What’s the story on buying from the Apple Store? If there’s a retail store near you it’s good. Great even. If they have in stock what you want to buy. Otherwise, it’s the online Apple Store. Here’s a good news, bad news story that turns around. Again.
We buy from the Apple Store. Both the local Apple Store and the online Apple Store. The local store is a first check for something we might want. It’s also an excellent place to browse if you’re interested in getting rid of money that might be burning a whole in your pocket. Or checkbook. Or credit card.
Over the years we’ve bought our share of Apple products, Macs, iPods, software from both the online store and local store. We’re blessed. If it’s in stock, you get it now or in a day or so.
True, there aren’t many discounts at either location. Seldom will you see anything resembling a “sale” price, but if you’re patient, your reward is here and not yet in heaven.
We’re switching all our Macs from Panther to Tiger. It was easy and painless for the basic Tiger setup. We bought the Family Pack (5 license for home). Ordered it from the online store. It showed up a day early and by the time we hit the hectic throngs of shoppers at the local Apple Store we’d already had the bliss fix we needed from Tiger.
Not so with Tiger Server. Since we have a couple of PowerMacs that we use as servers (now running Panther), we figured we could pick up Tiger Server at the local store.
Nope. No Tiger Server’s in stock. Maybe next week. Even the local CompUSA store (I don’t like using “CompUSA” in the same paragraph as “Apple Store”) didn’t have Tiger Server in stock.
So, we waited a week and finally ordered Server from the online Apple Store.
Installation was a breeze. Server has many new features so check out the Apple web site for the details. Literally, you can have a web site, email accounts, an iChat server, a QuickTime server, and much more, all set up and running in less than an hour on your Mac.
For the second PowerMac Server we decided to check with the local Apple Store again. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Still no Tiger Server in stocks.
A quick run over to CompUSA gave the same result. No Tiger Server in stock. But they can order it.
So can I. Late Saturday night I hit the online Apple Store and ordered Tiger Server. My patience was NOT being rewarded.
There was no option for expedited delivery. Buy Tiger Server and shipping is free but it’ll get to you however it gets to you. Even paying extra won’t get it faster because there’s no option for overnight delivery.
The Apple web site said shipment from Apple would be in 1 to 3 days. Add to that however long shipping would actually take, and there was a slim chance I’d get Tiger Server before the weekend. Otherwise, with the holiday, installation would have to wait for another weekend.
Monday came and went. No notice from Apple about the shipment.
Tuesday came and went. Not a word out of Apple.
Wednesday came and went. Mostly. Still, no word from Apple about the shipment. However, late Wednesday night I received an email from Apple Customer Support. It was a survey wanting to know about my most recent Apple Store buying experience.
The message had a link to a BizRate.com survey. I LOVE surveys. How often does a blonde get asked what she thinks?
So I head to BizRate.com, fill out the survey form complaining about the lack of product in the Apple Store, and no shipping options from the online order. Click. Goodbye. I’m not expecting anything to come of that. I’m blonde enough that people don’t follow up with additional questions.
Thursday morning I check mail. There’s the note from Apple saying that Tiger Server has been shipped. The note included a FedEx tracking number. I put the tracking number in the Dashboard Widget “PackageTracker” and hit Enter.
No info yet.
Late Thursday night I check PackageTracker again. Now the package is in Memphis. Hmmm. Is it possible Tiger Server will arrive by end of day Friday.
Friday morning comes. PackageTracker and FedEx say the package is STILL in Memphis but has a delivery date of, well, today. Friday. But the package is still in Memphis. Sigh. Cross legs. Think about going to pee.
Just then, the phone rings. It’s an out-of-state number, but it’s Friday and I’m curious. Guess what? It’s an Apple Customer Support rep who read my survey response from BizRate.
He’s calling to tell me—you know what I’m doing now, right? I click over to PackageTracker—lo and behold, FedEx says the package is on the truck and out for delivery—that FedEx has the package on the truck and it’s out for delivery.
Oh, and is there anything else I can do for you?
Woo hoo! Apple comes through again. Tiger Server should hop off the truck (well, the driver will hop off, and carry the package to the door) some time this afternoon.
Apple is clicking along these days. 2 gigabyte and 4 gigabyte iPod shuffles are on the way. There’s hardly any waiting for anything at the online Apple Store (except Tiger Server).
And another Mac customer ends the day on a happy note. Your mileage may vary.