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Thinking about buying a laptop computer?

Updated on September 30, 2011

Where do I go ?

I have just a few days ago experienced one of the most annoying things that I think most shoppers experience when considering purchasing a computer, but either put up with and accept as being the norm when out shopping, or go away and not bother. My last lap top I bought online, and consider I had a good deal – searched for best deals, read reviews, pressed the buttons, made payment, job done. No hassle – probably took me one hour and within the week, one shinny new lap top exactly what I wanted ready to go happy days!

Last weekend, went out with my brother in law to buy a lap top for him as he had seen a “good deal” advertised on the television and what I experienced was the equivalent of being bullied into buying double glazing in your home – only you are going to their premises for the privilege.

What was he looking for?

My brother in law is not computer literate, he just wanted to have a lap top so that he can sit next to his wife with it on his lap, surfing the usual auction sites and manage any photographs he takes whilst he is out and about so a lap top with memory to match his needs, plus a basic word processor should he want to type a letter. The other refinements he required was an HDMI output socket and it had to be wireless, though most new are now.

This is what happened.

Having found the one as advertised on the television which cost £450 the sales assistant informed him that the lap top on display was an end of line product and the display model was the last one they had. He could purchase it for £399, but would have to wait 45 minutes whilst it was restored to the original new state. He was also shown the newer model which was up at £475, however he decided to have the end of line model. Whilst waiting and completing the paperwork he was then told that he could have a office suite costing £98 for an amazing £50 if he purchased with the lap top, bearing in mind he had already said he didn’t want one as there would be a basic one already on there. This he declined the sales assistant then suggested an antivirus, lap top case and a mouse for £50 again if he purchased it with the lap top. Then to top it all he offered a 24 hour support service for a “modest” monthly payable fee. This was also declined, but by now he was determined to get the lap top at the agreed price.

BINGO! The sales assistant had finally got the message. In total we had driven out to the store, spent time in the store putting up with the “spiel” from the shop assistant and returned home- in all 2 hours.


I am not a computer buff in anyway or form, I keep things simple, look on the internet, get some idea of what I want and press those buttons. Potentially that sales assistant was on to turn a £399 sale into £499 plus commission on the support service, at the expense of the poor buyer who would probably get a lap top he dosen’tneed

You see the high street losing out to the internet – I wonder why!


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    • badgeroo profile image

      paul badger 6 years ago from Worcester, England

      thanks larry71

    • larry71 profile image

      Larry 6 years ago from Illinois

      But hoping all is well with the computer that he got.

      I agree with you though. the customer satisfaction policy is very important. Should be every stores top goal. A happy customer is a customer that talks, and a talking happy customer is the best advertisement in the world.

    • larry71 profile image

      Larry 6 years ago from Illinois

      The television ad will not state this. Well not if the ad is for the manufacturer anyway. And more times than not, wont state it for the retailer either. Sales only happen for 3 primary reasons. 1. a new product and they want one in every home as fast as possible.

      2. the item isn't moving off the shelf and they need to make room for new product. 3. The product is old and need to make room for new product. And as sad as it is, even if a product has reached this state that this computer was. They aren't telling you or anyone else as long as there is one in the box in the back. Because they want as much money for every item possible. Those in the know get the display models when possible anyway. With the added protection. So if something does happen they get the newer model at a reduced rate. Because they know the old one is no longer available and most likely will be told it's cheaper to replace with a new one than to repair.

    • badgeroo profile image

      paul badger 6 years ago from Worcester, England

      Thanks Larry71

      I agree for the most however, the condition of the computer was not stated in the television ad, The extra sale items were handed out stating "These are for you!" and the store has a policy of "Matching a computer to your needs!" and his needs was established from the start. The software was offered even though it was agreed he did not need it. You are right that targets are set in those type of jobs however,There is also a policy that should also be observed and that is "customer satisfaction." thanks again!

    • badgeroo profile image

      paul badger 6 years ago from Worcester, England

      Thanks suzie Duzy

    • larry71 profile image

      Larry 6 years ago from Illinois

      I'm glad you posted this hub. It gives me the opportunity to respond.

      In essence your expectation of a sales associate is to only do what you feel they need do. Only show up when you feel the need. But when you don't see them you complain no one was there to help.

      When in fact they have a job to do assigned by a corporate office with specific duties, and to not perform these duties risk losing their job.

      Every question they ask, all the information they provide and all additional items they offer are mandated to them to do so. So for them to not offer this is a direct violation of their job and risk being written up, repremanded or even terminated.

      Now on the point some sales associates keep going after being told no. That can be seen as being pushy I agree.

      However some companies mandate you to go past the first no and some even the second. Which means they ask 3 times, do you want this or that. It's called rebuttleing.

      There is a limit I agree, but as sales people are trained to never take the first no as no. Unless body language and voice inflection indicate otherwise.

      Let's say for instance you went into the computer store and purchased this computer you mentioned. And the sales associate did not tell you it was outdated and there is a newer model. Then he didn't explain it needed to be brought upto a "like new" state before he sold it just to get it out the door for his commission.

      How then would you feel that after you got it home it had problems only to return to the store to find this information out by a "customer service" associate?

      Who would you blame? I bet it would be blamed on the sales associate. Am I right? Of course I am.

      Perhaps it's time to just listen to what's being said and learn something from the sales people, let them do their job. And at the end simply reply, I don't require the extra items and services but thank you for offering.

      For those people who work on commission are like factory workers who get paid by the piece. The more pieces you produce the more money you get. Would you ask a factory worker to limit their pay check? If not then don't ask a sales associate to do it.

      And let's remember the purchaser of said item wasn't and isn't fully aware of all the item offers or is capable of. So this particular sales associate did him a huge favor by telling him what was going on with the item. He should have been thanked for doing a good job, not complained about on a blog.

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 6 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Thans for a good hub.