Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It turns out that Apple is not perfect

I’ve been having trouble with my Apple TV, and decided to pay a visit to the Genius Bar in the recently opened Apple Store here in Waterloo to see if I could get some help. I had been unable to address the problem on my own, or via a bit of Web research, and I wanted to experience the Genius Bar in action.

My three boys and I went to the store on a weekday afternoon, and I was surprised at how busy it was. The place was packed with customers and employees. I made an appointment to consult someone at the Genius Bar, and my sons explored some of the products on display. They had a ball, and nobody tried to interfere with their fun.

Come appointment time, I explained the problem I was having to Darcy, the friendly and knowledgable genius who was helping me. After exploring some options and trying to reproduce the problem, Darcy eventually decided to replace my Apple TV (a solution that I discovered upon returning home turned out to have solved the problem). The latitude given to Apple Store employees appears to be about as wide-ranging as I had previously heard. It was a great experience.

So what makes Apple less than perfect?

After making my appointment, I received an email from Apple confirming the time. The email included a link to an Apple Store iPhone app. I decided to try installing it, and clicked the link in the email to do so. The App Store application launched on my iPhone, but instead of seeing the Apple Store app, I saw a message saying “Your request could not be completed.” I asked Darcy about it, and he told me that the Apple Store iPhone app isn’t available in Canada, and that he’s not sure why the link is included in emails for the Canadian stores.

It’s an extremely minor issue, of course, and it didn’t at all bother me that I couldn’t download the Apple Store app. It is, though, telling that such a minor thing stands out in a customer experience that is otherwise exemplary all around. It’s just not quite perfect.