Saturday, March 1, 2014

Personal Note.

Today was a long day, for a weekend (I actually get weekends now!).  The first half of the day was evenly split between Thief and the Games of March post, and the plan was for Kayla and I to go computer shopping today.  I have become truly sick of my ageing desktop's inability to handle high-def YouTube videos and wanted something better.  I didn't want to go nuts - I don't need a gaming rig (that's what my consoles are for), just something I can reliably work on.

But - unfortunately - Kayla became truly sick in a literal sense, and we couldn't see each other (she doesn't want to get me sick, and, what with the new job, I don't want her to get me sick).  I felt compelled to pursue the computer, regardless.  Yesterday I visited a custom computer joint.  I called ahead, a Best Buy flyer in hand, and confirmed with a sales guy that yes, they'll beat Best Buy's price on a 1TB HDD 8GB RAM PC by 25% of the difference - that's their guarantee!  It was almost impossible to get off the phone with the fellow - every question I asked came not with a mere response, but an epic diatribe of technobabble that seemed to come from a very nervous place.

Yes, they'd beat Best Buy's price ($600) on the computer by 25% of the difference and yes, they have one ready to go in the store!  So I went to check it out.  The computer they were offering didn't have the 2GB video card Best Buy had - but I'm not going to be playing games, I don't really need one.

I waited in a line for about ten minutes before someone spoke to me - the same fellow I'd spoken to on the phone!  Turns out, no, they won't beat Best Buy's price on the near-identical PC.

"Why?  Because its specs are identical except it has an actual 2GB video card instead of an integrated system on the motherboard with zero memory?"

"None of the components are identical - it's got 8GB of RAM, but this RAM is different."  The Best Buy PC and this dude's were both using standard DDR3, but I wasn't prepared to interrupt the beginning of another epic monologue of ridiculous technobabble that must surely prove an effective snow job for most of their customers. They assure me theirs is actually better, and there's no comparing a computer's specs - though they couldn't actually tell me what the components of Best Buy's computer were (motherboard aside, Best Buy's had better components).  But no, they got out of the agreed-upon price match via bullshit semantics.

That little fucker lied to me.

And did they have one available to sell me?  Nope.  They'd take my phone number and assemble one for me and it would be ready in two days!

That little fucker lied to me twice.

Okay.  "So I can come pick it up on Sunday then?"

"Oh no, the build team isn't in on weekends."

"So when you say two days you mean..?"

"Two business days."

"Ah."  That little fucker.

So I stood there and let the guy who lied to me three times, by my reckoning, run around grabbing all the components for my computer, which would end up costing me $780 after all was said and done.

Ridiculous.  They didn't need to take a deposit for the build - just a phone number.  I walked out feeling quite abused - and compelled.  I decided I had four days (minimum) to find a better deal somewhere else. I checked out another independent store, I checked out Staples, Best Buy and Future Shop  (no go at Best Buy & Future Shop - all their off-the-shelf systems come with Windows 8 pre-installed - so no sale).

Then, I walked back into Staples and bought the exact same system for $499, along with a 2TB external drive.  Oh, and some awesome pens.  I love these pens.

It runs beautifully.  The only headache will be rebuilding my iTunes library, and reassembling all my playlists from scratch again.

I really should standardize my music files.

And now it's 11:30, I'm getting sleepy, and I want to get in some Thief before bed.  I'll finish The Games of March post tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Never let your guard down when buying computers. I learned that the hard and expensive way.

    They only thing that made me feel better about it was that they were so good at cultivating the affable/lovable IT guy bit, I didn't blink when they sold me a graphics card that could bare run the damn internet. There's a lot more to that story, but it's all "did I say that card? I meant THIS card" boring stuff. Suffice it to say, I'm glad I at least got fleeced by pros.