Apple retail service in New Zealand or: knocking on the vacuum cleaner salesman’s door

Someone was expressing their frustration to me about their iPhone the other day. “I know more about how to take care of my leather boots than I know about my (much more expensive) phone.”

Chris Rawson, who writes for TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) has also complained about the process of trying to import what you can’t buy here.

I’ve never bought an Apple product overseas. I’ve seen the pictures of the sterile Apple Stores. So I when I talk about the local Apple retail experience, I’m only comparing it to other local retail experiences.

iPhones in a nutshell: you will probably ‘buy’ your iPhone from a local carrier (vodafone or telecom). I say ‘buy’ because I’ve heard that they actually make a loss on it. The staff in the shops know nothing at all about them. They don’t advise you to buy a screen protector or cover. They don’t really act like retailers at all when it come to iPhones. I have a theory:

Apple like to play hard-to-get

It seems that local retailers have to bend over backwards to get Apple products to sell. The rest of the retail industry doesn’t really work like this. In fact, business in general doesn’t work like this. Imagine knocking on the vacuum cleaner salesman’s door asking if you can buy his product.

Retailers settle for a terrible deal

So once you’ve got a distribution deal, then what? Well Apple have screwed your margins  down to nothing. The only benefit you get is the Apple poster in the window. You make a loss on each product that walks out the door. There’s no incentive to buy accessories (I don’t think).

Summing up
  • I’m being really easy on the carriers – they’re not necessarily the good guys.
  • This is part of an Apple plan. They want to eliminate retail. They want to control everything.

The solution: lower your expectations – of the retail experience, that is. I’d love to walk out of a shop with my new iProducts felling well-advised, certain and secure. But that’s not a reality anymore. Apple know that people don’t actually go to a shop anymore for help – they look online.

Do you have an Apple NZ retail misery story? Maybe you’re not in New Zealand and you’d like to vent how crap Apple is retailed in you part of the world. Please, leave a comment and/or subscribe.

One Comment to “Apple retail service in New Zealand or: knocking on the vacuum cleaner salesman’s door”

  1. Larry Elliott 4 January 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    I have visited several Apple Stores overseas and found the level of customer service and the knowledge of the staff to be superb. Local agents can’t compare even the specialist dealers like Youbee.

    The comments made about the cellphone suppliers are the same regardless of what brand of handset you purchase.

    My 2c

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.