Here's an example. A little while ago I bought my wife an iPhone at an Apple store in Sydney. She subsequently made an appointment to bring the phone into the store to meet an Apple associate, go over basic functions of the phone and get her specific questions answered. (She's a university lecturer but certainly not a technophile.) Sadly, the rep assigned to her for this meeting was not just unable to answer her key questions about how the phone worked but compounded the problem by pretending that he could. After about 20 minutes of pure frustration she walked out of the place and eventually found the answers the hard way - and is now happy with the product.
I doubt this is an isolated case. The moral of the story should be obvious. In a country where retail service is, for want of a better word, rotten, even retailers like Apple will risk impairing their standards. And the risk will rise the further they expand.
If anyone else has any interesting service stories about Apple that depart from the routine admiration, please let me know.