I was recently asked by a member of my family if I could help them set up their new high-end HP computer purchased at Future Shop that kicked the can a month into its operation. Of course, still being under warranty, they brought it back for repair on March 31st. I’m now writing this on April 17th, and so far, dealing with the local Future Shop has been nothing but an exercise in frustration and futility. Even if the problem with the machine was a hardware issue, a large retail store like that should have one or two day turnarounds at worst. I do realize that HP deals with distributors and that Future Shop needs to wait on parts from them, but this is just plain ridiculous. The worst of it is, they are stuck in a perpetual loop of saying the machine will be ready “tomorrow” every time they get called out for taking too long. In this case, I guarantee you the fault does not lie with HP, it’s probably just a case of some kids not know what they are doing or who just aren’t willing to work. In any case, it’s pretty hard to keep from feeling screwed over when something like this happens. Now I feel obliged to point out that this phenomenon isn’t limited to Future Shop, it’s pretty common in many retail stores around the world in many industries.
The moral of the story is that many people are afraid of getting screwed over online when in fact the experience in a local store will often be far worse. Whether you are afraid that you won’t get good customer service or the item won’t ever be shipped out to just plain old getting ripped off, there are lots of tricks that can save you time, boatloads of money and frustration. Watch out for a series of guides coming up which will help you get great deals and stay safe buying online. I guarantee that if you are armed with sufficient knowledge you’ll be getting the best deals out there in no time. Stay tuned!