Two weeks ago I purchased a new PowerMac G5. Whilst I was sensible enough to wait until the updated machines were announced (pre-loaded with Tiger), I by-passed my usual pre-purchase research and headed straight for the nearest and newest Apple Store.
I quickly found myself in front of a black t-shirted sales assistant, with an American accent, who I guess had been flown in from the States to help the new store get up to speed. Before saying the magic words “I’ll have one of those please”, I thought I would ask a question. It just seems the right thing to do in these situations. I usually end up asking something totally pointless, and this time was no exception.
Me: “Can I transfer my files from my old G4 to this new computer using the Migration Assistant, using an Ethernet connection as opposed to a firewire connection?”
Mac Specialist: “No. However do you have bluetooth on you Mac?”
Me: “I want to transfer 30Gb?”
Mac Specialist: (Confused)
(For all those non-geeks out there, transferring 30Gb of data across a bluetooth connection would somewhere between forever, and never). This was the first sign that the term “Mac Specialist” is in fact a job title similar to that of “Solid Waste Equipment Technician”
I knew what I was after so went ahead with the purchase anyhow. The questions I really should have been asking regarding compatibility with existing hardware came to mind just as the credit card was being passed over the till. Needless to say, both questions were responded to with “yes” answers, turns out they should have actually been “No”. I guess that isn’t a great surprise.
Now to be fair, I was helped by two (British) assistants who wheeled my Mac all the way to the other side of the Bullring shopping centre, and were really friendly and answered all my questions.
But at the moment I feel disappointed with the Apple Store. I hope it will become a more pleasant place to shop in the future, with staff that will hopefully know their products better, and also gain a more reserved British feel. At the moment there is an over the top, falseness like all things American, that really rubs me up the wrong way.
Whilst the new staff are fresh and still learning their jobs, those flown over from the states to help out only seem to highlight the language barrier that exists between our two very different cultures. So far my Apple Store experience has been an uncomfortable one.