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  1.    #1  
    I just had to share this. I went into the local Staples today to pick up a couple of things. Unfortunate, but necessary. So anyway, I migrate over to the PDA section and I am having a look around. The associate is asks me if I own a PDA. I tell him I do, the new Sony Clie. He tells me that I should have held out. He has inside information that PalmOS is no longer going to be produced. Every single PDA manufacturer is going over to PocketPC. He tells me I definately should have waited.

    I politely explained that, in my opinion, that was ludicrous. He assured me one of his distributors had passed along a document claiming PalmOS was history. Give me a break. I flat told him there was no way I believed that. I also politely explained that there was no way I would trade my PalmOS device for a PPC and many others felt the same way.

    I mean, if I wanted PPC, I would not have to "hold out" to get one. They are readily available today.

    It just really irritated me. I can only assume what this guy is telling some poor customer who knows nothing about PDA's.

    Oh well, after I got over the irritation, I did find a bit of humor in it.
    In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. JOHN 14:2
  2. #2  
    I don't listen to Staples associates. They never know what they're talking about.
    The year *after* the iMac resuscitated Apple, I was in a Staples looking for a Macintosh magazine that they carried the previous month (it appears that was the last month they did). Asked an associate who, without bothering to help me, flatly stated "Apple is dead." I rolled my eyes and walked out.
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by Yorick
    I don't listen to Staples associates. They never know what they're talking about.
    The year *after* the iMac resuscitated Apple, I was in a Staples looking for a Macintosh magazine that they carried the previous month (it appears that was the last month they did). Asked an associate who, without bothering to help me, flatly stated "Apple is dead." I rolled my eyes and walked out.
    I've learned the same thing about Staples employees. Now when asked if I need help I simply tell them "no" and continue about my shopping. If I need to get something locked up in a case THEN and ONLY THEN do I ask them for assistance. Why would I need THEIR help on something if I could probably talk circles around them?
    You know it's bad when your Calculus Professor uses the word "Unpossible"

    "It's a long way from my thoughts to what I'll say, It's a long, long way from paradise to where I am today." -Switchfoot, Home
  4. #4  
    a staples associate told me that the phone that Neo used in The Matrix was an Ericsson ... i and walked away ...

    yeah, i wrote that ...
  5. #5  
    Any one of us could outsell any of those guys 100 to 1.
    That IS a Palm III form-factor in my pocket, AND I'm happy to see you.
  6. #6  
    GSR13:

    You should know better than that! NEVER assume that you will get REAL knowlege or advice out of a 'sales associate' at any of the big-box stores.

    I've been looking for those 3" CD labels. I called best buy the other day asking for them:

    "Yep, we have them"

    you sure?

    "Yes, the 3" CD labels, right?"

    Right. I'm surprised you have them...most people don't.

    "Well, we have them"

    Great, I'll drive out there.

    I get there:

    "Never heard of them"

    I CALLED YOUR STORE...YOU SAID YOU HAD THEM!

    "Well, we don't. Sorry."

    I REALLY hate best buy...
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #7  
    Unfortunately, this is not just true at Staples. Too many of these big chain stores(office, computer, pet, hardware, etc.) have incredibly minimal training and little experience is necessary. The staff is generally not well paid and often develops an attitude about 'customer service'.

    Want to see something scary? Check out 'www.customerssuck.com'. A LOT of the stories here are situations where the sales person was in the wrong or poorly trained- and here they are bragging about it!

    Part of the problem, of course, is the management. In trying to maximize profits, they actual cut their own sales by having such poor sales staff. When I worked retail, our bosses emphasised training and product familiarity- sales and morale was good. Several years later, a new crop of managers decided that things were going well, so who needs that much training? Things started to slide, and in an effort to keep profits up, they started hiring cheaper help and cutting training even more.

    I found myself selling Visors to people at CompUSA when I would see them looking at the displays and asking questions that I was able to answer with the Visor on my belt. I sold 2 for sure, and a couple others I think- and I do not work there! A supervisor watching one of the transactions offered me a job as a joke- but the pay was just too big a cut.

    I wonder what would happen if sales staff got commission-like sales bonuses, and free samples of key products to play with?
  8. #8  
    The flip side of the coin is knowledgable sales employees having to deal with idiotic customers.

    Operate with the assumption that you may be the ***** until proven otherwise.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    The flip side of the coin is knowledgable sales employees having to deal with idiotic customers.

    Operate with the assumption that you may be the ***** until proven otherwise.
    That's the exact reason I always give tech support people as many lucid details as possible whenever I have to call @Home, etc; the sooner I can demonstrate to them that not only do I know what they're talking about but that I also know what I'm talking about, the friendlier they are and the more efficiently they'll be able to help me.

    Unfortunately, such an approach doesn't always work when dealing with the redshirts at Staples/CompUSA or the blueshirts at Best Buy; if it turns out you know as much as or more than them they have a tendency to either make stuff up to save face, or just act like you actually don't know what you're talking about. Regardless, the usual treatment can usually be described as belligerent, disinterested, haughty, or all three.

    <disclaimer>Of course there are exceptions to the rule - no offense intended to any competent associates out there who frequent this forum.</disclaimer>
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  10. #10  
    Originally posted by usonian2001


    That's the exact reason I always give tech support people as many lucid details as possible whenever I have to call @Home, etc; the sooner I can demonstrate to them that not only do I know what they're talking about but that I also know what I'm talking about, the friendlier they are and the more efficiently they'll be able to help me.

    Unfortunately, such an approach doesn't always work when dealing with the redshirts at Staples/CompUSA or the blueshirts at Best Buy; if it turns out you know as much as or more than them they have a tendency to either make stuff up to save face, or just act like you actually don't know what you're talking about. Regardless, the usual treatment can usually be described as belligerent, disinterested, haughty, or all three.

    <disclaimer>Of course there are exceptions to the rule - no offense intended to any competent associates out there who frequent this forum.</disclaimer>
    Just make sure you DO know what you're talking about. I've had to deal with customers that felt they needed to demostrate that they knew everything about my line of work when in actuality they did not. I do agree that demostrating such knowledge is a very useful tool just use it wisely.
    You know it's bad when your Calculus Professor uses the word "Unpossible"

    "It's a long way from my thoughts to what I'll say, It's a long, long way from paradise to where I am today." -Switchfoot, Home
  11. #11  
    I think the real problem here is people on either side of the conversation believeing they know more than the other person when they don't.

    My difficulty, namja's, CSR13's, usonian's and asmed's are all directly related to that.

    If the clerks would drop their arrogance that the customer is an *****, and the customer would assume that the person in the low-paying job may or may not know how to help, and be charitable if they don't, we could get along better.

    Just a thought ... ain't happening in my lifetime, I'm sure ...
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  12. #12  
    I remember going to Circuit City once to buy a TV. A sales person came and asked me if I wanted help I told him I was looking into buying a TV. Everytime I tried to look at an inexpensive model he would suggest a more expensive one. Then I saw him with the sales person handbook. An excuse was quickly made up and I left.
  13. #13  
    Interesting topic, I was at Best Buy today to check somethings out, and I actually encountered two informed sales people. They both asked if I had any questions, and then engaged in some light conversation, about the technology I was examining, laptops with XP, and PDAs. I am not sure if this is the result of the time of day, lunch hour, or the downturn in consumer spending, but either way it was nice.
    I do not even go near Circuit City, because of bad experience with a product purchased there that was still under warranty.
  14. #14  
    Wow. I think that teh people who write things on that site forget that they get <b>paid</b> to work. I mean, doesn't that do anything for them? Some people would be estatic to get paid what they do, and they would do a job superior them theirs in all ways. Sheesh, this is just a great example of HS dropouts.

    BEN
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by Yorick
    I think the real problem here is people on either side of the conversation believeing they know more than the other person when they don't.

    My difficulty, namja's, CSR13's, usonian's and asmed's are all directly related to that.

    If the clerks would drop their arrogance that the customer is an *****, and the customer would assume that the person in the low-paying job may or may not know how to help, and be charitable if they don't, we could get along better.

    Just a thought ... ain't happening in my lifetime, I'm sure ...
    Well, I used to always give the CSRs the benefit of doubt and assume that they knew what they were talking about. Turns out that 75% of the time (I'm being conservative here), they don't.

    Just yesterday, I was at Best Buy looking at digital cameras. This lady was buying the Olympus D-510 digital camera. She asked if the camera needed "film" and the BB guy told her that the camera comes with "film" in form of memory (HE WAS CORRECT) and that it may be a good idea for her to buy extra memory or "film" (AGAIN HE WAS CORRECT). Then he proceeded to pick out a 64 MB CompacFlash card (MAYBE JUST A MISTAKE? READ ON). Now, anyone who knows anything about digital cameras know that the Olympus digital cameras take SmartMedia cards and not CompactFlash cards. I politely leaned over and told the BB guy that the Olympus D-510 took SM cards and not CF cards. The BB guy replied that it took the CF cards (HE IS AN *****). So while he was ringing up the camera and the CF card, I told the lady that I happened to own the Olympus D-510 (which I actually do) and that it took SM cards and not CF cards. She asked the BB guy for the box and ... while she was reading the panel that said that the box included an 8 MB SmartMedia card, I quietly walked away.

    Really, they are not very helpful. More often than not, they tell you WRONG information.

    yeah, i wrote that ...
  16. #16  
    The flip side of the coin is knowledgable sales employees having to deal with idiotic customers.
    As someone else mentioned...THAT'S THEIR JOB!

    Having worked tech support, I understand stupid customers...but they ARE CUSTOMERS...and their is no excuse for not taking the time to help them.

    I have had increasingly bad tech support/sales support experiences over the years. I no longer rent from Dollar Rent-A-Car, Fly Mesaba, purchase ANYTHING at Best Buy, and I avoid Home Depot at all costs.

    It's pathetic how poorly companies are treating consumers these days. Until consumers actually stop shopping at these places, they aren't going to stop.

    Someone brought up commisioned salespeople vs. salaried. They aren't necessarily any better. I've worked in sales where there were commisions and salespeople would outright lie about products.

    Needless to say, I didn't work there for too long.

    Also, just a word-to-the-wise...NEVER use BestBuy or Circuit City's in-house repair center. NEVER NEVER NEVER.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  17.    #17  
    The biggest problem, in my opinion, is lack of training. Places like BestBuy, Staples, etc... are hiring High School kids and sticking them out there to sale very technical products. This is fine, provided:

    The consumer is intelligent and informed.
    -OR-
    The consumer is an ***** and believes everything he hears.

    However, considering the majority of consumers probably fall in the middle of these categories, it is unfortunate this is happening.

    Before I purchased my first Visor Deluxe, I asked a Staples associate if it had a Backlight. I was told it did not, that none of the PDA's had a backlight. I did not think this was true, so, I decided to learn everything I could about PDA's.

    Now, I am a PDA addict. I admit this. I also admit, that I rarely make a purchase without learning everything I can first. There are so few people in retail that really know technology, I am scared to buy anything based on an associates recommendation.

    The catch is, the stores cannot afford to pay someone who is trained and has knowledge. I mean, if you go to a store that has a competent staff, there prices are generally higher.

    So there you have it. My .02 cents, that probably is not worth that...
    In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. JOHN 14:2
  18. #18  
    If you take the time to do your own homework, places like Staples, Home Depot, etc. can be a godsend because they can usually save you big bucks- but!

    Most of us consumers choose to do most of our research 'on site'- we call it 'shopping'. We depend on product labels, in-store sales material, and the sales people to help us make the decision.

    The problem for the average consumer is that the sales people are no longer generally a real resource- but a.) they continue to pretend they are, and b.) we continue to need to rely on them.

    Maybe we can convince Consumer Reports or Reader's Digest to do a series about this issue and rate chains by their employee knowledge levels? I bet a couple nationally published horror stories in this competetive age would make some of these companies rethink pretty quick!
  19. #19  
    I recently applied for a sales position at a local CompUSA in their PDA department. I would think that I have a pretty good knowledge of PDAs, so hopefully customers won't have any of the bad experiences that you guys have had a Staples or Best Buy, at least while I am at work.

    Jason
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by volcanopele
    I recently applied for a sales position at a local CompUSA in their PDA department.
    What? No more space research?? That was the coolest job (or was it school, or volunteering..?) that anybody here had!!
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