Apple Store policy let staff ‘surprise and delight’ customers with free replacements

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I’m guessing Tim Cook would probably qualify for ‘favored customer’ status.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Store totally changed how many mainstream computer retail stores looked and operated. Rather than being populated by non-expert, disinterested employees, Apple Stores do their utmost to ensure a good retail experience is had by whoever walks through the door.

In a recent viral TikTok video, an ex-Apple Store worker sheds light on one of the programs introduced to help achieve this goal. She claims that Apple Store employees have a certain number of freebies they can use to “surprise and delight” customers. These are most likely to be free repairs.

“I used to see a lot, people would come in with like water damaged phones and you’re not allowed to replace those without a fee,” TikTok user @Tanicornerstone said. “However, the geniuses used a ‘surprise and delight’ to be able to give somebody a free replacement.”


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The ex-employee claims each employee has a certain number of these “surprise and delight” instances. Unsurprisingly, these go to well-behaved customers rather than the belligerent, rude ones that everyone who works in retail will have dealt with at some point.

“If you’re rude to the Geniuses or the concierge people, you will get your problem fixed most likely, however you are going to pay for it,” the ex-employee says.

A formal policy to assist nice customers

There’s been no confirmation on whether this information is genuine. But multiple users responding to the video say they have received similar service from Apple Stores. Although others claim that no such program is currently in place.

In many retail environments, staff have a certain amount of autonomy when it comes to customer queries. They can, for instance, accept product back without receipts or bestow discounts on repeat customers. In many cases, though, there is no formal policy in place for this. In the case of Apple Stores, it sounds like there may have been — or, perhaps, still is. Moral of the story: Treat retail employees the way you’d like to get treated.

Any Apple Store employees able to confirm or deny this story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Via: Apple Insider