> Where In The World?

Where In The World?

Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 | No Comments

I’ve recently had a need to purchase a laptop computer for work,something I could carry around the office with me and plug in where ever I’m working.  The machines we have on our desks aren’t capable of the types of things that I do day-to-day.  For example, pings and network traces as well as software testing – and these are just three of the examples from the past week.

 

The answer was pretty clear, the machine wouldn’t be my primary computer at work – it would only be used out and about – so portability and simplicity were the answers.  A netbook was the obvious choice – cheap enough to initially purchase, small enough to carry around all day, and something I can shove in my desk drawer and lock away.

 

Now, having done the research on netbooks a while ago, the Samsung N10 was the one back then – my mom bought it and she’s loved it ever since.  After a quick Bing search, my initial research from back then still stood up today – only this time the Samsung N110 seemed to be the logical choice.  Checking around all of the usual retail websites, the cost was fixed everywhere at £299.99.  However, I still wanted to take a look at the actual models available to make sure the keys/keyboard was right and the hardware seemed solid enough…so off I went to my local “PC World”, with the intention of looking briefly and then purchasing.

 

With today being a Sunday, it was also worthwhile buying from a retail store rather than online as I’d be able to install it up ready for Monday morning rather than waiting on delivery.  After checking on last time on the PC World website and noting the Sunday opening time of 11am, off I went, arriving in store exactly at 11am.

 

Heading, like a man possessed, directly to the section of the store I needed to be, I began probing and prodding the models on offer.  Briefly hovering over a Dell Mini something-or-other in a rather stunning Ferrari red, I was pounced upon by a sales rep who asked if he could help me.  The obvious answer was ‘no’, yet I decided to tell him what I was looking for – he keenly pointed out the Samsung N110 to me – as well as the price tag – £329.99.  Mentioning that the price was cheaper online I got the usual story of the web price often being different to the in-store price – can anyone explain that one to me? 

 

So, about to walk away, after being attempted to change my decision by the sales rep, I mentioned that I was about to walk away given that the price wasn’t right.  Next thing I knew, I was waiting whilst he went off to check the website and then confirm with the store manager that he could sell me the laptop for the same price as advertised online.  Something that baffled me as quite clearly on the PC World website is a big “Reserve in-store and collect” button – surely if I’d clicked that button, they would’ve had to sell me the netbook for the online price anyway?

 

Anyway, the price was confirmed and I said I’d take it.  They then tried to sell me software.  I told him that I wasn’t planning on running any of the software that came with the netbook and that I was going to run corporate software packages and I didn’t have to worry about the licensing as that was all covered, he proceeded to try to sell me Anti-Virus software – this was already turning into a nightmare and I felt myself getting more and more frustrated.  Eventually he got the message and whisked me over to the ‘sales area’.

 

It then took two of them to fiddle around with their computer whilst they adjusted the price to ring it through the till.  Meanwhile I sat in the chair looking around me, in complete boredom – a customer that was being ignored and no attempt at apologising for the delays or explain what they were trying to do. 

 

Skipping forward, I left the store at 11:35am, which meant I must have spend at least 25 minutes sat at this desk, being ignored, being a frustrated customer and not making any attempt at hiding said frustration.  Once they finally got the PC sorted and the price confirmed, the sale rep then went on to tell me that they offered a free one month technical service thing I could call and get help from……do I really look like the sort who needs IT help from PC World?  So, I said I wasn’t interested and I didn’t want it added to my purchase…..to which I was told that I couldn’t remove this from my purchase initially and I had to take out the agreement and then cancel the direct debit – where upon a DD contract for me to sign was thrust under my nose!

 

For a moment I considered not signing it – thereby not setting up the ongoing monthly cost that would be added to my purchase if I don’t cancel the service within the month, but by then my frustrations and my lack of willing to argue with someone who wasn’t listening to their customer.

 

I swear, I’ve bought cars in less time and with less hassle than it took for me to purchase a £300 netbook PC.  I’ve bought little bits and pieces from PC World before when I’ve been too desperate to bother waiting for delivery, but I’ve never bought a PC/laptop from them before – put it this way, I’ll never do it again.  They seriously need to get their sales processes polished up and look after their customers – even listening to them would be a start and offering the flexibility for them not to have to purchase or take on additional service options they don’t want or need; I’ve now got to cancel the service before they charge me – and I can assure you that since I purchased the laptop this morning to now, it is now running a completely different operating system and software that the “PC World/TechGuys” won’t be familiar with helping me with.  

 

Where in the world will I be making my next computer purchase?  I know where it won’t be!

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