| | 12-21-2012, 06:49 AM Thread Author #1
Bethesda Row or How Apple is "selling" to business.
I donít know if I would classify this is fraud because technically they are taking salesthat are already logged for the store and just reclassifying it. However, byreclassifying the business revenue, they are able to artificially boost their business revenue numbers. This would allow them to gain more business specialists andhelp people earn promotions on false pretenses.Ok so hereís how it would work. Letís say that I am a 45‐year‐old lawyer interested in a new computer. I wait for a specialist and we talk about what I need/want. Iwant a 15‐inch screen because my eyes prefer a bigger screen. I want a Retinadisplay with 512 GB SSD because I am enamored with the speed it offers and I takea ton of photos for when I travel. I want MS Office Business edition because I likehow Outlook has the calendar, contact and email functions all in one program. I alsowant AppleCare and 1 to 1.This is scenario 1:The specialist will send up a runner request for a 15 MBP Retina with 512 GB SSD,MS Office 2011 Business, AppleCare, 1 to 1. The back of house specialist will thencall over the radio alerting the leader on the floor of what products are going down.The leader on the floor, and possibly the business manager, will hear whatís goingdown and decide to either a) ask the specialist to bring up business and try to win abusiness introduction or b) intercept the transaction themselves to try and win abusiness introduction from the customer. Now from here this can go one of twoways. Either the customer is interested in the services that the business teamoffers (most of the time they fight to have these customerís come in forconsultations only to find out that they are in way over their heads and recommenda 3
party solution) or they say no thank you Iím not interested at the moment.I will speak to what happens (most of the time, depending on if the transaction is over 500 dollars) when the customer says no thank you. The ďacquisitionsĒbusiness specialist will literally search through POS admin (the internal salestracking system) to try and find anything that is over 500 dollars and matches somecriteria that they deemed were typical of business customers. They would find thereceipt number in POS admin and claim that as business revenue.Each store has to do a certain amount of business revenue each week. Letís just sayon average it is 100,000 dollars because Iím not sure for all of the stores what it is.If you hit the minimum number i.e 100 grand, no slots will open up for newbusiness positions and it might look as though you arenít doing that great of a job asa manager. So given this scenario, ======== (now the business development manager for the DC area) realized that he could just assign receipts to count asbusiness revenue because no one was going to complain if there numbers lookedgood. What you need to understand about the Apple Retail Culture is that itís allabout the numbers. Why would anybody question how Apple is struggling tocapture a decent size of the overall business market when the numbers from thestore say otherwise?======= was originally a manager at my store, Bethesda Row. He was partiallycredited for making a huge push into business. While other managers would bragabout how much the floor was making in a day, he would brag about how much hejust closed a deal for i.e. 25 computers fully loaded for some firm in Bethesda or DC.Now fast forward to when I started in July 2010. Our business team had just gonethrough a huge turnover with the employees. Whether it was incompetence,gaming the system (claiming business revenue from POS admin when it was not), orjust not caring about their jobs, a lot of them were replaced. Our business managerwhen I get there (I donít want his name used) would not mess around in POSadmin. Thus our business numbers plummeted and he was sent to Montgomery Mall. This was basically a demotion because he was ďnot a team playerĒ or somecrap like that.
Now this brings me to the biggest conflict of interest our store had. Our storeleader, =======, was **** bent on being more involved with business. He talkedabout Apple and business like it was the greatest invention on earth. So when hemade the decision to send our former business manager to Montgomery Mall, guesswho took over. ========! He was now the store leader and the businessmanager. Now being the store leader comes with a lot of responsibility but nonemore than making sure that youíre numbers are solid quarter to quarter. When=== got into the business manager role, he realized that we were not even close tohitting our numbers. So they started getting on specialists to get more businessintros. When more business intros were coming in, more revenue was not reallycoming in. It was maybe a couple thousand here and there, but nothing substantial.
Now at Georgetown, ====== had risen from Business manager to Business leaderof the DC market. He did this on the fact that he took one huge client from Bethesdaand ran with them. So as the Business Leader he would travel to the different stores but his home was Georgetown. At Georgetown, they consistently shatteredtheir weekly goals. They were making 3 times as much as any other store inbusiness revenue. One week, 80 percent of all computers sold there allegedly weresold for business. The numbers there just donít add up.Now this is where Iím not sure what happened. Whether ===== decided he wasgoing to suggest this approach to ===, or === decided this on his own, I donít know.However, I do know our business revenue started going up substantially. We, onthe floor, werenít doing anything differently yet the numbers said we were. Thereason for this change was due to === either turning a blind eye or directly tellingthe business team to claim anything that looked like business revenue. Since he was both the business manager and store leader, it would reflect poorly on him tohave his numbers low. Thus why the messing with POS admin started up again.=== has since been promoted to ======ís old position while ======= waspromoted to Business Development Manager.So in sum, what bothered me the most is that we were touting Apple and businessas this great match made in Heaven. However, when businesses would come in forconsultations and realize we couldnít offer them the level of support that theywould need, they used the biggest tool that Apple has going for them against them,word of mouth. Word of mouth brings people into the stores but it can also drivethem away.
When they started not coming in as much, ======, === and the other managers wanted to protect themselves so they claimed revenue that should not have qualified for business because the people didnít consent. Business at the retail level, in my opinion is a giant failure but thatís a whole other discussion.If you do choose to use this, I would just like to read over it beforehand. I wish toremain anonymous and the only three people I want named are ===, ===== and===. You can choose to keep them anonymous as well. It doesnít matter to me.What does matter to me is that Apple, a company I love and hold stock in, does business ethically. Apple always tries to portray itself at not just anothercorporation but sadly it is turning into one. They are becoming an upgrade factory for a user base that is content with mediocrity. They write all these grand values in company statements, which are online for the public, yet they are hypocritical in ature. The Retail side of Apple is cutthroat and people will do anything it takes toget ahead. Sadly, it ends up that the managers just protect one another and allow this to continue.P.S. Ė This doesnít really add to the story but it was messed up nonetheless.===========, a manager, forced a genius to swap out his iPad for free because he broke the glass on it. He claimed it was because he was using it for store use.However, there is only one person who is allowed, by Apple, to use their personaldevice for store use. That is the store leader (who allegedly swapped out his fiancťes phone 4 times before AppleCare + but I was unable to verify this).
Just another example of managers abusing their position.If you do choose to use this, I would just like to read over it beforehand. I wish to remain anonymous and the only three people I want named are ===, ====== and===. You can choose to keep them anonymous as well. It doesnít matter to me.What does matter to me is that Apple, a company I love and hold stock in, do business ethically. Apple always tries to portray itself at not just anothercorporation but sadly it is turning into one. They are becoming an upgrade factory for a user base that is content with mediocrity.
By Sam Biddle