This week’s Clockwise podcast asked the question: What dearly held belief in tech have you had to rethink? Years ago, after my non-tech neighbors bought a slow, last generation iPad at the current generation price, I concluded Walmart was a bad place to buy tech. I’ve had to change my mind. Yesterday I found myself in the Walmart at Rehoboth Beach, DE. My partner stopped to look at the new shinies and saw they had the latest iPhones (XS, XS Max, XR, and 8 but not 7). Regardless of price, each iPhone came with a $100 discount coupon. The real shocker was the clerk. He was as knowledgeable as any Apple Store sales clerk I’ve worked with. We talked pros and cons for at least 15 minutes. He was also well-versed in the carrier plans. So, the next time I ‘need’ a new iPhone or iPad I may go to Walmart first…
Walmart has been selling iPhones for a while, as well as other Apple products. Same with Target, Staples, and Sam’s Club.
You didn’t happen to see the persons name tag? Which company they work for?
I was skeptical too. Before we left I asked him if he worked for AT&T, he was so knowledgeable about their plans. If we hadn’t been running late I would have asked what kind of training he got from Walmart. Sharp guy.
I know in stores here we have Microsoft or Apple representatives - and at least the Microsoft ones get trained by Microsoft (there are no Microsoft stores, and until March this year there was no Apple store), I wonder if there is a similar system in the US.
I wonder if that’s the case in the US, I think we would have read about it in the Apple press. Apple’s early experience (1990s) with store-within-a-store programs was not good. Unattended displays, uninformed employees. I remember seeing broken or non-working demo equipment in those setups. I’ve always recommended locals (it’s a long drive to the nearest Apple Store) buy online directly from Apple. I may have to rethink that…
In the EU there’s a definite advantage to buying from Apple, namely that you can no longer be sent between the retailer and the manufacturer if there’s a problem with the device. I’m not sure how much extended protection is available in the US and how much you get sent from pillar to post (probably the same amount, no-one wants to pay for your repair!) - but it’s always worth keeping in mind!
Apple honors its warranty on any new device, no matter where you purchased it. Refurbished and used could be a different story, I dunno. The problem with some non-Apple sellers comes in the advice they give customers. I could tell you stories I’ve learned from people who bring their problems to our local Apple users group.
I believe this is specifically extended warranties in the EU. There was something with the iPhone 5S and an iffy power button, but to get it fixed as per the law you were required to go through the retailer - who in most cases tried to send people to Apple to get out of handling it
However yes, Apple are excellent about handling issues like this where they can!