Gizmodo Writer Pwned By Anti-Apple Trolls: Apple Store Genius Bar Top Horror “Stories”

Friday, January 15, 2010
By OP Editor

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Gizmodo is a tech blog with many interesting stories that are typically based in reality. But occasionally something goes wrong. This week, Gizmodo published top “horror stories” supposedly from customers of the highly rated Apple Store Genius Bar. Sensational? Yes. The problem is, the article writer, Matt Buchanan, did not fact check.

Matt Buchanan Gizmodo writer fail. Apple Store Genius Bar Horror stories

The top Apple Store “horror stories” covers a good range of geek’s worst nightmare:

  • Bug, as in insects, cockroaches crawling around
  • Stealing of customer’s girlfriend
  • Refuses to repair product, lack of product knowledge
  • Drops customer product and blames it on customer
  • Minor repair error that results in “a month of hell”
  • Insults military / customer job

Did Gizmodo writer Matt Buchanan got pwned / suckered? Do these Apple Store Genius Bar horror stories have any truth in them, or are they a collection of some pretty poorly written fiction? Let’s find out.

Apple Store Genius Bar top horror stories debunked… Summary on last page

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Tags: Analysis, Apple Store, Fail, Myths, Video

15 Responses to “Gizmodo Writer Pwned By Anti-Apple Trolls: Apple Store Genius Bar Top Horror “Stories””

  1. Guy Without A Name

    While it is true that American cockroaches can grow up to 1.5 inches in length there’s nothing in this story to say these were all adult roaches. Additionally if the individual had poor hygiene and housekeeping habits it’s quite possible he can transfer the critters on his clothing and personal effects to other locations. And depending upon the length of his hair it is possible he didn’t notice a roach scurrying through it. Also I’m not sure what you read but from what I see it sounded like he squished a roach (or two) in the battery compartment while inserting the battery (and not that the roaches where in the actual battery itself as that would imply the Apple Genius pried the outer battery casing apart, which I just don’t see them doing) and that the remains were probably interfering with the battery contacts so he couldn’t power up the laptop.

    1
  2. Guy Without A Name

    Arguably a bit of ‘artistic license’ with the second story. The Genius could have recognized the guy from a picture the ex had. Granted he could have opted to decline serving this customer and let someone else handle it although if this was an actual occurrence he would have drawn more attention to himself. Chances are he was trying his best to fumble through it, hoping the customer did not know who he was.

    2
    • Nope, getting someone to do the next repair would not cause a scene.

      First, no genius is assigned to any customer. Multiple genius on the floor and fixed appointment times = number of Geniuses will finish their previous customer around the same time.

      2.1
  3. Guy Without A Name

    This story is questionable at best. It should be noted however that in all professions (Apple included) regardless of how much training is required (or provided) not everyone is ‘up to snuff’. I’ve witnessed questionable behavior and statements from Apple retail employees and Geniuses, perhaps not because they didn’t know the information but possibly because they could not be bothered to take the time to explain it thoroughly. And that doesn’t surprise me. In a bustling retail environment, such as an Apple store the employees are kept busy and frequently don’t have time to slow down.

    3
  4. Guy Without A Name

    Hey, accidents happen. You can’t tell me that never in the history of Apple retail stores has an employee never dropped anything, whether on purpose or by accident. If this story can be taken at face value I’m sure the employee would have been perhaps a bit flustered and maybe slightly embarrassed over dropping a customer’s computer. His reaction of saying damages resultant from falls aren’t covered was likely an, albeit nervous automatic response. Customer service reps (and let’s be honest here, Apple can call them Geniuses but they’re still CSR’s) often have script they recite, especially when dealing with common problems, to the extent they can utter it without even realizing they are doing so.

    4
    • Damages are covered by the store. IF (a big if) such a thing happened, manager would step in, they would apologize and make sure things work out.

      Do you think the Apple Store managers are just some inexperienced drone with no brain? Apple Store positions are actually one of the most competitive jobs around, due to the number of people who want to work for Apple.

      While anything is possible, if something like this happened in plain-sight as claimed in the story, it would be well documented by the crowd of the always busy Apple Store.

      4.1
  5. Guy Without A Name

    “Think about this, the only reasons for a business not to stock a part would be:
    Limitation of storage space, and the part is large
    Limitation of parts budget, and the part is expensive”

    You’re also forgetting that the item can be on backorder, or quite possibly the store had only a small stock of screws, which they exhausted before the stock could be replenished.

    “There is no way any Mac Genius technician repair would result in exterior screws missing.”

    Again you keep elevating Mac Geniuses to Godhood levels. They’re not. They’re people. Ordinary humans, just like you and me and just as capable of making a mistake no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.

    5
    • Screws are never on back order. Reason, screws are cheap, and easy to store. And they got thousands of it. Why? To prevent anything like this from happening.

      Checking to see all the screws are there is BASIC competency. It has nothing to do with “Godhood.”

      5.1
  6. Guy Without A Name

    “Vietnam era insults aren’t really used by most of society these days, especially the Apple Store demographic.”

    Who said anything about it being a Vietnam era insult? The fact that soldiers get called names didn’t start with, nor did it end with the Vietnam war. The only mention I see is that Travis’s girlfriend’s father served in ‘Nam. The point of him mentioning it I think is to show that the girl’s father would have been insulted by the comment and taken it up with store management.

    Once again, you place assumptions on how an Apple store employee would or would not act & what they would or would not say. I will press the point again that they are human and a slip of the lip, intentional or otherwise could have happened. That employee may very well have had very strong views against the military and expressed it inappropriately.

    6
    • Sounds like you never been in ANY corporate HR training seminars. Please, get a job in the corporate world and see what kind of training people receive.

      6.1
  7. Naz

    I was looking for “Facts” in the spaces you titled that way, but all I found were your opinions. The stories seem far-fetched, but what really bothered me is your overzealous ranting. You assume that since they had training, they won’t make mistakes. You are wrong, that is a fact. So because they are used to handle equipment, they wouldn’t drop a computer? By that assumption, there shouldn’t be any car accidents because people are used to driving. Please, if you are going to counterpoint an article, do some fact checking yourself before pointing the finger.

    7
    • Unfortunately, just because you believe something might be possible (however unlikely) doesn’t mean it’s true. Let’s see. Do you know people who work there? Nope. Do you know how much training they receive? Nope.

      The article never claim that they won’t make any mistakes. It’s that the specific stories are completely false, due to lack of supporting evidence. Yes anything is possible. But the facts are against it.

      Apple Store is busy all the time, if someone were to drop a computer, it will be documented by someone. That’s a fact.

      If I hated Apple as much as you, and didn’t understand any business / HR basics, I would agree with you too.

      7.1
  8. Duty Guy

    This was an interesting read. The comments were obviously from people not familiar with the Genius Bar. If you’ve ever been in an Apple Store it is hard to imagine any of these stories to hold water. Unlike with other tech services where they enjoy taking the product behind closed doors and doing god-knows-what with it, the Geniuses will show you what’s up in front of EVERYBODY. It’s very difficult to be a complete knob in front of everybody (i.e. it’s one thing if you’re giving somebody the shaft and it’s a one-on-one encounter and quite another in a typical Apple Store encounter where there is always a healthy Employee to Customer ratio)..

    Just as an aside, the Apple community is the most generous in terms of support. If I can’t find the info I need on the Apple discussion pages, or any like sites (e.g. MacRumors forums, MacLife, etc.) then I will make a Genius Bar appointment. It’s FREE! That is insane. I couldn’t get the time of day at CompUSA back in the day, nor can I get ANY kind of service from Best Buy. It may all be regional, but where I am the Geniuses rule.

    8

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