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June 16, 2004

A Rotten Apple?

For a while now, some (reportedly underhanded) Apple resellers have been trying to get the ball rolling on a lawsuit against Apple, claiming their practices toward Authorized Resellers are unethical and illegal.

With the horror stories out there about one of the resellers in particular, I can't say I sympathize with them.

Moreover, one of the complaints is that Apple is trying to drive people into their own retail stores at the cost of resellers' customers. Given the state of independent Mac resellers in most parts of the country (including Arizona), this isn't a bad thing. The difference between the sale of a Mac and the sale of a Dell may well be an actual Apple Store.

If you want to to see practices of questionable ethics, you only need to look so far as a certain reseller who offers peanuts on trade-ins and jacks up the price on used equipment through the roof. All while offering a limited inventory and employing staff who make it seem like your being present is the biggest inconvenience they could possibly have ever experienced!

Resellers like that one make the fabled CompUSA Mac section with only one working Mac actually look good by comparison.

And if you really want to get down to who Apple's promoting, all the physical Apple mail I've received (barring AppleCare notices) has encouraged me to go buy it at my local reseller, not the Apple Store. Granted, that's about as likely to happen as it being 14 below tomorrow with heavy snow, but you can't fault Apple for the fact the reseller left a sour taste in my mouth.

Apple Store: Clean, well-lit, variety of products, friendly salespeople
Crappy Resller: Dingy, poorly-lit, minimal variety of products, disenfranchised youth and angry old men masquerading as corporate drones
Gee, I wonder which one I'd choose given the necessity to go shopping for a computer or accessories.

It's another fine example of the New American Business Theory: when you fail, sue someone bigger.

Posted by Colin at June 16, 2004 5:35 PM

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The Apple stores are a rare example of a retail store I actually enjoy visiting. The service is not just good, it's... unnaturally good. I took in a power supply for my Powerbook that had short circuited and shot out sparks, the guy was apologetic and replaced it with very little BS even though my AppleCare had expired a week or two prior.

Try that at CompUSA. I think they recruit from the same Zombie Staffing, Inc. cesspit as Albertsons.

Posted by: Adam at June 17, 2004 2:35 PM

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