Everybody has a story to tell.
From friend-of-the-blog Frederic Golden (with link to the LA Times):
Most recent experience at Apple Store wasn’t glowing. Trying to replace a lost footpad for my MacBook Pro, I was told I needed whole new backplate (cost: $100). Local MacMechanic did it for $5.
From Bloomberg (via the LA Times) How the Apple store has fallen from grace
Employees also said the deterioration in the quality of store staff didn’t start under Ahrendts but worsened during her tenure. “Employees used to be very skilled,” one said. “When you came to Apple, you could walk in and talk to someone who happens to be a musician or videographer on the side, really knowledgeable. They hire really nice people now, but they are much less technical.” During the Johnson era, sales associates got three weeks to a month of training; now they get about a week if they’re joining an existing store. Geniuses, who according to Glassdoor earn $22 an hour on average, were trained at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. Now they’re mostly trained in stores.
My take: Servicing 1.3 billion devices can’t be easy. I remember reading, I can’t remember where, that Google’s co-founders considered providing customer support, took a hard look at the problem, and concluded early on that it didn’t scale.