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I'll be at the online store...
I'm not sure whether I'm expecting too much, but I (again) had one of those "I'll never again buy offline" experiences. I went to the local Apple dealer (Gravis) to get some more information on the graphics cards they're offering. I was actually intending to go there and buy Myst IV and one particular graphics card from them right there in the store.
When I went into the store, I looked around to see whether any of these was on display to inform myself. Nope. No Myst, no Graphics card. Okay, so wait for the shop guy's phone call to finish, and ask him. The first thing was that they don't have Myst IV, at all. Well, okay, I'm flexible. I can get that somewhere else.
So, the graphics card, an ATI Radeon 9000 AGP. No, he said, it's 9200. Well, I was pretty sure it was a 9000 because I'd wondered what the difference between the offered 9000 with 128 MB and 9200 with 64 MB was. So, silly me asked him. He didn't know. Then he called up the products in their database, and lo and behold: There *was* the 9000.
I at least managed to coerce him into trying to find out what the difference was. Well, sort of: He called up ATI's web site on one of the shop computers and opened a window each for the Radeon 9800 and 9200 (well 50% right has got to be worth something), and encouraged me to try and make sense of this on my own. Luckily I managed to call up the 9000 instead, to find ATIs site only offered less-than-enlightening buzzwords. Note that I said coerced: When he said he didn't have info here, and I'd probably have to get some more information from ATI, I had to ask him whether he could perhaps do that here.
After this, he mentioned that he only had the 9200 PCI in stock, and the others would have to be ordered, to be there in about 5 days. I said I'd look around somewhere else and left the shop.
I mean, honestly, what use is this shop to me?
Why would I ever again try to buy something there? They provide worse service than the average shop web site. The only advantage of this physical shop is that if I know they have a product in stock, I can drive there (it's in the next city), and pick it up and use it today. Or if I want to find out how the new Apple keyboard feels, I can try it out on one of the computers on display there.
- They can't tell me the difference between several equivalent items In their own one-page catalog.
- They don't deliver to my doorstep, but take 2 days longer to order things for me to their shop than the average mail-order shop -- which, incidentally, will deliver to my doorstep
- They're not particularly cheap
And lest someone say I probably caught an intern: The clerk I talked to is one of the two people I've seen there every time I went there, and based on his age, I'd guess he's a co-owner, or the oldest intern in history.
And here I actually wanted to buy something from them.