Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jason Purchases an iPhone G3

I must admit that I am getting sucked into the cult of Apple.

On Friday, I intended to purchase an iPhone before work if the line at the local AT&T store wasn't too long. When I drove past , I saw a few people waiting outside, and decided that I needed to get to work and would deal with the iPhone later.

That decision became an efficient use of my time, as Apple had a rough Friday with their activation servers crashing.

But Saturday morning, I walked Rosie and then decided to take a shot at the Apple Store on Boylston St. I hadn't been there yet, and heard that the lines on Friday were three deep and around the block. I figured that worst case, I would drive by, see a huge crowd of people, and head out to Natick to pick up my slate tile before 1pm (and try the Apple Store at The Natick Collection).

Well, I passed the Apple store and saw maybe 30 people in a queue outside the front door. Didn't seem too bad, I thought. I turned left toward Newbury St. and happened upon a car pulling out from a metered spot.

Perfect timing!

I went to go feed the meter with eight quarters, and noticed that it was Out of Order. Even better! Technically, there's an hour limit on Out of Order meters, but I figured I would just park there and see what happens.

On to the line outside of the store.

I'm informed that there are no more 16 GB black iPhones in stock. No worries. A white one is what I wanted anyways. Either way, there was a good chance that the case I select for the phone would mask the phone's color.

I start doing some reconnaissance. I ask the guy in line ahead of me if there have been any time estimates from this point. He was thinking 90 minutes. It appears that the line outside of the store was a precursor to another line on the second floor.

It's now 10:15 am. Plenty of time to make it to Natick to pick up tile before the close.

11:05 am - we're welcomed inside of the store. Thankfully. The sun was high in the sky, and the reflection off the building's facade made for a toasty morning. The Apple Store employees were even passing out water and sunscreen(?!)

Up to the second floor, the land of iPhones. Everything on this floor is dedicated to iPhones.

There is are people standing in another queue around three sides of the square that surrounds the central glass spiral staircase. Once reaching the front of the line, Apple reps were greeting customers and pairing them with salespeople when they became available.

12:30 pm rolls around, and finally I'm at the head of the line. Just over two hours waiting, which wasn't awful to be honest. I had my ipod and camera with me. The store was air conditioned. And I was excited.

At this point, I also stopped caring about the possible parking ticket for leaving my car at an Out of Order meter for quite some time.

In the necessary people watching, I saw a glimpse of an Apple logo tattooed onto the back of an employee's neck. This cult has deep roots.

I'm helped by Matt, who turned out to be an intern at WFNX, referred to on-air at times as iMatt. Clever. He's with me for about 35 minutes, helping explain the different packages, accessories, MobileMe, and get me all set up and activated.

A couple times, iMatt asked me a few seemingly hokey questions like "are you excited about this?" and "do you want to unwrap it?" almost like the ceremony of purchasing an iPhone builds to the exciting climax of actually owning one, which to be perfectly honest it does.

I must say that the employees at the Apple Store deserve lots of credit for being professional and patient while they deal with legions of customers, packed stores, and tons of questions. Even though I waited for 2+ hours, I felt that I received great customer service.

So about three hours after I parked, I walked out of the store, iPhone in hand, passing the line of people who probably don't know that their three hour journeys were just beginning.

No parking ticket on the car. The awesome continues!!


Anonymous said...

Congrat!! Hope you enjoy it!

rehajm said...

Nice Pics of the Boylston St store. And I agree, Apple gets the customer experience just right- though you don't see any Best Buy tattoos on Best Buy employees. Guess the cult makes it easier to deliver...

Kathy said...

Enjoy your iPhone!! : )

Anonymous said...

Apple gets customer service right? Give me a freakin' break. What about the millions of Iphone jonesers who can't devote three hours to queueing? I REALLY wish they'd give folks the option of buying them online (at least current ATT subscribers). I'd gladly pay a high shipping charge and wait for a long delivery time to avoid the hassle of spending hours in a long line. There are reports that they're out of Iphones in multiple states. At this rate, I might just way for the google phone.

Jason said...

Good point. I too would have preferred purchasing one online.

Jasper said...

If anyone's wondering, this article is saying you can actually go to an ATT store and order one there, and they'll call you when it arrives. Still not as easy as going to a website (I mean, HELLO Apple!), but it's beats going without for those who can't spare the time for queuing: