13 Things Apple Employees Won’t Tell You
On any given day our tech gadgetry can either provide a glimmering angel on one shoulder or an annoying, rascally devil on the other. We dug up some inside scoop from current and former Apple employees to get the real deal on how to navigate fixes, failures, and fumbles.
Don’t scoff at the word “refurbished”
When researching a tablet, phone, or another gadget, we’re always trying to find the best deal on the newest model. But one former Apple employee suggests not getting too hung up on what is currently considered as the latest and greatest, because refurbished finds can be a real steal. “Apple’s refurbished iPads are always significantly lower-priced with the same warranty,” says Nicole Talercio who used to work at Apple. Check out some other items you should consider buying used rather than new.
If it feels like you’re talking in circles to the Genius Bar, you likely are
Snagging a timely appointment at the Genius Bar can feel like a score, but their “fixes” may not be what you want to hear. In a Thrillist interview, one “Lead Genius” explained the issue. “Under no circumstances could we tell a customer directly, ‘No, I cannot help with this issue,'” he recalled. “For example, if a customer had to pay $199 to replace their broken iPhone screen, they’d get very upset. If they say something like ‘So you’re telling me you can’t help me with this, you can’t fix my phone?!’ we were trained to reply with ‘Yes, I absolutely can help you and I’d love to. The replacement is $199.’ This could loop around in circles for quite awhile.” If that phone is a lost cause, here are 11 things you can do with it.
Some fixes really are easier than you think
While it may seem like a no-brainer, Talercio remembers that some customers never considered that perhaps their iPhone simply needed a force restart, which can be done easily at home. She encourages users to start there to avoid potentially waiting in unnecessary lines for help at the Apple store.
Hey, we’ll trade ya
Try not to be discouraged if your tech accouterment burns out quickly. Your cord and earbuds are under warranty for a year, if you bought them directly from Apple. “You can always swap out your cord within one year if it breaks,” says Talercio. “Earbuds are the easiest to trade in but you must make a Genius Bar appointment. Sales staff is not really authorized to swap out accessories because they need to match it with the iPhone.” Here are some scams disguised as deals you need to know about.
Know the ins and outs of AppleCare
When you purchase an Apple product, there’s an option to also pay for AppleCare, which some might assume is a type of insurance on a product, but this is not the case. According to an Apple insider who spoke with PopSugar, it’s merely an extension of the manufacturer’s warranty. Does this mean it isn’t worth the extra price? Not necessarily, but make sure you’re clear on what AppleCare does cover because it varies by product. For example, apparently physical damage is not covered for computers. There’s also the option of AppleCare+ which may provide the opportunity to pay a lower deductible for physical damage on a specified number of occasions.
There are some employee perks
“Back in the day, Apple employees used to be able to purchase floor model computers, laptops, and iPods for up to 75 percent off if the item was at the end of its life cycle,” says Talercio about her time with the company. While some employees cite the wages at the retail locations as being lackluster, it’s said that they are getting better.
Everybody clap your hands
If you hadn’t already noticed, Apple is a clapping culture. These folks clap… a lot. “There will be a lot of clapping,” a former Apple Store specialist told The Chive. “As a new hire, you’ll get ‘clapped in.’ At the end of every shift meeting, there’s clapping. When someone quits, on their last day they get ‘clapped out.’ Sometimes just for kicks to make a little kid feel good, you’ll clap… there’s just a lot of clapping.”
The proof is in the training manual
A few years ago Gizmodo got their hands on a copy of Apple’s secret employee training manual and, boy, is it a doozy. For starters, words deemed as “negative” are banished inside their stores. They will never use the term “crash,” rather they’ll say the device has “stopped responding.” You won’t hear the word “bug” either. Instead, an employee will describe it as an issue, condition, or situation.
Honesty really is the best policy
If you’re altering the truth about what happened to the device you brought to the Genius Bar, the folks behind the counter are going to be quick to catch on to you. And they really don’t want to have to call you out on your lies. “Lying is never a good idea at the Apple Store,” advised a former Apple employee named James in an interview with Mental Floss. “We know you’re lying, and we have a lot of control to bend the rules to make things work for you, but if we know you’re lying, we aren’t going to bend the rules.”
Apple employees don’t necessarily have the best of the best
Back at HQ, it turns out many Apple employees use bug-infested Macs in order to best detect problems in devices that consumers may encounter. “Internally, most devices are running test builds of all the software on them, often updating every couple of weeks with the very latest code from the engineering teams,” code writer Brent Royal-Gordon told Business Insider. “So Apple employees don’t just use Macs—they use really buggy Macs, often with really buggy apps. People on the iOS teams often use really buggy iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, too. This ensures that the company catches a lot of bugs before anyone on the outside ever sees the software.”
Set yourself up for success at the Genius Bar
If you have multiple issues to solve at the Genius Bar, make back-to-back appointments so that you have more time with a pro. Appointments are typically set in 15-minute increments, so it’s a good idea request more time if you have a lot on your plate. Additionally, employees recommend backing up your device before you meet with your “Genius.” If they have to back up your device at the store, it will take away from the amount of time they have to solve the problem.
Waiting isn’t easy
If you’re wondering what the secret is to getting your Genius Bar appointment to actually start at the time for which you scheduled it, well, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, at least according to a Wall Street Journal article, there really is no secret as Genius Bar appointments are sometimes triple-booked. Cross your fingers, take a deep breath, and remember that at least by the time you do see your Genius, they’re ready and willing to offer all of the tech support they can muster.