Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why not to shop in the New Year Sales

This is a consumer story especially for Brenda - I know how much she enjoys them!
It's also the story of how it took me from 11.30 to 4pm to buy an MP3 except I've stuck to the worst highlights!

The first highlight was when after comparing goods in three stores ( none of whom actually put the salient information on the shelf sticker so you have to hunt down a teenager on their holiday job to try and get some product information) I bought a Cream MP3 on sale. I took it home, inserted the CD and wondered (a) why the rechargeable battery would not charge and why the instruction manual had entirely different pictures in it compared to the product. Answer: because it was an entirely different ( and of course) inferior product in the box.

Back to the shop. Excercised consumer choice and decided not to shop there again. So headed to Currys to be faced with a gridlocked town centre as every man and his dog headed for the sales. Smugly I drive the long way round on sneaky shortcuts to get to the out of town retail park which I assumed would be quieter as it had been earlier. Not so. people were now fighting over car park places. Literally!

Eventually I got in the shop and chose 2 substitutes. The MP3 players are displayed with a model tied with an alarmed wire to the (lack of) information display.
I found a salesman. "I'll have either of these two"
He vanished to the computer.
"We don't have the white one. The Prescot store has 5 of the black one but its not £59.98 as priced. Its only £29.98 now."
"Fantastic, I'll go there. Can you reserve it for me?"
Man vanished. Returns. "Prescot don't have 5. Speke have one."
"Fine. I'll go there. Can you reserve it?"
Man vanishes. Returns. "Speke don't have one."
"Can you sell me this display model?"
Man vanishes. Returns. "No. We've lost the box and USB wire for it."
"Can you recommend somthing else with similar fetaures?"
Man pauses. "Have you tried going next door to PC World?"
I look surprised and sweep my hand in the directionof the 30 or so display models. "You don't recommend any of these?"
"We don't sell most of them. You can tell because the price ends in .98 or .97. That means its a clearance model."
I examine my first choice. It ends in .98.
"So you don't actually sell this one at all?"
"No." He examined the card on the shelf then removed it and took out a biro. "But its not £59.98 any more. Its only £29.98." I watched him alter the price replace the card, resisted the urge to hit him and went to PC world!

The good news is that I have a reasonably priced MP3 albeit with a little less memory than I hoped but ample to transport quilting podcasts with me which is mainly what I wanted it for. That and for some pumped up music to run to in the gym. For which I need about 1KB memory given howfar I can run without collapsing!


Brenda said...

Thanks for reminding me why I will stay at home if any of my family visitors announce an excursion to the local mall...

Purple Missus said...

Sorry Helen, couldn't stop smiling when reading this!
Do like your blog by the way, apart from the fact that your work is very good it is also a very entertaining blog.