Posted by: Linda Proud | October 30, 2008

E-Buyer Beware continued

Well, may be today is the day the computer arrives, one which will stay with me for a couple of years at least. The last one went back eleven days ago. Despite agreeing with E-buyer’s technical help that it should be replaced, it went to the repair shop (again). We started phoning this Monday. ‘Well, we need three working days after receipt of the machine.’ ‘You’ve had them.’ ‘Yes we have, but our repair technicians don’t work on Mondays.’

I have to get up early to use the internet on David’s machine. On Tuesday I went and had a lie down after lunch, but soon woke up to the sound of David bellowing like a maddened bull. ‘Get your supervisor! Don’t give me that standard guff! GET YOUR SUPERVISOR!’ The girl in customer services was a stolid defender of her company. She was obviously beginning to repeat the standard guff like a zombie. In a voice that lifted our roof into the air, David began to shout at her to look at the records. LOOK AT THE RECORDS! Our records must be as long a ladder by now. But she did look at them, at last, and subsided. We were right. We had been promised an exchange. She’d see to it right away.

On Thursday we had an email from E-buyer to say that the HP Compact was out of stock. I wish I could scream, or swear, or feel the need to break things. But I just stand there looking, at most, slightly glassy-eyed. That’s philosophical practice for you! Well, it keeps me sane.

Guess what, we phoned E-buyer and spoke to several departments. The upshot is that a Fujitsu-Siemens is on its way, and I’m rather glad it’s not an HP Compact. I have developed a morbid distrust of them which is neither philosophic nor rational – well, it might be rational.

I wasn’t going to let E-buyer go without trying a haggle. What I wanted was for them to say, ‘Oh look, you’ve had such a shocking experience with us – I mean, not having a computer for two months when you run a small business must be terrible – that we’re not going to charge you the extra £14 for the Fujitsu.’ In that, I failed. Companies with rock bottom prices are institutionally incapable of haggling. May be companies with rock bottom prices should be avoided. But the last girl we spoke to readily agreed to send it ‘next day delivery’ for no extra charge, so I won on that one. ‘Thank you, so kind,’ David breathed into the phone.

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