Well, I tried. After doing my best to ignore the fact that christmas was only a matter of weeks away, I decided yesterday to try and get most of my off-line shopping done in one go.
And then I chose to do it at PC World.
For those who don’t know PC World in the UK, they currently run a tv advertisement claiming “Internet prices to take with you” or something like that. Internet prices maybe, but products – not always.
I selected a really good camera deal for a friend of mine which was advertised throughout the store, and proceeded to the checkout – and paid for it. Fine. All good so far.
Then the cashier advised me that I needed to find a floor walker to get the product out of the stock room for me. Anyone who has tried to find a floor walker in PC World or their sister stores, Currys and Dixons, will know that its probably easier at this point to give up and simply shop online.
After about 4 laps of the store – where I saw only one floor walker, who was being pursued by about 3 customers – I eventually caught the manager and asked him where they all were. He found me a scraggy looking chap (ok, maybe he was an undercover security guard, who knows) who quickly took my receipt and disappeared into the storeroom.
And I waited. And then waited a bit more. Seemed a long time but was probably about 10 minutes, I guess. Ample time to go to the location in the stockroom where their stocks of the product sat, and bring me one out.
Instead, out he came empty-handed. “I’m sorry, there are none left in stock”, he matter-of-factly told me. “So why did you take my money at the checkout for it?” I asked.
“It’s not my fault, I just went to look for the product for you and there are none there”. At this point, I decided we were getting nowhere and so returned to the cashier and demanded a refund.
“I’m sorry, you will have to go to the Advice and Repairs counter” he told me. Great, another queue.
More time wasted, waiting to unpick PC World’s mess. Eventually I proceeded to the counter – only to be told that actually there were only two tills for the three assistants, and a customer was in discussions in front of one. So I would have to wait until they were finished.
And so I lost my temper. He quickly moved the non-buying customer aside and then studied my receipt like it was in ancient Greek. So I lost my temper again.
Eventually I received a “refund” – well, can it be called a refund for a product you never even took delivery of? Don’t know – but I do know I won’t be going back to PC World again in a hurry.