To whom this may concern,
Not sure where to put this as there isn't a general complaint/comments forum, so this is the best place I found for this. I had put on a screen protector on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S6) when I purchased the phone last May (2015) at the Maple Grove, MN corporate store in the Fountains at Arbor Lakes shopping center on Fountains Drive. At the time, the representative that helped me said that the screen protector I purchased was one that had a lifetime warranty, and that she had registered the screen protector for me so I didn't have to worry about that and it would be tied to my phone number and phone so any store could look up my information.
Fast forward to today - I went back to the same corporate Maple Grove, MN store on Fountains Drive because my screen protector had cracked and I wanted to replace it. The store must have had a recent remodel because the layout was completely different, but in the remodel, the desk with the registers was completely removed, and it was replaced by sales people walking around with iPads. I asked the guy at the front who was taking names (I didn't get any names of the sales associates, but it was around 2:50PM 2/21/2016) where the screen protectors were kept, and he said that they were kept in the back of the store and he could add my name to the waiting list, but it was at least a 30 minute wait. Usually, something simple like a charger or screen protector, etc., I could walk in, buy, and leave without needing to talk to a sales person, so I just brushed it off thinking I could have him remove my name once I was done. I said okay, gave him my name, and walked to the back of the store where he had said the screen protectors were.
As I looked around, I could not find the screen protectors. I spent about 3 minutes looking around attempting to find them. In the past, even if busy with another customer, if a sales associate saw that I was trying to find something but having no luck, they would always ask what I was looking for, I'd tell them, and they'd point and I'd be on my way. Today, quite a few looked at me as I was looking around, but not a single one bothered to ask me what I was looking for to point in the right direction. This wasn't that big of an issue, I could've asked where they were, but I've never walked around a store that I go back to and get ignored if it looks like I'm looking for something and not finding it.
After looking for the screen protectors, I went back to the guy in front to clarify where the screen protectors were as I could not find them. He then told me that they were in back, as in back in the stock room, and I had to wait for a sales person to free up so they could help me. I then inquired as to why I could not just walk in, buy what I needed to get at a cash register, and leave, like any other store that exists. Something like a screen protector should be on a stand where I can just grab one, pay, and go. Apparently, now if I walk into that store to buy anything, because they no longer have a cash register but instead have sales people with iPads, I have to wait until someone can help me, regardless of what that is as there is no longer a dedicated cashier. This means that any cords, chargers, cases, protectors, anything would have to be handled by a sales person after a wait. I told him to go ahead and take my name off the list as I would be going elsewhere for my purchase.
I hope this is not the direction Verizon will be taking for all their stores. There have been times where I've had to wait for over an hour there for service, like last May when I bought this phone. I should not have to wait an hour to walk in and buy something simple like a screen protector, case, or charger. To me, it's obvious that store (and any store remodeled similarly) no longer needs my business if this is what their customer service is turning to.
One last little nitpick regarding Maple Grove, the store was previously a very nicely laid out store - big windows on either side of the building that let in lots of light, very clean, and a very open space. The new remodel covered up the windows, drastically darkened the lighting, added big and bulbous boxes all over the store for displays, and looks very cluttered. It isn't a comfortable store to be in and have to wait inside for any length of time anymore.
To give some credit, after this, I went to the Monticello, MN Verizon Wireless World Premium Retailer on 7th Street. At that store, I walked in, was immediately greeted by [removal required by the Verizon Wireless Terms of Service] , who then proceeded to help me find a screen protector, which was displayed in the back of the store on the wall so someone could actually walk in, grab one and purchase it without necessarily needing to speak to a sales person if it was busy. He then looked up my phone number, saw that the sales person who helped me when I bought my phone (mentioned previously in the first paragraph) never actually registered my screen protector, and as such could not claim any warranty on the old protector. He then helped me register this new one, sent the confirmation right to my email, installed the new one for me, discarded the broken one, and even found a discount I was eligible for when I purchased it. I didn't go into too much detail, but I brought up to him how Maple Grove's remodel removed the cashier desks, and he sounded dumbfounded that a store would actually do that and told me he was not aware of any plans by his store to do the same thing. I really hope he is right, as Monticello will now be where I go thanks to him as long as they don't complete a similar remodel.
Just to compare, I was able to drive from Maple Grove to Monticello, walk in, complete my purchase, and drive home in 27 minutes, less than the estimated time it would have taken me to sit around and wait in Maple Grove for a sales associate to buy a screen protector.
The Maple Grove store is a corporate store, and that seems to be the direction they are taking...sales, sales, sales. I've always found accessories to be much better priced online at online retailers.
The Monticello store, on the other hand, is an authorized reseller, not a corporate store. I'm glad to hear you got good service there!