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Scalpers sell Apple Genius Bar appointments in China

Categories: Community, Science & Technology, World

 Free Genius Bar appointments are becoming more difficult to secure as Apple devices proliferate around the world. (iPhone screenshot) Ticket scalpers are giving new meaning to the term "Apple Reseller" in China, but the Genius Bar appointments they're selling on the black market are anything other than authorized.

Apple customers have the famous option of taking their iPods, iPads, Macbooks and other iDevices into any of the company's retail stores for service by a so-called Apple Genius if said devices ever malfunction.

These Genius Bar visits are free of charge, but they're strictly appointment-only, and with a growing base of Apple fans, they're are increasingly difficult to get.

More than 120 million people visit the company's stores worldwide per quarter according to CEO Tim Cook. One Bejing location can field hundreds of appointment reservations every day.

Without an appointment, customers must wait in line - sometimes, until a store closes - in hopes of a cancellation. If not, they leave without being seen.

Scalpers in China appear to be capitalizing on this problem by booking large quantities of Genius Bar appointments themselves, only to turn around and sell them to eager customers for between 10 and 40 yuan ($1.68 - $6.71) on third party online shopping sites like Taobao.

  
(tabao.com screenshot)

Bejing Morning News reporter Wang Bin recently investigated the trend after failing to secure an appointment at any of the city's three Apple stores for his own iPhone 4s, even four weeks in advance.
 
Wang decided to purchase a black market appointment himself by contacting a Tabao advertiser.

He was promptly offered a choice of two local stores and time slots, one of which he was sent login details for through instant messenger. He was then able to access the booking on Apple's site, and change the details to his own.

Apple has yet to comment on the situation, but plenty of observers and customers are weighing in online.







What are your thoughts on scalping Genius Bar appointments? Should Apple crack down on this behaviour? Can they?






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