Ex-Apple Store Employees Allege Shocking Behavior, Fraud

FILE-In this Friday, March 16, 2012, photo, Apple employees welcome hundreds of customers in front of the Apple store at a sh
FILE-In this Friday, March 16, 2012, photo, Apple employees welcome hundreds of customers in front of the Apple store at a shopping mall in Oberhausen, western Germany, as the new iPad goes on sale at the Apple store. On Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, Apple set a new record for the most valuable company at $621 billion, beating Microsoft's 1999 high. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

What's it like working inside one of Apple's shiny, bustling retail stores?

Gizmodo recently published an exposé about the "most corrupt Apple Store," based on interviews with two ex-employees who were once active on the Apple selling floor. The anonymous Apple Geniuses, as the retail employees are called, dished on apparently crooked management practices and antics that might make you reconsider leaving your precious MacBook at the Genius Bar overnight.

"[W]e just erase people's hard drives that are assholes," one of the employees told Gizmodo. When asked what happened if people complained, he noted that the customers "signed a form that legally made us not responsible for data."


The "corrupt" Apple Store's regional manager was reportedly no better than her underlings. Gizmodo's sources alleged that she "heavily discounted computers to local plastic surgeons" in order to receive a stomach stapling procedure. They also claimed that fake transactions were rampant in the store, as was blatant manipulation of the company's return policy.

While this particular Apple Store may be the exception, there have been other less-than-rosy reports about the corporate culture within Apple. Bloomberg News reports that a former Apple employee is suing the company, claiming that Steve Jobs had guaranteed him a "job for life."

The company also apologized recently for multiple staffing issues that lead to some employee's hours being cut; the managerial error left stores understaffed and fueled rumors on the blogosphere that Apple was beginning layoffs. John Browett, senior vice president of retail, "instructed leadership teams to tell employees that that the company 'messed up,'" per PC Mag. Apple is not issuing layoffs, according to Browett -- on the contrary, the company is currently hiring.

Still, Apple isn't the only technology company whose help-desk employees have mixed reputations. Best Buy faced its own controversy when members of the Geek Squad were caught stealing porn from customer's computers several years ago, according to The Consumerist website.

Geek Squad workers also filed a class action lawsuit this past March against Best Buy over work hours and rest periods.

Let us know your thoughts on Apple Store employee and management practices below. Have you previously worked for the Apple Store and seen some interesting behind-the-scenes activity? Or have your ever sent in a broken Apple product, only to find that your data was wiped in the process? Sound off in the comments section, or email us your experiences at



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