One of the most frustrating things about being a Mac owner and user in New Zealand is the sad state of marketing and purchasing. There is no actual Apple NZ; instead a company called Renaissance run the show here, and they appear to be in thrall to the Australians. Until now, Renaissance have been widely ignored, but with the iPod bringing increased profits, Stuff have seen fit to publish an item about them.
Multiple bytes at the Apple corp: First, Renaissance is the sole distributor of Apple IT products in New Zealand. Renaissance is the New Zealand branch office of the iPod revolution and the key driver of marketing the Apple brand of computer products throughout New Zealand.
[Nod to: NZMac.com.]
In this country buying a Mac is an arduous task. There’s pretty well no publicity for the Mac or Apple products. There are few places where you can go to see actual working models, and even fewer where the sales assistants are actually helpful or knowledgeable. As a Mac buyer you more or less have to know what you want and where to get it in order to make a successful purchase.
Renaissance also have the market locked up. There’s little point shopping around and prices are within a few dollars wherever you go. That’s because all the machines come through the one supplier who apparently also set the pricing. If there’s a problem of sufficient magnitude it gets escalated to Australia. I’ve never found Apple particularly sympathetic to machine breakdowns, although several years ago one local retailer lobbied Apple hard on my behalf to resolve an expensive issue. After about 5 weeks we managed to achieve a resolution.
It’s also only too clear that Renaissance does not equal Apple; they have no investment in improving the state of the Mac in this country. In fact, much of what they do is in conflict with the interests of the Mac.
Though Apple is the company’s highest profile brand, it is by no means the only one. Renaissance also markets and distributes a broad range of other products, including Asus notebooks, Palm handhelds and phones, Serria Wireless and US Robotics wireless routers and modems. … [Renaissance’s other division] Insite is a manufacturer of PCs. Not the cheap consumer-end-of-the-market PCs but high-end PCs used for industrial-strength applications. These machines are found in universities and used for specific business projects.
Many of my clients express frustration, anxiety and fear about the process of buying a Mac. They enter a shop and speak with a sales assistant who most likely rattles off jargon and doesn’t listen well. There’s one local salesperson I will never deal with because he was utterly condescending and arrogant in his approach to me. There are a couple of others I always deal with because they have a grasp of the notion of customer service.