I had a rather interesting (and unpleasant) experience last Thursday afternoon. I had needed to go to St Georges Retail Park, in Leicester, to buy some items from Wyckes. When I left the shop it was raining quite heavily and I didn't want to get drowned on my walk back to Leicester City Centre. So I decided to visit Currys/PCWorld (next door to Wyckes) whilst I waited for the rain to ease a bit.
As I was walking around Currys/PCWorld I found some microwaves (my old one was almost a museum peice) and I asked a Sales Assistant about them. When I had made my decision as to which one I wanted to buy it turned out that I was in the worst place to actually buy it.
All I asked was "Can you deliver it?". The answer came back "Do you have a car?" - when I said "No" things got really surreal - "You will have to go online for that." - the next suggestion was worse "you could get a taxi." (no offer to pay for it).
Now - I am pretty sure that I have read about stores and shopkeepers who have complained about people using their shops to research products before buying them more cheaply online???
I was, therefore, surprised when I was practically forced to go online to buy something which was facing me in the shop due to lack of transport (I had not gone shopping with the intention of buying a microwave - otherwise I would have taken my trolley with me so I could trundle it home myself).
The excuse I was given both by the store I was in and later by their Customer Services Dept via Twitter was "we are not equipped to deliver from stores - only online".
I know I am odd in that I have to walk into shops and try things before I buy them - or at least make sure I can see the part I am supposed to read, press, twiddle, etc, to get them to work.
However, there are not that many people who own their own van or HGV so they can get things like washing machines or fridgefreezers home on their own.
Given the option of buying online or getting a taxi - I chose the third (unspoken) option and took my business elsewhere.
This resulted in me going home, researching microwaves online, getting my trolley out, and going to Argos - where, though I couldn't touch the microwave I desired to buy (a slightly different one than in the previous store), the assistant helped me put it on the trolley and secure it without complaining.
Currys/PCWorld have lost my business permanently.
Someone I told about it the next day told me I should have played the "Disabled" card. This managed to upset me more than the original incident. Why should I play the "Disabled" card every time I want to do something the rest of the world can without complaint or difficulty - especially when it was not actually my sight problem causing the difficulty (OK so I cannot drive as a result of it but that is beside the point)???
I always try to support shops and companies by visiting them in person if I intend to buy their products - it is usually easier to ask humans about what they sell than to interrogate a computer. After all, a computer will not tell you that the microwave I ended up buying was slightly heavier than I thought it would be.
Maybe we need to wean ourselves off the idea that the internet is the cure for all our purchasing problems and go and annoy shops instead!!!
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