This also seems to be their process for picking up orders at the store. It's pure chaos, and I find it at least somewhat amusing that at least Apple treats their employees and customers identically.
They went to great lengths to avoid any communication about the theft taking place through Apple’s systems. They intentionally made me waste my time to come in person before telling me what would happen next.
I believe an Apple Store employee knew what orders were coming to the store and he wanted mine for himself, so he conspired with his friend to come pick it up for the price of a base model iMac.
I was recently interested in buying a maxed out Mac Pro for 50k+ but this experience has frightened me into avoiding expensive custom orders from Apple. Furthermore I don’t want to risk some rogue employee’s goons taking it to the next level by physically attacking me and robbing me on the way to my car. I’m probably not going to order a Mac Pro until I can find bodyguards to hire to escort me from the store through the shopping center and to my car. Which means I’ll probably never order a Mac Pro. None of this is sarcasm or hyperbole.
Are you listening, Tim? Probably not.
Over in the real world, the employees have spent 10 hours of their 12 hour shift explaining to the world's least-technically-adept people how to activate their Verizon service with 4 prepaid debit cards and a ripped $20 bill. Sixty times. While being yelled at. So... they might accidentally not notice you if you just come in and don't aggressively try to attract their attention. I do not blame them.
Oh, wait, that's the Apple Store Business team, isn't it?
Now, due to cost (although price has gone up for the stuff), the Geniuses are no longer trained at HQ, and there are now lower level “technicians” that can’t do much more than give you a new phone.
After Angela left Apple, the first thing they did were "revert" all the thing changes back to Steve Jobs era.
Basically Apple Retail has been a pile of mess since Steve passed away, not keeping up with the huge iPhone growth, and none of the Retail SVP had any idea what is best for Apple Store.
This is a hilarious problem to anyone who has been using polymer bills for nearly a decade.
Blanket, universal surveillance as well as zero-burden-of-proof government point-and-click
seizure/disablement is the cost.
You cannot have a free society without a payment system that the government or a few large banks do not have the ability to arbitrarily censor, even temporarily.
You can not communicate or organize anonymously (for example, for political organization or government corruption investigative journalism) when every payment you need to do so is logged as a matter of course. These activities are not common, but essential to a free society.
The ability to transact in things the government does not like, without their knowing about it, is a cornerstone of freedom. Many other human rights crumble if you do not preserve it.
I don't think this is the right mindset—theft from your own employer is a white-collar crime. The type of people who would even be morally okay with stealing iMacs out of people's hands wouldn't be bothering to work for the store in the first place; they'd be bribing security to get in and then shuttling boxes into a van. Or holding up a delivery truck full of iMacs.
Also, getting a job specifically to steal from your employer is a pretty long-term strategy; it doesn't pay off if you only do it a couple of times. If you're doing this, you're probably doing it because you have a specific play that allows you to do it over and over without increasing the compound probability of getting caught—i.e. one that doesn't really generate any evidence personally implicating you (like the testimony of hired goons when later caught by the police), only equivocal evidence (like the fact that the person who came in to buy an iMac is a friend of the employee.) Really, generating negative utility for any individual (rather than just a corporation) in your theft, is a pretty surefire way to have someone (e.g. that same individual) take a look into what's going on.
No, most people who do it are just irrational.
If you were doing it rationally, sure, that would pretty nearly require what you say to be true, but assuming that everyone acts rationally is...inaccurate.
For example, the people around criminals tend to know they are criminals (and criminals often brag about begin criminals). People don't trust criminals and don't want to do business with them - leaving the criminal with fewer legitimate options for making money.
Most criminals are poor because poverty drives people to crime.
Seems unlikely that hussle pulled on you would work more than once, ever.
Which maybe it is even the case; and in that case you probably should think hard about if you are not slowly drifting away from the reality as experienced by the vast majority of other people.
Yep, Apple probably does not care much about your profile as a prospect.
I requested delivery-with-signature on a $4k iMac and it got delivered to another house three blocks away. They didn't ask for the signature (though they were supposed to); they just left a $4k computer on the curb. It was marked as delivered. I'm lucky to have an honest neighbor who brought it to my doorstep (no thanks to Apple and their logistics partners).
in all seriousness though, yes? if you have to wait for the item to be shipped regardless, why would you order it to a store instead of your front door? it's the worst of both worlds.
As well as the fear of robbery for such a low value and traceable item.
Edit because I can't reply:
Just off duty police. Police have significant powers, even off duty. In addition, if you pay them well they might do favors for you when on duty. Like looking for someone in the police databases, telling you about police operations etc.
There are many security guards who are not people who failed to become police. Some are ex police, ex Army etc, but there are limited situations when an armed response is rational, and a $50k Mac is not one of them. An insurance policy is much cheaper.
Having said that, I recommend Samoans (wide) and Sudanese (tall) for unarmed intimidation potential.
Low value is relative. $50k is a lot to many people, but compared to human life, $50k isn't worth the risk.
Personally I navigate life without hiring any security guards. But I recognize that some people and/or circumstances might have legitimate need for one.
This is a question for Jeff Williams, COO at Apple. I am often surprised with the amount of 3rd parties that Apple interacts with and the lack of integration between each group. Apple is the company of seamless integration after all...
I'm not an Apple guy myself, but I lost a lot of respect for them as a company.
Now I’m kinda wondering if you could build a nice “rich people buying shit logistics” lifestyle biz though.
During those two hours they could work, and thus make money, it didn't make sense to drive themselves.
Their company hired a particular car hire service and the drivers would get rotated through a schedule, but they ended up having a particularly good relationship with a particular driver.
So they dropped the contract with the company, and basically just paid the one driver himself, basically a personal chauffeur, but with a schedule that is known two weeks ahead of time, with some emergencies, but not 24/7.
Eventually this allowed said driver to buy a couple of cars, and start a company himself, while always making sure to take care of my family member first and foremost himself.
They trusted the driver with their children, and for certain purchases the driver would either go pick up items (such as jewelry/high end clothes) or their driver would drive a consultant (personal shopper) to go do the shopping/pickups.
My friend moved away from the LA area, but used the same driver for ~6 years or so, the driver now runs a high-end private car hire service that offers services to cater specifically to people that need services like that. No advertising, word of mouth only, and everyone involved is highly vetted and trusted.
It's pretty amazing how much time you get back when you can pay someone else to do the things that take time but don't really provide happiness in life. Such as cleaning/driving/cooking/household chores that the rest of us have to do ourselves, and thus is all billable time.
I’ve seen other stores appropriate internet orders to make a sale. From the salespersons perspective they don’t have much to lose.
Wow what do you do that requires a $50k computer?
It sounds more like a piece of unrelated information that you are leveraging to support the story you told yourself.
I laughed. This is why customer interaction is often kept minimal, rediculous concerns like this.
It seemed like a reasonable in-store delay even though Apple was fully obligated to service my laptop under warranty (and had to ship it out for a few days to do so).
They're "more free" to do the pure bringing-stuff-out, because they know they might have to budget 30 mins or more for a complex purchase with lots of hand-holding and transferring and stuff, while a bring-out is always going to be short.
And, if you don't have your phone on you, you could buy a Mac using one of the demo Macs. I think that's almost part of the reason they're there, at this point—they certainly do prominently feature the Buy Now buttons on the kiosk modes they pop into.
I guess I should have gone around the store and figured that out?
How would I have known that clicking a button on a computer in the store will get me a person faster than an actual person telling me they will get me a person and not just that same person eventually coming out knowing I clicked the button?
I left and came back later and found a more reasonable sales person, but still ended up waiting about 10 minutes.
Then there was the time I made a service appointment, showed up slightly before my appointment, and waited 35 minutes for a “genius” to look at my phone.
I don’t know if it’s just my local store, but I avoid Apple stores as much as I can now.
It might be an issue of mindset within the company. The problems described seem regional (overcrowded stores, shady/burnt-out retail staff in some areas; positive experiences in others) that each need a separate approach but are lumped together in Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach to everything.
I predict that Apple will close their retail stores by the end of the decade, citing improved logistics). Apple products will continue to be sold at third-party retailers until the company folds or pivots in another 10 years.
The store in my area is too small, always packed and too noisy. The employees are really good and make the experience bearable, but they really converted an awesome, friendly retail experience and made it stressful and inefficient.
The people who design the non-flagship stores don’t spend much time in them.
The problem is that they have some sort of "Think different!!" thing going on and it's not working out. I am surprised Steve Jobs drove a car with round wheels. That's not very different!
(Houston, Highland Village.)
If the company makes you do something, it’s work.
Anyway, some nights it would take me 1.5-2 hours to leave (not atypical), and I would get a whopping $4 of pay for that time.
The simple solution for ape is to ban bags at work so nobody gets searched.
>Apple said it could prohibit employees from bringing any bags or personal Apple devices into its stores altogether but gave them that benefit. The California Supreme Court said a ban on any personal items would be “draconian.”
The actual work done won't change from the relabeling, and Apple can adjust the hourly wages to get roughly to the same level of total compensation as before. (Modulo boundary effects from America's love affair with minimum wage laws, should they kick in.)
How would a company hire local anyway, by rejecting candidates who live to far away? What if they promise to move, but don't end up doing it?
> Work with cities to reduce congestion?
The only real working way to do that is to ask them to introduce a congestion charge, which I am all for.
But getting 50% off of your Navigo, which is a monthly pass allowing you unlimited use of Paris and greater Paris public transports. Which is about 75 euros. So when your are subsidised by your company with respect to public transport, you have unlimited access to all public transport in and around Paris for 38 euros. Which is nuts because the Parisian public transport network is crazy (metros, trams, buses, transiliens, RERs).
When I was working as a consultant at Alten, in theory my gas could have been reimbursed (based on distance travelled and car horsepower), but I never tried since I used public transport during all my time there.
There's also a push to apply it to bicycles, but it's not widely implemented so far.
But it doesn't apply to car commuting.
oh no, the poor poor companies ;((((((
I hear things are pretty bad in the bay area and other metropolises that have high rent and low wage. Something should be done but I'm not sure this is it.
Works really well where it was pioneered (in Singapore) and also seems to do an OK job in London.
I suspect the Brits ain't as ruthless in applying orthodox economics in general, so they don't solve their problems nearly as well including their congestion problems.
The congestion charges in Singapore and London weren't popular when they were introduced either. So not sure what rejection elsewhere tells us?
I commute a bit over an hour. Because I cannot afford to live close to my job and rent a place for me and child.
It would cost me triple my current rent.
Alas they can but they won’t and they’ll fight you in court so they don’t have to.
But yes enormous, corporate conglomerates should pay.
 - https://www.visualcapitalist.com/average-commute-u-s-states-...
 - https://www.statista.com/statistics/273439/number-of-employe...
If there's a traffic jam, that's the employers problem.
For 'going somewhere else after work', it wouldn't be officially allowed - you are still working till you arrive home. Obviously some workplaces could perhaps allow flexibility as a benefit.
Germany has a system a bit like what you are describing, only that it's the government giving you tax rebates for long commutes. It's not a good idea.
Ponder the opposite: why not subsidize short commutes instead and give people assistance to pay the higher rent closer to the place of work? That would be much greener, too.
Just to be clear, that would be silly as well. Let workers and employers negotiate what they want to compensate and how much.
Distribute the proceeds equally amongst all citizens. And in effect, anyone who commutes less than the average person gets a net positive payment. (Or technically: anyone who uses less carbon or causes less congestion than the average person.. Someone who commutes 100km by bicycle would still get a net payment. That's fine.)
But yes, these you are right, there's a danger that landholders (landlords and owner occupiers) capture the gains, even in my proposed scheme.
You deal with that via a land value tax.
From the point of view of economics, those ideas are orthodoxy. Good luck getting them past any political process anywhere in the world, though.
My other weird idea is to have first and second class transit, where the only difference is the price. I got the idea from the trains in Europe. The first class transit would attract people who want to feel like they are getting some exclusive service, and would help fund and support the system overall.
As someone who grew up on an island I think this is a very, very, bad idea. When distance has a high cost the price of everything skyrockets.
It hasn't dramatically reduced commute time for those people IMO.
"The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that time spent traveling to and from your job counts as work, and that your employer has to pay you for it. But don’t get too excited–this only counts if you have no fixed office or place of work. The new law is designed to protect workers who travel to remote sites, straight from their home. If you commute to the same office cubicle every day, nothing changes."
The labour share has been roughly at 60% +/- 10% for ages.
Even getting 100% will be at most a doubling of labour's income. That's nifty, comparable to moving from Mississippi to Connecticut. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per...)
But it's one-off. The difference between countries are bigger. And so are the difference over time.
And of course, jumping to 100% while keeping total GDP per capita constant is not really possible.
If they paid directly I think it would result in a two (or more) tiered transport network, great for people in some jobs/companies but terrible for most.
EDIT: There's a thread about this farther down: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22322608
So workers that would not have a personal bag would avoid a search? You can take away stuff from the store by hiding it in your clothes, I guess unless you're working naked. How would anyone be able to avoid the search?
Am I missing something?
Some business seem to see your time at work as being your normal state of being and your own personal time as "unwork". I go to work for eight hours for the money trading my time for your money. The other 75% of my time is mine it's not unworking it's normal personal life.
As a society with high and growing inequality the US is structured in a way that incentivizes retail theft, so the frequency of this kind of theft isn't going down anytime soon.
The question is who should bear the cost of it.
This has always been framed as an issue of immorality of retail workers, so the cost has borne by them in the form of lost time/wages or maltreatment by police or security services. This is of course a false and incomplete framing, because it's arguably more immoral for a company to steal time / wages from all workers in this case when the product theft is only committed by a few.
What is the loss due to theft of a smartphone vs. the cost to the worker who will now double pay in lost wages and the time for extra child care caused by the delay in leaving work?
Framed economically instead it's just the cost of doing business in our society, just as with credit card fraud.
Going forward, it looks like it will be borne by the retailers and ultimately, their customers, which is far better than it being borne by workers.
How should any employee take a company's concern about theft seriously when the same company is so brazenly committing theft of an employee's time?
Just install security cameras and track your inventory. If your inventory is off, check the security footage. This isn't rocket science.
You'd have to look for a manager, and ask them to escort you to the front of the store, and have them pat you down.
Didn’t seem to help them. They filed for bankruptcy.
People who have an idea how to do it, please don't write it here, as it can lead to worsening of the situation for store workers.
We would have our lunch bags randomly searched as we passed through the outer security gate on our way to parking.
They would leave snacking items or seconds in the break room for people to eat if there were any—just don’t walk off the lot with a half pack of TicTacs.
But I’ve never experienced so little trust elsewhere.
That was because they discovered that most people, after a week or two of free-for-all binging never wanted to eat another bar of chocolate in their life, and so the company's costs were near zero.
While he was still there we got some amazing Easter baskets as kids.
And that's a pretty great assumption. From what I understand they were a great group to work for.
Not unheard of either.
Is not paying employees for time they're required to be present also common? Yes. More or less every store I am aware of.
[1. edit, typo, I meant resale here, not retail]
This also seems like a good way to align incentives. If time spent on security is compensated time, then there is a baked-in need to make the process less onerous.
Also, the fact that this is even possible is a very good example why the US needs more unions. It obviously doesn't work with the current model where employees (of any industry) gets screwed over by the corporate overlords. But no, union BAD!! I don't see a better way to bring weight to the table and force employers to do the right thing, they certainly won't do it of their own accord.
Otherwise it is simply theft from the employee
Judging by eg Enterprise Value is a reasonable way.
But also, you need to specify what you mean by 'company': lots of companies are actually made up of lots of partially or fully owned subsidiaries. There's no monolithic Apple or Google.
Lots of the details of that structure depend on responses to tax incentives.
See https://www.forbes.com/sites/alapshah/2018/08/02/apple-hits-... for some attempt.
Instead of looking at total value, you could also look at something like profit per employee or revenue per employee. But that's also not quite so clear cut.
> You don't get to be the richest company in the world by paying your workers well.
What should happen is a penalty for the CEO. I'd like to see Cook spend a few weeks in jail, incommunicado because I'm sure this was done at his direction. The government will never do anything to hurt such a company's bottom line in a significant way, however. If a regular person steals fifty cents worth of merchandise from the Apple store all hell will rain down upon him, but if Cook steals millions from his employees, he's a great CEO.
Excerpt from the NY Times article about that decision:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled unanimously that a temp agency was not required to pay workers at Amazon warehouses for the time they spent waiting to go through a security screening at the end of the day. The workers say the process, meant to prevent theft, can take as long as 25 minutes.
NY Times article:
Non-paywalled version of above article
EDIT: Added excerpt from the article about the US Supreme Court decision.
>…The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case is now pending, asked the California Supreme Court to clarify whether state law requires compensation.
>A federal district court judge ruled in favor of Apple, deciding that workers had to prove they not only were restrained from leaving but that there was no way to avoid having personal items searched.
The article might leave one with the impression that the Court was saying that Apple could not impose such a ban. That doesn't seem to be the case. It's more that they are saying that Apple has not ever done so and it seems far-fetched that Apple would ever do so, and so Apple's claim that not doing so was done as some sort of benefit is not justified.
Here's that paragraph from the Court's decision:
> Apple acknowledges that the exit searches promote its interest in loss prevention, but nevertheless urges this court to view the searches as part of a broader policy that benefits its employees. Apple argues, in this regard, that it could have totally prohibited its employees from bringing any bags or personal Apple devices into its stores altogether, and thus employees who bring such items to work may reasonably be characterized as having chosen to exercise an optional benefit. However, Apple has not imposed such draconian restrictions on its employees’ ability to bring commonplace personal belongings to work. Under the circumstances of this case and the realities of ordinary, 21st century life, we find far-fetched and untenable Apple’s claim that its bag-search policy can be justified as providing a benefit to its employees.5
and here is footnote 5:
> However, it is uncontroverted that Apple may impose reasonable restrictions on the size, shape, or number of bags that its employees may bring to work, and that it may require employees to store their personal belongings in offsite locations, such as lockers or break rooms. We also take no issue with Apple’s policy prohibiting employees from shipping personal packages to its stores.
What if you have asthma and need to keep an inhaler? Or one of the numerous other medical conditions that also necessitate keeping an item on hand.
They shouldn’t be paid for that.
If you are required to be at work, then you should be paid for that time. Just because you aren't "working" does change that the business is requiring you to be there.
If nothing else this should push them to make leaving work not take 20-45 minutes.
WTF. How does anyone think it's acceptable to [funcitonally] detain people.
I think this argument is BS and it looks like so did the California Supreme Court. Apple argues that this choice is of benefit only to the employees but without it I think they'd have a much harder time keeping employees.
Workers rights has always been a struggle but this sort of behavior has been trending up over the last 20 years. From the "permatemp" jobs to the new no benefits "gig economy" it's worrying.
I'm and experienced software developer and even I have seen this sort of thing.
I worked for a company out of San Jose. I was hired full-time with benefits and a bonus structure based on performance. But I had to switch to hourly at no pay if I was "on the bench" between projects. Despite a year of solid work, and receiving my performance bonus, true to the agreement when I rolled off a project they stopped paying me. I went 4 months without pay. And when they finally found a new project for me to join I had to take a significant pay cut because the rate for the new client was less.
Passing on risk and consequence to the employee seems to be increasingly common.
Were you still expected to show up anywhere or perform any duties? How was the situation any different to being unemployed?
A similar type of wage abuse in call centers: The wage is $X/hr while on a call or available in the phone queue, and minimum wage at all other times.
Presumably now any noncompete(etc) are void as your employer has frustrated they contract
From the business perspective, provided they can get a way with it, it is just another business decision, namely reducing cost and increasing profit. I would do the same.
But, frankly, literally every time without exception that I remember seeing you post, it's been a variation on the theme of "of course they shouldn't be decent, why should they, I shouldn't have to be decent either", so I'm going to pass on being surprised.
Thats depends on what one value, if you think treat people like people is important then yes you should do it but if one value profit then doing what apple did make sense.
If I'm the one being stolen, of course but not if I'm the one who stole (again provided I will not be in trouble).
Provided they won't get in trouble, how is it not a clever business practice?
And effectively stealing from their employees.
> I would do the same.
You would steal from your employees too?
if the benefit > risk/cost then absolutely.
Likewise, for Apple if their action is not costly enough, they will continue doing it.
Do they just mean checking serial# or something to make sure someone didn't swap their phone for a new phone?
Or are they actually searching/examining the contents of the phone?
Searching a backpack for stolen hardware seems somewhat reasonable (although it doesn’t reflect well on their hiring standards) but what right does Apple, champion of privacy, have to search through their employees devices?
Good ruling, pay the employees if you make them wait.
This seems like a pandora's box. If the employees are already off the clock to endure this delay for the searches, how will they be able to show how much time was lost in a way that would be worthy of a payment?
Of what? Damages can rarely be calculated perfectly.
It's not the court's fault Apple falsified timecard data.
EDIT: Y'all are completely smokin me with these downvotes. I am not against this decision, I am just surprised that the issue grew to be this severe.
Clearly in many cases the Apple stores aren’t that efficient which is why this has come up in the first place.
I would imagine store operations are vastly more efficient than they were when I worked there -- so I am more surprised that this got worse rather than better.