I came across this article this morning, which says that Apple is starting to charge a $5 entrance fee into their stores. I’m not entirely convinced it’s true based on the wording of the article, but if it is, it’s absolutely ridiculous:
If you want to see the iPhone at an Apple store, be sure to bring some cash. Large crowds flocking to see the iPhone and next generation iPods have forced Apple to begin charging a $5 entrance fee for Apple stores. Many analysts anticipated the move, and expect a positive response from customers.
“Part of the move was to limit crowds to keep the stores safe, but also we wanted to keep the right kind of people in the stores,” said vice president of retail outlets, Vince Sciopiano. “By ‘right kind of people’ I mean true Apple customers with money, willing to pay just to look at our newest wares.”
Photo from http://2975.blogspot.com/2007/05/is-madison-getting-hip.html
Imagine paying $5 to get into the grocery store, or Future Shop, or whatever other place you frequent. I can maybe see them justifying it if they apply the money towards a purchase (which is what some places in Vancouver do with parking fees, although many have opted out these days), but to just take the money for no reason is pretty low of them. Sure, you can argue that it’s supply and demand, but there’s a point when you’ve just gone too far.. This is the first step down the “we don’t really care about our customer’s” path, and I hope Apple doesn’t start making the same mistakes that most of its competitors did.
Update — I’m pretty sure the article was bullshit, but it was a fun entry to write..