My Nan, a Laptop and an annoying sales man in Currys

Posted by danblog on August 29, 2010 in Ranting |

So yesterday I had to take a train (because cars out of action) to Portsmouth to see my Nan as she’s just has broadband installed so needed to update her Antiquated old PC with an Ethernet card and run updates as well as buying her a nice little laptop. You know, to get her on the line.

Now the first thing that began to strike me with this was when I began setting up her VirginMedia account when first connected to broadband, while its perfectly simple for myself, and even the average person for an all be it perfectly mobile 60+ yr old its not so easy to work out.

The laptop…

So we went round a few of the shops looking at all the laptops trying to find something which has everything she needs to check her emails, browse onlines and skype with her sister in Tenerife. Now we find a couple but most are priced ridiculously and we eventually settle on a nice little Acer Aspire 5334, 3GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, Dual Core 2Ghz CPU, and of course a nice 1.3Mp web cam and a half decent price at £399. Perfect!

Now by this point we have spoke to a couple of salespeople from each store, most were more than helpful and didn’t force the extras, do you want? .. No. Ok. You know, how it should be? But the last salesman we called over in Currys to actually buy the laptop just could not help himself, and even resorted to some nasty scare tactics. He claimed that if you don’t use a paid Anti-virus like Norton (which is just an extra £59.99!) that you were totally unsecure when shopping online, and those silly little free ones are worth nothing! (even though if you get the right ones they often do a better job than Norton by a long shot!). Of course at this point my Nan who doesn’t know much if anything about computers is looking rather worried, and if it wasn’t for me there to say know could very easily have ended up paying £60 for something she doesn’t really need… because hey… shes going to browse a few sites and not much else and VirginMedia provide some ok protection software for free, and she has me on standby to help if something does go wrong.

And then we get to the till… and of course the dreaded “Would you like to take out our insurance?!!!!” comes… No thank you. But why?! … Because it’s a waste of money… It will sit on a coffee table and barely leave the living room. So chances are if it breaks it will be a manufacturers fault – which by the way, you have 3 years for electrical goods under UK law.. Not 1 – and should she drop it down the stairs and it breaks, she has house insurance if she doesn’t want to pay out for a new one!

Of course he persists with how its needed and its only £8.99/month! I was not happy by the end of this encounter as he has just infuriated me at the bull he tried to use to pressure my Nan and me into buying more than we wanted.

The best bit I found was when he had the cheek to say “From one expert to another” to me while trying to say how to secure the system… Argh.

The whole encounter has made me realise just how much someone who isn’t computer literate can easily end up spending on simply getting online.

Poorly Written Rant OVER!

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  • Currys Employee says:


    Just to point out Norton would be £29.99 when bought with a laptop, but yes, there are much better and I totally agree with you, but not the free one’s they are crap!

    Do you know if you shop online, and you got your identity stolen and some money, the bank will NOT give you the money back which was stolen, as you were using Free Anti-Virus, this is happening now more than ever. But, by all means, go elsewhere than currys, but please buy anti-virus, Kaspersky, WebRoots etc…

    Also, sales staff are under tremendous pressure from the useless managers…
    The sort of cocky, young lads who work there way up in the company and think they are gods gift, and do not know the 1st thing about management and leadership.
    Some sales staff think the way which Currys is run is the best ever, these themselves are the targets to become new managers…

    I could go on forever,
    Fact is, pay for Anti-Virus and avoid the cocky salespeople, and if they seem pushy but look as though they are feeling a bit awkward doing so, think about the pressure they are under, just to keep a job

  • Dan says:

    If it was only £30, I *might* consider it, but it was definitely £50+…

    This guy didn’t seem to mind giving plenty of scare tac-tics, he was just an arse tbh, it was a situation where it seemed like he had been told the money was going straight into his back pocket.

    I understand that they are put under pressure, and at the time it did seem like there was a lot of people on the shop floor, and annoyingly enough it seemed that they were either stood around chatting to each other… and then when you need them they vanish or say “I’ll just go get someone for you” lol…

    Still got the laptop, and using VirginMedia’s protection, which I am sure isn’t great but it will do, I doubt my nan will be doing banking or shopping online for some time!

    I had her calling me today because no internet on laptop… She clicked the wifi on/off button! ><

  • David says:

    Dan, I agree with your gripes, but why not buy from somewhere else?

    Imagine: they ask you one too many questions, tell one too many lies and after having a sale pretty much assured, lose it.  Might teach them a lesson, though I suppose it might feel a bit awkward..

    Currys Employee – “Do you know if you shop online, and you got your identity stolen and
    some money, the bank will NOT give you the money back which was stolen,
    as you were using Free Anti-Virus”

    Free anti-virus isn’t crap – some are better than others, of course, but the one I use has never let me down.  As for banks not giving money back — they’ll try on whatever they can.  Perhaps customers that are willing to accept that excuse are better paying for the unneccessary anti-virus; then when the bank finds a different excuse…  🙂

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