I’ve been trying to book some time at my local Apple Store to get my iPhone’s battery swapped, and it has not been easy — at least, not compared to the way it used to be. Previously, I’d open the Apple Store app on my phone, open up my store’s page, and tap the button to get support. I could easily make a Genius Bar appointment from there with just a few taps.
When I worked for Apple retail from 2003-2006 we were instructed to help everyone. This was before concierge, before appointments, and before the iPhone. It was just me, the bar, and hundreds of Apple customers looking for help every day.
Needless to say this approach did not scale after the introduction of the iPhone. But even now — ten years after the iPhone was introduced — I would still rather wait 3 days to see someone in person, then send my device off in the mail and hope for the best.