Monday, July 5, 2010

Apple Tells Store Employees to Be 'Kinder, Gentler'

by Abagail Applegate, TYDN Apple affairs writer
CUPERTINO, Calif. (TYDN) -- Apple Inc. is ending its in-store workforce edict that required employees to be "rude, demeaning and arrogant," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Financial analysts immediately decried the move, first reported on TheYellowDailyNews' website early Monday, saying customers may distance themselves from purchasing Apple products if they are no longer belittled by sales representatives.

"That has always been a part of the Apple customer experience," one analyst told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "This changes everything."
The iPhone 4 line outside a Manhattan Apple store

Apple's futures were plunging in pre-market, holiday trading as experts debated the soundness of the point-of-sale changeover at the world's largest technology company by market share. United States exchanges were closed Monday for the July 4 holiday weekend.

Some analysts speculated the change of heart is connected to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' battle with pancreatic cancer – speculation that sent Apple's shares even lower.

The marketing changeover follows complaints by Amnesty International that the Cupertino-based electronics concern "treated like cattle" the hundreds of thousands of Apple faithful who waited for hours in lines across the globe to purchase the iPhone 4 two weeks ago.

Several law enforcement departments opened inquiries after thousands of iPhone purchasers, waiting in line for hours, were stung by cattle prods wielded by Apple employees to keep order. The criminal probes were quickly closed as customers, ecstatic with their purchase of the allegedly antenna-defective devices, declined to press charges.

All the while, Depend, the maker of adult diapers, reported a spike in sales ahead of the June 24 launch of the third-generation iPhone, causing its stock price to surge.

The new employee edict from the Cupertino-based electronics concern came a week after TheYellowDailyNews disclosed internal Apple documents demanding that in-store employees treat customers with a "rude, demeaning and arrogant attitude that belittles them."

In response, in July 4 memo to the workers at Apple's 288 stores worldwide, Jobs told employees to be "kinder, gentler when dealing with customers," according to the memo obtained by TheYellowDailyNews

The blogosphere immediately decried the edict, pointing out that it did not apply to Apple's telephone representatives.

"Listen up, moron, we're out of iPhone 4s," an Apple representative told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive telephone interview early Monday.

Photo: National Library NZ