This feature was meant to be product review – covering the new laptop I purchased to work and play on. However, due to the mortifying (and hilariously bad) customer service I received, instead I thought I would tell you about that. Suffice to say I didn’t, and still have not, purchased a new machine yet.
I guess I didn’t help myself really but because I work long hours I could only get to the store about 50 minutes before closing time. This should have been ample to quickly look around – and it was in one store (a general electrical retailer part of the Dixons group). I was, after a few minutes, approached politely by a young gentleman asking if I wanted any assistance. At this point I did not, so continued browsing and told him I would come back. This store was well presented and had a laptop I was interested in.
Moving to the second store (one of the UK’s largest multi-manufacturer specialist IT retail stores) I was greeted with a larger range of laptops, but after standing for more than 10 minutes, I was disappointed that no one was coming over to help me. Finally, someone did – a large gentleman who seemed unable to even read the cue cards in front of the system, let alone give me some idea of performance compared to my current machine. He said he’d check up and come back.
After a good wait of another 5 minutes, a different guy (we’ll call him Mr Blonde) came back – asking if I was waiting for “the guy with the Scottish accent”. I said I was, and he said that the processor was 1.8. Hardly an answer to my question, and more importantly I was no closer to understanding the performance of the machine! Mr Blonde then proceeded to stand and simply look at me, as if I had the meaning of life tattooed on my forehead or something (I don’t – and I don’t have it tatooed anywhere else either).
I looked back at him, and finally he cracked, asking if there was anything else I wanted to know. I hit him with the big question – “what would the performance of Half Life 2 be on this?” and again I got the blank stare. Finally he leapt into action, stating he had no idea. He then wandered off, and after another wait a young technical gentleman appeared – and was clearly much more on my wavelength, answering my questions and seeming enthusiastic about the machine.
However, Mr Blonde was obviously aggrieved at my being more interested in talking to him, as he stormed in and whisked me away, talking about several other laptops that I had clearly no interest in buying. At this point I cursing him and the store – wishing just one person had actually had reasonable customer service talents. Finally we returned to the machine I’d been looking at again. Mr Blonde took his stance, and what I can only imagine is his ‘you will buy this’ look. I cracked and said I’ll think about it. His complete lack of interest and knowledge was a total turnoff. I hurried back to my car, to escape this customer hellhole and return to the normality of Internet shopping.
The moral of the story is this. We are all customers of each other; we all need to buy things, whatever they are. I know that at the very end of the working day you don’t want to take the last call, ring the last item through the till etc – just like the rest of us do not. But please, just put some effort into it. You’ll get your commission and I’ll get something I won’t have to take you to task about at a later date for being mis-sold a load of rubbish. Good customer service costs nothing but poor service (as evidenced here) can cost you every customer you are likely to get.
Customer service advice: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/customerservice/ and http://www.allbusiness.com/articles/SalesMarketing/1023-26-1781.html.
Find out your rights as a UK consumer here.