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And they wonder why retail is dying ….

I was having a chat with my father today, and to be honest he knows very little about technology. I would imagine quite a few people (although not all) in their late 50’s/60’s+ would find technology rather bewildering. Especially as they aren’t living it daily, like us.

He was complaining that his laptop is very slow and that he needs a new one. He bought it about 14 months ago and its actually not a bad machine – although certainly not state of the art. It has a dual core Core i3 processor, 4 GB of ram and Windows 7 installed. He picked it up for quite a deal at the time, paying very little and under my recommendation. The only problem was, it didn’t have an SSD installed and he wasn’t willing to pay extra for the next model up. SSD’s were quite expensive then.

As he tends to only use Word, surf the internet and check gmail, I didn’t think it was an issue. He has recently gotten a good SLR camera (finally making the move from film to digital) and he said his image editing software was very slow when opening the pictures from the drive. I am not sure what he is using, but ill find out.

I spoke to him late Sunday and he said that he didn’t want to spend £1300 on a new laptop but he was going to look into his savings account as he had to upgrade.

???

After a bewildered pause I asked him what he was talking about and he said he was in PCWORLD at the weekend and a member of staff advised he get a new Sony Core i7 machine with 1TB of storage, bluray drive and additional 5 year warranty (for another £300 I think!). Yes, not even an SSD in the machine, either. Excellent work there.

So after a longer chat, my father explained that the representative explained the Core i3 processor was at fault and it was ‘too slow for editing photographs’. Bear in mind he has a 12 MP second hand SLR not a medium format camera with 80MP+ images.

So I told him not to buy it and to keep the £1,300, I have just bought him a new 240GB SSD and ill mirror his drive this week and replace it (or reinstall the OS from fresh).

Ive upgraded a sluggish machine with an SSD before and it breathes new life into an older system with a mechanical drive, especially if its a bargain basement 5,400 rpm model. I don’t see the need to spend £1,300 on a new laptop just to edit a few pictures. Knowing my dad, he will won’t be taking that many.

So, here is the question….

Anyone else experienced a shoddy sales rep in the past, looking to fleece an uneducated person? They say sales mechanics are bad with women (especially in the motor industry), but I think we have a new breed of sales guy.

In this troubled time for physical retail stores, shouldn’t they be using the only advantage they have? The ‘Face to Face’ experience? Some people feel more comfortable talking to people and asking questions afterall. They certainly can’t compete on pricing, as they have staff, electricity and rent to pay.

They wonder why online etailers are cleaning up. When we get into the next generation of computer users who are getting older – those people like you and me – who have a clue …. Retail is dead.

Kitguru says: I plan on visiting the store in question and finding out who spoke to my father. Fat lot of good it will do, but ill feel better.

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