• Customer Service & Retail

Apple Employees Reveal What Goes On Behind The Scenes At The Apple Store

List RulesVote up the buckwildest ish you can't believe went down behind the scenes at Apple.

“A Mercedes per square foot. Probably the highest grossing retail store in history.” - Bloomberg, 2010

The unbelievably profitable Apple store is the closest any of you have come to getting inside the MCP from Tron. Or at least, what the MCP would look like if it was three stores down from Wetzels Pretzels and Mrs. Fields.  

It's like Willy Wonka made a factory for grownups: Everything is shiny and sleek, helpful people magically appear out of thin air, and "Geniuses" solve even the most complicated glitches. Perhaps most amazingly, in a store in which computers and tablets run twice as much as those of the competitors, everything still feels like a bargain. Steve Jobs's vision is fully realized, a place of wonder in which customer worship at the temple of consumer capitalism.   

But what happens behind-the-scenes at the Apple store?  Does it pose the usual chaos of working in retail? Or is it the equivalent of retail utopia?  What does an apple genius do? These tales from apple store employees - culled from Reddit - give a backstage look at Jobs's Store of Dreams.   

Slight spoiler alert: Even when Apple employees share stories anonymously on Reddit, they still have overwhelmingly positive things to say about the house of Mac.  (Writer's Note: A special thanks to non Reddit humans "Lanny P" and "Drake" for their own tales from the front lines).  

  • 1

    Apple Supports Its Employees

    Photo: sheiladeeisme / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    From bhaijjaan

    "If Apple didn't sell a single product for 10 years, still had to maintain property leases, pay employees, keep producing product, and have to repair any phones. At the end of the ten years, Apple would still be a multi billion dollar corporation.

    Point is, there is a lot of money in Apple. They are really supportive in terms of helping out with your education and its easy to move up."

    Now let's see if any Walmart employees can say that.  

    Did this surprise you?
  • 2

    Employees Are In the Dark About New Products

    Photo: blakespot / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Apple Store workers know no more than us regular citizens when it comes to new releases. From draggingalake

    "(When it comes to) new products... (we know) NOTHING. Apple doesn't care about their Retail employees. When a new iPhone is announced, we know the same time you guys do. All the Geniuses read MacRumors, TUAW, etc, we know what's coming and what's rumored, but we really don't know."

    AppleThrowaway030917 backed up this claim:

    "We find out when the rest of the world does, no one ever believes that but is the truth. Just like the rumor sites usually we get indications, like low stock levels, predictable cycles etc. but we don't get any information or training on new products until the keynote happens.

    As for receiving products, most products we will have on launch day but very little quantity... After launch day its not unusual to not receive any stock for weeks after. Apple Store Pickup is definitely the best way to check stock levels, it is super accurate. Don't bother calling stores, our default answer is to just say no it's not in stock and we don't get any indication of when more will be coming in."

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  • 3

    The Geniuses Wield Tremendous Power

    Photo: andreasdantz / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Former Apple Genius draggingalake explained he could go "off book" and swap out   faulty hardware.

    "I hooked people up all the time - as long as they were honest with me. If you broke your iPad/iPhone within the first month, I would almost always cover it unless you were a jerk to me or said something bad about the product. If you were six months into your iPad and it broke... I probably would have to charge you. Unless it was a story that your daughter fell off a boat and you jumped in to save her because she couldn't swim and your iPhone was in your pocket and now it doesn't work... I covered that.

    This was all up [to] the Genius, it was never a rule or requirement."

    Moral of the story: be nice and don't insult the hardware.  

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  • 4

    Customers Are Almost Too Honest

    Photo: wicker_man / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    From Bhaijjan. "I had a customer come in and openly told me that he took a sh*t on his phone."

    Did this surprise you?