I recently started weight training and was in need of an armband for my 5G Video iPod 80GB. In the past I’ve found the Apple Store to have the best selection. Off I went, and here is my story…
Walking into the back of the Apple Store where the cases are…
Searching for an armband for the Classic…
Still can’t find it. Is there an associate handy?
I’ll grab this guy when he’s done…
“Need something?” asks a tall Apple store associate with the hip orange shirt and WiFi bankcard machine in holster. (Cash registers are for suckers.)
“I’m looking for an armband for the iPod classic.”
“They should be right on the bottom.” OrangeShirt continued in a condescending tone. “Now the classic is basically a disk drive. It’s got moving parts, so I wouldn’t recommend jogging with it. It pops out and – BOOM – it’s ruined!”
“Actually, I need it for weight training. Nothing too heavy,” I retorted quickly.
OrangeShirt was quick with a volley back over the net. “Even still, it’s really not meant to be on the move.”
A few thoughts went through my mind in a split second as I began searching the wall for a case, including:
“It’s an iPod, not a Victrola.”
“How many times have I dropped my iPod in its case over the last two years?”
“If it couldn’t be moved, why make an armband for it?”
After finding a case, I turned to the next question. “I have the 80GB 5G – will it fit in this case? I know they’re similar.”
“On the back of the box there is a list with all of the models it’s compatible with.” It was said with a tone that seemed to imply that helping me select a case was a waste of his time.
I rephrased my question. “The box says iPod Classic 120GB and iPod Classic 80/160GB. The sizes aren’t that much different, are they?”
Once I heard him say “back of the box,” I could tell this was going nowhere. And fast.
I figured the easiest thing to do at this point would be to open the box and check out the design. As I did that, I put a small tear in the front of the box. I didn’t trash it, but it was enough to damage the pristine nature of the tagboard. Keep in mind we’re talking about a display box for a $30 iPod case.
OrangeShirt piped in before I could go further. “Be very careful sir we have a…” I was waiting for him to say that any further damage to the box would require that I purchase it.
He didn’t get that far. I closed the box up, and said “Let me look and see if there’s something else here.” He walked away.
I could have done any number of things at this point: asked for a manager, reopened the case and tried it out, bought the case and returned it if it didn’t fit my needs. None of those seemed worth the trouble. I decided to vote with my feet and wallet; I put back the case, walked out of the store, went to Best Buy across the street, and bought an armband. It was only $22.
For some reason, I can’t get over this dude at the Apple store. I know their products are cool and chic. I love the design of their Macs. I’m looking forward to getting an iPhone when the contract is up for renewal.
But this experience put a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to feel like I’m talking to Dieter from “Sprockets” every time I need an accessory or have a question about something. Maybe he had a rough day to that point. Maybe he works on commission and was worried about losing a sale on a MacBook Pro.
After sharing my experience with a colleague, he didn’t seem that shocked. So what’s your experience with the Apple store? Feel free to leave a comment.
Never mind, mom.