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The modern shopping experience

Today it\’s generally acknowledged that shops have to offer service to survive, and whilst they are not at American service levels, the British high street has made some progress, or so I thought.

Earlier this week our digibox for Freeview decided to revert to factory condition, and I spent about 10 minutes setting it up again.  Then it did it again, and again and again….  So it was to be replaced.  I decided that given HD and Freeview HD and HDMI connections and so forth are imminent for the Bryant household, it\’s not yet right and so something better than a digibox, but not a full Windows MCE machine or a full recoding DVD/Hard Disk recorder was called for.  A bit of research later and I was interested in the Ivnerto Hard Disk record with 2 Freeview tuners from the Superfi web site was interesting, and they had a store in Coventry very close to where we were going a few days later.

When we got to the store and made our request to see the unit we were told that it was a web only thing.  Great.  So \”why not put that on the web site?\” Erm, possibly…  On the way out we say a very similar unit in the window.  We did not go back in…

So to the Sony Centre, they had a nice sleek, functional, slightly more expensive unit on display.  Knowing that Sony were a good brand, we decided a few extra quid would be worth it for reliability and quality.  Oh were we wrong…  The unit makes more noise than a rewinding video recorder, ALL THE TIME EVEN IN STANDBY MODE!  it is definitely not fit for purpose.

So it\’s going back.  But hey, despite the \”if you have a problem you can go to any Sony Centre\” answer – I cannot.  Sony Centre\’s are not 1 chain, they are franchises and I am supposed to drive 4 1/2 hours there and back to the town of purchase to get my money back.  Alternatively if I ship it back they\’ll pay for half the postage.  And what\’s more, when I rang Sony they were neither worried about the unit being noisy, nor about me being misled by the Sony Centre Shop; they say they have nothing to do with them, even though the Sony name is above the door, and they only sell Sony products.  Apparently I should have noticed the small sign on the wall behind the tills telling me all this.

Well I didn\’t, and I told Sony I didn\’t, and I no longer regard Sony as a reliable brand, and I told them.  And they don\’t care.  Enough said, it\’s going back.

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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