Recently, the dude over at 2 Oceans Vibe (Seth Rotheram) tried to purchase an iPod at the V&A Waterfront Apple iStore down here in sunny ol’ Cape Town. At the point of purchase, he was gated from going home with his item because he refused to give the sales clerk his phone number.
God alone knows why they needed the phone number. Did they want to call him later to find out if he got home OK? And why was it so vital to completing the sales process? Theories from marketing opportunities to CRM were batted about – but the bottom line is, nothing as trivial as phone number should prevent a sale.
Seth blogged his experience and the 67 comments that followed all pointed to one thing: people would like the Apple iStore experience even more (and appreciate the brand even more), if they could do away with the incompetent staff and the ridiculous purchase requirements.
In fact, tales abound of Apple iStore’s stand-offish, unhelpful staff members ignoring customers…
In an age where every client interaction with a brand is vital, it’s crazy to think that a brand like Apple could treat their customers like this – especially since part of their angle is that they’re more personable than Microsoft.
That’s one reason why I use Ubuntu – it’s powered by a competent community who know their product and are willing to help you out at any time and at no charge to themselves…other than their time.
PS: Seth got his iPod from a competing retailer. And they didn’t bother to ask him if he even owned a phone…