERYVILLE STORE and think, “oh they’re just waiting for their iPhone fix” and march towards the store, four-year-old, hand-in-hand. When I got there, I found out that there was two lines, one for the iPhone and one for regular customers. What is this, the fucking Roxy? Since when did shopping become a velvet rope experience?
Well I wasn’t going to wait and was getting ready to leave when my son broke free and raced to the little peoples computer in the back where he sits on a ball and tries to play games. I went in to get him and as I reach the back of the store, there are a number of Apple droids just standing around and one walks up to me and asks me “if I need any help?” I tell her that, “I want a hard drive but they’re telling me I have to wait outside.” She begins to help me anyway. I think OK, she’s helping me, so it must be kosher, I can do this.
Well I’m just about to close the deal when this dipshit in what looks like modified liederhosen races into the store and starts yelping at about my not standing in line. This is where I blow my fucking gasket. All I wanted to do was simply buy a hard drive. I’m not there to look around or check my email, like a lot of other people were doing, I was there to spend dollars and they’re making it really difficult and I don’t want their goddamed iPhone–my sense of self isn’t defined by what I speak into. I just wanted a hard drive. Simple.
So then this clown from the line tells me that “he feels my pain and wants to go outside to talk about it.” What is he Dr. fucking Phil? I don’t need to vent with him. Now I just want to redeem my Apple gift card and leave. I throw it down on the counter to get my $100 back on noone will touch it or help me. I blow my lid and start calling bullshit in the store and now I really have to leave. I pick my kid up from the kiddie computer and of course he doesn’t want to go, explodes into tears and I have to carry him out of the store. I bark out at the people dutifully lined up for their new iPhones, let’s call them “iClones” and bray at them like clueless sheep.
This is just a shitty user experience and I plan to not only let Apple know about it, but also redeem my giftcard for cash and buy my hardrive at Costco. I’ll continue with one-on-one and work with some really good teachers like Scott, but I’m all about the aftermarket from here on out. I already got my copy of Logic express on eBay and saved over $100.
Let me just say that one of the things that makes capitalism successful is the ability to purchase goods and if that basic function is inhibited somewhere along the distribution chain, the model fails. I’m not into aura or brand identity as a fashion statement–I just want products that work and be able to get them on a timely, as I need them basis. Based on those simple principles, Apple failed miserably yesterday on so many levels.