New Genius Bar Reservation Policies Should Help Thwart Scalpers

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Do you remember this story, about how China’s network of scalpers were booking up all of Apple’s Genius Bar appointments en masse and then re-selling them on the black market to the highest bidder?

Well, Apple’s figured out a way to partially thwart it: they’re now asking you to sign in with your Apple ID if you want a Genius Bar appointment.

The new policy should help thwart the sort of Genius Bar scalping that is common in countries like China and other developing nations. Previously, there was never a formal log-in process, and you could just go into Apple’s Genius Bar reservation system online, enter a store and date, then pick your times. That meant that if you had a bank of fake email addresses and enough hands clicking, you could potentially book an entire store’s worth of Genius Bar appointments the second they became available at midnight. That was heaven for scalpers, but a maddening ordeal for people who actually, you know, wanted to get their iPhones fixed.

The new policy also should help with no-shows, which can be something of a time sink for Apple Stores trying to handle their Genius Bar workloads.

If you’re not a scammer, nothing should change for you here, except you’ll have to go through the small extra-step of logging into your Apple ID before booking a Genius Bar reservation online. But hopefully, this will prove to be a much bigger pain-in-the-beck for scalpers.

  • theobserving

    This will also be a tremendous pain in the back for Apple Store employees who have to help people make appointments.

  • Adrayven

    This will also be a tremendous pain in the back for Apple Store employees who have to help people make appointments.

    naw, everyone is used to using there Apple ID.. We use it on everything else Apple.. /shrug

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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