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I had an Apple Watch Series 5 that was giving me a bit of trouble. I couldn’t answer phone calls and Siri had stopped working. I figured it was a faulty microphone. I contacted Apple and within a few minutes a helpful and patient employee was on the line to talk me through a fix. Yet although I was on the phone for about an hour, he was unable to instigate a repair. I figured it was time for an upgrade.

I went out to a big-brand electronic­s store that’s store just 400 metres from my home. I went over to the empty Watch department where two employees were discussing something on screen. I looked at them but they studiously ignored me. And did so for a full 10 minutes. Angrily, I left.

My nearest Apple Store is in Belfast, 37 miles away. There, my customer experience was totally different. I was treated with respect. The shop was packed, mostly with teenagers, and as a 77-year-old pensioner I’m sure I stuck out like a sore thumb. Yet immediatel­y I was attended to. I asked to speak with an Apple Genius. “Have you an appointmen­t?” I hadn’t, but the Apple employee requested a look at my Watch. He went through different options as to why it wasn’t working as it should. Eventually he confirmed my diagnosis – a faulty microphone.

A new Watch? He took me to the correct department where a helpful 24-year-old persuaded me to buy a £499 blue, cellular Apple Watch. Though sad to have parted with almost £500, I left a happy man.



We always prefer to go to an Apple Store for products, not least because their customer service is generally so good.

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