South African iStores close doors during lockdown, but have increased online services

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South Africa is currently in its first full week of lockdown and, for many, journeying outside of the confines of their home is only done to gather essential items like food and toiletries. It is the reason why many retailers have decided to close their doors, as directed by the presidency last week, and iStores are no different.

This week the retailer has been circulating updates to its customers and subscribers, with a recent newsletter explaining that all iStore locations in South Africa will be closed during the lockdown.

That said, there are some concessions being made for customers who may offer essential services, an in those cases, iStores will be able to provide some degree of assistance.

“If you are an organisation or individual that provides essential services or products during the lockdown as defined in Government Notice – Disaster Management Act dated 25 March 2020, we will support you with product requirements for iPhone, Mac and iPads and key accessories, as well as repairs for these products. Email us at [email protected] with your Apple product or service request and we will contact you to make the necessary arrangements,” reads the company’s most recent customer update.

The same message also appears at the top of the local iStore website.

Along with making necessary plans for essential service providers, the online technical support hours for iStores has been increased to between 8:00 and 20:00 every day.

As for product orders, the aforementioned update explains that orders can still be placed on the iStore website, but they will only be delivered once the lockdown has ended. Whether that will be after the current 21-day lockdown, however, remains to be seen.

Like many local retailers, iStores in the country are playing things very much by ear, and as such will be keeping its customers updated regarding this evolving situation.

“Thank you again for your ongoing support. We will keep you updated with any further developments,” the update concludes.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.