According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the latest changes to Apple retail by Angela Ahrendts is coming to stores soon. Most Apple retail stores will shift walk-in Genius Bar appointment notifications to one using customers' mobile phones as de facto
pagers, not only giving time estimates for a service window, but also informing customers that an availability is opening up allowing users to shop elsewhere in a mall, rather than waiting for sometimes hours in the store.
According to the initial report by 9to5 Mac
, customers seeking walk-in help will provide a phone number. Apple will then send text messages confirming the request, and providing an estimated wait time. A text message will then be sent informing the customer that the window is nearly open, with a final message telling them the specific location of the tech in the store.
The initiative, called "The New Concierge" and "the new customer journey" is expected to change things most at Apple stores with a "mid-range customer load." High-demand Apple stores don't often accept walk-in Genius Bar requests at all, and this is unlikely to change. Appointments booked ahead of time online aren't seeing any notification changes at this time.
has spoken to employees wishing to remain anonymous from two of the pilot stores. One store reports that wait times for walk-in appointments vary between two and four hours with the new program. One store that was selected to test the new concierge found that wait times often exceeded six hours, and they have already been told that the new program will not be implemented in that store because of the volume.