Australian Apple Store customer blasts bad experience

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The screen really is beautiful.
Customer went into Apple Store to buy an iPad cover.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple Stores are known for their high level of service. An Australian dad begs to differ, however, based on his reported experience in a Sydney Apple Store recently.

Specifically, he claims that he was given a hard sell on using Apple Pay on his iPhone. Despite not wanting to use the service, he reports feeling patronized and — worse — as though the store was refusing to let him pay for his product in any other way.

The man says that he was left feeling his “intelligence was being questioned” following a January 28 visit to an Apple Store in the Sydney north shore suburb of Chatswood. He had gone in trying to buy a cover for his son’s iPad, but found that the employee he spoke with would not drop the suggestion of his using Apple Pay.

“He gave me the impression I had to use the app to buy the product,” the customer, who didn’t share his name, told News.com.au. “Even though I told the guy that I wasn’t interested, he kept going on. I asked him at least three times if he was going to take my money or my credit card, and he just kept deflecting back to Apple Pay.”

The customer also said that he felt patronized when asking if there was no-one else in the store who might be able to help him pay.

“I felt frustrated and I felt like my intelligence was being questioned,” he continued. “I’m not really concerned by the legalities [of whether a store can force you to use a certain payment method] as much as I am the stupidity that transpired. Very simply, it was poor salesmanship to insist I should use Apple Pay even though I told them I wasn’t interested.”

In the end, the customer says that he gave up and went across the street to another store, where he bought the exact same product.

Getting to the bottom of the story

Ultimately, it’s worth noting that this is just one customer’s view of the experience. It certainly sounds a less than ideal experience, but it’s tough to know what happened without hearing both sides of the story. The one question it does bring up, however, is about hard selling of products or services.

I’ve always been impressed by the fact that Apple Store employees — who don’t have the same commission-based remuneration or sales targets as people in other big retailers — do not hard sell or up-sell products. Recently there has reportedly been more of a drive to get Apple Store employees to make a bigger point of mentioning trade-in programs to customers in store.

Whether that translates to pushing other services — such as Apple Pay — isn’t clear. Given that Apple Pay just rolled out with the biggest bank in Australia, there’s a chance that the Apple Store employee was simply trying to explain this to a customer unfamiliar with Apple Pay, but either phrased it badly or was way too pushy.

How have you found the service in your local Apple Store recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.