Even the most avid Apple fans often have a love-hate relationship with their local Apple store. Sure, the Apple store is notoriously the worst place to buy an iPhone on a new model’s launch day, but anyone with common sense (and without a day to waste in line) knows well to steer clear of the mall the day a new iPhone launches. However, many customers have some worse complaints about the Apple store than launch day crowds. Ahead, check out some of the worst things about the Apple store.
1. Long waits
A very common complaint about the Apple store, whether you’re talking to your friends or looking through the complaints registered with Consumer Affairs, is the long wait time for appointments at the Genius Bar. Customers are often disgruntled that they need to make an appointment in the first place, and it’s extremely common for appointments to be running behind schedule or for technicians to be juggling multiple appointments at the same time. The result is that customers end up waiting longer than expected to make a purchase, to talk to a technician, or to have their devices repaired or replaced.
2. Long repair and replacement times
Many of the most common complaints about the Apple store aren’t about customers’ experiences buying new gadgets, but about what happens when they take an existing device to be repaired or replaced. There are many cases in which you’ll need to leave your Apple gadget at the store for repairs, or else wait a few days for a replacement device to arrive. Especially in the case of replacements, Apple employees will typically give you an estimate of the timeline that you can expect, and the store will email you when your device is ready for pickup. But many customers complain that those deadlines often come and go with no sign of an email from Apple, and in some cases, customers have to wait many days past the original deadline for their devices to be ready for pickup.
3. Unexpectedly expensive repairs
Another complaint that many customers make about the Apple store is what it costs to repair a device (particularly one that’s outside of the warranty period). Most Apple devices are expensive to purchase in the first place, and customers are frustrated to pay $100, $200, $300, or more to fix a device that stops working, especially if they didn’t drop or otherwise physically damage the product.
4. Apple store locations
Another common complaint about the Apple store is that many cities and towns don’t have their own stores. That means that many Apple fans need to travel to get to a store for repairs — which makes it even more exasperating when appointments are delayed. For customers without an Apple store within easy commuting distance, it’s also significantly more frustrating to get any mistakes fixed, or to leave a product at the store for repairs. As Peter Cohen reports for iMore, many Apple customers have to plan their trips to the Apple store because for many shoppers, that store isn’t nearby.
5. The occasional pressure to upgrade
Plenty of consumers love their old Apple gadgets, and don’t plan on upgrading to newer models anytime soon. So if you’re one of those consumers, you probably know that it’s frustrating when your Genius Bar appointment is handled by a technician who seems intent on getting you to upgrade to a new device instead of repairing the old one. Everyone knows that Apple is a company that makes money by selling new products, but an associate who’s too aggressive about upselling customers or convincing them to upgrade is a complaint that we’ll likely hear about more frequently now that Apple is incentivizing employees to sell more iPhones.
6. Confusing warranties
While many Apple fans know that they can purchase an AppleCare plan for extra protection for their devices, figuring out when your warranty is up or what’s going to be covered is often unnecessarily confusing. Especially in the case of iPhones bought from a carrier or another retailer instead of the Apple store, many customers find themselves confused about how long their devices are under warranty or what services are included.
7. The possibility of losing your data
Most consumers are aware that any time they take an Apple device into the store to be repaired or replaced, it’s a good idea to back up their data and ensure that everything is saved safely in the cloud. But plenty of customers don’t take those precautions, or can’t thanks to a nonfunctional device, and end up leaving the Apple store sans data. Having your data erased or having the restoration from a backup fail may be one of the most frustrating Apple store experiences, even if it’s ultimately neither the customer’s nor the technician’s fault.
8. Apple ID and login problems
Another sticky issue when it comes to fixing issues with existing Apple products, or even purchasing another Apple device when you already own one or more, is login problems. Whether they can’t get an Apple ID to work or can’t remember the passcodes and security codes needed to access the account, plenty of customers complain about having problems logging in to their devices — a problem that it isn’t always as simple for Apple employees to fix as customers would like.
9. No discounts
Finally, a popular complaint about the Apple store is that it isn’t the place to buy your next Apple gadget if you’re looking for a discount or some rewards to sweeten the deal. Whether you’re thinking of buying a new Mac or upgrading to the latest iPhone, you can expect to find the best deal not at the Apple store, but at a range of other sources, from reputable online sellers to big-box electronics stores to your carrier’s site. That’s because those companies are all working hard to attract your business, while Apple is fairly confident that customers will keep walking through its doors, even if they have plenty of complaints about the experience there.