We live in a world where $5.00 coffees are okay, but $1.99 iOS application will break the bank, and where getting tech support shouldn’t cost a dime, just some of the kid next door’s time. Is it any surprise then that the reason people line up at the Genius bar down at the local Apple store is because it’s free?

According to a recent NPD Group study, people not only love the Apple store and the Geniuses, but they love the idea that they can head down to the store and get all the advice and help they need free of charge.

From the NPD Group findings:

[quote]Nearly 90 percent of consumers who used Apple’s tech service said they were extremely or very satisfied. In contrast, top 2 box satisfaction among all consumer service interactions was 78 percent. A major part of their satisfaction came from the fact that only a small percentage actually paid for their service. According to the report, 88 percent of Genius Bar consumers said their service was free compared to 78 percent of all consumers.[/quote]

What’s the difference between an Apple Store and the competition? Free support. Detractors talk about the Apple luxury tax a lot, and point out that on average an Apple device costs more than the competition (it’s debatable), and if that is the case, would free, face-to-face customer support change your opinion? I reckon it would, especially at that moment where your phone suddenly won’t turn on. I don’t believe the Apple luxury tax arguments, but if I did, it’s things like free support that would change my opinion in a hurry.

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