Apple Store Mac Genius ignores woman customer; talks to husband instead

Consumerist reader Anjela wonders if “a certain employee of the Apple store has a rare disorder that makes women invisible to him. That might explain why the employee spent the entire AirBook shopping excursion talking to her husband instead of Anjela—the actual customer,” The Consumerist reports.

Dear Apple:

Today (2/28/2008, at approximately 4:00pm) I walked into the Bellevue Square Apple Store (in Bellevue, WA) intent on buying a MacBook Air. I am delighted by the MacBook Air. I am the geek for whom the MacBook Air was invented. I am a lifelong PC user, and until now the leap to a new, unfamiliar operating system was a roadblock, but for a machine with a full-size keyboard and monitor that comes in at three pounds, I was not just willing to make the switch, I was genuinely excited. (The fact that I don’t want my next laptop to run Vista doesn’t hurt, either.) I’ve been waiting to get one since the day they were announced.

I had a horrific customer service experience in your Bellevue Square store that has me rethinking this idea. I will certainly never set foot in that store again, and I hope I never have to deal with any of your Apple Store employees in person, if this is how they’re trained to treat customers.

The Apple Store ‘genius’ — and I’m offended that he was called that, given the stupendous idiocy he exhibited today — was named Bill. Bill was called over when my husband and I came into the store; I had told the concierge that I was interested in buying a MacBook Air.

Well, first of all, Bill DID NOT LOOK AT ME. He did not greet me. He greeted my husband, introduced himself, and shook his hand… and completely ignored me. He didn’t ask my name, what we were there to buy, or who the new computer was for. He did not make eye contact. He simply behaved as though I were not there, and steered my husband through the crowded store — ignoring me and leaving me behind…

The rest of the leter in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If this is true, today’s probably not a good day to be Bill, the Bellevue Square Apple Store Mac Genius (we’re checking to see if there is a Bill serving as Mac Genius at that store) and Apple owes this customer an apology. Overall, we’ve received some of the best service of any retail establishment in Apple Stores (of course, we always go in wearing our MacDailyNews shirts… just kidding, that’s the last thing we’d ever do as we can’t spy and pry at all in those things. And, before you all go accusin’ – here’s the MacDailyNews Women’s Tee.)

[UPDATE: 10:29pm ETS: According to our sources, no “Bill” has ever worked in Apple Store Bellevue Square as a Mac Genius. It is possible that a “Bill” has been or is currently on staff in another capacity.]


  1. Not good customer service, certainly– but she could take a deep breath. If I didn’t ever set foot in places where people have been rude, I’d have to stay inside all the time. And frankly, at times, I haven’t even been very nice to myself.

    Anjela– suicide pact? C’mon, let’s go get polite.

  2. I had one bad experience with a tech. support rep. and demanded to speak to a supervisor. When the supervisor called me back, he apologized and went absolutely out of his way to resolve my problem in a timely fashion. He also said that the event would go on the rep’s file.

    Sometimes you get bad employees, but Apple made the situation right, and I hope they do the same for this customer.

  3. Sounds fake. A “genius” is a tech support person, not a sales person. At every store I’ve been to, the genius’es are too busy and valuable fixing broken stuff brought in by customers to be selling MacBooks to customers. And this happened at the BELLEVUE WA store. That figures…

  4. Nah, Ive had bad customer service in Allentown. Certainly some of the younger people that work at Apple stores carry the “smugness” that haunts Apple. It’s gross when you see it first hand.

  5. i am very suspicious of this, especially the location, i.e., WA. this sounds like a planted story – the kind of thing Microsoft would do in order to get bad press for Apple. Apple stores & Apple customer service in general are always rated off the charts for customer satisfaction when compared to other retailers. this just is not credible & does not sound like ANY experience i’ve ever had w/ Apple. why do these stories get so much juice???

  6. Okay, so this employee deserves some re-training about not making assumptions.

    But, come on. If her dick of a husband would have simply said, “Actually, it’s my wife who wants the computer,” then I’m sure Billdo would have switched gears and maybe even apologized.


  7. I went to the Genius Bar and was ignored and then I left totally upset. Then I took a deep breath and was fine by the time I got home.

    I dont think this is a gender thing. I think it is a geek think. Lack of people skills. OK, lack of training.

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