When Customer Service Isn’t

There was a story circulating the Internet last week about a little girl at an Apple store. It seems this little 10-year-old girl saved every penny she could for nearly a year so that she could buy herself an Apple iPod touch, which she desperately wanted. All good so far – I’m all in favor of teaching the younger generations the importance of saving and paying cash, especially for gadgets.

Apple Store

The story gets weird then, when the little girl and her mom arrived at an Apple Store at 10:30 am, and were greeted by Apple employees who told them the store would be closing from 11a-2p and that they could not shop at the moment. The story goes that the mom put up a fight but they were turned away anyways, until the ‘heroic’ Apple store manager chased them down and was willing to make a ‘special exception’ to allow her to purchase her new toy.

The story is making the rounds as some sort of a big deal for the Apple store, how the manager went out of his way to help this ‘poor little girl’ and how it’s the experience of the Apple store, blah blah blah. Not so fast, let’s recap those details, shall we?

1. The girl and her mom arrived at 10:30a

2. They were told that the store was closing from 11a-2p and they could not shop.

I’m not sure what reality distortion field others live in, but I grew up knowing that 10:30a comes shortly BEFORE 11a, which means the mom and daughter had a full 30 minutes to shop before the store’s scheduled closing. The girl didn’t need to wander the store – she had known exactly what she wanted to buy for like, 9 months.

Maybe I’m missing something but the whole thing sounds silly to me. Also, is the Apple store the only place to get an iPod touch these days? I’m pretty sure I know of at least one retailer with over 4,000 stores that carries them and DOESN’T close randomly for 3 hours in the middle of the day. As we lead up to the U.S. holiday season, I’m fairly certain we’ll see more ‘customer service’ stories pop up here and there.

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