Getting an appointment with Apple Watch

I'm trying on an Apple Watch today. I live in Columbia, SC – which incomprehensibly does not have an Apple Store. So I'm heading up to Charlotte.

Last Monday night, I decided I wanted to try on an Apple Watch. And considering that I'm taking the whole family with me, I wanted to go ahead and see if there were appointments available for the next weekend. When I searched, I discovered a couple of things:

  • There were appointments for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but there were "No Appointments Available" on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Okay, the Southpark Apple Store is a busy store. It prompted me to check other stores so I checked Augusta Mall, which is actually closer anyway... Same story... Checked Charleston... no availability for the weekend... Checked Greenville... Nope.
  • So I figured I'd book for the weekend after. But you couldn't. You could only book a week out. Monday was the last day listed.

Ugh. Nevermind. 

Except I knew Apple was going to continue to do try on sessions. A quick theory developed: Apple only allows you to book an appointment a week out. The next day I logged in and sure enough, Tuesday was now available for booking.

But there was something else, too. Thursday, which previously had "No Appointments Available" now had a full slate of appointments available. Yesterday, there was nothing. So after a little testing, I figured out the rules:

  • Apple shows you only the next week of dates.
  • You can only book appointments for the next three days.
  • The days that you can't book say "No Appointments Available," but actually should say "No Appointments Available, Yet."
  • Nowhere on the reservation site is this explained.

I'm not sure if this is for all Apple Stores or just the ones in the Southeast. It seems very sloppy. Maybe Apple assumes that most appointments are impulsively scheduled. I don't know, but I almost didn't go to a try-on appointment because I thought – incorrectly – that no appointments were available.

It's easy to fix. Show only three days instead of seven. Or just explain it somewhere.

That said, I'm very excited to try on an Apple Watch today. My wife and I both have appointments. I'll write a detailed post on my impressions later this weekend.