Sunday, 19 September 2010

Apple Retail Stories: The most ridiculous cases of life enrichment

The lows Apple will stoop to in order avoid a detractor is absolutely disgusting. One of the worst things about working there is watching the customers who are the biggest cunts of them all, get more than they asked for. So many of us have seen managers take 'Enriching lives' to stupid degrees, I honestly don't think even Steve would be proud. I hope this doesn't inspire marginal wankers to come into store and give the Family Room hell, but fuck it, I've got some horrible stories that should have never happened.

We'll look at some of the most ridiculous cases here, starting with a story from The Preacher Man:

Guy brings his machine in, not sure whether he bought it from us or not, doesn't really make much difference as the slime-ball manager would have done this either way, KICKING off because something is not right with it and demands to my slimey manager that we replace his machine, all spec'ed up. Obviously it's an old model, and we can't do that anyway, so the MANAGER returns the computer at POS, and uses the money to buy the customer a brand new machine on EPP1!!! CTO, APP the lot. But wait it get's better, he then DELIVERS the machine to the fucking guy's house in person. Un-fucking-believable.

Jesus H Christ. Gonna be hard to top that. Definitely breaking P&P there, but it's a manager so it's alright.

iPhone fever news

This is a short post to summarize the latest changes and additions to the blog:

  • Customized ads.
    • Although I don't really care about revenue or income from this site, we have indeed reached 116,360 visits in less than a year! Even if until now the ads were there just to fill in the gaps after a chat with an old friend of mine I reached the conclusion there's no reason to not serve relevant content.
    • As of now I tried to direct AdSense towards all the other mobile and gadgets manufacturers, you might consider after reading my blog (this is what this blog is all about in the end, expanding your horizon!).
    • You can help me by either not clicking ADS at all or clicking ADS that are not Apple related. So please don't click iPhone ADS as this will cause even more of them to show up and this is what I and most other visitors would call irrelevant content! (Thanks)
    • I don't really need/want you to care or click the ads, but if you do so, please don't click the iPhone ones, it will only encumber the process of getting relevant ads.
  • Added search cloud and tags
    • To make browsing topics more fun and find the related ones easier

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Corporate gifts

This is funny, a hater from a French speaking part of Europe (maybe France) sent us these images that sum up Apple's new found generosity.

The first one is a store show plate for customers and it goes something like this :

"Corporate Gifts - do wonders. - Motivate your employees, move your prospects and make your customers loyal. Get in touch with a Specialist to know further on prices for big quantities."

The second one, taken a day later, were big boxes of water flasks... that's OUR christmas gifts.
Sounds like good advice right? Happy employees leads to happy customers and so on.

iOS 4.1: some bugs fixed, some bugs added

      As with almost any software update, Apple has introduced new issues while ironing out a couple of others. As I said before iPhone is far from being the on-board companion you'd like it to be as rSAP (wireless bluetooth connection for your car) simply isn't there. Automotive forums around the web are ablaze with talk that iOS 4.1 has introduced any number of playback problems, with the bulk of complainers citing scratching, crackling or random disconnects when piping audio from their device to their vehicle via the dock connector. Prior firmwares have caused permanent incompatibilities between our iPods and vehicles before but that's not a surprise since the dock connector doesn't respect proper USB standards and not even the 3GS was able to properly handle AVRCP(remote control profile for wireless headsets). 
     I know it's impossible for the software engineers at Cupertino to test antenna designs, battery designs, security holes and apparently everything else for that matter, so probably it's time to completely cut all corners and hire a dev team from China, the closer to Shenzhen, Foxconn where iPhone is made, the better. It really makes no sense to pay developers that couldn't seem to grasp the concept of a mobile OS for almost four years now and even less of how the device is made.

Poll: Who do you hate more?

   When the love fades and the hate starts to set in (I think the average is 3 weeks), if you are on the Family Room team and are anything like me, you may come across this shameful dichotomy. When you are handed a broken iPhone that's maybe just a bit out of warranty, or just battered a bit too hard, you'll ask yourself this question: Who do I hate more?

It probably stems down to, 'who do I want to disappoint more?'. Do you think

"Fuck the customer, he looks like a prick that doesn't know how to look after his phone. Maybe if he treated it with respect it would actually work properly. Also he didn't buy AppleCare, and I did, so fuck him and fuck his broken phone."


"Fuck Apple for making this piece of shit hardware that breaks all the time. I never had any of this shit with my old cheap handset. I don't care about how much it costs Apple, and fuck AppleCare. I can't be arsed to wait for him to kick off, I'm just gonna swap it."

So which one are you? Hard choice I know, but that's what the job brings out in you, pretty sad actually.

Vote now! Votes so far: 2051 

iPhone 5 wishlists are already showing up

     For some reason people have already started thinking about the iPhone 5 but the iPhone 4 has just started selling, and by just I mean a little over two months ago, if my memory serves right. Is the Death Grip to blame? Is it the fact that Verizon is going to get it? Is it the slim design of the iPod touch 4G?
We’ve already seen some iPhone 5 rumors in the recent weeks and today we have a couple of iPhone 5 interesting designs.
     The first one shows the next-gen iPhone 5 as a very thin device, a lot thinner than the current iPod touch 4G. We’re probably years away before Apple will launch such a device, and when they do, it will surely be magical. Until that time we’ll remember the iPhone 5 and quickly move to the next thing.
     The second iPhone 5 design shows an iPhone 4-like design and the outer antenna is still there. What’s interesting about it are the apps, which are totally new, and they’d definitely convince you to buy the phone. And here’s what regular apps will be able to do on this iPhone 5, as there will be an app that:

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Moving your days off

Just what you should be worrying about..

If you ever have reason to be off work, upon your return you may well find that Apple will try and swap your shifts that week so they can get more phone swapping for their money. I'm pretty sure that breaks employment law somewhere, but I've been a victim before, as have many readers. I've read stories of car accidents, close family funerals and even when the store has been closed due to weather conditions!

What they'll say is:

"Well OK, Wednesday you were at the funeral, so we'll take that as one of your days off and that means you're free to come in on Friday. Thanks"
That's what they said to me anyway. Cunts.

And you thought you were "cool" because your iPhone has a Mercedes app...

     Well you're wrong! Unfortunately our beloved iPhone doesn't support Remote SIM Access Profile (rSAP) and it looks like rich people really like rSAP. Steve Jobs apologizes for not making you feel socially elevated enough.

     rSAP is a Bluetooth service present in all smartphones (hint: not iPhone) and on-board computers, depending on what options you chose for your car, that allows the following:
  • devices such as car phones with built in GSM transceivers can connect to a SIM card in a phone with Bluetooth, thus the car phone itself doesn't require a separate SIM card 
  • keeps on that pesky connection, that turns off all the time
  • works seamlessly with built in hands-free kits
  • media streaming
  • displaying the GPS program from your mobile device on the on-board screen
  • integrates GSM controls on-board or with the touch screen (of the car of course)

Mercedes-Benz's mbrace iPhone app allows:

Tutorial: How to call in sick on boxing day.

I found this excellent page that should be read by every Apple employee. 

Or just fucking do it anyway. You know you'll get a solid anyway, so don't worry about it. And what's the percentage difference in Need's Improvement and Solid Contributor anyway? Pull a few sickies a year and it will more than cover that 2%. And seriously they can't say shit in the UK.

Do it.
Do it, don't be scared.

[iPhone Jokes] The iPhone 4 Saga: The RDF is strong with this one

Visits from corporate

Available appointments? Aahhh corporate are here...
Def in the top ten this one, as it comes with a bonus as the night before is just as bad. The whole store will be hoovered, wiped down, cleaned, screwdrivers will be put in perfect order in the genius drawers, BOH will be spotless, they'll be twice as many staff as usual, and extra hours will be opened up on the bar because we will have fucking royalty in the building tomorrow. This visit usually involves his/her highness definitely not talking to the soldiers simply way beneath them, but sitting in the office for a few hours with the managers, who will no doubt leave a sign on the door and someone in control who can't do POS overrides, and most certainly can't do CS overrides (so just put the reason at the top). The sheer incompetence blows me away. I was once so busy giving out rufurb remanufactured iPhones that I didn't even see them.

I'd love to see them turn up unannounced, as not only would they get a realistic view of what their precious stores look like, but also the managers would explode with panic and worry. Now there's a thought.

Did you know why you own an iPhone?

     Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Inc. in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs' charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Mac project. Later the term has also been used to refer to perceptions of his keynote (or Stevenote) by observers and devoted users of Apple computers and products.
     In essence, RDF is the idea that Steve Jobs is able to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bluster, exaggeration, marketing and persistence. RDF is said to distort an audience's sense of proportion or scale. Small advances are applauded as breakthroughs. Interesting developments become turning points, or huge leaps forward. Impossible-seeming schedules, requirements or specifications are acceded to. Snap judgments about technical merits of approaches are sometimes reversed without acknowledgment. Those who use the term RDF contend that it is not an example of outright deception but more a case of warping the powers of judgment. The term "audience" may refer to an individual whose attitudes Steve is intending to affect.
      Often the term is used as a derogatory remark to criticize Apple's products and its more enthusiastic fans.
The term has extended in industry to other managers and leaders, who try to convince their employees to become passionately committed to projects, sometimes without regard to the overall product or to competitive forces in the marketplace. It also has been used with regard to hype for products that are not necessarily connected with any one person.

There is no spoon
     Fake Steve Jobs on the iPhone 4 and reception: Probably the biggest thing I've taught the team at Apple is that people never know what they're supposed to think about anything. This is true in Hollywood, in the book business, in the art world, in politics. And especially in technology. So we put out a new phone and everyone is sitting there wondering what they should think about it. What I realized many years ago - and honestly, it still amazes me - is that most people are so unsure of themselves that they will think whatever we tell them to think. So we tell people that this new phone is not just an incremental upgrade, but rather is the biggest breakthrough since the original iPhone in 2007. We say it's incredible, amazing, awesome, mind-blowing, overwhelming, magical, revolutionary. We use these words over and over. It's all patently ridiculous, of course. But people believe it.
We demo FaceTime, and we say that nobody in the world has ever seen anything like this before. Jonny and I act stunned and gob-smacked, as if we ourselves still can't believe that we've just invented video chat.
Again, this is utterly untrue, a total and absolute lie. But people accept it. They hoot and cheer for us.
      The other strategy we use is "clouding". Right now, for example, we've sent out the following messages about iPhone 4 and the antenna issues:

Net Promoaner Part 6-10

    I've decided to give you, the lovely readers, something to read at the weekend: and that's some reader emails! There's something about feeling other people's pain that makes us feel slightly better about ourselves, so hopefully every weekend we can all sigh together and let today be the first:

Apple: we still have no idea about manufacturing batteries and chargers

    One of our very close AT&T sources just sent us in these images. Yes, it’s a fried iPhone 4. Apparently a customer brought the phone into the store to try and get help with it, although it’s pretty evident that the phone is unrepairable. It’s the first time our guy has seen this happen (us too), but the brand new iPhone 4 caught on fire while being hooked up to a computer using the Apple USB cable that accompanied the device. The customer wanted to exchange the iPhone — obviously — for a new, non-charred unit however the AT&T store in question was out of stock. An Apple Store did confirm to our AT&T connection that this did appear to be a defective USB port and not some sort of user error. Our source went onto say that the phone bezel was extremely hot (obviously), and it slightly burned the customers hand. The USB port in the phone was slightly melted and the cord was badly melted (as is apparent in the pictures). Hopefully this is the only time we see our beloved iPhones meet a fiery death. We’ve got one more picture for you after the break.


Someone print this and put it BOH as a 
suggested new logo
   Having some storage space online is pretty handy, oh but hang on Dropbox is free and works much, much better. So much so I wouldn't dream of using my iDisk ever again. The old learning centre that was in .mac went free years ago, heck even Find My iPhone is now free. So seriously, why the fuck would you buy MobileMe? I'm sure the staff will get a hardcore push to sell it next year once it no doubt rear's it bunty face on the managers bonus agenda. It's not even worth it to say "the integration of it is great" because now there's loads of iPhoto plug-ins and such.
    Quite possibly, the worst thing you could spend your money on.

iPhone contractor Wintek sued over poisoning

       According to Stratfor Global Intelligence, 44 workers from a factory in Suzhou, China plan to sue the iPhone contractor Wintek after they were exposed to poison while cleaning iPhone screens with the chemical "n-hexane."

      The firm says 62 workers have been hospitalized in the last 9 months due to n-hexane poisoning. The poisoning is so serious that it can "cause nerve damage and sometimes paralysis."

      Stratfor goes on to say that a factory manager at the plant made the workers use the chemical because it dries faster than standard alcohol, and also leaves less streaks. That manager has since been fired.

      The issue first went public in January when 2000 protesters began smashing car windows and factory windows over a dispute relating to year-end bonuses.

       Stratfor adds: