Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Buying a Laptop - an unexpected hassle

I think I still have a lot to learn about living here. I imagined that these days buying a laptop was pretty much an easy commodity kind of purchase. Not so. It seems computer sales stores have adopted the worst tricks of the used car sales business.

Having seen a really cheap laptop ($500) in Best Buy at the weekend, I returned to buy it. After some deliberation I decided to make the purchase. "I'm sorry we sold the last of those 30 minutes ago". So I looked at the next model up. Similar story. Decided on something much more expensive, and whilst they were off trying to find it I gathered up all the other stuff I needed. Only to discover they didn't have that one in stock either.

Made a desperate call to Dave J who recommended:
- an Apple (of course) but that would not run Dragon 8
- Frys computing (no store near here)
- and finally mentioned he used to go into CompUSA

So I followed Dave's lead and went there. Before going to the store I checked products and availability on the web. They had some really decent higher spec machine for cheap-ish, one Lance Armstrong sponsored model was especially nice. Arrived. "we have sold all 14 of those today and have none left". A good proportion of their other display models were not in stock either. After reverting to some major whining I got the guy to agree to sell me the display model of a Turion 64bit machine for $850 (after rebates - which means you need to send off the receipt, jump through hoops of fire and wait 10 weeks and then, maybe, you will get a cheque - your discount on the purchase). So, yes, CompUSA were reasonable but still seemed rather shark like, with many models on display not in stock and some rather incompetent smooth sales talk to disguise the fact, or apologise for it whilsy directing your credit card elsewhere.

I wish I had learned from this experience but I really have not. Well, perhaps what I learned was to buy online next time, probably from Frys.

Now, on with my rebate admin...


Post a Comment

<< Home