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iStyle – is it really Premium?

This post is also available in: Română (Romanian)

On the 2nd of December I finally decided to make a major upgrade to the device I am working on so I decided to get a Macbook M1 Max, the top configuration with 64GB of RAM and 2TB storage.

The problem is that in Romania you only have two options if you want to configure an Apple laptop because we do not have an official Apple store: you can only choose iStyle or Noumax. The prices are identical (at least in my case) so I’ve chosen iStyle because the name says they are a Premium Apple Reseller.

I saw on Twitter some guys from the USA or Canada that even in those countries they had to wait a bit over 1 month for their newly configured Macbook, so I’ve known from the start that I will have to wait. From my knowledge, all Macbooks are made in China and then sent to the destination country and then to the buyer’s home, so in some way or another everybody has to wait the same number of days, right?

The only problem is that at iStyle after you’ve ordered and paid in full in advance (which for my configuration is around 5000 euros), you get an email with some sort of invoice, the final valid invoice will be in the box when the order is delivered, somewhere in the email there is a small text saying that configurable products take between 6 and 8 weeks to be delivered and that’s all you know. You cannot reach them by phone or email to confirm that your order is ok and will be processed, you can’t know if your laptop is being manufactured… you don’t know anything!

If you call yourself an Apple Premium Reseller can you have zero customer support? How many clients can they have so you can’t reach them by phone at all? I’ve called them several days a week, I’ve waited on hold for 2 hours and then the network operator halted the call. Also, they don’t answer by mail.

Yesterday at 5 PM I’ve finally received an answer after I made a complaint at a legal authority in Romania. You can see the full answer in the Romanian version of this post but the summary is that my laptop is still being manufactured and the global chip shortage is the reason for the delay. How convenient for them to blame the chip shortage, right?

At least after a month I know for sure that my order was indeed processed and that my laptop is being manufactured, for one month I knew nothing about my order.

If you look on their Facebook, on everything they post people comment and request a status update for their orders, that is because you can’t message them on Facebook and nobody can reach them by mail or phone. The status on my command on the website is blank, no helpful status like “order in production”. Their website is not helpful, at least if we had that working… a blank status field is not helpful at all.

In conclusion, if you got here from Google or social media, iStyle does their job but they move extra slow and they don’t care at all talking to their customers. The orders will be delivered some day, especially since they charge in advance, but you have to be very patient. In general, they move very slow and now they can blame the chip global shortage.

My own conclusion: Apple should not let iStyle be called a “premium” reseller, the customer service is really bad and the official Apple stores are more premium and you feel like you are valued as a customer by Apple and their employees. On the other hand, at iStyle, you are completely ignored so zero customer support.

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