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Apple axes AABA program: Dec 31st cutoff

updated 10:00 am EST, Tue November 20, 2007

Apple axes AABA program

Apple has issued a letter to members of its Apple Authorized Business Agent (AABA) program announcing that the service will be discontinued on December 31st, 2007. Apple touted the sales program as enabling professionals trained and experienced in helping customers make informed purchasing decisions. AABA Agents offer personalized assistance, expert technical advice, knowledge of industry trends, and customized service. Agents were told to expect supplemental revenue, Apple training as well as support, professional backing from the Cupertino-based company itself, and new opportunities with minimal overhead.

Apple's letter to AABA members is short and to the point, citing the section of the agreement the company to abruptly terminate service:

"We appreciate your contribution to Apple's business as part of the Apple Business Agent program. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decided to end this program. In accordance with section 12 B(i) of the Authorized Business Agent Agreement ('Agreement'), Apple is notifying you that your Agreement will be terminated effective January 1, 2008."

The discontinuation of the AABA program will have an even greater effect on Apple Consultants Network members who also chose to become Authorized Business Agents, primarily because those participants were forced to cut their ties with Apple retail stores.

"Personally, I never took this program too seriously because I know from experience that Apple makes these types of about-face moves at a moment's notice," one member told MacNN. "Historically, time and again, Apple [has] proven to be loyal only to Apple, disregarding the needs of the individual resellers and evangelists who built Apple from the ground up and stuck with them through their lean times."

ACN members who participated in the AABA were forbidden from participating in Apple's store referral program, and while those members are now allowed to rejoin the referral program they must now also attempt to rebuild their relationships with nearby stores.

"In my case, I will likely continue to be excluded from the referral program because the nearest store now has its compliment of ACN members," the AABA member said. "So basically, I am about to be completely cut off from Apple as a result of their own program decisions."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    AMEN!

    This program was a joke. I can't believe it was a product of Apple. I was a member for a few months when the program was new. It was a glorified affiliate program, only you can't use links, so it was nearly impossible to actually make a sale through the program. People had to type in your affiliate code, a random string of numbers and letters. THEN to top it off, I got kicked out of the program because they decided that you could only stay in if you sold something like $25,000 worth of Apple stuff in a year. Now I just use the Amazon affiliate program. The Apple program only gave you 5%! psshhht.

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: amen

    *rolls eyes*

    So which was it? Were you a member for a few months? Or a year?

    It was a great program that should have been allowed to grow and prosper.

  1. Go Bells

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Damn---

    Am I the only one who got excited, thinking Apple was axing the band ABBA? :-)

  1. mikeyboyca

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mistake!

    I only joined the program in August, and my consulting clients are now about to lose an additional, and very valuable service, I was able to provide. What could be more convenient than taking my clients to my personal Apple Store?

    Apple has forgotten the fact that there is no cheaper sale to make than one where the seller is paid commission. The cost to Apple is virtually nothing, despite accounting "procedures" which might state otherwise. Try paying a salesperson a salary, plus benefits, then take that same person and only pay when a sale is made. Do the math, Apple!

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    commissions?

    Apple has forgotten the fact that there is no cheaper sale to make than one where the seller is paid commission. The cost to Apple is virtually nothing, despite accounting "procedures" which might state otherwise. Try paying a salesperson a salary, plus benefits, then take that same person and only pay when a sale is made. Do the math, Apple!

    Funny, when I was a salesperson, it was the high potential that commissions offered that kept me doing it for so long - I never would have accepted a salary..

    I wonder why...

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    A true business model..

    I only joined the program in August, and my consulting clients are now about to lose an additional, and very valuable service, I was able to provide. What could be more convenient than taking my clients to my personal Apple Store?

    Well, obviously Apple knows how to take care of your consulting clients better than you do.. If you don't believe me, just ask them! It's obvious that REAL business clients are better served by the "experience" of the Apple store and the Genius Bar than by independent business consultants.

    That must be why Oracle, MS, SAP, and IBM are sucking so bad in the Enterprise market - they're relying too heavily on "partners" to deal with their clients.

    At least you know that your clients will be better served by the Art school dropout sitting behind the counter at the Genius Bar and not wasting time talking to you.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: a true business model

    Just an FYI, before you fly off the handle, I'm pretty sure the post by subpop was sarcasm. But that's just a guess.

  1. tridebri

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    No options for my clients

    I got the axe yesterday, too...the only problem is that i live 6+ hours from the nearest apple store. Does apple think that people who are a little nervous about switching to a mac are going to drive to denver to do so? I was able to drive so many sales for apple (at least 75K in 6 mos) in a tiny mountain town that would not have happened had i not been available as a resource. now I have applied for the reseller program but i really dont think i want to do this! requirements are too much. what are other people going to do now? I need some commission on apple sales and really dont want to go back to selling Dells!

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