Okay, this is a little terrifying. While Apple on the one hand does more than anyone else to ensure a great user experience (more on this tomorrow), they simultaneously seem hell-bent on destroying the customer experience.
When Apple delayed the international iPad launch by a month, early adopters worldwide started to panic. Since my nearby Apple store initially had plenty of stock, I offered to purchase and ship iPads internationally for members of the NeoGAF gaming forum. I was doing this as a favor, unlike hoarders who were unloading iPads on eBay to cash in on the $150+ markup. Instead, my asking prices were very reasonable, just enough to cover all the tax, international express shipping, and Paypal fees with a little left over for gas and my time.
The really disturbing part is the canned, robotic language the clerks in the Apple Store are forced to use. I’ve got more information out of voice recognition phone trees. This is exactly the kind of behavior Wired founder John Battelle called out in his recent open letter to Apple, in which he referred to Apple as the Howard Hughes of the industry. And not in a good way.