On the March of 14th, Apple had announced that it would be closing down all its retail and repair stores in countries other than China. This step was taken to suppress and stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. The company, after its announcement of closing, also gave its customers a window for two days, to come to their retail stores and pick up devices left there for repairs.
The company also tried contacting each of their customers with their devices on the retail shop, to get them to retrieve it as soon as possible. They also mailed and contacted them on their numbers. Most customers responded immediately and had their devices retrieved. For those who couldn’t or didn’t, Apple has asked those customers to remain calm and patient, as, after the open window period, these customers can collect their devices only after the stores open again.
This piece of news came directly from a spokesperson of Apple while speaking to the Business Insider. The company originally claimed to open all its stores by March 27. But just three days before their original re-opening date, on March 17, Apple announced that it will continue to keep all its stores on lockdown and will not open until further notice. On the other hand, the scenario is not the same for Apple stores in China, as the company has opened all its 42 locations in the country.
In a memo written by Deirdre O’Brien, who is the head of HR in Apple, said that the company might open all its stores across some parts of the world in the first half of April. When contacted for further information on the situation, the company is unavailable for comment. Apple has not responded to any emails, text or messages sent to them for some closure on the matter.
On the other hand, customers with their devices such as MacBook and Tablets, with which they can work from home, have it stuck in Apple stores for repair. The customers have raised complaints and are demanding for the company to deliver their devices to the doorstep or take some necessary steps. Most people are asking immediately for their devices to be returned as they need it for work from home. Whether the company will release any statement on that or will take some immediate action is unknown.
On the day Apple announced about the stores to remain closed indefinitely, they also updated their FAQs with new policies on the return and repair instructions. According to Apple, returns will now be accepted only 14 days after the stores have re-opened. It is new, as Apple usually only allows returns to be made within 14 days of purchase. But as the pandemic is on the rise, the company decided to provide its customers with a grace period also, as there will be no stores to remain open, hence no place to return the product.
The company has also released a statement on the repair of their products that were left on the store before the COVID-19 outbreak. The company says they are working on it, and if they ask their customers that their device is ready for pick up, they need to retrieve it between 12 pm to 5 pm immediately.
New updates FAQs like “My local Apple Store is closed. When will it re-open?” has been added to the company’s FAQ chart. And the answer provided is,” Out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees, Apple has closed all retail stores outside of Greater China through March 27. Please check Website for the latest on Store Operating hours.”
Several other FAQs that may help their customer in concern like return of their products before the 14 day return period, or after it has also been answered. Another FAQ like ‘my device is at an Apple Store for repair. When can I get it back?’ has also been asked frequently. To which the company has replied that they are working diligently on it.