I went to the Apple store this week to buy a new MacBook. It’s important that I mention that I’ve been a PC user for, oh, more years than I maybe want to own up to. So why convert to a Mac? Well, a number of reasons having to do with technology, but all the Mac fans I know also spoke of the great customer experience at the Apple store.
I left the Apple store without making a purchase, even though I had gone there to buy, and found exactly what I wanted. Call it stubborness, but on principal, I did not want to pay $100 extra for a black MacBook that was identical in every other respect to a white MacBook. I discovered this pricing oddity by accident, and when I talked to a sales person, he admitted it didn’t make sense. I asked if someone might be able to give me a $100 discount (on what was going to be an approx. $2,000 purchase). He said he’d get the manager for me, and after a bit of a delay, the manager came apologizing for my having to wait. But could she solve the problem for me? No. The reason I’d have to pay $100 more for the identical configuration on a black MacBook was — because it was black.
That was not the kind of customer experience I had been hoping for that day, and I came back empty-handed. Yes, I spent at least $100 worth of my time being stubborn, and that doesn’t make good business sense. But did it make good business sense for Apple management to insist that a black case is worth more than a white one?