On Sunday, my wife and I dropped into our local Best Buy to look at the computers.
I'm not sure why we continue to go there, with all the annoyance they've caused us in the past, but we did anyway. We were looking for some cheap replacement computers for our kids. Their current ones are handoffs from us that are old enough, parts are starting to fail. Old enough that I won't mention which CPUs those are running to avoid embarrassment.
Anyway, in the PC desktop aisle, we were looking at an inexpensive eMachines with a Sempron, a gig of RAM, and multi-hundred GB disks. Since our kids mainly play Runescape, Adventure Quest, and other online games like that, or Freddy The Fish type things, and occasionally write papers, these machines don't need a lot of horsepower. One of the salesdroids approaches us and asks if we need assistance. My wife asks if they have any of that model in stock.
What followed was one of the most impressive examples of anti-sales I've ever seen. The droid spends 5-10 minutes trying to keep us from buying that machine, never actually answering whether they had one. I realize the droid was actually trying to upsell us something else, but he never moved beyond putting down the one we had picked.
- He pointed out that it only had a Sempron in it. I tried to point out that moving from 600-700 MHz Pentium III class machines to a 2.2 GHz Sempron was going to be quite a step up, but that appeared not to impinge on his awareness, so determined was he to downplay this system.
- He pointed out that it didn't have any built-in security software. I explained I already had a subscription and planned to extend it to those machines.
- He pointed out that "it doesn't have a graphics card". I was stunned. I asked if it didn't have a graphics card, how was it running Vista right now, in front of me? "Okay, it has a video card, but no graphics card."
- Not only did the integrated NVidia GeForce 6100 not qualify as a graphics card, it didn't have any memory. He was on a roll, so I didn't get to point out that the DDR RAM on this system that the GeForce 6100 shared with the CPU was probably faster than the dedicated VRAM on one of the systems being replaced.
My wife had already bailed early on. I finally said, "You're right, you've sold me. Thanks!" and walked off. I felt briefly like complaining, but past history has suggested that wouldn't be at all fruitful.
Are they on commission again? Bonuses for department-wide higher-tickets items? Or just utterly clueless?