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.
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!