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The Worst Apple Store In America — An Employee Confession 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the what's-the-world-coming-to-when-you-can't-trust-cheap-labor-anymore dept.
Cutting_Crew writes "Gizmodo has a piece that describes one of the worst and most corrupt Apple stores. Two employees recount management exchanging brand new computers for face-lifts (and other things), not just from customers, but also from businesses. Other common activities ranged from destroying devices repeatedly and ringing up new ones (for themselves and friends as fake customers) to outright stealing merchandise and cash. Customers may have also lost their data if they weren't polite when coming in for a repair, or the 'Genius' help may have been intoxicated."
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The Worst Apple Store In America — An Employee Confession

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  • by rabtech (223758) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @02:43AM (#41078179) Homepage

    A bad store manager can leave a lasting trail of damage. Sounds like this store had a bad one and it rubbed off on the employees.

    I don't see how this is a noteworthy story though... In any large retail operation you will have some bad "apples". It also sounds like Apple found out and fired most of them.

  • This is a story?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @03:27AM (#41078367)

    So, I broke Slashdot tradition and read TFA.

    Short version:

    This store was staffed by, and managed by, a bunch of power-mad dicks who were all either fired or left. Several employees were caught stealing or scamming the system, and fired and forced to pay for what they stole, and now the system is harder to scam.

    Isn't that how it's supposed to work? Bad people are forced out, and system is improved to limit the behavior of bad actors? I mean, I get it, we all hate Apple, (STEVE JOBS WAS AN EVIL THIEF!) but I don't quite see the story here. Tellingly, the main storyteller, "Ronald" is still unemployed, presumably because his past references are something to the effect of "this guy stole our stuff and abused our customers" and now trying to get some some of satisfaction by trashing his employer for not stopping him from being a huge dick?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @03:32AM (#41078387)

    So if a member of the press commits murder, you'll let them walk?

    Ever since Judy Miller went to jail for that noblest of causes the Bush Administration, the US media has loved this idea that being part of the press exempts you from criminal prosecution. I am not a lawyer, but as far as I know it does not, has not, and should not.

    I believe strongly in a free press and I disagree with many excuses made for keeping information hidden ("national security", "intellectual property", etc.), but I among other things do not think that "journalists" should traffic in stolen property. Nor is being a "journalist" an excuse for Gizmodo's general sleaze factor.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @04:27AM (#41078637)

    Doesn't mean what they're reporting isn't true.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @04:35AM (#41078683) Journal
    This story is actually relevant; anyone using Apple products may have dealings with these stores at some point. If there are similar shenanigans going on at McDonalds, Fry's or other well known chains (and I am sure that there are), then there's a news item. Nothing world shaking, just interesting.

    If you think this is an example of how bad the Apple hype is getting, then you have no idea. Head over to Apple fan sites for any or all of the following:
    - Review of an iPhone, with a lengthy description on the orgasmic joy of taking an iPhone out of its packaging.
    - An exited article about rumours on what the new iPhone's dock connector is going to look like.
    - Pictures of "leaked" parts intended of the new iPhone 5, such as the logic board, the battery, and said dock connector. Popular enough to prompt criminals to circulate these pictures in a PDF that has been infected with some malware.
    - "Apple working on red iPhone bumper".
    All actual articles taken from Apple fan sites. Not quite up there with Woz' balls, but still...
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @06:14AM (#41079067) Homepage

    Oh I don't know about that... there are lots of licenses to get out of jail.

    I won't just consider the source. I'll consider my experience. It surprises me not at all that Apple is nothing more than a really shiny Best Buy. There may be a good number of tech savvy Apple users, but the majority are not. And those people are begging to be exploited. Corruption isn't a crime of character as much as it is a crime of opportunity and it's a human condition. That this happens within Apple's doors only speaks of a variety of side-effects of their image, customer base, and of course, their cool and relaxed manner.

    The story also smacks of "Waiting" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348333/). It's not a crowd I feel comfortable with. I do, however, understand the risks of doing business in organizations with images like these. So yeah, for some things and in limited amounts, I will risk my dollars and time in limited amounts at Best Buy. Apple stores? Not so much... the prices are too high for the risk.

    It makes me wonder... it has always made me wonder why Apple gear is increasingly a completely sealed box with no removable anything. That is the main reason I will not buy any more Apple stuff unless it is user servicable. Is Apple's reason for doing so their employees? Or customers? Both? My initial thought was to prevent creating 3rd party markets for batteries and other compatible parts... and I still think so. But this practice also puts customers at further risk of exploitation... and as has been acknowledged since time immemorial... ...corruption is a crime of opportunity.

    It's not only a matter of "if" it will happen, it's a matter of when and how often and it should be a given that it WILL happen. So I'd like to say this happens "everywhere, not just at Apple" which is kind of true. But I'd like to add that Apple make is more possible for a wide variety of reasons.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @09:19AM (#41080003)

    I'm not buying it.

    You might deserve it, but that still doesn't make it right for the guy dishing out the revenge in the first place.

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    If I caught someone spitting in a customer's food I would fire them immediately and I would also report them to the health department because inserting bodily fluids of ANY kind into a customer's food is a SERIOUS health code violation. I don't care if the customer was being a jerk or not. I have a business to run, and the last thing I need is a cleanliness scandal, or worse, having my permit revoked because I stood by and let my cooks contaminate meals.

    As for the condescending prick bitching to my wait staff, he would soon find himself 86'ed from the premesis if he failed to heed my warnings. Being a customer doesn't entitle you to be a dick to my staff.

    I wouldn't put up with crap from either side.

  • Duh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lilfields (961485) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @09:58AM (#41080457) Homepage
    It's funny that people are questioning the legitimacy of this...when in reality if you've ever worked retail or had friends work retail you know that things like this happen ALL the time; especially in big box stores like Wal-Mart & Target. Anyone in retail will tell you that the #1 source of thefts in stores are the employees. It happens in computer repair facilities too, replace parts that aren't bad, then scrub the inventory and take it home, steal the customer's 3rd party hardware...it's relatively common. The more profitable the company, the more hidden the losses are the from the books, the easier it is to steal. If you stole from a small business they'd notice it in a heartbeat, when you're a huge corporation it's harder to control or even notice until there is nothing you can do about it. If Apple continues as the world's largest corporation, they will continue to be plagued by this, it doesn't mean they will lose much profitability, just that it's not even a scrape to their behemoth profits.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:15AM (#41081481) Journal

    I can, if you like.

    I used to own a small company (myself and 2 others started it, it grew to 8 people when we sold it, so it was never large.) By far the largest expense every year was the trade show budget. Even building (as far as union labour allows) our own booth / tearing it down / manning it ourselves / sharing hotel rooms, a trade show averaged to ~$50k, and we did two per year (NAB in Vegas and IBC in Amsterdam). if you consider the time taken out of normal working hours for all that, as well as how long we sweated over making sure the demos were as good as we could make them, it's a lot more than that.

    If some clueless moron went around sabotaging the equipment that we set up "just so" to highlight what we were trying to show, I'd be furious. You get about 20 seconds to 'hook' someone hovering around your stand at a trade show, then a max of ~5 mins to show off your wares if they are interested. If *anything* goes wrong, it's game over, which is why we worked so damn hard to make our (very complex) system look effortless for every demo.

    When a sale is worth ~$20k+, you have to come over as competent, what you're selling has to demonstrably do its job, and you generally have to give a good impression. None of that is achieved if you are suddenly scrambling to find why the fucking TV has turned off. You look like an incompetent maroon, and you've lost the potential sale.

    To a large company, this is an inconvenience; to a small company, trade shows are lifeblood. You *need* word of mouth to consistently generate sales, and more people will talk about "that little company that made best-of-show" (which we did, twice) than something they saw in an ad, or something that a cold-call salesman phoned them up about.

    Ours was a happy story, we wrote the asset management that still (to my knowledge) runs ILM (amongst others) today, and we got a pretty good deal for the company, but it was touch and go for a year or two and during those years something like this could have pushed us over the edge. Word of mouth works both ways. ... ("they don't even know how to turn on a TV"). If it had, then thats a whole bunch of people out of work, as well as a massive financial mess for me and the other two owners.

    You go into business knowing it is a risk, you try to minimise that risk as much as possible, but you don't plan for self-aggrandizing idiots intentionally trying to break your company for their own financial gain. Everything the bastards at Gizmodo do is about getting more page hits and therefore more ad revenue. For them, it's all about money in their pocket, and frankly they don't give a shit about how they do it or what consequences will fall on others because of their actions.

    So yeah. They're a bunch of assholes as far as I'm concerned, too.

    Simon.

  • by ThumpSlice (812760) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:25PM (#41083317) Homepage
    I've also noticed that getting actual help from an Apple Store employee has become more and more difficult, unless you're plunking down for the big new shiny. So, the last time I was there, I used their Apple Store app, which allows me to use my iPhone camera to scan the code on the item i wanted and pay for it with the credit card on file. I got what I came for, I didn't bother with any of the employees, and I got to pretend that I was shoplifting the item as I walked out the door with it. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.

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