I am in the market for a new notebook. As any technology aficionado I like to do my research so I can get the most bang for my buck. I visited the Apple store this weekend, with an open-mind but came out an irritated customer:
1. Holier than thou mentality
I have specific needs. I need to run Windows, OS X, and Linux. The Apple reps repeatedly tell me that I don’t need any OS aside from OS X. Then they start to get into a pitch about how Apple’s operating system is the greatest software known to mankind. I just wanted to know if I could run all three on the same machine – I didn’t want to be evangalized.
As an Intel employee, I have the insider scoop about processor technology. I wanted to know which family of Core 2 Duo processors are in the Macbook, and they simply told me it was the Intel Core 2 Duo. The reps seem to only know what they are told from their God Steve Jobs. I even visited the Apple site and nowhere does it tell me the exact processor I will be receiving in my new hardware. After being passed around to multiple sales reps, someone at the Genius Bar told me exactly what I needed to know, however it was on a need to know basis. I came to the realization that Apple treats their customers as idiots.
3. More Incompetence
I asked about the new Santa Rosa platform that were in the Macbook Pro refresh. I wanted to know about Intel Turbo Memory which is 1GB of solid state flash, speeding up data retrieval that is in the cache. The reps didn’t know what I was talking about, and told me that if it is there that would be “cool.” Instead they tried to console me by saying that the refresh is “brand spanking new.” Wow, thats really going to get me to buy your product.
Back to my needs of running multiple operating systems, the reps realized that OS X wasn’t going to just cut it for me. I asked them if I could do a dual or triple boot with Boot Camp, Apple’s beta software allowing you to run multiple OS’s natively on seperate partitions. They told me it was beta software, and I should run Parallels which runs the OS’s in a virtual environment instead. Due to RAM restrictions, I don’t want to do that, and would like to do a dual-boot as I do on my laptop right now. The rep’s seem to think a “virtual environment” is not emulation. I thought these guys who work behind the Genius Bar were geniuses?
5. Fail to realize that the customer is always right
I have a specific budget I want to stay within. I want the Macbook, but no matter what, the rep’s are always trying to sell up to the higher model. This is fine the first time around, but to continously sell up to a consumer who does not want to is flat-out bad sales.
Apple has great design, hardware and innovative software (by innovative I mean, taking open-source software and branding it as their own) , but the Apple representatives are misinformed elitists. Maybe it was just this one bad experience, but in the sales and marketing world, everything is based on your first impression.
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