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A Second Bite of the Apple.
Apple Retail Store
Member Name: reluctantreviews
Apple Retail Store
Date: 03/05/10, updated on 04/05/10 (222 review reads)
Advantages: Great service. Knowledgeable staff.
Disadvantages: Very busy, Need to make an appointment
*The following review relates to my experience in the Apple Store at the West Quay shopping centre Southampton*
Computers are wonderful things - that is, until they stop working... something which happened to me last Friday. I love my Macbook, and until the events of last week I have always had complete faith in Apple, and have recommended the brand to everyone I know.
I was minding my own business, using a popular social networking site, when the screen suddenly froze, followed by an ominous grey box which popped up and told me to restart the computer. This I did, but I soon released (when the screen remained blank) that something was horribly, horribly wrong. I did the obvious thing and switched it off for a couple of hours, hoping it just needed rest - but alas, there was no change. I also tried swearing at it, threatening it with physical violence, and finally begging it - but to no avail. A frantic phone call to my boyfriend confirmed my worst fears that my hard-drive was essentially dead! There was only one thing for it - I needed to see an expert...
I decided to take by laptop to my nearest Apple Store which is in Southampton, to see if they could save the day and hopefully retrieve any data from my hard-drive - such was my complete faith in my Mac, I stupidly hadn't backed up any of my stuff (this included my half-written novel... now i'll never be the next JK Rowling!).
The Apple Store in West Quay is fairly small, with a predominately white and futuristic / spaceship-like interior, with lots of demo computers and iPods running the length of each wall. The day of my visit was a Sunday (two days after 'the incident'), the shop had only been open twenty minutes and to my surprise, it was already packed full of potential customers. I could see plenty of blue t-shirted Apple staff (I was surprised to find out later that the shop employs sixty-five people, even though it's quite small) but they all seemed really busy, so I made my way to the desks at the back of the store, known as the 'Genius Bar'. At first I was worried that I was going to be ignored by all the staff standing behind the long row of computers, and spent a few minutes staring at a wall dedicated solely to Apple accessories - there's a ridiculous amount of iPod covers, and chargers etc packed from floor to ceiling. It wasn't long before lots of other people began to congregate around the Genius Bar, but soon enough a young man came round to speak to everyone, taking their names and checking they had an appointment. Unfortunately, I had simply turned up, chancing my luck that they would be able to fit me in. After consulting his computer, the man said that the only appointment left was at 4.30 - which meant I'd be waiting around for five hours - I suppose beggars can't be choosers! However, when he went to book me in, the appointment had disappeared, snapped up by another customer while we were talking! Oh no! that meant it could potentially be another week before I could get my laptop seen, let alone fixed! My heart sank at the thought of a whole week without my precious Macbook. However, like a knight in shining Apple-branded armour, my Mac man disappeared out back to find out what was going on - he came back a few minutes later with amazing news, there was a free slot at 12.20 which meant I only had to wait 50 minutes.
When they finally examined my Macbook I was told that the hard drive was beyond repair, and all my data was lost (including my unfinished masterpiece). They couldn't tell me precisely what had happened to it, but I was reassured to know that it wasn't anything I had done! I have had the machine for nearly three years so it was well out of warranty and I was informed that it could potentially cost me over £150 to install a new hard-drive! It seemed though that this was my lucky day and was told that I would not be charged for the repair - I have no idea why, but I am clearly not going to ask questions if they are willing to do the work for free! As well as the free hard-drive, which had been upgraded to twice the storage space (from 80 to 160GB), the lovely man also replaced the plastic top casing around the keyboard and trackpad which was a little worn. To put the icing on the cake, when I got home and turned on my now working machine, I noticed that my system software had been upgraded to the recently released OSX 10.6 'Snow Leopard'.
I don't know why, but before I arrived at the store I was expecting a load of weekend staff who wouldn't know anything or care about my problem - in reality I couldn't have been more wrong! The two staff members who helped me were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and conscientious, and had my Macbook repaired and back in my hands by the time the store closed at 5'oclock. From my limited experience in the Apple store I would highly recommend a visit - my computer was repaired in a quick and professional manner. If you want to purchase a new computer, there are plenty of expert staff at hand who are willing to advise you on the best model available for you, and in general, my faith in Apple has been restored.
Apple Store Southampton Opening Hours
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Monday - Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 7pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm
Telephone: 023 8030 1050
Summary: A professional service centre that restored my faith in Apple.