iPhone: Jumping the queue and delivery angst

Posted on by Mike Evans

Whenever I order from the online Apple store my heart sinks when the transaction is confirmed. I suddenly remember all the past experiences of failed deliveries and resulting hassles to get my hands on the new device. This week as I await delivery of my new iPhone 5S I am suffering the usual angst.

I phoned Apple after placing the order to request that the parcel be retained at the courier's depot. I am well situated, not far from. London Heathrow, and most of the delivery companies are based within a radius of ten miles. It is more convenient to drive over to them rather than to stay at home for a full day in the hope that the van will arrive.

No ball

As I knew (it was worth a try) Apple will not play ball. The courier company must make one attempt to deliver, almost certainly without success because I am usually out, before I can arrange to collect. They did offer to redirect to another address, such as a business, but I did not have anywhere suitable to suggest.

Amazon is more flexible than Apple in delivery terms and, often, they will offload the parcel at a local store belonging to the network. Yet Apple has an even better solution at their disposal: Delivery to the nearest Apple Store. The company has been experimenting with this in the USA but never in the UK. It is such an obvious solution and I cannot see any insurmountable obstacles.

Jumping the queue

This brings me to another vexed issue. I ordered my phone on September 20 but have had to play second fiddle to eager beavers prepared to stand in long lines for the daily morning delivery to Apple Stores. Why should opportunists be able to jump ahead of those who placed their orders on the first day?

I see no reason for this lopsided delivery system except, from Apple's point of view, the publicity aspect of the daily queue. It would be far better to make on-line ordering the norm during the first month of supply. Buyers would have the option of delivery to home or to an Apple Store. That way everyone would be treated equitably.

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