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Frys Associates: Massive Fail - Elf M. Sternberg
Frys Associates: Massive Fail
So, my Palm m500 is showing sign of Mad Digitizer Syndrome again, and it's staying so even after I give it a thorough disassembly and cleaning. This morning it seemed to be okay but Omaha dissented: "Look, that things is old. It's worn out. Why don't you go and buy a replacement?"

After hemming and hawing about whether or not we have enough money, I took her up on her offer. I discovered from their website that Frys is selling the Palm T|X for $299, but it comes with a hardcase and extra memory. I called up Frys and asked to talk to the guy at the PDA center, and he tells me he has one for sale.

I drove down there and ask. It turned out that he had one T|X for $299, except it was a customer return with no power supply, no USB cable, no hardcase, no nothing. There was a sign on it. "See associate for details on discount." He has no idea what it means. I ask to see his manager.

The manager looked at the box, shrugged, and said "That's what it is. $299 for the thing."

"Wait," I said. "Your sign over there says you'll sell me a T|X for $299 with all the accessories and a hardcase, but you're sold out. You'll sell me this thing, a return with no accessories, for the same price? What kind of sense is that?"

"It is what it is." (Have I mentioned before that I loathe that utterly meaningless phrase?) "That's what we got."

After that I went home and found what I wanted on EBay for about a $100 less. I'm just annoyed that the associate either didn't understand or was clueless on the phone (or malicious: "If I get this guy in here, I can upsell him!", but I don't want to think that too much), and his manager was a waste of human breath.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

4 comments or Leave a comment
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: June 14th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a rule of thumb about Fry's: Know what you want when you go in, do not ask for assistance beyond what aisle it can be found. Do not ask for opinions or recommendations, have all that homework done before you enter the building.

Saves me oodles of time dealing with salesdroids.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 14th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Alternatively pay them a visit with a *cough* insulation tester *cough*. You know, the extra large type with two settings - "stun" and "stir-fry".
Hmm, no pun intended in that last setting though it does seem fairly apt.
drewkitty From: drewkitty Date: June 15th, 2008 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I have had LOTS of fun with Fry's over the years.

1) Teaching their LP (Loss Prevention) that in California, one does not establish reasonable suspicion by walking from the registers to the exit. They are a merchant, not a membership store, and they have no legal authority to make people wait in line to have their receipts checked.

1a) Teaching that locking the fire door in front of a customer during normal business hours costs $$$ when the fire department shows up in response to my 911 call. ("The little sign that says THIS DOOR SHALL REMAIN UNLOCKED DURING BUSINESS HOURS is an ORDER of the FIRE MARSHALL. I can SHUT YOU DOWN for locking that door, and my chief will back me up." -- Fire Captain to Fry's MoD.)

2) Teaching their manager on duty that the law requires that they honor the advertised price if it is still displayed, "even if it is expired." Took only about three hours total.

3) Forcing them to honor a presented check when I presented a photo ID bearing my P.O. Box. They actually called the bank to verify funds! The bank kindly verified funds and when asked to provide my "real" home address to them, provided the P.O. Box.

4) Incessant rounds of return baloney short circuited by sending a female friend to return the item in question. Hasn't failed me yet.

5) Reported a customer masturbating in the porn section to said useless LP. Fry's was indifferent -- in a store with children present! Confronted the customer and told him briefly and baldly of the consequences of becoming a convicted sex offender. Exit customer, stage right, at warp speed. The LP didn't notice as the customer _RAN_ past him.

6) When looking at laptop, drowned out by Fry's Associates on either side trying to sell me on the product. When one sidled me out of the way to "show me a feature" (inaccurately), I looked him dead in the eye and said, "I just came over on my lunch break to look at this product and maybe buy it. Since you want it so bad, I'll buy one this evening at the Fry's closest to my house." As I left, I heard both sales droids arguing with each other over who exactly had lost them the sale. Ultimately purchased laptop elsewhere.
brandywilliams From: brandywilliams Date: June 15th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Living up to a rep

Which is notoriously bad service. Caveat emptor, eh?
4 comments or Leave a comment