This is just complete madness – By Columnist Mike Senker

About the Odyssey of visiting your local Apple store – this is just complete madness!

MY pal in Glasgow had a problem with his iPad so he went to his local Apple store and was told he couldn’t enter without an appointment. I thought it was strange but gave it no more thought ‘til I needed a new battery for Mrs S’ iPhone. I rang my local store, which is a 20-minute drive from home. The website gave me the 952 local Spanish number and I went through the usual press 1 for this, 2 for that, until I finally got a human being.

We went through the usual pleasantries, he told me his name and how he was going to be absolutely delighted to help me. I explained I needed a new battery, he asked where I was located and he then said there were no appointments – ever! I said, can you hear what you are saying, this is madness, can I speak to the store manager please?

I’m then informed that’s not possible as he’s not actually at that branch but in the Philippines. But I phoned my local store. Yes but appointments are done from the Philippines. OK put me through to a supervisor and after about 10 minutes on hold I am greeted by Helen who has been made aware of my problem and she is going to help me. Are you in the Philippines too? Nope I’m in another country! Anyway Michael when would you like an appointment? When can I have one?

Helen tells me any time tomorrow. But I thought there were none ever? We booked one for the next day. I asked why I had to go through this song and dance. She couldn’t explain so we left it at that.

Next day the store entrance looked like a scene from the movie Contagion with security guards taking your temperature, a ziggy-zaggy entry system, then plastic gloves, hand sanitiser on top of the gloves and this is all before you have spoken to an Apple employee.

Finally they take the ‘phone away and tell me to come back in 90 minutes which I do only to be told it’s not ready for another 30 minutes. When I return it’s ready and they let me enter again with more gloves and more sanitiser. When I get the ‘phone the screen is cracked all over. Oh yes, it must have been cracked when it came in. NO IT WASN’T!

The guy disappears for a few minutes then says, OK we will replace it free of charge, like he’s doing me a favour! Of course you will, you broke it! After another two hours, more gloves and sanitiser my ‘phone is ready. So that was five hours of my life and €250 spent on bored purchases in the mall!

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Mike’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Mike Senker

Grumpy Old Man Mike Senker provokes laughter and some groans with his spot on observations of life in the modern age.