Why Customers (And Thieves) Love Apple Stores?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on January 19, 2012

Apple Stores are widely regarded as a masterclass in providing a perfect shopping experience for customers. However, the obvious downside – the unprecedented popularity of Apple’s bestselling products namely iPod, iPad and iPhone has attracted some unwanted visitors to Apple Stores over the last few years.

Thieves love stealing iPhones and iPads – even if it means taking the owner’s finger along with their beloved Apple gadgets. In fact, I’m not surprised that even thieves prefer the iPad in comparison to Android tablets.

To make matters worse, Apple’s theft policy is hardly a policy at all. During holidays, a thief stole an iPhone and even had the audacity to return it to an Apple retail store for replacement after the owner had it blocked. And yesterday, the Cupertino giant settled another dubious theft case in which a customer was awarded $2,300 store credit for a stolen MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch, cables and programs.

Given the alarming number of theft incidents at Apple Stores – I can’t help but wonder if Apple owes anything to customers whose goods are stolen? Is the Cupertino giant too soft on thieves?

Apple’s theft policies are back in the limelight thanks to Mr. Michael Deverett, a Toronto-based lawyer. Mr. Deverett purchased a MacBook Pro in 2009 and received a free iPod Touch as part of Apple’s ongoing promotions. The total transaction cost over $2,200 worth of hardware and software that day. As he headed out of the Apple Store, he took caution to put the Apple packages deep inside the hatchback so there weren’t visible through the car windows. Mr. Deverett stopped at a convenience store to buy a soft drink for his daughter and the rest as they say is history.

Deverett sued Apple and claimed that such theft rings targeting Apple store customers are a common occurrence in the U.S. In his lawsuit, he argued that Apple was legally responsible to warn store customers of the danger. He mocked Apple for servicing his stolen MacBook for someone else even though they had been well informed that it was stolen.

Though Apple initially denied his claims stating that it has no responsibility for the merchandise once a customer has left the store with it, it subsequently decided to settle the lawsuit by giving Deverett $2,300 in store credit and $345 in legal fees.

In some cases, Apple’s even been accused of refusing to help theft victims. Last June, a thief successfully convinced the Apple Store to swap a stolen iPad 2 for a new device with a different serial number, after which Apple refused to help the victim of the crime.

Though Apple provides several apps to track stolen devices, it’s proved to be ineffective in most such cases. IMO, Apple strongly needs to revise its theft policy to protect customers and tighten security and surveillance in/ around its stores. As customers, we should be proactive and watch out for any suspicious people in/ around Apple Stores.

What’s your opinion on Apple’s theft policy and thieves regularly creating mayhem at Apple Stores? Is there a solution to this never-ending menace? Voice your opinion by leaving a comment.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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