Why doesn’t Tallahassee have an Apple store?

A broken iPhone X back.
Photo Submitted by Quintavia McKay

Around campus it’s almost impossible to spot a student without at least one Apple product. But what happens when these devices malfunction?

In this college town many students seek repairs and their only trustworthy repair store is Best Buy. Other local stores claim to be able to fix Apple products but there is no real guarantee.

There is only one Best Buy in Tallahassee and more than 15 phone repair stores that may offer more affordable prices than Best Buy but do not provide the same quality for fixing Apple devices. Some students are willing to take the risk of using these local repair stores, but others may not be.

“Best Buy is legit when it comes to their services and repairs, I know they value device protection,” said Emily Ace, when she was confronted with a recent repair issue which resulted in her buying a new laptop.

Even though Best Buy was not allowed to participate in an interview, Best Buy’s Geek Squad Protection services states, “Geek Squad Protection keeps device safe when manufacturer warranties come up short. Because bad luck deserves good average.” But certain parts and coverage under the manufacturer is not covered by the plan.

Junior business administration major Ryanne Taylor experienced first-hand the incompetence with her recent Best Buy service.

“I felt it was very unprofessional and disorganized,” Taylor said, after having to provide her own charger during her Geek Squad service.

Oftentimes when Best Buy lacks the necessary tools to fix your product they have to send it off to the nearest Apple store, which is an inconvenience when we live in the age of technology. Our classwork and books revolve around technology and with limited resources it can be hard for some students. It sometimes results in the use of these third-party companies.

“uBreakiFix” was Brandon Bolware’s response when asked where he would go to fix his phone. “I have friends who have done it, places like Best Buy and Apple are expensive and even then they have restrictions on what they can and can’t repair,” he said.

uBreakiFix assistant manager, Tony Oelsoner said they see at least five to six Apple products to repair daily and they are equipped to fix anything with a power button.

The closest thing that students receive for an Apple product repair other than Best Buy is their phone company. Most companies have customers enroll in programs such as Apple Care or certain warranties that last for a set period of time when the device is first purchased.

“Call my insurance,” was Emily Ace’s first thought when she needed to get her phone fixed while here in Tallahassee. Even though her provider barely helped because it was too much of a process and costly, she said if Apple was here there would be fewer problems for her and other students.

Calling the insurance company proved to be easier for some students but having Apple around would still provide an easier and faster solution to these common problems. So how much does Tallahassee really need an Apple store?

“Desperately, because I really feel like what’s the point of being a college area and not having Apple when most of us are Apple users,” Emily Ace said.

But those third-party companies seem to have no fear of them.