Laptop Flop, Part 5

| Antananarivo, Madagascar | Working | September 24, 2013

(In my country, high import taxes mean that all computer stuff costs much more than abroad. I’ve wanted a laptop for a long while, but those were always slightly out of my financial reach. Then, a particular store decides to sell laptops that are exactly the right balance between low price and acceptable performance. Their ad mentions ‘available in-store right now.’ I decide to pick up one. I show up at the store on July 15th.)

Me: “Excuse me, I’m here to get a [laptop model mentioned in their ad].”

Employee #1: “Oh, we don’t carry those. I don’t think we ever did.”

Me: “Uh… your ad in today’s newspaper says you do. Actually, it says you started selling those last week.”

Employee #1: “Uh? I wasn’t aware of that. Let me check…”

(He leaves for one minute, and directs me to his colleague.)

Employee #2: “I’m sorry, sir. We have a small problem with dim-witted employees. We do indeed carry this model, but it’s not available in-store. You have to pay a ten per cent deposit, and then come to pick it up here at the store on July 31st.”

Me: “That’s not what your ad says.”

Employee #2: “We also have a problem with over-enthusiastic advertisers, sir.”

Me: “And you don’t do home delivery.”

Employee #2: “No, sir. Only in-store pickups.”

(I’m a bit put-off by having to wait over two weeks for my laptop, but I still decide to go along and pay the required deposit. After all, the store is widely-known and I haven’t heard anything bad about them. On July 29th, I get a call.)

Employee #3: “I’m sorry, but we have a small problem. Apparently, your laptop wasn’t included in the wares we received today. I’m afraid you can’t get it until August 8th after all.”

Me: “Um… okay, then.”

(I’m annoyed, but don’t say anything. On August 8th, I show up at the store as expected.)”

Me: “Hi. I’m here to pick up my [laptop model].”

Employee #4: “Uh? Why are you showing up now? This model isn’t supposed to be available until next week.”

Me: “One of you told me to come today. And, if you’ll check my order, you’ll notice that you’re already over a week late for delivery.”

Employee #4: *checks the order* “Oh… right. Well, they were mistaken. We don’t actually expect to receive that model until August 16th. You’ll have to come back then. Sorry for the delay.”

(I’m starting to lose patience, but I don’t want to be ‘that customer,’ so I stay polite and agree to come back the following week. I go back on August 16th.)

Me: “Hi. Is my [laptop model] available yet?”

Employee #5: “That model isn’t supposed to be available until the end of this month, sir.”

Me: “You’re joking, right?”

Employee #5: “Afraid not, sir. What’s the pickup date listed on your order?”

Me: “July 31st. Then August 8th. Then August 16th. You guys keep delaying it! You can’t have me wait for another two weeks and pretend that everything’s normal!”

Employee #5: “Oh. If you cannot wait, sir, we’ve had [different laptop model] available in-store for weeks now. It’s more expensive than the model you ordered, though.”

Me: “Which is why I didn’t get it to begin with. Well, forget it. If you’re not going to give me a laptop today, for the price I was ready to pay, just give me back the money I already gave you and cancel my order.”

(To their credit, they only negotiate for another 10 minutes before refunding me in full. I go out and find another store that allows me to get a better laptop, for an actually lower price, even if it takes another four days to get it. I promise to never shop at the first store again if I can avoid it. Fast forward to September 2nd, when my phone rings while I’m at work.)

Employee #2: “Hello, Mr. [Name]? The [laptop model] is available in store now. You can come to our store anytime to pick up yours!”

Me: “Now you’re just f****** with me.”

 

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