Genius Bar Stories March 6, 2017

Ex-Apple Store chief talks Steve Jobs, Genius Bar and more in new interview

In a new interview with Recodeformer Apple Store chief Ron Johnson sits down with Kara Swisher to talk about his corporate retail experiences, Steve Jobs, and his ‘idiotic’ Genius Bar idea.

Genius Bar Stories December 7, 2016

Apple customers can now schedule Authorized Service Provider appointments along side Genius Bar

Apple has now introduced a manner in which customers seeking support can book repair appointments with not only the well known Genius Bar, but also Apple Authorized Service Providers. Previously customers only had the option to book online reservations with the Genius Bar, but the move to add third-party bookings is a new one. Customers should now have a better experience in finding a location to solve their issues.

Genius Bar Stories February 22, 2016

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Apple is readying a pair of notable improvements for Apple Store Genius Bars to be rolled out over the next couple of months, according to sources. Currently, Apple Stores allocate a fixed amount of time to each customer per Genius Bar appointment: 10 minutes for iOS devices and 15 minutes for Macs. If a customer’s issue requires more than that time amount, the customer is typically asked to book a successive appointment.

Apple has relied on this system in order to fit in as many Genius Bar appointments per day at each store and maintain a uniform experience. However, Apple has realized that not all technical support problems are the same and is preparing to officially allow for longer Genius Bar appointments.

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Genius Bar Stories October 26, 2015

iPhone 6, iPhone 6s Plus

In an effort to reduce wait times at Genius Bars within Apple Stores, Apple this week will launch a new repair program for the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus in select stores across the United States, Europe, and Japan, according to several employees. Rather than completing all repairs in store, the new program will allow Apple Store Genius Bars to determine that these phones should be shipped to an off-site repair center if the issue falls into one of three categories:

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Genius Bar Stories August 28, 2015

Apple is continuing to tweak its Apple Watch showroom experience within Apple Stores. Upon the initial rollout of the Apple Watch in April, Apple Stores installed large glass tables as a showcase for the different Apple Watch variations. Customers could test drive the Apple Watch via a demo unit connected to an iPad mini or try it on at a series of try-on stations. Following a pilot program across select Apple Stores across the world, Apple has now begun a widespread rollout of a new Apple Watch testing program called Mobile Try-On, according to Apple Retail employees.

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Genius Bar Stories August 22, 2015

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Apple is continuing to transition its three main retail outlets, its physical retail stores, online store, and main website, into a single experience. Following the deep integration of the Apple Online Store throughout Apple.com, Apple is set to integrate its appointment scheduling services for the Genius Bar and in-store workshops deeply into the main website, according to sources briefed on the plans. The latest indications are that Apple will roll out these significant retail changes as soon as Tuesday, August 25th.

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Genius Bar Stories May 29, 2015

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If you want quality, reliable tech support for your computer, get a Mac. That’s according to the results of a new Consumer Reports survey that ranked Apple top among PC manufacturers for technical support post-purchase for the ninth year running… expand full story

Genius Bar Stories April 24, 2015

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Apple will be doing a visual mechanical inspection of the Apple Watch, like with the rest of its products, when customers bring in a damaged device for repair. But what will be covered under your warranty exactly? And what issues will Apple be looking for to determine what is eligible for repair under or out of warranty? Head below for all the details… expand full story

Genius Bar Stories April 21, 2015

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Beyond a unique sales process and exclusivity to select stores, even returning the Apple Watch Edition will have its own special process. Bringing the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition back to an Apple Store for a refund will require the device to be scrutinized under micro-inspection by Apple Store staff, according to sources. While the return process itself is unique, the return timeframe will be the standard 14 days like most of Apple’s other products…

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Genius Bar Stories February 23, 2015

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Apple will soon make a significant change to retail store Genius Bar appointments to improve the customer experience, according to several sources briefed on the upcoming shift. During the week of March 9th, Apple’s United States stores will launch a new initiative called “The new Concierge” that replaces traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments. Currently, a customer seeking Genius Bar assistance can walk into an Apple Retail Store, explain the issue to a check-in assistant, and get a specific time to return for an appointment…

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Genius Bar Stories January 26, 2015

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Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts is continuing to go all in on growth in China. In video messages to employees in recent days and weeks, Ahrendts has been recruiting employees from United States-based Apple Retail stores to relocate to China to help build up Apple’s retail efforts in the region. In a note to employees late last week, sources say that Ahrendts reported that approximately 200 Apple retail workers from the U.S. have already offered to make the move. Ahrendts added that the offer to move to China “has no expiration date because as the business grows, our needs will only become greater, so as your personal and professional life changes, just always keep China at the top of your mind, because we’re going to need you…”

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Genius Bar Stories January 16, 2015

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Unveil Beats By Dr. Dre 2011 Holiday Product Line-Up

Apple is in the process of winding down Beats Electronics’ outsourced phone support ties and moving technical support completely in-house via AppleCare, according to sources. Beats Electronics phone support is currently split between Apple and Sitel, a customer support outsourcing firm, and Apple is aiming to completely end that relationship as soon as March. Apple cut several Beats jobs in July following the acquisition. Sitel employees have confirmed that they will be moved to new technical support positions for other companies, and AppleCare employees similarly confirmed that Beats support will soon be handled completely internally. Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music in May 2014 for $3 billion, and sales transitioned to the Apple Online Store in August. Apple Store Genius Bars began servicing Beats products late last year.

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Genius Bar Stories December 15, 2014

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As they’ve done in years’ past, some Apple retail stores this holiday season will repurpose the Genius Bar for additional product space, pick-ups, or other uses as Apple attempts to make the shopping experience for customers as smooth as possible, 9to5Mac has learned.

The repurposing for the holidays will only arrive in some stores depending on needs and traffic, with some stores scheduled to use the Genius Bar area to complete express sales and hold products scheduled for pick-up. Other changes, however, will go beyond the holidays as the stores under new retail chief Angela Ahrendts evolve to better deal with increased foot traffic. expand full story

Genius Bar Stories November 17, 2014

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Apple is making a big push with gift cards for the holidays with the most notable change being gift cards for its retail stores arriving through third-party retailers, according to sources. The company already sold iTunes/App Store gift certificates through a number of retail parters, but it has just recently started selling its Apple Store gift cards outside its own channels as well. Apple Retail will also make changes to repair procedures tomorrow including the introduction of in-store repairs for Beats products.  expand full story

Genius Bar Stories September 25, 2014

Apple says some bent iPhone 6/Plus phones will be replaced under warranty

An Apple support representative has told TNW that iPhone 6/Plus phones that have experienced warping in normal use would qualify for replacement under warranty if they pass a test known as “a visual mechanical inspection.” It should be noted that this is simply one AppleCare rep speaking, and not an official statement by Apple.

That is 100 percent up to the Genius you speak with at the store. There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one.

Apple was not able to provide any information on what the test involves, though one commentator below suggests that it is simply comparing the phone to a set of reference photos used to distinguish phones damaged by misuse from those considered faulty. In some rather Steve-like phrasing, the representative said that support chatroom comments revealed that “we’re looking into this with an insane amount of detail.”

Photos of the iPhone 6 and, especially, 6 Plus bending whilst in pockets starting emerging a couple of days ago. Video tests, though, do seem to indicate that a substantial degree of force is required.

Our own poll suggested that around 30 percent of readers are concerned about the issue, with 11.5 percent saying that they already own an iPhone 6 and are worried about damaging it, and 18 percent stating that they are delaying purchase until the issue is resolved.

iDevice warranty specialists SquareTrade found that the iPhone 6 passed all its breakability tests, describing it as the “toughest iPhone yet” and noting that it beat all other phones in its drop tests.

Genius Bar Stories July 31, 2014

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Apple will finally begin offering iPhone 5s screen replacements in its official U.S. and Canada retail stores in the coming days, according to several sources. Apple Store Genius Bars are said to have begun taking delivery of large quantities of iPhone 5s screens for the repair program. The crucial service’s debut is currently scheduled for Monday, August 4th. This upcoming rollout will mark an official launch as a few stores in the U.S. have piloted iPhone 5s screen repairs over the past several months. Apple officially rolled out iPhone 5c screen repairs in January, and it began replacing other iPhone 5c and 5s parts late in 2013. The screen replacements will cost approximately $150 per repair, and this is more affordable than the $269 price of completely replacing a broken iPhone 5s.

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Genius Bar Stories April 27, 2014

iPhone 5 - Slate/Silver Late Friday afternoon Apple issued a press release stating that some iPhone 5 devices manufactured through March 2013 may have a defect that causes the sleep/wake button to fail. At that time, Apple positioned mail-in repairs as the only remedy for this issue, but we have learned today that there is another option that may allow affected customers to upgrade to an iPhone 5c/5s for free…

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Genius Bar Stories March 28, 2014

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Following several months of anticipation, Apple’s first official Apple Retail Store in Turkey will open in Istanbul on April 5th. The new store is located in the center of the Zorlu Center mall, and the official announcement has come in the form of emails to customers in Turkey and on a banner around the physical store…

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Genius Bar Stories November 23, 2013

Genius Bar reservation page now suggests online support solutions for quick troubleshooting

Apple offers free services at the Apple Store, including free technical support at the Genius Bar and free workshops to help customers learn more about using their Apple devices. Several months ago, the process of signing up for a Genius Bar reservation changed and now requires using an Apple ID to register.

Today, Apple has again updated the Genius Bar reservation workflow. Before signing in with an Apple ID, consumers are presented with a new page that highlights the various online support tools that Apple offers. If desired, users can continue with their initial plan of making the reservation for the Genius Bar, or can try to “save a trip to the store” by working with an AppleCare representative online. If the issue in question involves iTunes, iCloud, or Apple ID services, AppleCare can help customers for free regardless of whether any of that customer’s Apple products are still covered under AppleCare. For hardware- or software-related issues, AppleCare does offer pay-per-incident fees, or offers the option to purchase AppleCare if the product is still covered under the original warranty.

Recently the AppleCare support website was updated with 24/7 chat support, and customers were offered the option to initiate screensharing on their Mac with AppleCare representatives.

With this new page, it seems Apple is hoping customers will conduct basic troubleshooting at home before making a trip to the Genius Bar, which will hopefully cut down on the number of appointments booked for simple issues and provide customers who really do need Genius support with even more timeslots to choose from.

Genius Bar Stories October 31, 2013

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Earlier this week, Apple confirmed that some iPhone 5s units are affected by battery-life issues due to a manufacturing glitch. Apple said that customers with affected units would be contacted to receive a replacement device. Now, sources have shared some details into how exactly that process will work. Besides what is listed in the quote from Apple’s PR department, Apple has told AppleCare representatives that the issue can cause “shortened battery life, longer charge times, or a battery that will no longer charge…”

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Genius Bar Stories August 30, 2013

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In line with a rumor from earlier this week, we’ve heard from our sources that AppleCare+ is indeed set to soon launch in Europe. AppleCare+ is Apple’s premium support service, and it provides customers with technical support for both the iPhone and iPad for two years from the original purchase date. AppleCare+ also provides support for up to two instances of accidental damage.

We understand that the launch is “imminent,” but no formal launch date has been announced internally. Apple, this week, has begun training its AppleCare support and Apple Store Genius Bar employees on the upcoming launch of the support initiative. At first, the European launch will occur in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and Switzerland…

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Photo from trade-in program training

In line with our reports from earlier this week, Apple has announced that its Apple Store iPhone trade-in-program has launched today. The confirmation comes by way of comment to CNBC.

The trade-in-program is officially called the “iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program” and it is available in Apple Stores across the United States. It is powered in-part by BrightStar…

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Genius Bar Stories August 16, 2013

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Apple has opened up one of its rare replacement programs for the graphics card in some mid-2011 iMac configurations, according to a notice issued to Apple Support employees. The iMac in question is the model released in May 2011 with Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt ports. This iMac was sold between that month and October 2012 when Apple launched thinner models with new internals. Apple says that AMD Radeon HD 6970M cards (both 1GB and 2GB configurations) in select versions of these 2011 iMacs could fail:

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Genius Bar Stories July 29, 2013

Chinese scalpers booking up all Genius Bar appointments & selling online

Beijing Morning News reports that local ticket scalpers have found a new way to make money on Apple: booking up all available Genius Bar appointments and then offering them for sale online.

Ticket scalpers usually make their money by buying large quantities of event tickets as soon as they go on sale then illegally selling them for more than face value once the event is sold out. With Genius Bar appointments, they don’t even need to fork out cash in the first place: they just use a bunch of email addresses to make the appointments then advertise them online.

Appointments sell for 10- yuan ($1.60-6.40) in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to $580. A Beijing Morning News reporter found there were no appointments available on the Apple site for iPhone, iPad or iPod. They contacted one of the advertisers asking for an appointment the next day and were offered a choice of two local stores and two time slots. The reporter was sent login details for the booking by instant messenger, and was then able to access the booking on the Apple site to change the details to their own.

The reporter contacted Apple for comment, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Thanks, Numble.

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