Apple experience

After nearly five years I was again in the Apple Store on Regent Street in London.

Apple Store Grand Opening

Apple Store Grand Opening

I was there for the first time at the grand opening 20th November 2004. The first Apple store in Europe. I arrived at Oxford Circus in London on Friday evening around 10pm and got in line as number 178. We immediately became friends with the boys from the surrounding, and later trusted one another to the extent that we looked after each others equipment when someone had to use a toilet. The night was cold and long. Sidewalk was freezing. In the morning the last hours passed slowly. Shortly before 10am employees of the nearby Starbucks served us with coffee that Apple kindly ordered for us. Than Apple staff started to came cheering and encouraging us when they walked past us towards the entrance. At 10am they opened the doors, let us inside, where they cheered us some more. Again, we got in a queue, because the first few hundred were eligible to a Lucky Bag, a black bag whose contents were unknown. It cost £ 250, but its contents were in excess of 500 pounds.

Prvo noč v Londonu sem preživel kar na ulici med popolnimi neznanci

First night in London, on the street with complete strangers

Visiting Apple Store was phenomenal. Staff was very nice and capable.

After two hours in the store we got out full of positive vibrations. I was walking around London with heavy black bag all day long, setting alarms in various London stores. Everybody felt my Apple enthusiasm so there were no problems. In HMV they wanted to see what is in the bag. At first I felt awkward, cause I had no invoice for the contents only for Lucky Bag. After demagnetizing the bluetooth dongle I went on. Next day at the airport I had to put everything in the trays so they could watch it under x rays.

The whole Apple experience stayed in my mind and I gladly tell others about it whenever I can.

Five years passes. Pound is weak and there is only 15% VAT in the UK. Technology is cheaper on the island. My girlfriend and I decided to visit our friend in London for May Day holidays and during our stay there I would buy myself a brand new MacBook Pro in the Apple Store. I didn’t want basic model cause I wanted faster processor and bigger disk. So I contacted Euro Apple to find out where can I reserve build to order Mac so I can just pick it up at the Apple Store. No answer. So I asked a friend to go there and ask them. I was not satisfied with the answer. You can only get the basic models in the Apple Retail Store. For everything else you must order it through online Apple Store. But I needed the invoice with my company data on and you can’t order online with billing address in Slovenia. So I forget about doing business with Apple. A friend told me about this store that also delivers computers to Slovenia so I contacted them and in half an hour they told me that the MacBook Pro I wanted is waiting for me at their store.

And so the sunday came. The sun was shining, clouds were flying over the sky. It was a perfect day for getting a new MacBook Pro. When I came to the Micro Anvika store there was already a box with my name behind the counter. I gave them a note with my company data on, envelope full of money and I was on my way. With a smile on my face. I decided that I would still buy accessories in the Apple Store. So we walked to the Regent Street. User experience we got ther was not as friendly as five years ago. People there didn’t even know what they were selling so I had to find everything myself. They even had problems with my company data for the invoice. Packaging the stuff in the bag was also a challenge for then. They did it in second try. We went out as quick as we could not satisfied with the service.  I went behind the corner to visit my spot, when I slept through my first night in London not knowing the Apple experience would change that much in five years.

Pet let kasneje (©2009 Irena Toroš)

Five years later (©2009 Irena Toroš)