“I just returned from the Apple Store at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. I arrived at the mall at 5.20 AM to wait in line for my chance to buy an iPad 2. I was number 27 in line. I did not get one,” Mark Hosbein blogs for We’re Not In Kansas Anymore. “The line went to 81. My wife had been there for the past two days, and both days she was shut out. She was number 39 yesterday, with no luck.”
“For a revered brand, Apple is risking customer will in the way they are managing the iPad launch,” Hosbein writes. “When you call, the stores cannot tell you when or how many they will get in. Even the night before when you call they cannot tell you what they are getting at the store less than ten hours later. If it’s coming from California, they have to know what is coming at that point, but the company is not telling their stores and their stores are simply telling people they don’t know. Does not sound like the operations of a company that makes sophisticated computer products and runs one of the most trafficked websites online, does it?”
MacDailyNews Take: No, it most certainly does not. Please see: What part of ‘iPad 2 Availability Tracker’ doesn’t Apple understand? – March 14, 2011
Hosbein continues, “By the calculation of someone in our line today, Apple sells 14,000 iPads a day through their stores – at that rate about 3.3 million a year. What they are not counting is the 70 people at each store each day who walk away frustrated. For their 700 stores, that equals 49,000 day. They are frustrating four times as many people as they are delighting. Ouch! If this goes on for a month – and at this rate that is conservative – that will lead to 1.5M frustrated customers.”
Hosbein continues, “This was preventable and manageable if the company thought about the customer experience… The manager this am said to me and the other frustrated customers “that is the policy.” The company that reinvented computing now focusing on policy. Hmmm… We’ll all go buy an iPad. My wife wants to try again on Monday. I am giving up. I will order online. But whether I like the iPad or not when I get it, my feeling toward Apple will never be same. They are big, they follow policy, they are not focused on customers. They make great products, but not happy customers.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight them, and work our asses off doing it. But we have a blast doing it. What motivates us is for our users to love our products and connect them with great apps and content. When we fall short, we try harder. And when we succeed our users reward us by staying loyal. That’s what drives us. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, July 16, 2010
Well, Steve, you’re currently failing to delight roughly 49,000 people per day, but, hey, at least you’re surprising them with your inexplicabe insistence on needlessly wasting their and your employees’ time. Apple is falling short. Time to try harder.
If you can’t satisfy launch demand (and, let’s face it, when you could ever?), at least make the call to tell Tim Cook to wake up and put the availability tracker back up online, so that your potential customers don’t have to get up at 4am to go stand blindly on lines and so that your retail employees don’t have to answer the same iPad 2 question all damn day long when they could instead be helping people buy Macs, iPods, and iPhones. We got our iPad 2s on Day One, but so many haven’t; you could at least give them some clue where the chances will be best for them to invest their time and energy in the hopes of buying your product!
We don’t normally apply the word incompetence to Apple, but, the way the company is managing (if you can call it that) the iPad 2 launch and, especially, the way they are failing to effectively communicate with customers, not to mention the way they are disappointing customers daily, there is no better way to describe it: Apple’s iPad 2 launch smacks of incompetence.