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Don't go to "Super Stores"

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November 22, 2000 7:51:40 PM

OK, anyone who knows anything about computers will tell you to stay away from these "Super Stores"

(I am an A+, MCSE, and a Linux freak)

Stores like BestBuy, Costco, Sams Club, Circuit City, and the like are what im talking about. Magazines such as PC World have always given superstores horrible reviews as well. Superstores know squat about computers, every superstore I have ever been to is nothing but a team of salesmen. I just got a new 19" mointor at BestBuy and after his failure to pitch me a $50 service warranty on it one of the salesmen asked me:

"Do you have Microsoft?"

What kind of question is this? Do I own stock? Is it some sort of new disease?

This question demonstrates the stupidity of these stores. Their salemen are like used car salesmen. All talk and no content. Every single time I have asked a question to anyone at one of these stores they have to to talk to their boss to get the answer. The faceless boss never shows up to see me either.

This is why I build my own systems.

But for those of you who dont know how, you should go to a small computer shop instead. Have them build you one. It might cost a little more, but you wont be getting a monolithic P.O.S. computer from a store that couldnt care less about you. It is also my experience (with compaq corp.) that these stores also have *<font color=red>stupid</font color=red>* technicians.

Oh, and when the salesman asked "Do you have Microsoft?" I replied "No, I use Linux." :lol: 

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by niconx on 11/22/00 04:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : super stores

Anonymous
November 23, 2000 12:10:24 AM

I totally agree with you as far as these places are concerned. Someone would be nuts to actually buy a PC there. But I also think they're good places to buy retail peripherals and software, when the price is right...as long as you expect no help.
November 23, 2000 1:25:31 PM

Hmm, I actually worked at FutureShop (a Canadian electronic and computer SuperStore) for about 6 months -- but I'm really a nice guy anyway:) 
You're right, majority of people there don't know squat. However, that really doesn't create a problem for me. If you're a newbie, they know just enough to sell you a name-brand computer that, after all, is probably decently priced and will work well-enough, and all the cables are colour-coded and you can't mess it up too much and you get a recovery CD and... etc
And if you're an expert and you know your stuff, why the heck are you asking them anything??? :) 
Except to prove your own sense of superiority and to brag about it on the 'net, there's no reason to...
I'm actually their best customer -- I go in, I know what I'm looking for, and just say -- "hey, I want one of these things over here, two of those over there, and a couple of them gimmicks too". I pay and am out of store in 3 minutes, they got their commission, everybody is happy:)  They are usually reliable components at decent price that I can return if they fail and know come from reputable channels.

As far as small stores go, I would *NEVER* recommend them to a newbie... they just don't know enough to discern whether the guy is making them a good, working system, or, seeing how they wouldn't catch him in it, is selling them inferior, dated components at inflated price. I have too many friends who have custom built systems that -suck- because they didn't know better:( ((
Besides, just because s/he works in a smaller shop, doesn't necessarily imply s/he is either smarter or more decent:) 

So I guess all types of stores have their purpose in the world;-)
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Anonymous
December 4, 2000 6:58:31 AM

If you think Best Buy and them are bad, you should try Fry's electronics. There are high school kids who have better knowledge of computers than the idiots there. I think the requirements to work there is that you speak poor english, know as little about the products in your department as possible, and make people wait forever if you pay by check. The employees there compensate for their tiny brains cause their too busy to learn so they get someone else to do their work. Sometimes they'll pretend their not alive (or the customer).
December 4, 2000 1:40:56 PM

>>There are high school kids who have better
>>knowledge of computers than the idiots there

Hey, don't knock the high-school kids! :) 
Anonymous
December 15, 2000 8:57:22 AM

uh yeah unless the look for something specific they have cheap in there weekly sunday paper adds, they suck, most of their sales people are speed freaks that went to the same rehab clinque Robert Downey Jr wennt to. They are the last person I'd ask for advice on my PC , I ask my aunt Milles pet dog hiedi first.


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by john_drake on 12/15/00 05:59 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
January 19, 2001 3:08:29 AM

The only reason I would ever buy something from these guys is either to get it right away or sometimes they have clearance deals that can't be beat by pricewatch. A guy was asking me for advice about a HP 9500i series burner and there was one on sale for $130 bucks. I checked price watch and the lowest I could find was $200. I told him it was a killer deal and he ended up getting it. So they're not all bad sometimes. In terms of customer service though, they do suck big time.


- Every private citizen has a public responsibility
Anonymous
January 22, 2001 11:51:03 AM

Hehe. I send people I don't like to future shop(strangers that act like my friend for free pc advise-usually referrals). I usually recommend their e-machine P-O-S for $500.
The staff at superstores are fun to F#ck around with too. Damn I have fun tormenting them(superstore staff). Try it. Its fun.

Go in there and ask a fairly simple question.
Sir is that ram in that there computer sdram, ddr ram, pc100,pc133, pc1600,pc2100?(65% fail this question)
The guy answers- 'That computer has pc100 sdram?" I ask- at what frequency is that ram running? Duh!! The other 35% go running to the store manager. Then the store manager comes and in half the cases gets it right. Then I ask him if the ram is cas2 rated or cas 3 rated? They have absolutely no idea.

Then I make [-peep-] up like 'I heard Cas 2 ram is worse cause it hogs microsofts L cache system, which then disables the virtual reality generator for multimedia apps'.LOL
They then try to save their bacon by saying it is for sure cas 3 ram cause that P-O-S computer they are hawking is fully compatible with MS. Then I politely excuse myself, knowing full well that I have done a good deed for the day and had fun doing it.

How you ask, well most ram shipped is cas 3 especially in the [-peep-] the superstores hawk. Now the store manager knows the ram is cas 3(thanks to me). I just hope he doesn't try to explain why cas 3 ram is better than cas 2 ram.LOL
God would I love to be there when someone asked him that question-Well the L-cache... I love tormenting idiots that should know better.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by onipion on 01/22/01 08:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 22, 2001 10:42:29 PM

lol, i will have to try something like that.
Anonymous
January 23, 2001 1:39:30 AM

I used to think like you do, until I worked at a superstore, You wouldent believe the stupid things people do, I have people who want to buy another vid card and you ask them, do you want AGP or pci, and they say "huh?", whats that, then "I have agp", next day theyre back in the cust service returning it,and its the salesmans fault, I had a doctor complain about me because I told him the laptop he was buying was compatible with some diagnostic equipment he brought 2 weeks later, which I had never seen and knew nothing about, He didnt check that the diag equipment was compatible, but it was my fault he is a dickhead, morons and dickheads like that wear you down, I admit that a lot of the salesman in the store dont know much about pc's, but next time you are in a superstore think about knowing something about every device and every piece of software there, Will the latest version of Scrabble run on my win3.1, Can I use my Nokia mobile phone with this Toshiba laptop, What changes have been made from American Greetings platinum and American greetings gold, Can you save in mpeg format with this DVRaptor card, Whats the sound card in a IBM 94A, There are a lot of salesman who can do better, But have some sympathy and some respect (Hey there's a song there somewhere, LOL)


Life is a lesson, you learn it when youre through
Anonymous
January 23, 2001 2:03:01 AM

Well its good to see that a person who works/worked at a superstore is frequenting Hardware sites. Everyone I have met at a superstore in the computer department-not selling cell phones, stereos etc. but computers, is a moron when it comes to the discipline they should be well read in. I would have to guess that there are some good computer salespersons out there somewhere(but a rarety in superstores- most experts I've found are in small hardware shops).

Newbies to computers, cause they don't know any better, usually go to Superstores for advice. That is not strange it makes perfect sense. So the fact that customers in some cases do not know what they are talking about makes perfect sense. That is why it's tragic that superstores do not better educate personel to explain it to customers properly.

If they did that I wouldn't be able to have so much fun whenever I go in there to buy cheap software. Like My example above. LOL
Anonymous
January 23, 2001 4:36:11 AM

actually there are several smart high school kids, they might already learn about computer since they can walk, and might know more about us, etc
even a graduate computer engineer/computer science,etc might know less than a high school kids that is really smart in computer, or maybe like computer enough to learn everything by himself/someone else from books,etc

Irawan Setiawan
January 28, 2001 8:25:29 AM

how about on-line superstores, like buy.com? are they trustworthy?
January 28, 2001 9:21:03 PM

I worked as a best buy tech in high school. I got more then my fair of "Stupid Questions". After that I was more then sure that there are "Stupid Questions" and "Stupid People" asking them. The really great ones are the a$$holes that come in spewing "catch words" like they know what they are talking about and then bitching at us when we told them that they were wrong. One guy I wanted to hit up side the head with a baseball bat then take his POS computer slam it to the floor and do a Mexican hat dance stomp on it(Bad day and he got on my last nerve, then sat and bitched at me for 10 minutes then asked for a manager). All I could do is smile at him and call a manager. And the people with 386's and 486 that come in and ask us what it would take to stick the latest greatest cpu, graphics, sound, and harddrive under win 3.1. PLEASE, PLEASE stop sending the shallow end of the computer knowlege gene pool to the super stores. Some people just should not own computers. The reason i worked as a best buy tech was the pay was good and I didnt really have to do jack except put up with raving IDIOTS!
Anonymous
January 30, 2001 12:00:21 AM

Kal you are the perfect example of what superstores have to offer. A tragedy that newbies(as you refer to them 'idiots')go to superstores at all.

Thanks for posting.
January 30, 2001 5:25:53 AM

I dont have a problem with all newbies. The ones that realize that they dont know anything or much and ask questions that in the ballpark of relavance. The real raving idiots that ment where the ones that odviously didnt know jack and were just pulling crap out of there arses then bitch at me for 10 minutes about how I dont know what Im talking about. Trust me there are plenty of newbie Napoleans out there, once to taint their ego they just wont shut up. The other portion of the newbie community hardly bug me at all, but hearing the same questions over and over again all day, day in and day out will get to you eventally. Before I just got a little off on a rant about all the a$$holes ive had to put with.
September 30, 2002 3:53:30 PM

I go to Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. if i know EXACTLY what i'm looking for, and ask the sales ID10Ts where it is, how much, etc. (nothing that challenges their intilect too much). the only reason i go: selection and semi-decent prices.
went to Circuit city a few years back, hunting for a monitor, asked some dumb sales guy a few questions, got sackd, went looking myself, asked him about it, got stiffed... bought it anyway (Sony CPD-200 17" .24dp 1600x1200) still works like new :) .
October 21, 2002 4:06:12 AM

I've worked at Best Buy as a salesman and a technician. As a salesman, I can definitely say that the majority of my co-workers had a lot more expertise in the area of salesmanship than in computer knowledge. There are always exceptions, and there are currently a couple of very astute computer experts working on the floor at the moment. They usually have to endure the tedium of their own superiors asking them questions like "what kind of memory does a Celeron hard drive take" or something similar. This was a huge reason I left the sales side of things; that and the pressure to sell service contracts and drive revenue higher.

Since I have moved to the technicians' area, I have been much happier. I am also lucky to be working alongside co-workers who definitely know their sh!t. Two MSCE-certified techs who work at Compaq/HP in their day jobs who have 10 or 15 years of experience between them, an A+ certified IT guy with 5 years experience in the field, etc., etc. I've been in a few other Best Buys just to see how they fare, and let's just say I am VERY lucky to work with who I work with.

I have seen blow-for-blow re-enactments of the horror shows described above, and have had to deal with the fallout all too often. Its easy to blame the idiot salesman who couldn't tell a CPU from a Necco Wafer. Its also easy to blame the ignorant customer who thinks he's got a clue. The truth, you will find, often lies somewhere in between.

I'll say this, though: the majority of customers I have dealt with who have worked retail in the past are often the BEST customers to deal with, precisely because they have been on the other side of the counter, and know what it is like.

--S.
October 22, 2002 3:02:16 AM

I go to superstores just for products on sale, and that are cheaper than Pricewatch.com. Some sales people are actually pretty good, and smart. My ration to finding a good one to a idiot is 1 to 10. Not bad I guess... Anyway, I go to superstores since they have the stuff that I want. well, that's my opinion.

A ninja travel not by day, but by night.
October 22, 2002 8:32:25 PM

I concur 100%. Although after working for Best Buy I have learned that buying anything from any of those stores is a mistake. I only buy stuff there that I want to return within 30days.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America</font color=red>
October 22, 2002 11:58:09 PM

Oh boy!!!
A brand new Best Buy is opening this Friday a block away from two other electronic superstores in my neighbourhood.
It appears they are stupid from the get go because the last thing I would do is open a multimillion dollar electronic superstore in a market already saturated with superstores.
Stupid is as stupid does. Forest Gump


<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
October 26, 2002 3:30:15 PM

Here's my view: Superstores are ok for the "educated" computer buyer to purchase retail components when they are on sale. For the average home user who doesn't want to (or know how) to open his computer case they offer ok performance at a decent price. In the past I have convinced co-workers to avoid buying a Compact or Hp at Future shop and referred them to a local store. All that ends up happening is them calling me for free tech support because they really don't understand how their computers work. My parents for example have never used a computer in their lives. I've tried convincing them a few times to no avail. If I ever do manage to convince them, they'll be getting a pre-built system from one of the major outlets. Why? Because they offer decent performance, free tech support and there's always the recovery CD.

The Men Behind the GUNS!

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=327" target="_new"><b>MY SYSTEM</b></A>
October 26, 2002 6:30:44 PM

No, like the rest of us, you'll get them to buy from a major oem solely so that you don't get the inevitable phonecalls all the time.

They drive me crazy.

But, so far, I've still managed to at least keep building my family computers and putting up with the phone calls. I'm too nice. I think I'd think twice about extending my offer to friends though. It would be too much for me then.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America</font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Wingding's true identity</A>
October 26, 2002 11:58:48 PM

I went into the new Best Buy that opened where I live.
I didn't see anything of interest. All the products were priced the same as other stores.
I did have a laugh when they had several copies of Office XP Standard full version ticket priced with the Office XP Standard Upgrade version ticket price. :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
October 27, 2002 5:42:38 PM

In general I avoid emn too unless there is a deal that is too good to pass up like today with a 10% coupon an instant and mail-in rebates I got 100 Fuji (TY) cdr's 48x for 7.06 inc tax 7 cents each for some of the best disks around is great .. of course I got the last package of em lol

<font color=red><b> It may be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others</font color=red></b>
October 28, 2002 1:24:59 PM

There are some advantages of "Super Stores"
Most of which for stupid people, no offense, who buy them. Hell, I know jack about cars, and if was asked part by part to build a car, I'd have a mixture of brand new expensive ass chrome parts, and inflated crappy parts from a early 70's pile of crap.

But...Last month, I was looking through the classifieds of a paper to find a "not functioning" dell system that was "stripped" for 5 bucks. I thought, hell, 5 bucks plus the 20 minute drive would be worth it for a look. I got there, it was an old lady's house. She had bought it for her grandson, but somehow it stopped working. Apparently by stripped, she meant she had taken the software packages for herself like windows xp, and left all the rest alone. And the reason the comptuer didn't work, is somehow the hd ide cable came a little loose, so it didn't boot up.

So for 5 bucks, I got a nice p4 system, with a nice 40 gig hd, and all the rest. Since I don't need another computer as of then, I sold the parts to some buddies of mine for around 600 bucks. I kept some for myself, like the hd, dvd, etc.

All in all, I was pleased. Just in case you didn't figure it out yet, I'm never buying a pre-built machine. I'm a do-it-yourselfer all the way. ^_^
October 29, 2002 4:20:18 AM

Quote:
I got there, it was an old lady's house.


Nice morals.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 1, 2002 8:20:47 PM

I agree, but it was still funny.

<font color=blue>I want to save the world for my children, but not my children's children, because children shouldn't be having sex. - Deep Thought</font color=blue>
November 4, 2002 1:58:45 PM

I, as a technician have heard many prople say stupid things.
T=techie
M=moron
M:"I got a new modem, help me program the internet into it"
T:"Um... explain"
M:"Ya know, the thing that you put CD's into"
T:"You mean a new computer"
M:"yeah... help me program it for the internet."

Oie!

needless to say, over the years i've heard many people refer to the beige monstrocity they call a computer as many things "modem" "hard drive" "cupholder" (don't ask)

and after all this time, i simply refer to it as the Box! though other people see one piece of machinery and can't comprehend that the Box contains about a dozen, independent things (usually).
November 12, 2002 6:52:15 AM

Here's one for you

I was looking for a simple USB extention cable so i went to LondonDrugs, a superstore type place in western Canada, kind of like a smaller version of Target, but with a more Best Buy like computer department.

I was at the counter waiting to pay and there was a guy in front of me who had just bought himself a burner the day before that he couldn't get working.

The woman behind the counter looked to be mid 40's, and didn't seem to have a clue about computers.

He described that his burner didn't work at all. He said he did not get a drive letter, and it would not even read cd's. He described how he installed the software that came with his burner thinking that would work, and still, no drive letter, no functionality whatsoever.

The saleswoman's answer was that the software packaged with burners often isn't very good, so to fix his problem he should buy better burning software. She tried to sell him the most expensive suite of Adaptec, which at the time was worth about $150 Canadian. She didn't even give him a "well it might be" type answer, she was positive this would work for him.

I finally stopped him before he paid and told him that solution would do nothing to fix his problem, and that the saleswoman was totally in the wrong to tell him it would work. I said that even an inexperienced computer person should know this. If your computer doesn't even recognise it as a drive, the best burning software in the world isn't going to help.

At this point the woman was getting mad, although I'm not sure if it was because i was embarassing her, or just ruining her comission. She bugged me so much I told the guy there's like a 90% chance your problem can be fixed without spending any more money. I gave him my phone number and told him to call me when he got home and i'd see if i could walk him through the proper install.

It turned out he had the IDE conector to the motherboard in the wrong way.

Something that simple and he almost got screwed out of a hundred and fifty bucks. And to top it all off, the software she tried to sell him was the same as what was bundled with his drive.

Haven't even been in the doors to that place since.



<font color=red> We are what we pretend to be, but we better be very careful what we pretend. </font color=red>
March 1, 2003 6:42:34 PM

Clearly the sales staff at my local Best Buy (and pretty much every store in Connecticut) are what I call Droolers, but what about their computer repair departments?

I found which computer to get by looking on the internet; Best Buy's price matches prices on the internet; but what happens when I take it there for repair under their extended warranty?

I'm not optimistic about their competence, but the only other option would be to go with Compaq's own extended warranty which seems likely to involve endless phone hell and mailing off the laptop for six-week stretches.
March 2, 2003 8:40:57 PM

Unless you buy their inhome warranty, you'll end up without a computer for days, weeks, or even months. Even with the inhome warranty you might have an extended wait.

If it takes them 2 months to get you a new motherboard, you won't have a computer for 2 months. It happens. Although usually you'll have your computer back in a couple weeks

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">The French are being described as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.</A></font color=red>
March 2, 2003 8:45:41 PM

Your best bet, and if you're here you probably have a decent clue about computers, is to build your own PC.

By building your own PC you can buy retail parts which provide a 3+ year warranty without spending an extra couple hundred bucks.

Looking back at problems I've had with my computer:
1. Hard drive died: under warranty, got all my money back
2. Memory stick died: under warranty got a replacement

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">The French are being described as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.</A></font color=red>
March 3, 2003 2:43:54 AM

I only recently found out that an average, above-average-intelligence person (as it were) can build their own PC (always assumed only mega-hi-tech factories could). Would love to build my own desktop and I'm sure I could... but from what you said it sounds like people build their own laptops too. I didn't know that... is there a good website or book on Notebook PC-Building for first-timers who can catch on pretty quickly?
March 3, 2003 3:57:13 AM

Grrr.....and my advice fails. Building a laptop is not reasonable.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">The French are being described as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.</A></font color=red>
March 3, 2003 3:58:05 AM

Nonetheless, those warranties aren't that great.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">The French are being described as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.</A></font color=red>
September 24, 2012 2:31:45 PM

327goat said:
Here's one for you

I was looking for a simple USB extention cable so i went to LondonDrugs, a superstore type place in western Canada, kind of like a smaller version of Target, but with a more Best Buy like computer department.

I was at the counter waiting to pay and there was a guy in front of me who had just bought himself a burner the day before that he couldn't get working.

The woman behind the counter looked to be mid 40's, and didn't seem to have a clue about computers.

He described that his burner didn't work at all. He said he did not get a drive letter, and it would not even read cd's. He described how he installed the software that came with his burner thinking that would work, and still, no drive letter, no functionality whatsoever.

The saleswoman's answer was that the software packaged with burners often isn't very good, so to fix his problem he should buy better burning software. She tried to sell him the most expensive suite of Adaptec, which at the time was worth about $150 Canadian. She didn't even give him a "well it might be" type answer, she was positive this would work for him.

I finally stopped him before he paid and told him that solution would do nothing to fix his problem, and that the saleswoman was totally in the wrong to tell him it would work. I said that even an inexperienced computer person should know this. If your computer doesn't even recognise it as a drive, the best burning software in the world isn't going to help.

At this point the woman was getting mad, although I'm not sure if it was because i was embarassing her, or just ruining her comission. She bugged me so much I told the guy there's like a 90% chance your problem can be fixed without spending any more money. I gave him my phone number and told him to call me when he got home and i'd see if i could walk him through the proper install.

It turned out he had the IDE conector to the motherboard in the wrong way.

Something that simple and he almost got screwed out of a hundred and fifty bucks. And to top it all off, the software she tried to sell him was the same as what was bundled with his drive.

Haven't even been in the doors to that place since.



<font color=red> We are what we pretend to be, but we better be very careful what we pretend. </font color=red>


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