Open Letter To Tim Cook – Outlaw Danbury CT Apple Store Manager Fails At Customer Service

Industry: Apple

While Apple may have the #1 customer service in the world, The Danbury CT Apple store has an outlaw manager. An open letter to Tim Cook about my personal experience.

United States (PRUnderground) May 28th, 2013

Danbury Apple StoreI have been a loyal Apple customer since 1977 when I bought my first Apple ll computer. Since then I have had many Apple products. When the first iPhone came out, I was among the first to buy it. When the iPad came out, not only did I buy it, I also blogged about  the  New iPad features. Since then I have written many blog post raving about your great products. Currently I own 4 iPhones, 2 Macs, 2 iPads and 2 iPad minis. Yes I am a big fan.

Saturday morning I dropped my iPhone 5 from about 2 feet and it cracked my screen. I immediately made a 12:30 appointment for Monday May 28, 2013 via the Apple website. at the Danbury, CT Apple store. My intentions were to find out what my options were and to get my iPhone fixed. I use it 24 hours a day for business. My wife and my 2 daughters joined me for the trip. What happened next totally shocked me.

The customer service experience was the worst I have ever seen at any Apple store. The worst part about it was…it came from the store manager named James. Tim Cook you need to know what is happening at some of your stores and how your managers handle situations. Keep in mind, Apple has been rated #1 customer service company in world. Apple even has a secret training manual for their staff with 5 steps to service which are listed below:

  • Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
  • Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions).
  • Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
  • Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
  • End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

Sadly James the manager and his specialist failed at all 5 steps. Detailed below is my experience at the Danbury CT Apple Store starting with the first step:

Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome: As I walked in I was directed to the gentleman with the green shirt holding his iPad which kept track of appointments. He asked me my name and hen asked what the nature of my visit was. I pulled out my iPhone and before I could say anything, he said: “If you do not have an Apple Care warranty it will be $229 for a new phone. Welcome rating 7

Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions): This is where the disaster started. When I tried to explain what happened to my phone, he just kept saying $229 for a new phone. I felt like I was at an unemployment line where they don’t explain things and tell you to move on. There was no probing or questions. Just $229 take it or leave it. At this point I asked to speak to the manager.Customer need rating 1

Present a solution for the customer to take home today: This was a major fail. James the manager came up to me and without really hearing my case he said: “If you did not bother getting the Apple Care Plan, it will cost $229 to replace it with a new phone”. I knew there would not be a solution because of his tone of voice. It was very stern and matter of fact. At this point my 9 year old daughter said: “But we love Apple and look we all have Apple iPads” He answered: “well I am glad you do”….Really!! Present a solution rating 0

Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns: I tried to explain my situation to the manager. He did not want to hear it. I told him that yes I did not have the plan, but would like to know if they could replace it with a refurbished phone. He said it would bring down the integrity of the Apple Care brand and if he did it for me he would have to do it for everyone. I explained how I have been a loyal Apple customer since the 70’s and even showed him 4 iPads I had with me. His answer: “it’s $229 take it or leave it” . I could not believe this guy was the manager. I actually thought he was just joking with me. Resolving issues 0

End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return: There was no pleading my case. It was as if he had memorized a manual and totally forgot about working for the #1 customer service friendly company in the world. Tim, what happened next took bad customer service to another level. I could not believe how he was talking to a loyal customer who blogs about their products and has so many of their products. I asked James for his name and he covered up his name badge and said: “I’m not giving you a thing, get the hell out of my store” Tim I don’t know about you, but this is not how you talk to anyone. Especially at the presence of his wife and 2 young daughters. So much for a fond farewell and invitation to return. Before I walked out I asked him for his bosses name and number and he…ready for this!! Said: “Steve Jobs and he’s dead” WOW!! Invite to return rating 0

Dear Tim Cook,

While I do understand at the end of the day, Apple is in the business to make money, I cannot accept the way the manager spoke to me and my family. I was not asking for a FREE iPhone. As a manager you must know how to handle all situations. Managers should follow the training manual and have the professionalism to deal in a mild mannered way.

I feel you really need to re-evaluate your customer service policies and manager training. While I do love my Apple products, I am now left without an Apple iPhone and am really considering doing the sin of all sins…Getting an Android or Windows phone. I am sure their customer service policy would not allow this.

I know I am not getting anything out of this open letter. I know I won’t receive a phone call from you. You guys are too big to deal with small timers. You have no Twitter or any other social network. This truly tells a story. When a company gets so big, sometimes they feel it is not important to listen to the little guys. If you really CARED, you would listen to a testimonial from a loyal customer, call him.

Oh and Tim..please re-train your manager James. They are supposed to make us feel good and instead we left the store with my daughters crying about the bad man.


Alex Miranda




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