Back – with a rant – Apples and, er Oranges? Apple Retail != Apple Store

Go figure. I actually missed having a decent forum for being able to rant about stuff. Freedom to say what I wanted; when I wanted. Then I realised – “oooh I know where people do that nowadays! On a blog!”. Then I remembered – I have a blog! Whoop-de-doo for me, and I can release some anger.

Well actually, my anger is pretty limited at the moment. I mean, I’ve spent the last 5 months travelling, and it’s even longer than that I haven’t been at work, moreorless. So when you find yourself in a situation where you can literally do anything you want any time any day, well I guess you don’t have much right to be pissed off about too much stuff.

One of those things that I wanted to do – buy a new computer. And not just any computer, a brand spanking new Apple Macbook Pro. I felt I deserved it, after all, I’ve been working hard these past few months. [Er, hang on.] Long story short, I negotiated a good price with (the) Apple Store (i.e., the online sales people) but because of the way they work, they couldn’t accept my UK-registered credit card. However, the local store (Stamford) has the machine. I phoned them to check if they would pricematch the deal, and they said of course. So I trundle all the way in to the store – and lo and behold – they won’t pricematch. We figure out how the Apple Store has got such a good price and it’s through a mechanism that the Apple Retail (store) [following this?] couldn’t match. Besides giving me some bullshit about why they couldn’t, I wasn’t too bothered about it all. I mean, they’d told me they would match, and when I get there they can’t, well, I’d normally be upset at even that. But this new Zen state of mind of mine has obviously miraculous calming effects on me. In fact I was doing really well about the whole situation, was even prepared to just buy the new ‘pooter at full whack right there and then, until the sorry operator muttered a sentence which, boils my blood every time I hear it:

“Apple Retail and the Apple Store are separate companies.”

Now, I’ve heard that expression on so many occasions that it really makes me mad. Most notorious for it are banks. I’ve never particularly understood why I can’t walk in to a Natwest branded bank and not have full access to all my accounts. If I can’t – don’t fucking call it Natwest. But I honestly and genuinely thought – and hoped – that Apple would be a little different. Call me naive, but they seem to have so many systems in place to make the buying experience as pleasurable as possible – heck, has detailed listings of what is going on in individual stores and such like.

I don’t work in big business, or retail or anything like that – and frankly I don’t mind if I never do – so I don’t profess to understand how these places work, or why they choose to keep certain units separate from each other and all that crap – but, however, I am a consumer. And that means that if I go in to an Apple store or call the Apple phone number – then as far as I am concerned I am speaking with Apple. So that means if I go in to an Apple store then I believe I should get the same deal promised to me by a different Apple store. If that Apple store can’t match the price, then fine. But for the love of God don’t tell me it’s because “Apple” and “Apple” are not the same thing.

I’m a simple consumer, I don’t give a toss about the makeup of the commercial organisation. It’s akin to when I fix someone’s computer, or write some software – they don’t care how I did it, or how it works, just that it gets done.


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  1. matt’s debates » Blog Archive » Strike 2, Apple

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