Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apple of my Eye

There is no better face-to-face retail operation in America than the Apple Store!
by Charlie Leck

In a blog a week or so ago I told you about my tendency to quickly ruin expensive toys – and said that it would be better to stick to the lower priced items that I wouldn’t feel so bad about ruining [read the blog here if you’re interested]. I told you about my Apple iPhone getting run through the washing machine lately and about dropping, on its absolute face on a stone-tiled floor, my Apple iPad2 on the very first day I owned it.

Well, thanks to a buddy who helped me get there (I’m still hobbling with this very new hip), on Tuesday I paid a visit to the incredibly beautiful Apple Store in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. This friend had grown pretty tired of not being able to reach me on the phone and not getting his text messages through to me.

Well, when I saw the new store my sox were knocked right off my feet. Oh, my! What a beautiful place.

And, like other Apple Store locations, you are greeted very promptly when you walk through the door and by knowledgeable, friendly and perfectly cheerful clerks who stand ready to help. I told them my woeful tale about my iPhone and my iPad2. They suggested an appointment at the Genius Bar (which is a helluva genius idea all in all).

I took their suggested appointment and that left us plenty of time to have a friendly and cheery lunch. My buddy took me and another friend to the Blackbird CafĂ© out south on Nicollet Avenue. Great place! It gets nothing but raves from me. I recommend it heartily. I feel so behind the times in this great city now that I live so far out in the country. I wish I could get into the city more often – especially in great weather like we’ve had this week.

We drove around south Minneapolis and the guys pointed out a half dozen wonderful new places to eat -- cozy, small and happy looking places.

We got back to the Apple Store just in time for my appointment. A very polite and cheerful “genius” looked over both my iPhone and my iPad2.

“You purchased an Apple Care package on both of them,” he announced with a broad smile on his face.

“Really,” I said. “And what does that mean?”

“I can replace them both for you at no charge,” he said. “And, I’ll get them both set up for you so all you have to do is plug them into your computer and Apple’s iTunes Store will restore all your old information, like your contact lists and your calendar.”

“No charge?” Asked I.

“None,” he said. “Just give me about 10 or 15 minutes.”

As he worked, clearing my old, broken gadgets of any information I might have had on them, and getting my new items all ready to go, he joked merrily with me and whistled a happy tune. His flingers flew as the extremities of a tech genius should. Tap! Tap! Tap! Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! And he was finished.

“You’ve still got a year left on your Apple Care package,” he said, “but don’t put these through a washing machine again. I was stretching our coverage a bit to replace them for you. Won’t be able to do that again!”

Geez, I wanted to give him a hug.

While my friends waited for me, they had a zillion gadgets to play with and they got all the attention they needed or wanted from a dozen or so techie-clerks who wandered around in the store.

Up and down the aisles of the store I saw happy, pleased and excited customers. They were being helped the old fashioned way in this store – patiently, merrily and smartly. There is no retail operation in America like the Apple Store. They believe in excellence in their products and in their service. Wow!

How I wish all my computers and peripherals were Apple products! It would be tough to change now, but I can dream – can’t I?

My old man, who believed in top-notch service in the retail business, would be very pleased with Apple. He’d rate them A+ and that’s the best compliment I can pay them.

Thanks, Apple!


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