A great experience with Apple

In Thailand recently, I picked up the new iPad with retina display. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase. I hadn’t seen the iPad and thought “I must have one of those” nor was I after any other tablet. My year old HTC Flyer with its 7-inch screen was still in good working order and allowed me access to the internet, movies and music when on the move.

Not wanting to break the bank, I opted for the most basic model of iPad – 16gb with WiFi only. A product sold by Apple and just about every other retailer in the UK for £399, was available in Thailand for around £280 (after claiming back a 7% tax refund at the airport on leaving the country). A pretty decent saving on a very new product and considerably cheaper than anything in America.

The only downside to buying a product like the iPad overseas is that you have to make do with a foreign plug – in this case a twin pronged European style. But with a cheap travel adaptor, you are really no worse off than any other iPad owner.

Before even checking out the rest of the box contents, I was keen to play with iPad; browsing the internet, watching videos and playing games, and I soon drained the 85% or so of available battery life. With ‘low battery’ warnings appearing on screen, it was time for a charge. But unfortunately, the plug that came with my tablet could not be used. The two prongs were bent in towards one-another and had I have forced it into an adaptor, it almost certainly would have snapped. I needed a new plug.

Managing to get a call into Apple just before their lines closed at a very random 7.45pm, I was told that a replacement plug would be posted to me from Asia and that it would take up to 10 days. But the thought of waiting so long before I could use my iPad again bothered me. I expected to have to put up a fight with the man on the phone when asking if I could instead pick up a UK plug from my local Apple store in Reading. He simply said “ok”.

An appointment first had to be made and the next available one was three days away.

Arriving at the store, everything was pretty swift. An endless number of men and women walked about the store in their blue t-shirts, offering sales advice and support to anybody who looked to be in need of it. I was quickly approached by somebody holding an iPad and my name was amongst many on the screen. I had been expected and was sat down at a table, playing with a MacBook for a few minutes before somebody was ready to assist.

Within minutes, I was leaving the store with my UK plug and on my way home to give my iPad a much-needed charge.

This was a first-time Apple purchase for me. Based on this experience, I expect there will be many more to come!

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