I am still a bit shell-shocked after my harrowing visit to the Waterfront this morning. I went to get some passport photographs and decided to pop into the Waterfront iStore shop who (I was under the impression) sell most Apple Mac products. I was looking for an iPod shuffle, as my normal iPod is too big to jog with, as is my iPhone. I just wanted a little one to hold my gym songs – you know, like Rihanna’s “Rehab” and The Pointer Sisters’ “Jump”!
So I cruised in and waited for a few minutes for anyone to notice me. I did two laps of honour, to be honest. there was one other customer in the shop and three members of staff – one of them helping that customer.
It was like something out of the movie Chopper. Those of you who have seen it will remember the scene in the prison when all the people in the cell deny having witnessed Chopper’s recent murder (which happened right next to them). “Well, officer, I missed it all – you see, I was washing my hands in the basin. And Jimmy was watching me wash my hands. And Bruce was watching Jimmy watch me wash my hands” etc etc.
You get the idea.
“Bradley” reluctantly decides to get involved and I explain to him that I need an iPod Shuffle. Cool, he says, as he gets me one from the display cupboard.
We go to the counter. I’m in a bit of a rush as I’m just here to get the iPod – I’m not looking for an experience or anything.
“Have you bought from us before?” he asks.
“I don’t know,” I answer. “Do you take American Express?”
“Yes we do. What is your surname please?”
I give him my surname.
“What is your first name.”
I give him my first name.
“Could I get your home address if that’s ok?” He gave me the option.
“Nah,” I said, “I’d prefer not to” as I looked around to see if the shop doubled up as a pharmacy – who have to by law get your details if you buy certain products.
“Okay,” said Bradley, “Can I have your phone number please.”
“I’d rather not give my phone number, bru. I just want to buy the iPod and move on with my life. Can I do that please?”
“We need your phone number” said Bradley.
“Can you not make the sale without my phone number?” I asked, bemused.
“No, I can’t,” he replied.
“I see. Do they sell these things next door at Incredible Connection?”
“Yes they do,” confirmed Bradley.
“Cool. Goodbye!” as I spun on my heel and went next door to Incredible Connection.
I did not walk fast and he made no attempt to stop me. I swear to God – it was QUITE bizarre.
They had the same unit there at Increidble Connection for EXACTLY the same price. And no-one asked me any questions to beef up any database and ruin my shopping experience. And even if they did, I DOUBT they would have denied me the purchase if I chose not to.
In and out – that is what MOST people want from their shopping experience.
Thank you Incredible Connection.
iStore – FAIL.
I won’t be going back anytime soon.
Have YOU had a drama with the iStore or Core, the company that owns it? Let us know by leaving a comment to this article.
Recent remarks on Twitter include:
iStore V&A is a joke Seth. This one “techie” dropped my iphone 3G trying to fit a iphone NON-3G case to it. (@charlformd)
Apple’s lack of official presence in SA allows the greed and incompetence of Core (iStore) to ruin it’s reputation 4 service (@paul_mark)
they can’t force you to give them your number!!! (@andrewfarr)
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