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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old October 24th, 2002, 08:33 PM   #1
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Rant

(RANT ON)

I hate going into mega electronics stores, and having the sales people come up to me and say "Can I help you?" when I know full well that they don't know enough about their product to aswer the questions I have. And to make it worse, when I do ask them (for example) does this VCR have so and so feature, they say confidently "I think so" and smile like that makes it the case. I however, know that it does NOT have said feature, but they are willing to gamble my time and money that it does, just so they can make their $5 commision. ARGH!!! ROT IN HELL YOU B#$%#$*s!
If anyone here owns a retail business, for crying out loud, make sure your employees know more about the product than your customers, and if they don't, tell them not to lie about it.
Oh, and the other thing that happend to me today while electronics shopping... Went into mega-store yesterday, asked for flat screen 13" TV. Sales person "Yes, we have it, it's on sale for $159, but we don't have any out on the floor yet." Cool, I'll come back and pick one up. I go back today, different salesman. "We don't have a 13" flat screen TV. I don't think anyone makes one (Sony and Toshiba, which they carry, do). I'll go check the manager." Checks manager. "Sorry, don't carry flat screens that size." I'm not sure who is dumber, them who are morons, or me who still even bothers going there. Oh, for Canadians, the initials of the store in question are F and S. You could say it is the FUTURE of SHOPping. The Canadian equivalent of Circuit City I guess.

(/RANT)

Anyway, just cheezed off. Also the JVC S-VHS deck I was going to buy apparently does not have S-video IN, only OUT. That makes sense? $100 more for S-video in. So I bought nothing. Just drove around for a couple hours. Ah, the satisfaction of being a modern consummer.
Thanks for listening, and feel free to rant anything else you like.
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Old October 24th, 2002, 09:55 PM   #2
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Amen, brother.

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Old October 24th, 2002, 10:28 PM   #3
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You tell it like it is, Dylan. My wife and I both enjoyed your rant. I often wondered why someone who spent all day surrounded by cool consumer electronics showed such little interest in them. I know more about office equipment (my job) than you can imagine, yet personally I couldn't give a rat's ass...
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Old October 24th, 2002, 10:38 PM   #4
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I went to the same store in Lethbridge, Alberta late 98 to see about an XL1. They told me they didn't carry them because of the software package that came with the camera. I guess that was a discontuined feature ay? He then procedded to tell me that it wasn't the camera I wanted anyway as it was designed for professionals, DUH!!! He told me that I should be using something like the Optura, which he wanted something like CDN$1999 for.
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Old October 24th, 2002, 11:18 PM   #5
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I hear you, brothers! I rarely bother with electronics stores any more. The risk of eye muscle injuries when hearing some bored, under-employed, uninterested clerk say something idiotic is just too high. (From uncontrolled rolls.) Fortunately, here in downtown Chicago the real estate is far too expensive and scarce to make such stores feasible.
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Old October 24th, 2002, 11:59 PM   #6
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If you ever catch me working at such a store you will never not get me saying I know something.

And I'll be honest about it!
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Old October 25th, 2002, 12:50 AM   #7
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Here's another good one. Same store chain, different location. About a month ago.
Went to FS to buy 2 19" monitors. Found the ones I wanted on sale. They didn't have them in stock. Ambitious and stupid sales-troll says "Give me your phone number, I'll get them in and call you." OK. Fine. To my surprise, he calls me that night, says they are in, wants to know exactly when I'll come get them (so he can get his commission no doubt). Tomorrow, 1pm. OK, he won't be there, but he'll make sure someone knows about it.
I show up. No one knows nothing. They spend 20 minutes looking for these monitors. They have vanished. I'm not surprised. I bitch to the area manager. He is apologetic. I say, I need two monitors NOW, you guys screwed me over, fix it. So the only other 19" ones they have are $500cdn (compared to $350 for the others). I say make it $400 and I'll take them. No can do, best is $30 off. I know I can get these monitors at a smaller shop for $420 and I tell him. He says they could also do a 3 year extended warrentee which is worth $50. OK, that's fine. No, wait, its either $30 off, or the free warrentee! I say what kind of deal is that, I can buy it cheaper at a different store anyway! Then I notice on the monitor box it says 3 year warrentee. Extra warrentee my ass... I told them I was just going to go buy two monitors from the smaller place and save myself the hassle of dealing with them and walked out. And thats what I did.
Phew, getting all this pent up consummer rage off my chest feels great!
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Old October 25th, 2002, 01:38 AM   #8
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I was at home depot looking for a chuck for my drill recently. I don't know crap about tools, so I didn't know what a chuck was or what it looked like (turned out I only needed the key for the chuck anyway). Guess who else didn't know what a chuck was? The home depot employee!
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Old October 25th, 2002, 03:10 AM   #9
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Heya all,

I live in a far land but we have a chain of stores here, and i swear they hire monkeys. I guess they could be like best buy or something like that in the states.

They carry cd's/audio/visual/car audio/dvds and similar. This store is by far the most popular and cheapest, but nobody actually realises it is because they only carry crap.

The things i have heard them say to people is just outrageous.

eg
1. This was said to me "the dvd looks like that because that is an ntsc disc" No it wasnt ntsc, they had left it in 16x9 mode on a 4:3 tv.

2. you don't want to bother with those german brands like Loewe they are like samsung with a nice box. Umm no, they just don't stock it. But the store down the street with people of 25 years experience who know their stuff do.

3. yes that item is on sale, but we they made a mistake our store never stocked it. No it was false advertising, no branches stocked it at all, but they were perfectly willing to try and sell me one far more expensive.

4. That dvd has been delayed, i just rang the dist. house and they said there has been no copies come ashore yet. Later that night i found it in blockbuster.

5. Don't look at those b&w speakers they stock down the road, we have bose. nuff said.

Ohh man i wish i could remember more of the stories of this place, the staff are so amazingly clueless it is funny. The worst thing is that people shop there and eat up what they are told, and go home with their yum cha dvd player and a cheap crap tv and it makes me wonder.

kermie
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Old October 25th, 2002, 03:49 AM   #10
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This happened to a co-worker of mine who needed to get hold of some DAT tapes pretty quick for a gig. So he went into a major electronics store which had DAT tapes to buy some. When he looked at the tapes a sales person came up and wondered if he needed help, my co worker said "Yes, i need some DAT tapes to record some audio on.". The sales person chuckled and looked at him like he was the biggest moron on earth and said "No.. these are for data .. thats why they are called DAT you know".

My friend looked at him totally stunned and answered "Oh, i thought it was because DAT stood for Digital AUDIO Tape", pointed at the tape (where it said exactly that) and left the store never to return.

Being a sales clerk clearly does not require intelligence, honesty or any people or verbal skills :)

/Henrik
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Old October 25th, 2002, 10:49 AM   #11
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Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes.

Do you know the difference between a Lawyer and a CompUSA salesperson?

The Lawyer knows when he is lying to you.

Jeff
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Old October 25th, 2002, 11:54 AM   #12
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Ha ha, Jeff, that's a good one.

This "thing" we're experiencing is a direct result of the homogenization of America (and Americafied consumer landscapes such as Cananada and Oz -- no offense but unfortunately you guys have been Americafied beyond your control).

With the proliferation of these gigantic chains such as Home Depot, Best Buy, etc., they gotta hire the kids at only slightly more than what they'd make at McDonald's, in order to keep the prices low. You boys want intelligent counter help, go to a mom-n-pop camera store that's been in business for 20 years, they usually know what they're talking about.

Our sponsor ZGC is kinda like that... and Zotz... they're specialists. You might pay an extra $2, but in the long run it's worth it because you're dealing with folks that know the product.

Y'know when I walk into those giant retail franchise places, when I'm approached I usually tell 'em "just looking."
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Old October 25th, 2002, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Y'know when I walk into those giant retail franchise places, when I'm approached I usually tell 'em "just looking."

Chris that brings me to my biggest hate, when you say no thankyou i don't need any help, or just looking and they give you a smart ass response back or won't stop bugging you.

I come from a family business background, how dare an employee ever be rude to a customer, unless the customer is a complete jerk, you *never* are rude, that is what service is all about.

Kermie
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Old October 25th, 2002, 01:06 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, the line management of these mega-chains instill no sense of accountability or membership in their employees; that's too much like work and requires too high of a grade of management talent. Kermie, in your family's business I'd bet that the penalty for unjustifiably insulting a customer would be at least psychologically, if not financially, grim. Hey, you have to live with your family.

But this shoddy non-management style is by no means unique to retail businesses; it's a cancer in the guts of nearly every business with which I've become internally acquainted. It seems to come from the M.B.A.-style of managment that's emerged during the past 30 years. It teaches young people great calculation skills (which are rately useful in daily business) but leaves them no richer with respect to leadership skills. Consequently, at a place like Best Buy, you end up with v.p.'s focused on their bonuses and whipping their g.m.'s. The g.m.'s become grim and whip their store managers. And so on down the chain until you end up with floor clerks who (understandably) have no reason to feel allegiance or responsibility to anything except their stomachs.

Low pay is merely a visible excuse for, and embodiment of, these lazy, numbers-driven business organizations.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 04:07 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : Ha ha, Jeff, that's a good one.

This "thing" we're experiencing is a direct result of the homogenization of America (and Americafied consumer landscapes such as Cananada and Oz -- no offense but unfortunately you guys have been Americafied beyond your control).

With the proliferation of these gigantic chains such as Home Depot, Best Buy, etc., they gotta hire the kids at only slightly more than what they'd make at McDonald's, in order to keep the prices low. You boys want intelligent counter help, go to a mom-n-pop camera store that's been in business for 20 years, they usually know what they're talking about.

Our sponsor ZGC is kinda like that... and Zotz... they're specialists. You might pay an extra $2, but in the long run it's worth it because you're dealing with folks that know the product.

Chris, I agree with you completely, save for the last paragraph and my experience here may be an anomaly. When I was specing out the GL2 I went into Fry's, a large electronic chain which now also handles appliances and the like. Their digital camera salesman was knowledgeable (an older gentleman) but the price of the GL2 was $400 higher than either ZGC or Zotz. Needless to say, I thanked him and bought from one of our sponsors.
Sandy
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