Tech Talk

Mac Format - - MAC SOS - by Luis Vil­la­zon Luis Vil­la­zon can’t wait un­til the only shops left are pubs, sec­ond-hand bookshops and the Ap­ple Store.

I tried to buy a Win­dows lap­top last week­end, but no one would take my money. I write about PCs as well as Macs, and I need some­thing a lit­tle bit more fancy to run Win­dows 10, so I popped along to John Lewis. The lap­top I wanted was on the dis­play ta­ble with lots of those lit­tle sales tick­ets in the dis­penser next to it. But when I took one to the sales as­sis­tant, I was told it was out of stock. It turns out those tick­ets don’t ac­tu­ally re­late to what the store has for sale. They are just win­dow dress­ing or some­thing.

This would never hap­pen in an Ap­ple Store. Ap­ple un­der­stands that

We need ac­tual shops for lap­tops be­cause it’s like buy­ing clothes – you need to see if they match your shoes

you can’t make money un­less you ac­tu­ally sell things to peo­ple. There are no point­less pa­per tick­ets; just staff in blue T-shirts who ask you what you would like and then bring it to you. We still need ac­tual shops for lap­tops be­cause it’s like buy­ing clothes – you need to feel the crafts­man­ship and see if they match your shoes.

But here’s the thing: when my lap­top is out of stock at John Lewis, I or­der it from hp.com in­stead and John Lewis loses a sale. If any­thing was ever out of stock at the Ap­ple Store, I’d still get it on­line from Ap­ple. This ought to mean that Ap­ple could the­o­ret­i­cally get away with worse cus­tomer ser­vice than any­one else, and yet it is the only com­pany fight­ing to make shop­ping in per­son as easy as Ama­zon’s 1-Click.

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