Complaining about Apple retail conditions is like ‘writing to Santa’

Apple Towson in Maryland. Credit: Apple

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As Apple continues to fight against unionization in Apple Stores, staff reveal how they are being driven to seek union help in what used to be the best job in retail.

Apple truly changed the face of retail with the original Apple Stores in 2001,

“The center half of the store — literally half of the store — is devoted to solutions,” said Steve Jobs in a promo video at the time. “Because people don’t just want to buy personal computers any more, they want to know what they can do with them.”

That focus on the customer rather than pushing products and upselling configurations is what made the Apple Store stand out. And it is now what staff are saying is gone.

Bloomberg interviewed a number of Towson Apple Store staff and was consistently told that the stores had become, as one said, just retail, “BS… it’s just crafted in a prettier package.”

“When I started with the company,” said Kevin Gallagher from the Towson store that recently unionized despite great pressure from Apple, “it felt like the only number that they worried about was your customer service score. [Now] they’re looking to milk every last cent out of every square foot.”

“It kind of killed my spirit a little bit,” Graham DeYoung, a 15-year employee at the Towson store, told the publication. “As a technician, my heart is to fix your shit. That’s what I want to do. But what I’m encouraged to do is to say, ‘Well, this is what your phone is worth for a trade-in.'”

The Towson store in Maryland reportedly used to have a “giant laminated photo of a tree” in the staff break room, where workers had to put a stick-on label every time they made a sale. The stickers had to include a device serial number so the claim could be checked.

“The tree pushed people to want to upsell,” said the same store’s Tyra Reeder. “You have to focus on your numbers being perfect.”

Apple Towson ultimately unionized after Apple reportedly regularly…